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  • Author: Tanja A. Börzel, Digdem Soyaltin
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kolleg-Forschergruppe "The Transformative Power of Europe"
  • Abstract: Research on Europeanization and domestic change has moved south-eastwards and was provided with another real-world experiment when it has meet with Turkey. This paper explores to what extent Europeanization approaches travel to Turkey, which does have a membership perspective that looks, however, ever less credible. The first part outlines the main findings of research on 'External Europeanization' focusing on factors that have limited or at least qualified the domestic impact of the EU in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) and Western Balkan (WB) accession countries. The paper, then, discusses to what extent Europeanization approaches need further qualification when applied to Turkey, which squares on democracy with the Western Balkans (with the exception of Croatia), but whose statehood is less limited. We argue that existing Europeanization approaches, largely, account for the overall moderate degree of Europeanization in Turkey. Yet, selective and differential domestic changes are mostly related to the extent to which EU conditionality helps domestic actors gain or hold political power and push their own political agenda. The paper concludes by summarizing the major implications Turkey's accession to the EU has for Europeanization approaches and discussing why Turkey is not a case sui generis.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Balkans
  • Author: Bilgin Ayata
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kolleg-Forschergruppe "The Transformative Power of Europe"
  • Abstract: Turkey has undergone significant legal and institutional reforms regarding minority rights and cultural rights in the past decade as part of a reform process to meet political criteria for EU membership. However, it has not been studied so far if this increasing institutional compliance has also led to transformations at a normative level in the public discourse in Turkey. To explore this question, this paper presents the results of a qualitative media analysis that I conducted on the restoration and reopening of an Armenian church in 2007 – a milestone for the Republic as churches were destroyed or doomed to vanish for nearly a century since the Armenian Genocide in 1915. The restoration of the Sourp Khatch/Akhtamar Church became a showcase for Turkey's self-promotion as a 'tolerant nation'. However, the church was notably made accessible to the public as a museum that initially lacked the cross on its dome and was conceived to only host a religious service once a year. This opening of a church-museum is a symbolic instance in Turkey's ongoing transformation process in which tolerance and plurality have become prominent keywords in politics and public debate. Yet, as the findings suggest, they do not so as a reflection of European norms, but rather stand for a rediscovery and reinterpretation of Turkey's Ottoman past practices as a multi-religious empire. I show, however, that this reinterpretation occurs on the shaky grounds of a blindfolded view of the past, in particular the denial of the Armenian Genocide, and on the denial that minorities are still endangered in present day Turkey. I conclude that, without an acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide, Turkey's nostalgic embracement of the Ottoman past and representation of norms such as tolerance as the 'true' Turkish/Islamic norms do not stand for a norm internalization or a norm adaption process, but instead, for a disconnection between norm and practice.
  • Topic: Civil War, Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Gözde Yilmaz
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kolleg-Forschergruppe "The Transformative Power of Europe"
  • Abstract: The Helsinki Summit in 1999 represents a turning point for EU–Turkey relations. Turkey gained status as a formal candidate country for the EU providing a strong incentive to launch democratic reforms for the ultimate reward of membership. Since 2001, the country has launched a number of reforms in minority rights. Many controversial issues, such as denial of the existence of the Kurds, or the lack of property rights granted to non-Muslim minorities in the country, have made progress. Even though the reforms in minority rights may represent a tremendous step for the Europeanization process of Turkey, the compliance trend in minority rights is neither progressive nor smooth. While there is a consensus within the literature about the acceleration of reforms starting in 2002 and the slow down by 2005 in almost all policy areas, scholars are divided into two camps regarding the continuing slow down of the reform process or the revival of the reforms since 2008. I argue, in the present paper, that the compliance process with minority rights in Turkey is puzzling due to the differentiated outcome and the recent revival of behavioral compliance. I aim to shed light on the empirical facts in the least-likely area for reform in the enlargement process. Through a detailed analysis of minority-related reform process of Turkey being an instance of ongoing compliance, the paper contributes to the literature divided on the end result of Europeanization in the country recently.
