Initiatives for Transparency-Building in Turkey: International, Regional and Domestic Factors

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Nilufer Narli


Information & Security: An International Journal, Volume 11, p.34-54 (2003)


accountability, armed forces, Civil-military relations, defence planning, defence policy, Force planning, procurement, Turkish military


Taking Turkey as a case study, this article addresses a specific question: What are the factors that support citizens' initiatives for transparency of defence resources planning and budgeting? It assumes that transparency-building is usefully analysed at three levels – the national or “domestic,” the regional and the international – and, therefore, differentiates relevant influencing factors at these levels. Hypothesised to be significant at the international level are shifts in the balance of power (e.g., the demise of the Soviet Union, ending of the Cold War), international treaties concerning armament (e.g., the Conventional Forces in Europe /CFE/ accord) and international documents on various security matters (e.g., the Vienna Document 1999), new global threats (e.g., terrorism, especially following the attacks in the US on 11 September 2001) and wars, real or likely (e.g., the recent fighting in Iraq). At the domestic level, the article considers several economic, political and socio-political factors as variables affecting citizens' demands for transparency of defence resources planning and budgeting. The following factors shape the transparency-building attitude: fiscal crises and poverty; perceived and real threats to national security; the activities of separatist or extremist movements; how the country’s political culture defines the position of the military vis-à-vis society and the political elite, plus the nature of civil-military relations; and the impact of reforms that change legal and political frameworks..