While the current civilian government is strong, the roots of the Turkish Republic are in the military. The strongly secular military see themselves as guardians of the Republic. The military recruits the most outstanding youths and provides them with superior education. The military also plays a role in the economy. For example, the military bank Oyak has declared assets of over $3.6 billion. Should Turkey’s national security be threatened by external or internal forces, such as radical Islam or a fractured government, the military will be strongly tempted to intervene and change the power structure, even though such intervention would certainly lessen Turkey’s chances of joining the EU.

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