Turkish Modernization and Challenges for the New Europe

Ziya Onis, Koc Univ.

The Europeanization process that Turkey has been undergoing under a more credible set of incentives from the EU since 1999 has been helping to transform the country’s economy, the nature of the democratic regime and foreign policy behavior. These transformations have, in the long-run, coupled with the forces that are gradually paving the way for a process of political liberalization if not democratization in much of the Islamic world, is likely to increase the relevance of the Turkish experiment. This is likely in a changed global environment where the value of cross-cultural dialogue and co-operation is recognized as having particular value for global peace and security. At the same, however, there are questions concerning the key issue of whether the New Europe itself will have the capacity to accommodate the more Europeanized Turkey into her orbit. Europe has been helping to transform in recent years. However, the transformation of Turkey and her stronger claims for membership on that basis will not necessarily generate a stable equilibrium in Turkey-EU relations. Indeed, the process whereby Turkey moves closer to the heart of Europe will contribute to the on-going debate about Europe’s own future involving her identity, her borders, the depth of integration and the degree of inward or outward-orientation…

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