Turkey’s New Drive to Reenergize EU Accession: Moving Beyond the Suboptimal Equilibrium?
Turkey-EU relations under the Justice and Development (AK Party) have provided a good opportunity to observe the trends in Turkish domestic and foreign policies. Extensive focus on the government’s commitment misses a more relevant question: the changing nature and meaning of EU membership for Turkey’s domestic and foreign policies. As EU talks once again gain visibility, it might be important to revisit two dimensions. First, in the domestic setting, the EU-led reform wave appears to have come to an end. Nonetheless, that the EU anchor is no longer viewed as the sole engine of reforms does not necessarily mark the abandonment of reformist path. Second, while traditionally the EU process was treated the backbone of Turkey’s predominantly Western-oriented foreign policy, in the last decade, it has been reframed as part of Ankara’s quest to redefine its foreign policy on the basis of multi-dimensionality.