Turkey

Why the EU would still benefit from Turkish accession

A recent vote in the European Parliament called for the suspension of EU accession talks with Turkey if it fully implements proposed constitutional changes that would increase President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s powers. Tahir Abbas argues that although both sides appear to be drifting apart, the EU would still have a lot to gain from Turkish membership.

Credit: MacPepper (CC BY-NC-SA […]

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    Turkey-EU accession talks: Sadly, the status quo is the best we have

Turkey-EU accession talks: Sadly, the status quo is the best we have

In a non-binding vote on 6 July, the European Parliament called for the suspension of EU accession talks with Turkey if it fully implements proposed constitutional changes that would increase President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s powers. Dimitar Bechev states that the reality is Turkey’s membership talks have already failed, but the EU’s best strategy is nevertheless to preserve the status […]

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    The Western Balkans could be the first casualty of a ‘connectivity war’ between the EU and Turkey

The Western Balkans could be the first casualty of a ‘connectivity war’ between the EU and Turkey

The EU negotiated a deal with Turkey during the migration crisis that aimed to halt the flow of people into Europe. But recent tensions between the EU and Turkey have raised questions about whether this deal will be viable in the long-term. Vuk Vuksanovic writes that relations between the EU and Turkey can be conceived of as a potential ‘connectivity […]

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    A personality cult that plays on popular fears: how Erdoğan won the Turkish referendum

A personality cult that plays on popular fears: how Erdoğan won the Turkish referendum

Turkey has narrowly voted to approve a set of reforms that will place more power in the hands of President Tayip Recep Erdoğan, giving him the ability to appoint judges, abolish the office of prime minister and curtail the role of parliament. Tahir Abbas explains how the febrile atmosphere of the past two years – and in particular popular fear […]

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No hope in Turkey

There is no silver lining to be sought in the aftermath of the Turkish constitutional referendum, suggests Dimitar Bechev. Erdoğan thrives on polarisation: the pattern of labelling those who do not support him as ‘traitors’ will continue for the foreseeable future. The relative success of the ‘No’ vote in the big urban centres must have hurt Erdoğan, but the near 50 per cent […]

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    Turkish constitutional referendum preview: A polarised society at a crossroads

Turkish constitutional referendum preview: A polarised society at a crossroads

Turkey will hold a key referendum on 16 April over constitutional amendments that would substantially increase the power of the country’s President. Ilke Toygür previews the vote, writing that the outcome remains difficult to predict, with polls showing a tight race and many voters still undecided.

Ballot paper for the referendum, Credit: BirGün Gazetes
While the final countdown for the Turkish constitutional […]

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    Erdoğan accuses Germany of echoing the Nazis – but his own record on anti-Semitism is shameful

Erdoğan accuses Germany of echoing the Nazis – but his own record on anti-Semitism is shameful

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently generated controversy in Germany after he compared the actions of German officials with Nazis. The comments came following Germany’s decision to block political rallies linked to an upcoming referendum in Turkey on 16 April. Marc David Baer argues that the incident should be used to shine a light on the Turkish government’s own deployment of […]

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    Book Review: Under the Shadow: Rage and Revolution in Modern Turkey by Kaya Genç

Book Review: Under the Shadow: Rage and Revolution in Modern Turkey by Kaya Genç

In Under the Shadow: Rage and Revolution in Modern Turkey, Kaya Genç draws upon a range of interviews undertaken following the 2013 Gezi Park protests, bringing to light the diverse perspectives of different members of Turkish society at a time of division and dissent. Genç’s innovative use of oral history makes for a fascinating and magnetic read that particularly deserves praise for […]

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    Contemporary Turkey in conflict: How ethnic, political and religious conflicts will define Turkey’s future

Contemporary Turkey in conflict: How ethnic, political and religious conflicts will define Turkey’s future

Since 2015, Turkey has experienced a wave of terrorist attacks, political unrest, and a failed coup attempt. Drawing on research in a new book, Tahir Abbas writes on the radical changes that have occurred in Turkey during the 21st century and the conflicts that are now shaping the country’s future.

Thinking about the nation of Turkey conjures up all sorts […]

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    The murder of Russia’s ambassador shows Turkey in the worst possible light

The murder of Russia’s ambassador shows Turkey in the worst possible light

Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was shot dead on 19 December at an art gallery in Ankara. Dimitar Bechev states that although the incident was shocking, it is unlikely to disrupt the recent thawing of relations between the two countries. But the incident nevertheless shows Turkey in the worst possible light and will provide an opportunity for Russia […]

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Experts react: EU Enlargement and EU progress reports 2016

What does the future hold for EU Enlargement? Our contributors reflect on this year’s European Commission reports on the progress achieved by EU candidate and potential candidate countries, framing it within the wider political and economic context of each country. (If you are interested in how this compares to last year’s reports, the 2015 expert reactions are available here).

