Turkey’s EU Membership in Rationalist and Liberal Approaches

[Published on 25th January 2011, Paperhut]

Introduction

The negotiations between Turkey and European Union (EU) on the Turkish membership goes back to the 1959 when Turkey first applied for the associate membership. Since then, in more than 50 years, 21 new members joined the Union but Turkey only managed to be a official candidate in 1999 and start the negotiations in 2005. As the EU evolved through time with the joining of new members from different regions and traditions of the continent, it had to adopt new policies, institutions and arrangements to better absorb the new structure of the community. Alongside, there had been many theories that observed and analyzed the structures of the Union such as neo-realist, liberal intergovernmentalist and constructivist understandings.

My thesis is that Turkey deserves to be a member of the European Union which can be justified in rationalist (neo-realist and liberal intergovernmentalist) and constructivist approaches. Throughout the paper, first you will find a brief historical analyses of European Enlargement processes to better understand the progress it had experienced. In the second part, there will be a summary of Turkey – EU relations alongside with a brief summary of recent Turkish Foreign Policy direction. Next, there will be an analysis of theories, which are neo-realist, liberal intergovernmentalist and constructivist approaches, about European Union’s enlargement and integration processes with a perspective on Turkey’s membership on related topics. Finally, after having established the base for the thesis, you will read how I defend my thesis that Turkey deserves to be a member of the European Union in rationalist and constructivist perspectives.

I. History of European Union Enlargement

Before understanding the conceptions of integration and enlargement theories in EU and its relations with Turkey’s membership status, a brief summary of previous enlargement rounds that Europeans experienced should be drawn. It is certain that EU is not the same union as it was in 1950s, due to its ongoing change which includes both deepening in institutional means and widening in the means of new members. There were only 6 members when the union was first founded and there are now 27 EU members which means a geographically stretched and fundamentally evolved community. The enlargement rounds from 1973 to 2007 can be summed up in four headings: The United Kingdom (UK), Denmark and Ireland enlargement in 1973, Mediterranean enlargement in 1980s, EFTA enlargement in 1995 and finally the Central and Eastern European enlargement in 2004 and 2007.

To start with, there were, reasonable or not, economical and political reasons for UK not to join the group of founding countries that are France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and Netherlands and sign Treaty of Paris in 1952. Until 1961, British thoughts were to ignore the European countries due to economical reasons as the European Economic Community (EEC) can be a burden for British and political reasons as UK was still an imperial power (Nugent 2004, 22). However, political developments that are the rise of United States and Soviet Union as the new world powers and its reflections in Suez Crises and developments in economical relations among the EC members led the British officials rethink to join the community. After two de Gaulle rejections in 1961 and 1967, UK became a member in 1971. What motivated the existing members to accept UK were its possible contribution to the EC budget and the new market opportunities. Denmark and Ireland were other new members in the 1971 enlargement which was only the beginning of the ongoing enlargement rounds.

Second enlargement rounds is also called the Mediterranean enlargement as the new members were Greece in 1981 and Portugal and Spain in 1986. All three countries experienced dictatorships in 1970s and were trying to improve their standards following the democratization progress. What was significant about the acceptance of Greece were her very low rates of economical and political progress compared to the other members’ at that time (Nugent 2004, 27). The underlying motivation of member countries’ acceptance was to help Greece improve politically and economically with the support of the community norms to be reached. There are many thoughts that put nowadays’ Turkey parallel to Greece at that 1980s and claim that same tolerance can be shown to Turkey in order to help them improve their political and economical standards. However, today’s EU has more members than before which means a more difficult transaction on behalf of deepening in institutional and bureaucratic norms. In addition, it is very much argued shared history of Greece and European culture and the motivation to foster development in Greece drove their membership progress in a positive manner (Greece MFA 2011).

