Turkey began its membership talks with the European Union (EU) in 2005. A decade and a half later, the negotiations are at an impasse as Europe has long lost an appetite for enlargement. Turkey has shifted from a dysfunctional democracy to authoritarianism. Calls for the suspension of the accession talks, in order to sanction President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, have been gathering strength. Many in Brussels and national capitals view Turkey as a strategic and ideological adversary. This perception has been reinforced by Erdoğan’s embrace of Vladimir Putin along with other autocrats.
Economic and societal ties between the EU and Turkey have proven resilient. The support for its membership in the EU has been rising, amidst a crisis looming over the Turkish economy.
Dimitar Bechev will offer an overview of the current state of EU-Turkish relations, will explore the dynamics at play between Turkey and the EU, and will argue that mutual interdependence precludes a radical rupture. Still, relations are, and will likely remain purely transanctional, rather than rooted in shared norms and values.