European Stability Initiative - ESI - 18 December 2017, 23:31
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Turkish Policy QuarterlyTurkish Policy Quarterly (TPQ) provides an international forum for practitioners, opinion leaders and researchers on Turkey's foreign policy, international relations and economics. TPQ and ESI are pleased to have joined forces to provide information and opinions to those interested in following Turkey's current affairs.

Turkish Policy Quarterly Vol 10, No. 1 (Spring 2011)
"Turkey & the EU – Stronger Together?"

Nigar Göksel

Nigar Göksel
ESI Senior Analyst

From the desk of the editor

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Patriarch Bartholomew I

Interview with Patriarch Bartholomew I
Bartholomew I is the current Ecumenical Patriarch of Istanbul.

"... today, one can comfortably talk about the very unfair and unjust practices of the past and consensus can be reached regarding the fact that these practices have hurt not only non-Muslims but the entire country."

Please also see the special page for this interview.

TPQ-article: "Interview with Patriarch Bartholomew I"

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Guido Westerwelle

Guido Westerwelle
Guido Westerwelle is the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany.

Internal reforms towards a more lively democracy, more effective state institutions, transparent courts accessible to all, are not first and foremost in the interest of the European Union, but in the interest of the people of Turkey. Achieving freedom of expression is a crucial part of internal reform, and freedom of the press is essential. In an open society, the media are diverse and represent a wide variety of opinions and convictions. In a successful democracy, government and politicians not only learn to live with criticism, but are ready to face it with arguments, not with a ban. These freedoms are among the cornerstones on which European democracies are built.

TPQ-article: "Turkey and Germany: A Unique Partnership for Freedom and Prosperity in Europe"

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Bogdan Aurescu

Bogdan Aurescu
Bogdan Aurescu is the State Secretary for European Affairs of Romania.

The article deals mainly with the importance of EU involvement in the wider Black Sea region, the main European policies and initiatives related to this region (the Black Sea Synergy, the European Neighborhood Policy, the Eastern Partnership, the EU Strategy for the Danube region), as well as regional initiatives and priorities in the fields of energy and security. Regional cooperation issues are also approached from a bilateral perspective: the role played in this strategically important area by Romania – gate of the region to the EU and Turkey– gate of the region to the rest of the world.

TPQ-article: "The Role of European Union in the Wider Black Sea Region"

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Marietje Schaake

Marietje Schaake
Marietje Schaake is a member of the European Parliament representing Democrats 66 /ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe).

The uprisings in the Middle East have prompted important questions about the future role of Turkey in the region as well as on the state of play at home. While Turkey has been presented as an inspiration or a model, not in the least by Turkey itself, there is little proof to back the relevance of this claim. The Arab spring rather exposes a number of problems for Turkey's foreign policy. The "zero problems with neighbors" doctrine is primarily interest driven, and based on the goal of stability in the region. The Arab street's call for freedom and human dignity call for a new orientation focused on values and prompt questions about the respect for fundamental rights in Turkey itself. Both Turkey's foreign and domestic policies should be rooted in fundamental rights of citizens. With the upcoming elections as a decisive moment for Turkey's future, it is time to define an explicit point on the horizon. A Turkey in which fundamental rights are guaranteed is a better partner and example for all its neighbors.

TPQ-article: "Zero Problems? Time for a New Policy Narrative"

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Gülsün Bilgehan

Gülsün Bilgehan
Gülsün Bilgehan is the Vice President of Turkey's main opposition party, CHP (Republican People's Party).

In Turkey, women are the ones who suffer most from the growing trend towards a new type of ultra conservatism which does not consider women and men equal in the words of the Prime Minister. In order to address this problem, and in the wake of the upcoming elections, as the Republican People's Party (CHP) we attribute great importance to pro-women policies. We aim to raise the education levels of women and ensure their economic freedom. To this end, we have prepared a Family Insurance scheme which will directly benefit housewives living in poverty. Furthermore, we promote a range of positive actions that provide women with the chance to higher participation in the working and political life.

TPQ-article: "Turkey's Women in the EU Process"

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Emiliano Alessandri

Emiliano Alessandri
Emiliano Alessandri is a Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the U.S.

The European Union (EU) has played a critical role in Turkey's reform process since the end of the Cold War but over time it has become less central a factor in Turkey's internal transformation. The goals of "Europeanization" and "democratization" are no longer fully intertwined and the ruling elite seems to be focused on power consolidation just as much as on democratic consolidation. The ongoing discussion around the adoption of a new civilian Constitution provides a key test for Turkish political parties to prove their democratic credentials while offering the EU an opportunity to revamp its relationship with Turkey after the loss of credibility and influence suffered in recent years.

TPQ-article: "Turkey's Future Reforms and the European Union"

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Ayhan Kaya

Ayhan Kaya
Ayhan Kaya is Professor of International Relations at Istanbul Bilgi University.

This article tries to reveal the recent debates revolving around the issue of migration in Europe, and claims that migration has recently become securitized and stigmatized in a way that prompts the autochthonous societies to generate a set of migrant-phobic attitudes. This work further argues that this kind of fear does not really have material sources; it is on the contrary an artificial fear fabricated by the conservative political elite who are likely to use the politics of fear as a form of governmentality to sustain their power. Hence, this work will specifically concentrate on the processes of othering migrant origin individuals as anti-citizens.

TPQ-article: "Migration Debates in Europe: Migrants as Anti- Citizens"

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Kadri Gürsel

Kadri Gürsel
Kadri Gürsel is a columnist for Milliyet daily newspaper.

The term "Muslim democracy" is an oxymoron because democracies by definition cannot take religion as a reference point. It is also unfair to the religion because in a Muslim democracy, democracy deficits will be attributed to Islam. These days it is fashionable among Westerners to brand Turkey as a model country for the Middle East. This practice not only favors the ruling AKP but also disregards an important reality of Turkey's political evolution: without secularism, AKP would not have ever existed. So the Islamists in the Arab world would need to first adopt a secular democracy, and then take AKP as a model. A question left lingering is, are they interested in doing this?

TPQ-article: "Who Really Wants a ''Muslim Democracy''?"

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Dani Rodrik

Dani Rodrik
Dani Rodrik is Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard University. He is also the son-in-law of Çetin Doğan, a defendant in the Sledgehammer case.

Turkey's legal system was reformed significantly during the last decade, with the avowed objective of aligning it with European norms and facilitating the country's accession to the European Union. On paper, Turkey now has a legal regime that is little different from Europe's in terms of procedural safeguards and the rights of defendants. But the reality on the ground could not be more different. The author argues that the Ergenekon and Sledgehammer trials have been marred by severe violations of due process and the use of highly problematic evidence against defendants. Pro-government media have manipulated the debate in the country and prosecutors have acted in ways that are sharply at variance with European legal norms. These cases will, he argues, discredit the Turkish judiciary and set back the democratization of Turkish politics.

TPQ-article: "Ergenekon and Sledgehammer: Building or Undermining the Rule of Law?"

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18 December 2017, 23:31