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Turkey and Pakistan had a similar situation before Erdogan came to power.

The military and Judiciary banded together to ban Abdullah Gul from politics. The military staged a coup in 2016. However, gradually, Erdogan took control of the military, and now they have no visible influence over politics.

However, in Pakistan, the situation is not changing. The latest incident seemed to be the removal of PM Imran Khan's government.

Allegedly, the feud started because of the appointment of the ISI chief. The Army GHQ nominated Gen Nadeem Anjum as the ISI chief, and PM's office wanted to keep the sitting ISI chief Gen Faiz Hameed. Therefore, the army, allegedly, invited the opposition and told them to take necessary measures to remove Imran Khan.

The task was straightforward for them as IK didn't have an absolute majority in the parliament. The opposition spent 20 million PKR per person to purchase 20 dissidents from Imran Khan's party and convinced his coalition partners to call off their support. Therefore, the IK's government lost the majority in the parliament. A similar game was played in the provincial assembly of Punjab.

Allegedly, the Judiciary also helped the Army and the IK's opposition in that the Chief Justice took Suo Moto notice against the dissolvement of parliament (the dissolvement was in favor of PM IK so that he could avoid a no-confidence move) but stayed silent in the case of horsetrading of the opposition.

Now, my question is, why was it possible for Turkey to take control of its military, but Pakistan is yet to be successful? What is the fundamental difference between these two countries in this case?

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    All functional democracies are somewhat alike. Every dysfunctional one is dysfunctional one in its own way. What I am saying is that I don't know how much you can learn of Pakistan's army successful coercion from examining Turkey's. Maybe recenter about mostly Pakistan's struggles with keeping army out of politics, with Turkey as a footnote? That said, some differences may have an effect. First the army's relationship with Islam is 180 diff: Turkey's is the guardian of the Ataturk secular model. Pakistan's? Zia-ul-Haq boosted Islam did he not? Jul 22 at 17:39
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    Pakistan has a real existential adversary in India (never mind that it often initiates problems). Turkey does not, so the armies shouldn't have the same say. Turkey's army is part of NATO and would lose many goodies and perks if became too undemocratic (no, it didn't in 60-80s but USSR kept NATO from being too picky on its members - notice that Erdogan is being courted again since "special military operation"). In general a "Why does Pakistan struggle with removing the army from politics?" is a good question on its own, Turkey's bit is supporting info at most. Jul 22 at 17:45
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    Not sure I would frame the question in that way, but the idea of a military serving as a guardian of the state if the political process goes off the rails is a very common one in most newly independent countries (e.g. also Egypt and many in Latin America).
    – ohwilleke
    Jul 22 at 20:32
  • @ohwilleke Yes, it's an idea the army often has. I can't really edit my comment but Turkey's army sees itself as the guardian would be more accurate to what I meant to say. In their attitude towards Islam, in what are both religious countries, Turkey's army tends to go against the flow, while Pakistan's army seems more in line with the general population (urban "elites" might prefer more secularism in both). As far as actually "guarding the political process", army involvement tends to drive it off the rail a lot more than assist it. Jul 22 at 21:03

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Without getting into much details, the Turkish presidency, even before the recent reforms, was substantially more resilient than a Pakistani PM, simply due the president being directly elected in Turkey, thus immune to being removed by their parliament short of what they might have as an impeachment process (which is usually more difficult than a no-confidence vote).

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