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The European wide debate over Turkish accession to the European Union reached its peak with the period prior to and following the Copenhagen Summit of 2002. This article proposes that one of the major reasons behind the acceleration of the debate has been the self-definition process of Europe precipitated with the developments in the international system with the Iraq war and the final stages of enlargement to Central, Eastern and Southern Europe with the exception of Turkey who is yet to start accession negotiations. These factors, by having significant impacts on EU’s foreign policy orientations, its institutional set up and the question over its identity, create an encompassing framework within which the debate over Turkey’s accession can best be placed and future scenarios can be drawn.

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