Turkey’s Reform Effort Reconsidered, 1987-2004

Kıvanç Ulusoy / ODTÜ 

European University Institute
Working Papers, RSCAS No: 2005/28
This article aims to develop a coherent explanation of the impact of the EU on Turkey’s politics between 1987 (the year Turkey applied for EU membership) and 2004, providing a more profound analysis of Turkish political transformation within the framework of its relations with the EU. It integrates Moravcsiks’ work on the human rights regime in post-war Europe with Risse’s theory on communicative action in world politics to provide an alternative explanatory framework for recent political transformation in Turkey. It will be argued that the main dynamics driving recent democratisation in Turkey were its newfound location within the European human rights regime—a result of having been granted the right to individual petition to the European Court of Human Rights just before its 1987 membership application—and the increasing power of European argument as an alternative way of resolving domestic political conflicts in Turkey.
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