  • Topic: Democratization, Human Rights, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Tanja A. Börzel, Vera van Hüllen
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kolleg-Forschergruppe "The Transformative Power of Europe"
  • Abstract: The EU\'s Eastern Enlargement is considered to be one of the (few) successful experiments of promoting good – both effective and legitimate – governance. By contrast, the EU\'s transformative power appears to be weak or non-existent vis-à-vis its (old) neighbors in the South and its (new) neighbors in the East. Both are not only marked by \'bad governance\' but also lack a (credible) membership perspective. While the Western Balkans and Turkey have made significant progress towards good governance, both with regard to government effectiveness and democratic legitimacy, the European Neighborhood Countries (ENCs) appear to be stuck in transition or never got that far in the first place. Even when the effectiveness of their governance institutions has improved, they remain well behind the other regions and especially their democratic legitimacy is still wanting or even in decline. The paper shows that there is a correlation between an EU membership perspective and the successful transformation of neighboring countries. Therefore, it has been argued that the ineffectiveness of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is due to the lack of this \'golden carrot\'. However, we argue that the prospects of EU membership stabilizes rather than drives the move towards effective and legitimate governance in candidate countries. Thus, a membership perspective is unlikely to either turn around negative or speed up positive developments in the EU\'s neighborhood. Even if the ENCs received a membership perspective, it would be unlikely to push them significantly towards democratic and effective governance as long as there is no endogenously driven process of change. Given the EU\'s preference for stability and state-building, the ENP does not provide an alternative for promoting good governance either. The ENP clearly lacks transformative power and where it might have some domestic impact, it risks consolidating rather than undermining authoritarian regimes by helping to strengthen their capacities for effective governance.
  • Topic: Democratization, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Eli Gateva
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kolleg-Forschergruppe "The Transformative Power of Europe"
  • Abstract: The establishment of a Cooperation and Verification Mechanism for monitoring Bulgaria's and Romania's progress in the areas of judiciary and fight against corruption not only confirms the evolutionary nature of EU conditionality, but introduces a new feature, that of post-accession conditionality. More than three years after accession, neither Bulgaria nor Romania have managed to tackle the remaining issues and the scrupulous monitoring mechanism is still maintained. What are the main features and limitations of post-accession conditionality? Why does the effectiveness of EU conditionality deteriorate after accession? The article outlines a conceptual framework for comparative study of pre-accession and post-accession conditionality. On the basis of a stage-structured conditionality model, it discusses the transformations of the main elements of conditionality before and after accession and argues that the absence of accession advancement rewards combined with toothless explicit threats for sanctioning non-compliance produce very weak negative incentive structure which undermines the effectiveness of post-accession conditionality. The study, which draws on extensive interviews with senior EU officials and examination of key EU documents, highlights the growing application of differentiated and targeted conditionality and concludes with a reflection on the future of the mechanism and its implications for the ongoing enlargement of the Union with countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Bulgaria, Balkans, Romania
  • Author: Beken Saatçioğlu
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kolleg-Forschergruppe "The Transformative Power of Europe"
  • Abstract: What explains the EU compliance of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)? Since it came to power in 2002, AKP has launched legislative reforms in order to meet the European Union's political membership criteria (i.e., democracy, rule of law, human rights and minority rights). These reforms are puzzling since they happened in the absence of the two conditions of compliance argued in the literature: (1) credible EU political conditionality, (2) liberal ruling parties in EU candidate states. I argue that AKP's pro-EU reform agenda is explained by neither a belief in the possibility of membership via democratization (credible conditionality) nor liberal political identity. Rather, democratic measures under AKP are instrumentally induced. Two broad political motivations have guided AKP's reform commitment: (1) the electoral incentive to please Turkey's pro-EU membership electorate as well as AKP's conservative/religious constituency eager to see freedom of religion expanded under EU conditionality, (2) the motive to use reforms to weaken domestic secular forces (i.e. the military and high courts) and “survive” as a party with Islamist roots in Turkey's secular political system. The paper supports the argument with evidence gathered from original coding data for both conditionality and compliance as well as process-tracing.
  • Topic: Democratization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Tanja A. Börzel
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kolleg-Forschergruppe "The Transformative Power of Europe"
  • Abstract: With the borders of the European Union (EU) moved eastwards, students of Europeanization have been awarded yet another real-world experiment. This paper explores to what extent existing Europeanization approaches travel beyond the EU's border to its South Eastern and Eastern neighbours, which are marked by “bad governance” with regard to both the effectiveness and democratic legitimacy of their domestic institutions. The first part outlines key insights of the literature on “Europeanization West” regarding the outcomes and the mechanism of the domestic impact of the EU. Then, I summarize the main findings of research on “Europeanization East” focusing on factors that have limited or at least qualified the domestic impact of the EU in the ten Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) countries in comparison to the EU 15 (those that were members before the 2004 enlargement). This paper discusses to what extent the concepts and causal mechanisms need even further qualification when applied to countries, such as the European Neighbourhood Countries (ENC), that are neither willing nor necessarily capable of adapting to Europe and that do not even have the incentive of EU membership to cope with the costs. I will argue that the EU is unlikely to deploy any transformative power in its neighbourhood as long as it does not adjust its “accession tool box” to countries the EU does not want to take on as members. The paper concludes with some considerations on the policy implications of the EU's approach of “move closer but don't touch” which has started to creep into its relations with the Western Balkans and Turkey.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Balkans