Third enlargement also has another name which is the EFTA enlargement as former EFTA members that are Austria, Finland and Sweden had joined the community in 1995. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and following the end of the Cold War, those three countries did not have a tendency to be neutral as before. The significance of this round was its quick and smooth progress due to the candidates’ already adjusted standards to the Union. The result was very positive as neither of the three countries were that huge to cause a major policy change and they all brought a Scandinavian culture of political transparency and democracy to the existing grounds of the Union (Nugent 2004, 30). Also to note that other EFTA members, which are Norway, Iceland and Switzerland, did not became a member because of the negative results in their referendum concerning the membership.

The last enlargement round that happened in 2004 and 2007, when 12 countries from Central and Eastern Europe (CEEC) joined the Union, was also an extension of the collapse of the Soviet union similar to the previous round. The major motivation of CEEC was to reintegrate to the Western Europe through the EU membership. On behalf of the Union, the major reasons were to establish a soft security sphere around the continent and incorporate the new markets to the existing economical relations (Nugent 2004, 35). Although these 12 countries had low GDP rates and the entrance bar to the Union became higher due to the increased numbers of acquis they nevertheless achieved to be accepted as members. However, this round made many thinkers question the future of the Union as it became more difficult to get deeper in the policy changes and institutional formations (Aggestam 2008, 360). Nevertheless, it was a giant step for both sides and the future formations will tell us if the decision was right.

In a rationalist approach, many think that the calculations of the cons and pros led existing members to accept the candidate countries as new members. New market opportunities, security issues or the desire to be a stronger political power in the world seem to suppress the doubts about the enlargements due to the low GDPs of the recent members (in the second and fourth rounds) or the possibility of fragmentation in policy areas and institutional organizations. The initiatives like Copenhagen Criteria, standards for candidate countries to reach, seem like a justifiable and acceptable approach to establish a more systematic understanding in enlargement but the reality is the evolution of the community’s former primitive role to the recent sophisticated situation.

II. Turkey – EU Relations and Turkey’s Recent Foreign Policy

Turkey’s EU membership journey starts in 1959 when the first application was done to be an associate member. Since the Turkish Republic was founded in 1923, the founders had a western-oriented approach but the related progress of Turkey in 20th century should be observed with its relevance to the Cold War period and subsequent Turkish foreign policy direction. Turkey’s memberships of Council of Europe in 1949 and of NATO in 1952 can be shown as evidences alongside her alliance with the United States and Western Europe during the Cold War. As Turkey was very close to the aggressive attitudes of the Soviet Union and complexity of the developing countries of the Middle East, she found herself close to the Western world of development as a path to increase her stability and improve her standards. Although, her geographical closeness to Asia along with the Ottoman past and religious background Turkey usually came face to face with obstacles other than economical and political standards.

The application in 1959 resulted as the Ankara agreement in 1964 which recognized Turkey’s desire to be a part of the European Community which can be achieved in the future, not at that time. What Turkey aimed also was her desire to weaken her dependency on the US but due to the low levels of development in competitive economy and high import substitution at that time, Turkey could not get a positive return from the EC. The 1970s was a period called “the self-exclusion” (Öniş 2000, 12) of Turkey from the membership when the domestic issues kept the country busy and she found her NATO membership enough against a possible Soviet threat. Also Turkish officials are said to have adopted a defensive attitude for their premature market conditions against the European competitiveness. Furthermore, the membership application of Greece in 1975 was underestimated and the possibility of their negative role against a Turkish candidacy as a member in the future was not foreseen (Öniş 2000, 11).

The military coup in 1980 led to a frozen relationship between the two sides and it continued until the application for full membership in 1987. What Turkey accomplished was a liberal economy, privatizations and increasing democracy level compared to past made the atmosphere more optimistic than before (Arıkan 2006, 86). But the Europeans did not share the same optimism and although they wished for Turkey’s good run for the future talks, they returned with negative comments due to the poor relations with Greece and the existing conflict in Cyprus. What actually disturbed the EC was the possibility of disharmony that Turkey’s membership would create as the community was becoming a political power after the Single European Act was signed in 1987. Other negative factors such as the large population, low development, high unemployment rates and poor indicators in human rights, rule of law and minority rights in Turkey made inappropriate ground for membership (ESI 2006).

