Turkey has a strong military past. The constitution, written in 1980 after a military coup, essentially named the military as the defender of secularism and awarded the military broad government powers.
In March 2010, dozens of military officers were arrested – a first for the country – for their alleged role in a coup plot to overthrow the Erdogan’s liberal Islamic government. The military has brought down the government four times since 1960, most recently in 1997.
Erdogan seeks to rewrite the military-friendly Turkish constitution, partially to cement his efforts at shifting the power base from the military to civilians. Rewriting the constitution would also empower Erdogan, his party, and other Islamic elements in the country.