{'en_US': 'Acta Universitatis Danubius. Œconomica, Vol. 6, No. 3'}

Collective Authors
2021 Acta Universitatis Danubius: Oeconomica  
Turkey's relations with EU (EEC, EC) is analyzed, not from a perspective of chronological listing of events, but from the perspective of determining the changes over time in opinions of major groups and political parties about the full membership of Turkey into the EU. In Turkey, until 1980s, center-right groups and political parties were generally in favor of developing the Turkish-EEC relations, while center-left, as well as radical left and radical right were against it. In the 1990s and
more » ... s, center-left groups and political parties changed their perspective and also worked effectively for the development of Turkish-EU relations. During the earlier decades of associate membership, generally the EEC (except Greece) was more open to Turkey's full membership into the EEC. However, the full membership was seen to be dependent on time due to concerns about the relative economic backwardness of Turkey. But since 1990s and 2000s, as the EU both enlarged and also deepened, opposition in the EU to Turkey's full membership increased, mainly due to criticisms about the lack of human rights and democracy in Turkey besides economic problems. Over time, the centerright groups and political parties in the EU became skeptical about Turkey's full membership because they believe that Turkey, a Muslim country, has a different, non-European mentality (religion and culture) and hence, would not fit into the EU. The EU's center-left, as well as Greens and Liberals, however, think that as long as Turkey would meet the political and economic criteria of the EU she would be accepted as a full EU member, irrespective of her mentality. In Turkey, on the other hand, many intellectuals believe that the EU was and still is not fair and objective towards Turkey in the Cyprus issue, as well as in the PKK terror, and also in the 1915 Armenian problem. Thus, the willingness in Turkey to join the EU as a full member has decreased, as well, and as a result, Turkey slacked her efforts at reform and instead strengthened her economic and political ties with Muslim countries. Therefore, even though almost half a century has passed since the 1963 Ankara Agreement, which established Turkey's associate membership open to full membership into the EEC, Turkey's full membership into the EU looks more difficult than ever and pushed further into the far future, if not lost completely.
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