The change in relations began in 1995 with the membership of Turkey in Customs Union and the acceptance of candidacy in Helsinki Summit in 1999 (EUSG 2007). The prominent reasons of this change during that time were the reforms made by the Turks (i.e. removal of death penalty), improving relations with Greece and the lobbying of US for Turkey to become a EU member. Although there was talks of possible partnership models instead of full membership status, Turkey officially started accession negotiations in 2005 to reach the standards of the Union that are drawn by the Copenhagen Criteria. However the negotiations did not go well until now as only 1 of the 35 chapters, that determine the capability of candidate’s membership, has been successfully closed by Turkey (EUSG 2007). On the other hand, Turkey seems to have adopted a new foreign policy which makes her to increase the alternatives of alliances in the East with Middle Eastern and Caucasian countries, alongside with the US, the continual ally.

It is remarkable that Turkey’s decreasing interest in EU membership and her increasing regional role in the Middle East seems to occur at the same time. The increasing political and economical influence of Turkey in the Middle East does not necessarily mean a shift from West to the East but her low level of performance in closing the chapters for EU membership makes people question if Turkey is aiming to be a leader in the East instead of being a part of the European Union and West. Since Ahmet Davutoglu became the new Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2009, Turkey adopted a “zero problem with neighbors” policy that aims to establish stability and peace in the region to foster the economic relations (Uslu 2009). As a result of the increasing economical relations with Middle Eastern countries, Turkey started to seem like an East-oriented country although the ties with the West are never split completely. Thus, increasing economical relations with neighbors and increasing the alternatives brought a chance for Turkish officials to become more active in political relations. This approach of Turkish Foreign Policy, which is increasing alternatives and maximizing benefits, is very close to be understood with a rationalist and neo-realist perspective.

III. Theories on European Enlargement and Integration and Turkey’s Membership

Before analyzing theories on the enlargement and integration issues, the question “What is Europe?” should be asked in order to be able to understand the concept of Europe and European Union. Should Europe be defined according to its geographical space which does not have a clear-cut border like Americas have? After the collapse of the Soviet Union, several former Soviet and/or Eastern/Central countries are accepted as European Union members. So does it mean that they each became a European country after the collapse of the Soviet Union? No, the answer is that even Russia, whose former geographical location is very much called the East, can be a “European” in the future. Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are all in the east side of Turkey and considered as European according to the European Union’s Eastern Partnership Program (EEAS 2011). So, a geographical definition is a very difficult one to explain the borders of Europe and the boundaries of the EU does not exactly answer our question.

As Delanty writes, Europe is a cultural contestation and manifestation of a European modernity and civilization which means that every country, organization or unit that contributes to that culture is also a part of it (Delanty and Rumford 2005, 52). There is a diversity of civilizations in the European geography which is, at the same time, an area of civilizations that foster each other in time. Thus, Delanty summarizes as there is more than one Europe (Delanty and Rumford 2005, 37). What is interesting about the image of European Union is that people are inclined to think EU as the pure reflection of Europe which, in my opinion, is a mistake. This phenomenon’s fallacy has already been proven after the end of the Cold War and the joining of Central and Eastern European countries to the Union that is to represent Europe. Thus, Europe is not necessarily defined with its borders but it would be proper to think about the perspectives and related patterns that are brought by thinkers. There are many theories for European enlargement and integration which focus on political or economical factors with different perspectives such as neo-realist, liberal intergovernmentalist and constructivist.

