Independent and cutting-edge analysis on Turkey and its neighborhood

Turkey and the EU: Towards Free Movement and Free Thought?, Spring 2012

Turkey and the EU: Towards Free Movement and Free Thought?, Spring 2012

  This issue of TPQ finds the Turkey-European Union relationship at a crossroads. While there is widespread recognition that some form of progress is necessary to salvage the current low in relations between the two entities, different perspectives exist on how to go about it. Some see Turkey’s eventual EU membership as inevitable, but dwell on how and when this will take place, others debate alternative forms of mutually beneficial integration. As always, from every perspective and...

Nigâr Göksel | 05 June 2012

Interview with Demetris Christofias, Spring 2012

Interview with Demetris Christofias, Spring 2012

We are absolutely ready to continue the dialogue for a solution of the Cyprus problem during the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Cyprus Presidency is independent of the efforts aimed at the settlement of the Cyprus problem and the reunification of the country and our people. (…) We will not use our position as Presidency of the Council for the promotion of national positions, as is being claimed in Turkey.    

Demetris Christofias | 05 June 2012

Turkey-EU Relations and the Customs Union: Expectations versus the Reality, Spring 2012

Turkey-EU Relations and the Customs Union: Expectations versus the Reality, Spring 2012

  This article focuses on three interrelated issues of Turkey-EU relations. Initially, an overview of Turkey-EU relations and some reasons that have led to Turkish frustration and disappointment towards the EU are presented. The next section focuses on the Customs Union between Turkey and the EU, the changes it brought to Turkish legislation and regulatory institutions and their impact on Turkey’s economy. It is argued that, despite some important benefits to the Turkish economy, the...

Hayati Yazıcı | 05 June 2012

Women’s Rights in Turkey, Spring 2012

Women’s Rights in Turkey, Spring 2012

  This article elaborates on Turkey’s progress in areas such as the increase in girls’ school enrolment rates and the drop of infant mortality rates, as well as efforts in the area of domestic violence. The Minister points out the centrality of women in driving change and development, as well as the importance of having a range of actors – such as women’s organizations, the private sector, and universities- involved in the transformation, to ensure that positive...

Fatma Şahin | 05 June 2012

EU-Turkey Strategic Dialogue: A Concept In Need For Action, Spring 2012

EU-Turkey Strategic Dialogue: A Concept In Need For Action, Spring 2012

  The tremendous political changes that have been taking place in the Middle East and North Africa have stressed the importance for the materialization  of the EU-Turkey Strategic dialogue. Turkey needs the EU for its economic modernization. On the other hand, Turkey’s political system seems attractive to many political forces in the Arab Spring countries and can be used as inspiration for their democratization process. The Strategic Dialogue, however, needs to become...

Alexander Graf Lambsdorff | 05 June 2012

EU and Turkey: Accession Prospects, Spring 2012

EU and Turkey: Accession Prospects, Spring 2012

  There are many economic, geopolitical and diplomatic issues at stake related to Turkey-EU relations and Turkey’s potential accession to the EU. Both sides have significant mutual economic interests. Additionally, Turkey is crucial for Europe's security, and can also play a constructive role in the stabilization and democratization process of the Arab Spring countries. Several opponents of Turkey’s accession claim that Turkey will undermine the very core of the EU...

Carlo Casini | 05 June 2012

A Common Future: Turkey and the European Union, Spring 2012

A Common Future: Turkey and the European Union, Spring 2012

  Turkey’s challenges require a strong and bold leadership that can think smart and act strategically without losing sight of universal values. The Turkish society deserves freedom, democracy and justice and a country where everybody can speak their mind without any fear, where people can demand their rights in front of an effective court, where people are equal regardless of their gender, ethnic or sexual identity. Turkey can only achieve these goals by taking responsibility;...

Umut Oran | 05 June 2012

President François Hollande on the Foreign Policy Front, Spring 2012

President François Hollande on the Foreign Policy Front, Spring 2012

  The newly elected French President, François Hollande will face significant challenges in the domestic, European and foreign policy arenas. This article highlights some major and pressing foreign policy issues that will be high on the French President’s agenda, such as the prospects for the withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan, mending relations with Turkey, and engaging with the Arab Spring countries. The article also elaborates on the challenges President Hollande...

Marc Pierini | 05 June 2012

Turkey - EU Relationship: The Rationale for a “Third Way”, Spring 2012

Turkey - EU Relationship: The Rationale for a “Third Way”, Spring 2012

  The Schuman Declaration of 1950 made one thing clear: “Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single, general plan. It will be built through concrete achievements, which will create first a de facto solidarity.” Since then, the “European Project” has been expanding beyond its initial expectations. Still, Europe lacks a clear sense of identity and its borders have never been defined. When it comes to enlargement, which has been part of the European...