Eli […]

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Estimating the economic cost of Turkey’s PKK conflict

Turkey’s conflict with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has had a deeply negative effect on the regions most affected by the violence. But what has the overall economic cost been to Turkey as a whole? Fırat Bilgel and Burhan Can Karahasan present the key factors that have underpinned the issue and calculate that Turkish GDP could have been 14 […]

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    Turkey’s failed coup has firmly tightened Erdoğan’s grip on power

Turkey’s failed coup has firmly tightened Erdoğan’s grip on power

What does the attempted coup in Turkey mean for the country’s politics moving forward? Dimitar Bechev writes that on the one hand the failure of the coup illustrates the extent to which Turkey has become ‘civilianised’, with citizens less willing to accept the military interfering in politics. However, the net effect of the coup will be to greatly strengthen […]

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Brexit Ambassador series: The view from Turkey

If Britain chose to leave the European Union, it would not only have an effect inside the UK, but also on the rest of Europe. In the final month of the referendum campaign, we will be featuring comments from some of Europe’s Ambassadors to the UK on how they view a potential Brexit. Abdurrahman Bilgiç, the Turkish Ambassador, explains […]

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    Never mind Brexit scaremongering – Turkey is a long way from joining the EU

Never mind Brexit scaremongering – Turkey is a long way from joining the EU

There have been competing claims within the context of the UK’s EU referendum campaign over the prospect of Turkey joining the EU in the near future. David Phinnemore and Erhan İçener argue that the notion Turkey is close to joining the EU has been overstated by those campaigning for a Brexit, and that regardless of the merits of Turkey’s application for membership, […]

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    Turkey’s relations with Europe are in flux following Ahmet Davutoğlu’s resignation

Turkey’s relations with Europe are in flux following Ahmet Davutoğlu’s resignation

Turkey’s Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, announced his resignation on 5 May. Didem Buhari-Gulmez writes that the resignation reflected a wider split within Turkey over the need for security-oriented policies, the validity of the deal between Turkey and the EU over refugees, and the aim of Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to move the country toward a presidential political system.  […]

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  • Permalink A Kurdish refugee boy from the Syrian town of Kobani holds onto a fence that surrounds a refugee camp in the border town of Suruc (Turkey). Credits: Yannis Behrakis / Reuters (CC BY 2.0)Gallery

    Bargaining bodies: The EU’s deal with Turkey has sacrificed Europe’s principles to appease domestic politics

Bargaining bodies: The EU’s deal with Turkey has sacrificed Europe’s principles to appease domestic politics

The EU and Turkey have agreed on the broad elements of a deal to help stem the flow of people across the Turkish border into the EU. Assessing the content of the agreement, Rebecca Bryant writes that the EU is on the brink of making a costly mistake for the sake of domestic expediency. She argues that rather than […]

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    Nato’s new migrant mission in the Aegean is a victory for Turkey and proof of Europe’s strategic irrelevance

Nato’s new migrant mission in the Aegean is a victory for Turkey and proof of Europe’s strategic irrelevance

A plan to deploy Nato ships in the Aegean sea to tackle people smugglers operating between Turkey and Greece was agreed in early February. Angelos Chryssogelos writes that the new mission will do little to influence the dynamics of the migration crisis, with effective management of the problem still reliant on Turkish cooperation. He also argues that by signing […]

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    Turkey’s academic petition affair: How Erdoğan’s attacks on critical academics are likely to bolster his support

Turkey’s academic petition affair: How Erdoğan’s attacks on critical academics are likely to bolster his support

A recent petition by Turkish academics criticising military operations in Kurdish-dominated areas of the country has generated substantial criticism from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and other Turkish political figures. Sezin Öney argues that the affair, which has raised questions about the nature of academic freedom in Turkey, represents an attempt by Erdoğan to bolster his support among nationalist voters […]

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    The clash between Putin and Erdoğan represents a turning point in Russian-Turkish relations

The clash between Putin and Erdoğan represents a turning point in Russian-Turkish relations

Russian-Turkish relations have deteriorated sharply in the aftermath of Turkey shooting down a Russian aircraft in November. Didem Buhari-Gulmez assesses how the situation is likely to develop in the coming months. She writes that there is little consensus over what the lasting implications will be for relations between the two countries, with both Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan […]

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