This CMI Working Paper presents an analysis of civilian-military relations in Turkey, casting light on institutional, legal and economic aspects that have shaped the military’s role in society. An assessment of contemporary civilian-military relations in Turkey needs to be informed by a historical background. To that end, this paper chronicles how the military has evolved since the Ottoman Empire up till today, emphasising key historical processes that influence the dynamics between military and civilian powers. The paper concludes by observing that in recent decades the Turkish military has, by and large, withdrawn from the political scene, yet that recent political developments in the region and a corresponding intensification of security concerns leave open how this may evolve. Civilian-military relations have been considered in the context of the failed coup attempt of July 2015 in which the government aimed at absolute control over the armed forces and the military lost all of its major privileges.