Francesco Bongiovanni | 05 June 2012

The European Project and Geopolitics of Energy, Spring 2012

The European Project and Geopolitics of Energy, Spring 2012

  Even though the European project is not “complete” yet, from a geopolitical point of view the EU has by and large been a success, particularly in the economic field. However, the Eurozone has been recently experiencing negative growth, also fuelled by an increase in energy prices. This outcome has been partially caused by Russia’s growing weight, as the EU’s main energy supplier, on the EU's geopolitical and economic stability. In order to offset Russian power...

Sergiy Korsunsky | 05 June 2012

Visa-Free Travel for Turkey: In Everybody’s Interest, Spring 2012

Visa-Free Travel for Turkey: In Everybody’s Interest, Spring 2012

  Today Turkey is the only EU candidate country whose citizens are obliged to obtain a Schengen visa before being allowed to enter the EU. This is a source of intense frustration for Turkish citizens and officials alike. So far the EU has refused to offer Turkey a visa liberalization process like the one that it conducted with Western Balkan countries a few years ago, and which it is now conducting with Moldova and Ukraine. This process requires a country to carry out reforms that help...

Alexandra Stiglmayer | 05 June 2012

The Future of the Balkans is in Europe What About the Past and the Present?, Spring 2012

The Future of the Balkans is in Europe What About the Past and the Present?, Spring 2012

  This article examines the current dymamics of the EU enlargement process towards the Western Balkan countries. Despite the fact that this region has historically been an integral part of Europe and the EU’s reassurance to eventually integrate the Western Balkan states, several problems remain. With the exception of Croatia, that will become an official EU member state in 2013, all the other Western Balkan countries still face significant political, economic, administrative and...

Ahmet Funda Tezok | 05 June 2012

Breaking the Vicious Circle in EU-Turkey Relations: Visa Negotiations, Spring 2012

Breaking the Vicious Circle in EU-Turkey Relations: Visa Negotiations, Spring 2012

  Against the backdrop of an accession process that has come to a virtual halt, the visa-free travel is the most tangible and visible area that Turkish nationals associate mostly directly with EU membership and seek to reap benefits from.  The visa issue has been at the forefront of Turkey-EU relations and has become highly “politicized” and even “securitized”. It has also assumed a sui generis nature, which falls at odds with EU law, values and the coherence...

Zeynep Özler | 05 June 2012

The General, the Prime Minister and the Imam: Civil-Military Relations in Turkey Today, Spring 2012

The General, the Prime Minister and the Imam: Civil-Military Relations in Turkey Today, Spring 2012

  The Turkish government has won its power struggle with the General Staff. Now that the primacy of politics has been established, democratic control of the military has improved. However, the government now faces a challenge of a different nature. Behind the scenes, conservative Islamic movements are exercising strong influence on parts of the security sector. Now Turkey needs to strengthen oversight of the government by state bodies, an independent judiciary, free media, and civil...

Sami Faltas | 05 June 2012

Legal Reforms in Turkey: Ambitious and Controversial, Spring 2012

Legal Reforms in Turkey: Ambitious and Controversial, Spring 2012

  Both domestic demand and the EU accession process have trigerred a significant legal reform agenda in Turkey. Some important improvements are already in force, but there are still a number of reforms needed. Meanwhile, new controversies have arisen, especially with respect to the independence of the judiciary as well as the worrisome quality of justice. Important inconsistencies between normative acts and legal practice are the subject of heated discussion, thus eroding public confidence...

Özgür Aşık | 05 June 2012

The Impact of the European Union on the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict, Spring 2012

The Impact of the European Union on the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict, Spring 2012

Since the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009, the European Union (EU) has tried to make its voice heard more clearly on the international stage by creating the European External Action Service and strengthening the role of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs. However, these and other tools do not seem to increase the EU's weight in conflict resolution in its wider neighborhood. In the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the EU's efforts are hampered by competing interests of...

David Janssen | 05 June 2012

From the Desk of the Editor Over the last couple of years, Turkey has weathered multiples storms in close succession: two general elections that took place in a polarized political climate, an escalation of the Turkey-PKK conflict, a crisis with Russia, the 2016 failed coup attempt followed by state of emergency measures, and the continued threat of terrorist attacks. The aftermath of the constitutional referendum in April...
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