Independent and cutting-edge analysis on Turkey and its neighborhood

From the Desk of the Editor

From the Desk of the Editor

This issue of TPQ comes at a time when relations between Turkey and the EU are at a historical low point. The sources of tension are manifold, and have been compounded by a constellation of transformations in Turkey, Europe, and the international system. The global upswing in far-right populist movements, isolationism, the conflict in Syria and its humanitarian crisis, and the threat of ISIS have caused societies in both regions to turn inwards. Furthermore, nationalist-driven politics...

Süreya Martha Köprülü | 01 June 2018

The Future of Turkey-EU Relations in a Time of Global Uncertainty

The Future of Turkey-EU Relations in a Time of Global Uncertainty

Against the backdrop of an increasingly fractious international order, the importance of Turkey and the EU working together to address common regional and global problems is paramount. The EU is going through a period in which confidence in its model is eroding and internal challenges such as Brexit and the refugee crisis are sowing intra-Union divisions over its values and its role in the international system. As an inseparable part of Europe, Turkey can play a key role in overcoming some of...

Ömer Çelik | 01 June 2018

EU-Turkey Ties on the Brink?

EU-Turkey Ties on the Brink?

For both idealists and pragmatists, there are few options left when it comes to defining the way forward in the EU-Turkey relationship.  Strategic, economic, and people-to-people relations are, however, too important to ignore. At the same time, keeping Turkey aligned with democratic values and Western partners as much as possible should be a priority. These challenges and the need to shape the future relationship in an alternative way to accession will require compromise from both sides....

Marietje Schaake | 01 June 2018

Turkey’s EU Odyssey: Problems and Prospects

Turkey’s EU Odyssey: Problems and Prospects

Turkey has been pursuing the goal of accession to the EU since it applied for an Association Agreement in 1959. This goal proved to be a vital source of dynamism, modernization, and growth for Turkey especially in the phases of establishing the Customs Union, acquiring candidate status, and starting accession negotiations. However, the momentum stalled due to a stalemate in the negotiations. Currently, refugee cooperation, visa liberalization dialogue, and the prospects for a modernized Customs...

Ayhan Zeytinoğlu | 01 June 2018

The “D”s in Turkey-EU Relations: Some Reflections

The “D”s  in Turkey-EU Relations: Some Reflections

Turkey’s relations with the EU date back to 1958.  In this article, 60 years of relations have been  classified into seven periods whose defining characteristics and themes can be resumed as  Period of Delving into Different Designs (1958-1962); Period of Decisions: The Ankara Agreement (1963-1979); Period of Degradation, Distancing, and then Democratization (1980-1986); Period of Disequilibrating Conditions and New Drives (1987-1998); Period of Durable Determination...

Gül Günver Turan | 01 June 2018

Transactional by Default: EU-Turkey Relations in Search of a New Rationale

Transactional by Default: EU-Turkey Relations in Search of a New Rationale

Relations between the European Union and Turkey have not only changed in tone and style but in substance. Turkey is thinking bigger about its own role as a regional great power and seeks recognition and respect of its status aspiration and related political moves. For Ankara, this is more important than the accession process, though the membership option remains relevant for Turkey as it has transactional value in dealing with EU capitals or third actors. For Europe, relations with Turkey remain...

Josef Janning | 01 June 2018

Preparing for a New Blueprint in EU-Turkey Relations?

Preparing for a New Blueprint in EU-Turkey Relations?

Turkey’s EU accession has lost its significance over the past decade. Today, distorted incentive mechanisms govern relations between Ankara and Brussels, often altering rational policymaking. It is in the interest of both sides that existing structures remain in place until better ones replace or complement them. In the meantime, change is necessary to correct outdated structures that encourage rivalry, turn bilateral and multilateral relations with Turkey into uncalculated time bombs....

Samuel Doveri Vesterbye | 01 June 2018

Accession in Abeyance: Finding a Way Forward for Ankara and Brussels

Accession in Abeyance: Finding a Way Forward for Ankara and Brussels

Prospects for a positive outcome in EU-Turkey relations appear slim: Membership negotiations are de facto on hold and some member states and the European Parliament have suggested a suspension given the deterioration they see in the area of human rights and the rule of law after the 2016 coup attempt. The EU-Turkey refugee deal of March 2016 generated optimism for a relationship reset, the intensification of accession talks, and a clear path to visa liberalization. However, none of this is...

Jan Marinus Wiersma | 01 June 2018

Turkey and the V4: Paths for Current and Future Cooperation

Turkey and the V4: Paths for Current and Future Cooperation

The Visegrad Group (V4), comprising the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, is not among Turkey’s top foreign policy interests. Nevertheless, V4 can offer many opportunities—from their place in the EU to their economic potential—which make it worthwhile to mutually invest in the expansion of cooperation between the group and Turkey. Present economic, trade, and cultural ties form a springboard from where future endeavors, such as energy projects, can be set into...

Tamás Kozma and Péter Dobrowiecki | 01 June 2018

Legitimizing Europe in Contested Settings: Europe as a Normative Power in Turkey?

Legitimizing Europe in Contested Settings: Europe as a Normative Power in Turkey?

This article aims to explore whether—and if so, how—the EU is perceived as a normative power (NPE) in Turkey in the context of deteriorating Turkey–EU relations. By adopting the Habermasian understanding that legitimacy is a prerequisite for NPE and through employing a focus group methodology novel to NPE research, the article finds that a certain segment of the Turkish public views the EU as a normative power, suggesting that claims for the existence of NPE need to be...

Senem Aydın-Düzgit | 01 June 2018

Remolding the Turkey-EU Relationship

Remolding the Turkey-EU Relationship

While internal political transformation in Turkey has led to a deterioration of its relations with the EU, the European Union has been confronting its own challenges including the British referendum to leave the EU, as well as rising populism and Euroskepticism in multiple EU member states. As a result, the interplay between the loss of the European anchor in Turkey for political reforms, Turkey’s domestic political struggles, and new questions over the future of European integration have...

Meltem Muftuler-Bac | 01 June 2018

Reforming and Renegotiating the EU-Turkey Customs Union

Reforming and Renegotiating the EU-Turkey Customs Union

The EU-Turkey Customs Union of 1995 has been economically beneficial for both parties, and its revamping could go a long way towards improving the relationship between Brussels and Ankara, despite the numerous obstacles present. In this article, the authors argue that in its current form, the Customs Union no longer meets the requirements of a 21st-century trade agreement. Its modernization should include the signing of a free trade agreement covering agriculture, services, public procurement,...

Kamala Dawar, Christopher Hartwell, and Sübidey Togan | 01 June 2018

From the Desk of the Editor We are proud to present our readers with this special issue of TPQ, published in collaboration with Atlantic Council IN TURKEY, which revolves around energy dynamics in Turkey and its neighborhood, in the context of a shifting geopolitical landscape. This issue’s authors evaluate key trends and drivers that are shaping the regional energy landscape—from the Caspian to the...
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