• Neo-realist Approaches and Related Explanations for Turkey – EU Relations

To better understand the neo-realist approach and analyze the foundation of EU and its relations with Turkey accordingly, we should have a look at the writing of Kenneth Waltz. As Waltz explains that the international system is a composition of structures and interacting units (states) where every unit looks to care of his own (Waltz 1979, 79). The main aim of the units is to survive in the anarchical structure where you have to maximize your capabilities and overcome the power struggles. According to this theory, every country looks to behave in a rational way which is to survive and secure herself in the anarchical environment of world. Thus, the idea of cooperation is very possible for states to come together and form an alliance in order to decrease their vulnerability against other, to increase their capability and to achieve a balance of power. As a result, from a neo-realist perspective, states come together to cooperate to maintain their survival in the anarchical international arena (Pollack 2000, 3).

When we look at the founding principles of the European Union, it is obvious that the main aim was to create a sphere of cooperation to increase capabilities and decrease vulnerabilities. The result of the World War II was devastating for the continent and every country, including France and Germany, needed time and money to reconstruct both physically and mentally. As a result, the European Coal and Steel Community was founded by 6 European countries to increase the economical relations among them and accelerate the reconstruction. The political status and identity of today’s European Union was not an immediate aim for the founders which was fostered parallel to the economic developments of the community. A neo-realist approach would claim that what pushed these countries was, other than economical reasons, to stay together against the two leading countries of the anarchical system, the United States and the Soviet Union.

The significant thing is that the European Community maintained its presence after the end of the Cold War which was an important reason to bring them together. Yet, their integration and enlargement continued in instances like adopting the single currency in Maastricht Treaty in 1992 or adopting a qualified majority voting in Amsterdam Treaty in 1997 which both strengthened the union’s institutional role (Pollack 2000, 2). The end of the Cold War does not necessarily mean the end of the anarchical system that is described in the neo-realist approach. Nevertheless, the member states, which are to be the units seeking their own benefit, gradually developed an understanding of a European community that is not only to survive but to be collectively another polar in the multi-polarity of the post-cold war period.

To implement a rationalist approach of neo-realist theory into the Turkey’s EU membership, we should look at the cons and pros of the cooperation and decide on whether it is enough to explain the progress between the two sides in a neo-realist view. There are many advantages for EU to accept Turkey as a member and one of them is the Turkey’s capability to maintain the security. Turkish army is NATO’s second largest (The Economist 2006) and it is no doubt that her possible membership is a great asset for the European Security and Defense Policy. Furthermore, Turkey’s geographical position makes her an important spot as she is both linked with Caucasus, Middle East and the Mediterranean area. What makes Turkey an important regional actor is her shared history of bureaucracy and religion with the Middle Eastern countries. According to the neo-realist approach, states seek for their survival and security and adopt policies accordingly. Turkey is still in the same geographical area as she was in 1959 when she did her first application and she had approximately the same strong military approach at that time.

Thus, the rational approach of neo-realists in enlargement seems to be wrong on behalf of the Turkey’s membership issue. It seems proper when we think of the Eastern European countries’ acceptance as they provide a soft security with their membership. The former Soviet states accepted to be the safe-zone with their presence between the existing members and the East in exchange for their acceptance to the Union. On the other hand, Turkey has the similar, maybe more, offers for security and stability concerning the Caucasus and the Middle East in exchange for being an EU member. However, 50 years have passed since the first application of Turkey and it seems that it is not possible to accept the neo-realist approach alone to understand the enlargement of the European Union.

• Liberal Intergovernmentalist Approaches and Related Explanations for Turkey – EU Relations

Similar to neo-realist theorists’ rationalist approaches, liberal intergovernmentalists also share the rationalist understanding but other than a security level. They see the relationships of member countries in an economical perspective and assume that the economical interdependence among the countries makes war an unbeneficial choice (Pollack 2000, 4). Neo-realists claimed that the European countries unified due to the anarchical structures of the Cold War period and according to their approach their unity had to be ended after the end of it. However, European Union continues its journey in the post-cold war period. What liberals argue is that the shared values of democracy and existing commercial linkages between the member countries are the reasons that hold members together (Pollack 2000, 4).

