Skip to main content
Berfin Necimoglu

Berfin Necimoglu

PhD Candidate


Berfin Necimoğlu is a PhD Candidate in the Department of War Studies. Her research interests include civil-military relations in Turkey, conflict and peacebuilding in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as diplomacy and International Relations. She holds an MA in International Security (2021) and BA in Middle Eastern Studies (2018) from Sciences Po Paris. She is also a Program Coordinator at the Arab Reform Initiative; an independent Arab think tank working with expert partners in the Middle East and North Africa and beyond to articulate a home-grown agenda for democratic change and social justice.

Berfin comes to the War Studies Department immediately after concluding a master's thesis on the Decline of Military Influence in Turkey (1977-2017), wishing to enhance her expertise on Turkish civil-military relations through the War Studies MPhil/PhD program.


Research Interests

  • Civil-Military relations in Turkey
  • Turkish Military History
  • Turkish Foreign Policy
  • History of the Middle East
  • Youth Trajectories in Contexts of Conflict
  • Democratic Transitions in the Middle East



The Concept of “military nation” in Contemporary Turkish Society  

A frequent topic of research on the concept of military nation in Turkey is how it’s used when creating a nation state in the early 20s. Here academic attention is often given to how the social reconstruction of Turkish history tried to channel militaristic sentiment and naturalize concepts such as mandatory military service and military education (Altınay 2004; Altınay and Bora 2002; Unal 2015; Under 2001). The majority of the previous literature draws its conclusions from the time frame between the early Republican era (20s and 30s) and the beginning of the 21st century. Yet, the concept’s contemporary representation, that is, after the 2000s and especially 2010s, is not as frequently studied. As it’s known, after 2010 very important events took place in Turkey and the Middle East; war against the Kurds in 2015/2016, the Arab spring and the eventual civil war in Syria, high profile trials against the military (Ergenekon and Sledgehammer), the coup of 2016, all of which this project wishes to extend and develop on when studying the concept of military nation in Turkey.

This project aims to study whether Turkish people are still nourished by the idea, or as Ayşegül Altınay calls it, by the “myth,” of the military nation. Is Turkey or was Turkey ever a military nation? Is there any evidence to the contrary? Is it correct to attribute the soft power policy that Turkey has recently put into practice in the region solely to the concept of a military nation? Is there another reasoning behind Turkish government’s militaristic discourse today? These questions go beyond the scope of the existing literature as they require an inquiry on the more recent civil-military dynamics of Turkey. They become particularly compelling considering the institutional demilitarization that Turkey has been going through since the 2010s.

The central question that this project asks, then, is: To what extent is the idea of a military nation present in Turkish psyche?


Dr Simon Anglim and Dr David Betz