Turkey and the European Union: At the Gates of Europe

Elation and disappointment are the moods of the moment in Turkey. Elation at the clearing of the political decks and the choice of a government committed to change. Disappointment at its reversal in the headlong rush to negotiate an early date for entry talks to the European Union.

The World Today
6 minute READ

Suhnaz Yilmaz

Department of International Relations, Koc University, Istanbul

Two issues with serious repercussions for the European Union dominate the political agenda in Turkey. First came the crushing election victory of the moderate Islamic politicians who present themselves as ‘Muslim Democrats.’ Then, last month’s Copenhagen summit delivered yet another rebuff at the gates of Europe, tingeing electoral elation with disappointment. Where will this European odyssey take the country and the continent?

On the morning of November 4, once the ballots were cast and counted, the political landscape in Turkey completely altered. Not a single member of the outgoing coalition or any of the main opposition parties could pass the ten percent threshold to take seats in parliament. Dismally defeated and highly disappointed leaders started resigning one after another. The electorate destroyed the familiar pantheon of politics and wiped out a political class that had ruled the country for nearly two decades.

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