Europe and Turkey - Back to the Future?
After 1999, a virtuous cycle in Turkey’s EU engagement mobilized disparate groups in Turkey around a reform agenda. Since the mid 2000s, a comedy of errors seems to have turned this course into a downward spiral. The negotiation process is technically blocked for reasons that are not related to Turkey’s democratization. Turkish democracy advocates have lost the sense that the EU is their ally in the struggle for increased rights and freedoms in the country. A new virtuous cycle will require the alignment of diverse stakeholders. In the face of heightened concerns about press freedom, rule of law, and separation of powers, Turkish democrats and Turkey’s European friends can rediscover their joint interest in standing up for rights and freedoms in Turkey.