01 Aug 2004

European Integration and the Transformation of Turkish Democracy

Senem Aydın / E. Fuat Keyman

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EU-Turkey Working Paper No. 2, 56 pages

This paper’s general argument is that the Copenhagen political criteria constitute the leverage that is making Turkish modernisation and democratisation more plural, multi-cultural and consolidated. In the first section, a historical overview of modern Turkey is undertaken from the perspective of political modernisation and democratic consolidation in order to assess Turkey’s ability to meet the requirements of the Copenhagen political criteria. The second section evaluates the impact of EU conditionality and the remaining problems and prospects in four major areas – the role of the military, human rights, protection of minorities and the judicial system. The paper concludes with the assessment that the dynamic process of change underway requires the continuation of efforts by Turkey to fully implement the Copenhagen political criteria and a credible policy of conditionality by the EU that respects the principle of fairness in relations between the two sides.