The Turkish military has a long history of meddling in the nation’s politics, including no fewer than four coup d’états. In 1960, young officers toppled the democratically elected government amid socio-political turmoil and economic hardship, forcing 235 generals and more than 3,000 commissioned officers into retirement.

In 1971, convinced that the government lost control amid spreading anarchy, the military forced the prime minister to resign — but without deploying on the streets. Following a spate of armed conflicts between right- and left-wing groups, in 1980 the military toppled the government and restored order. And in 1997, the military issued another memorandum, forcing an Islamist prime minister and his government to resign.

While all of these coups had grave consequences for nearly everybody involved, all had a similar pattern — operations-wise, the military was successful in taking over, and prompting a complete reorganization of the Turkish political landscape. With exception of the 1971 coup, which initiated a period of massive violence, they usually resulted in relatively little violence and bloodshed.

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Image courtesy of AFP

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