: The uncertainevolution of EU-Turkey relationshas seen a potentially criticaldevelopment in recent years: anew Turkish cynicism has beenadded to the more traditionalskepticism of European elitesand publics. The accessionprocess, already stalling becauseof the unsolved Cyprus issueand the French unilateral veto onseveral chapters of negotiations,also risks losing all its remaining steam because, as openlyadmitted by an ever largernumber of Turks themselves,Turkey no longer sees Europeanintegration as a destiny, but atbest as an option whose viabilityand value have to be both
Te uncertain evolution o EU-urkey relations has seen a potentially criticaldevelopment in recent years: a newurkish cynicism has been added tothe more traditional skepticism o European elites and publics. Te acces-sion process, already stalling becauseo the unsolved Cyprus issue and theFrench unilateral veto on several chap-ters o negotiations, also risks losing allits remaining steam because, as openly admitted by an ever larger number o urks themselves, urkey no longersees European integration as a destiny,but at best as an option whose viability and value have to both be veried.Te notion that is rapidly becomingdominant is that sustained internaldevelopment and the transormationo the international system in placesince the end o the Cold War have puturkey at the center o a wide area o the globe (including the Balkans, theCaucasus, Central Asia, the MiddleEast, and North Arica), which isincreasingly critical to larger interna-tional power balances, and o whichAnkara may aspire to lead. urkishForeign Minister Ahmet Davutogluhas coined a name or it: “Aro-Eurasia.” Out o hypocrisy, this notionseems to suggest that urkey’s newly
Beyond Enlargement? EuropeanSkepticism, Turkish Cynicism, and theUncertain Future of EU-Turkey Relations*
by Emiliano Alessandri
February 24, 2011
gained centrality makes the EU lessimportant to Ankara’s vision and lessrelevant to urkey’s uture.Te dice, however, are not cast atleast not yet. Te position o theurkish government remains pro-EUmembership. urkish PresidentAbdullah Gül himsel has recently armed that even in the new circum-stances European integration remainsa strategic priority or Ankara. Inact, the prospect o a urkish about-ace seems to have been hinted atso ar also as a way to regain atten-tion and respect among Europeans.I one line o argument is that “newurkey,” an emerging power, does notneed (and could actually lose rom)integration into a politically dividedand economically weak EU, a slightly dierent one is that urkey can bethe solution to many o Europe’sproblems in several ways. Te latteris the provocative thesis advanced by urkish Prime Minister Recep ayyipErdogan himsel in a recent article inForeign Policy: once “Europe’s sick man,” urkey can now help re-energizea altering EU thanks to its dynamiceconomy and strategic assets. Sel-pride, wishul thinking, and need or
* A longer version of this article will be published in
, no 52, 2011.