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Turkey and the EU, a critical turn in relations 3 février 2014

Posted by Acturca in Turkey-EU / Turquie-UE.
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Opinión CIDOB, nº 219, February 3, 2014
Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB)

Kivanç Ulusoy *

On the 21st of January the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan paid his first visit to Brussels in five years when the then French president Nicolas Sarkozy invited him. After this long interval and a growing estrangement between Turkey and the EU, it was again a French President, François Hollande, who invited Erdogan who was accompanied his Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu and his new EU Minister Mevlüt Çavuşolu. Talks were held with the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, the European Commission Chairman Jose Manuel Durao Barroso and the president of the European Parliament Martin Schulz. At every meeting that day, Erdogan faced pointed questions regarding political developments inside Turkey. Before the visit, both Çavuşolu and Davutoglu reiterated Turkey’s commitments to EU standards of democracy. They expected relations between Turkey and the EU would improve as efforts got under way to open two new chapters of negotiation, including a chapter on the judiciary and fundamental rights. But with every expression of concern from the EU, Erdogan could not help underlining, as he saw it, the extraordinary developments Turkey had witnessed in recent weeks. He sees them as part of a “conspiracy” against his government, a “conspiracy” which has international ramifications.

* Associate professor, Istanbul University

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