Since 1991, the Turkish armed forces (TAF) have experienced major transformations in the spheres of civil–military relations, military operations, and military capabilities; yet there have also been elements of continuity. While the military has come under the control of civilians, the 2016 coup attempt showed that old patterns of behaviour continue and reflect conflict among various groups and issues, including political Islam. In the sphere of military operations, TAF has participated in international peacekeeping missions, but has also become embroiled in the Syrian war and carried out unilateral operations in Iraq against Kurdish groups. Finally, Turkey has increased its military capabilities, but it is still dependent on Western powers for technological expertise. Overall, there is a mismatch between Turkey’s power aspirations and the domestic and regional circumstances it faces, leading to continuities despite the changes.
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