Turkey’s Parliament Moves Quickly to Curb Army’s Political Power

Article No. 35 now restricts the army to “defending the Turkish nation against external threats and dangers”

From Sebnem Arsu, New York Times:  The Turkish Parliament on Saturday amended an army regulation that had paved the way for military intervention in politics — another step in years of attempts by the pro-Islamic government to rein in the power of an army once prone to staging coups.

The country’s generals had often cited an article of the regulation, about safeguarding the republic, as the legal backing for overthrowing governments they believed were undermining republican principles in the Constitution, such as secularism. . . .

The legislation came after large antigovernment riots in June, as protests about the razing of a park grew into demonstrations against what many called Mr. Erdogan’s autocratic tendencies. Although the army did not step into the conflict, Atilla Sandikli, director of the Ankara-based Wise Men Center for Strategic Studies, said the wording change was also an effort to ensure that it would not do so.   (photo: Mehmet Kaman/AA)

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