As McEldowney notes, no country may be more subject to the pangs of a deep state than Turkey. And its history has, perhaps, the deepest roots. In fact, the term deep state (derin devlet) originated in Turkey.
Even before the fall of the Ottoman Empire, we can trace deep state activities back to Sultan Selim III’s reign from 1789 to 1807. Selim was referred to as “Selim the Grim.” In his eight-year reign, he was responsible for the execution of over 30,000 people. He also went through seven grand viziers in his time. As a man with many enemies, it’s said Selim appointed a secret committee for protection. Even his second-in-command didn't know about it.
After the fall, Turkish field marshall Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was embedded in several secret societies that were designed to further the republican cause. The Sentinel Association is one example of these societies. Many assert that these societies propel the deep state into further existence.
Interestingly, in November 1996, a truck struck a Mercedes-Benz transporting Istanbul’s deputy chief of police, a member of parliament, a well-known hitman, and the hitman’s girlfriend. Only a right-wing member of parliament, Sedat Bucak, survived.
Nearly everyone in Turkey - and across the globe - conceded to the existence of a deep state after the crash. Why else would such a juxtaposed group of people be traveling together? There you had a Turkish legislator, a senior member of the police force, and a pay-for-hire murderer gathering together.
The website Foreign Policy sums it up succinctly:
Instead, Egyptians and Turks live in a political system where capriciousness, brutality, and corruption have become norms. It is no wonder that people have come to believe in the existence of a deep state.
That is Egypt and Turkey, though, countries where journalists are routinely jailed, opponents of the government are imprisoned, security forces politicized, parliaments are pliant, and the news is another name for an elaborate information campaign waged under the auspices of presidential palaces.