Turkey in Which EU? Turkish Discourse on EU Accession and ‘Ideal’ Views of the EU

    • DSC03526
    • Presentation speakers
      • Catherine MacMillan, Yeditepe University, Istanbul, Turkey


    This paper examines Turkish political discourse on the EU in order to better understand how the EU is perceived among the Turkish political elite, particularly the governing Justice and Development Party. This paper uses an analytical approach developed by Sjursen (2002, 2006, 2008) according to which arguments used by political elites for/against enlargement can help shed light on perceptions of the EU. In this context, the EU may be perceived as a problem solving entity, a rights-based post-national union or a value-based community. In the first of these ideal visions of the EU, the EU’s legitimacy is derived from the pragmatic benefits it provides, particularly economic and security benefits. The second and third visions differ from the problem-solving one in that they are both norm-based. In a a rights-based post-national union, these norms are potentially ‘universal’ in nature, taking the form of legal norms such as democracy, human rights, etc. A value based union, however, implies a ‘thicker’ cultural identity, perhaps based on a shared religion, history and traditions.