Policy Note/Nilgün Arısan Eralp Turkey – EU Relations: Has It Become a Hopeless Case?
"EU accession goal has been presented as a strategic objective in the Programme of the 61st Government after the parliamentary elections of June 2011. Furthermore, the establishment of an exclusive Ministry for European Union Affairs has been regarded as Turkey’s determination to carry forward the EU accession process as stated by the authorities themselves. According to the 2011 “Transatlantic Trends” survey, public support for EU accession in Turkey – those who think that Turkey’s EU membership “is a good thing” - which dropped from a 74 percent in 2004 to 38 percent in 2010, rose to 48 percent in 2011. The visit of Mr. Stefan FÜLE, Commissioner responsible for enlargement and European neighbourhood policy to Turkey in July -to find a solution to the so called “ports” problem in the accession negotiations- has also been considered as a confirmation of EU’s will to keep Turkey’s accession process on track.
All these developments could be interpreted as usual, even belated and inadequate, for a candidate country, which has started the accession negotiations six years ago. However Turkish-EU relations are progressing on a somewhat different path..."