deep state

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Probably a calque of Turkish derin devlet (deep state) (early uses were in relation to Turkey,[1] especially the 1996 Susurluk scandal); from derin (deep) (ultimately from Proto-Turkic *deriŋ, *täring (deep)) + devlet (sovereign polity, state) (ultimately from Arabic دَوْلَة(dawla, sovereign polity, state)).



deep state (plural deep states)

  1. (politics, conspiracy research) A large group of people, typically members of government agencies and the military, believed to have long-lasting political influence that is difficult for an administration voted into power to counter.
    • 1997, Turkish Probe, Ankara, Turkey: Turkish Daily News, OCLC 29557434, page 111:
      The ‘deep state’ remains hidden from the public. It is staffed by the security personnel. Its activities and the driving principles behind those activities are not decided by the legislature, controlled by the judiciary, or challenged by the popular will []
    • 2010, Atay Akdevelioğlu [et al.]; Mustafa Akşin, transl., Baskın Oran, editor, Turkish Foreign Policy, 1919–2006: Facts and Analyses with Documents (Utah Series in Turkish and Islamic Studies), Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, →ISBN, page 658:
      The term "deep state" is used in two different senses in Turkey. The first is rooted in a type of secret organization affiliated with NATO, which, with time, degenerated into an organized crime group engaged in the pursuit of private gain. In the second sense, the "deep state" is a type of special organization entrenched within the state apparatus and strives to keep the state on a predetermined course.
    • 2017, Gurmeet Kanwal, “India: Reluctant Nuclear Power”, in Sharpening the Arsenal: India’s Evolving Nuclear Deterrence Policy, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India: HarperCollins Publishers India, →ISBN:
      Since 1989–90, Pakistan’s ‘deep state’ – the army and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) – has been waging a war against India through asymmetric means. The deep state has been sponsoring radical extremist organisations []
    • 2017, Kevin Taft, “Oil and the Deep State”, in Oil’s Deep State: How the Petroleum Industry Undermines Democracy and Stops Action on Global Warming – in Alberta, and in Ottawa, Toronto, Ont.: James Lorimer & Company, →ISBN, part 2 (Capture), page 121:
      Deep states do not arise in economic and historic vacuums; rather, they reflect their societies' economies and histories. Most deep state analysis comes out of the United States and Turkey and concentrates on military and security interests joining with corporate, technological, and financial interests to form deep states.
    • 2018 January 15, Kashmira Gander, “What is The Storm? Conspiracy theory that mysterious White House official QAnon is leaking secrets”, in International Business Times[1]:
      The Storm boils down to the idea that the US president is working to wipe out the effects of globalisation, a concept much hated by his supporters. To achieve this, he will apparently dismantle the 'deep state'.
    • 2019 October 23, “Trump’s War on the ‘Deep State’ Turns Against Him”, in The New York Times[2]:
      But over the last three weeks, the deep state has emerged from the shadows in the form of real live government officials, past and present, who have defied a White House attempt to block cooperation with House impeachment investigators and provided evidence that largely backs up the still-anonymous whistle-blower.




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