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Quo Vadis Turkey-EU Relations? Article / Nilgün Arısan Eralp
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29/06/2017 - Viewed 517 times

Relations between the EU and Turkey have always been volatile: “trying to get a perspective on Turkey’s relationship with the EU has been a difficult task, somewhat like attempting to paint [the] landscape on a fast moving train: the scenery would change before a particular setting could be captured with its significant detail.” The evolution of the relationship has been affected by the rapidly changing political and economic situation in both the EU and Turkey, and in the international/regional conjuncture. Consequently, the partnership between the parties has become complex, unique, and quite unpredictable.

The volatile nature of the relationship was expected to change after Turkey became an official EU candidate country in December 1999, and especially after the decision by the EU to initiate accession negotiations with the country in December 2004. However, the Turkey-EU relationship has been a unique case in the history of EU enlargement in that a negative turn in the relationship took place after the initiation of the negotiations. In principle, the initiation of accession negotiations marks the beginning of an irreversible process in which the candidate country’s membership prospects gradually become reality. However, the opposite has turned out to be the case for Turkey. Relations between the parties have been almost in constant crisis since 2005, although EU accession has always been – rhetorically at least – a strategic objective of almost all the governments in the last decade. Turkey managed to get rid of its military tutelage mainly via the imperfect and volatile accession process, yet unfortunately the end of tutelary democracy has not resulted in democratic consolidation in the country. This has worsened the relations between the parties.

You may read full paper from here.

This article published by Orient Institut.

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