Transforming Turkey? Putting the Turkey-European Union Relations into a Historical Perspective

ULUSLARARASI İLİŞKİLER, CİLT 14, SAYI 56, 2017

Galip L. YALMAN* and Asuman GÖKSEL**

ABSTRACT

This article aims to provide an alternative critical reading of Turkey-European Union (EU) relations, by contending that Turkey’s EU accession process has been instrumental in changing the contours of the transformation of Turkish economy and its governance as part of its neoliberal restructuring. However, the “transformative power” attributed to the EU’s enlargement strategy by the EU Commission has been somewhat debatable since the 2008 global financial crisis as reflected in the slowdown of the accession process. With the rising authoritarian tendencies in its domestic governance, the protracted saga of Turkey’s quest for the EU membership is back to square one, as the proposal for the modernisation of the Customs Union underlines “respect for democracy and fundamental rights” as an indispensable basis for the future of the relations.

Keywords: Turkey-EU relations, EU accession process, EU’s transformative power, neoliberal restructuring

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* Assoc. Prof. Dr., Department of Political Science and Public Administration, METU, Ankara.

** Assist. Prof. Dr., Department of Political Science and Public Administration, METU, Ankara.


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