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Turkey under the AKP: A critical evaluation from the perspective of Turkey’s EU negotiations 28 février 2015

Posted by Acturca in Turkey / Turquie, Turkey-EU / Turquie-UE.
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FIIA Working Paper, No. 84, February 2015
The Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA)

Toni Alaranta *

Turkish social science research has been steeped in interpretations according to which Turkey’s 20th century political history is marked by an uneven struggle between an « omnipotent Kemalist state” and a rather powerless society. This argument has been very coherently used by the governing Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP) in its articulation of the (Kemalist) Westernizer as the « domestic other”.

This paper argues that Turkey’s European Union membership negotiation process under the current AKP regime can only be adequately explained based on these premises. Turkey’s EU accession negotiations started in October 2005, six years after the EU had confirmed the country’s official candidate status. As of the beginning of 2015, only one of the 35 negotiation chapters has been completed. Thus, as the tenth anniversary of the kick-off of the accession negotiations is approaching, it is an appropriate time to ask some very basic questions concerning its nature. The present working paper tackles this issue by concentrating on the following questions: What is the nature of the AKP as a political movement, and how best to evaluate Turkey’s EU bid under its rule?

* Senior Research Fellow, The Finnish Institute of International Affairs

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