Like a Candle in the Wind? Insights and Recommendations on the Turkish Accession to the EU
“Europe” has been the most popular yet most volatile buzzword in Turkish politics for decades. It gained a particular momentum with the 1963 Ankara Agreement and then in 1999 during and after the Helsinki European Council when Turkey was officially accepted as an EU candidate. As a part of the pre-accession strategy, the Turkish government engaged in a substantial reform wave between 1999 and 2005 and amended almost 51 articles of the Constitution in order to meet the EU’s concerns with Turkish democracy. After opening accession negotiations on October 3, 2005, we have seen a decrease in the intensity of the reforms; i.e. “reform fatigue”. After 2005, “Europe” has no longer emerged as the lingua franca in Turkey.