Turkey and EU/rope: Discourses of Inspiration/Anxiety in Turkey’s Foreign Policy

  •  Pinar Bilgin    
  •  Ali Bilgic    


The literature on Turkey-European Economic Community/Union (EEC/EU) relations scrutinises how various EEC/EU actors vacillate on Turkey’s accession to European integration contingent upon their image/s of Turkey. Turkey’s own wavering vis-à-vis EEC/EU, however, is almost always explained with reference to its domestic dynamics (political and economic ups and downs) but not Turkey’s policy-makers’ image/s of the European Community/Union. What often goes unacknowledged is that throughout the history of Turkey-EEC/EU relations, Turkey’s policy-makers’ discourses have oscillated between representing EU/rope as a source of inspiration and a source of anxiety. Contra those readings of Turkey’s relations with EU/rope as revolving around the dichotomy of ‘Turkey being European/not’, our analysis of Turkey’s policy-makers’ discourses on EEC/EU at key moments of the relationship during 1959-2004 shows that Turkey’s policy-makers’ representations of EU/rope are structured around three binaries that give away a persistent ambivalence vis-à-vis EU/rope as a source of and a solution to Turkey’s insecurities. Such ambivalence, in turn, is not uncharacteristic of post-colonial encounters.

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  • ISSN(Print): 1918-7173
  • ISSN(Online): 1918-7181
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: quarterly

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