The Turkish Army is ever-present politically, less as an adviser and executive arm of the Government helping with the planning and execution of public decisions but more as an arbiter of influence placed at the very heart of the social order’s nervous system, to quote Durkheim. It is also an historic force, as the actor which generated the State and gave it substance; one is reminded of the celebrated phrase of von Seekt that the Reichswehr was ‘. . . not only at the service of the State–it is the State’. Finally, the cultural mission of providing a framework and training to the entire State is entrusted to its officers; the reality of this may be debated these days, but military rhetoric and imagination leave little doubt as to the theory. The whole question of the military in Turkey is strangely discreet in the social sciences. The main aim of this article is to examine the reality of military influence in Turkey, and to bring out its main aspects.