Democratization and Foreign Policy Reforms in Turkey: Europeanization of Turkish Politics?

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Abstract

The European Union membership process has had an impact on Turkish domestic politics and foreign policy. However, when compared with previous candidate countries to the EU, the Europeanization of politics in Turkey has not been an even process. The reformation of politics in Turkey has had three main characteristics. First, instead of the pace of the reforms being linear, there has been a periodic rise and fall of interest in introducing amendments. Second, the reforms have not necessarily replaced past practices, rather they have only introduced new ones in addition to the old ways of doing politics. Finally, there has been considerable opposition to the reforms in Turkey, partially because the government does not seem to follow the liberal-democratic trajectory set out by the EU membership process. The delays in enacting the constitutional and legal changes and the biased selection of laws and practices that are being amended do not give the impression that the government is sincere. Whether the amendments are in fact Europeanizing Turkey or pulling it away from its Western and secular political framework is a significant question leading to conflict among different factions in society. This divergence of opinion, in turn, results in further stalling the reforms.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14
Pages (from-to)227-234
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Legal Information
Volume38
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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