As Pollack refers to Andrew Moravcsik that liberal intergovernmentalism has three steps: “a liberal theory of national preference formation, intergovernmental theory of bargaining and a new theory of institutional choice stressing the importance of credible commitments.” (Pollack 2000, 11). Against the security underlining of the realist approaches, liberals underline the economical relations of states which are related to domestic spheres are the basis for the relations. Thus states’ domestic preferences leads to a bargaining process among them which make international institutions as some kind of tools to arrange the relations of preferences between the states.

When we look at the liberal-intergovernmentalist approach on European Union concept, we see that states’ aim is to maximize their economical interest that is correlated with the domestic preferences. When we count on the states’ economical aim that much, it is inevitable to underestimate the role of the EU institutions and the role of the supranational structure of the Union. The commercial interdependence and the domestic preferences related to financial factors seem to be the major points of the liberal approach that define the unification of the European countries on these criterions. The rationalist approach to maximize the interests in economical means is fair enough to justify the memberships of Greece in 1981 or Eastern European countries in 2004 and 2007. On the other hand, trying to understand Turkey’s rejections in a liberal level is not very possible.

One of Turkey’s main strengths is her large population and developing industry which means a new market for European Union countries. It has the potential of a new consumer group of 75 million to be reached where the demand for the European products would never be low. Also Turkey’s links with the Caucasus and the Middle East makes her very valuable to reach other markets. It has good relations with her neighbors which can be again a valuable asset for the EU. On the other hand low levels of GDP rates can be a negative factor for EU’s decisions on the economical means (ESI 2006). However, as I mentioned above, countries with low GDPs like Greece, Bulgaria and Romania are also accepted as members. What liberal-intergovernmentalist approach cannot explain alone is the rejection of Turkey’s membership by EU despite the potential of Turkey’s large population of consumers and her geographical positions as advantages.

• Constructivist Approaches and Related Explanations for Turkey – EU Relations

In his study of constructivism David Houghton simplifies the definition of constructivism very neatly: “Put simply, human beings matter because it is they who fashion and have capacity to change social reality” (Houghton 2007, 28). So the society and structures we live in comes from a social reality that is constructed by its elements. However, human beings do not live isolated to this sphere of constructed reality. Both the human beings and the realities effect each other and construct a different reality than before. The tools for shaping the reality of the society is the sum of shared ideas, beliefs, identities and actions and these are also the part of the society that is constructed (Wendt 1999, 1). It is sure that the material relations in international politics are very much focused on but the important thing is how we identify the materials related to practical actions with norms, values, beliefs and ideas.

Compared to rationalist ideas, which generally frames the role of institutions at how they help agents or organizations to pursue their interests, constructivist approach underline that the institutions that are created by human beings are some sort of sources that shape the preferences and identities of the members. (Pollack 2000, 15). At that point, constructivists argue that rationalists such as neo-realists and liberal intergovernmentalists are not capable of observing institutions in the meaning of its effects on identities and behaviors. Though, as Pollack mentions about Moravcsik’s observations, constructivists, despite their emphasis on the facts of social science, are not very encouraged to empirically test their studies which is a fundamental weakness (Pollack 2000, 16).

From a constructivist approach, the European Union project seems like very well constructed one with the help of institutions such as European Court of Justice, European Parliament or European Council alongside. Furthermore, the shared values, norms and beliefs from a democratically nurtured history and philosophy establish an environment for the EU members to be able to stay together. However, the question of the continuing national governments as parts of the Union is an important one considering their ability to create diversity inside the unity. According to Delanty, national identities and European identity are not elements that confront but elements that complement each other (Delanty and Rumford 2005, 30). He underlines that a post-national self-understanding in European identity is what matters beyond the national identities that has ability to tackle the unity. Shared values in the concepts like religion, history and democracy are some of the examples that create a unification of European identities. Though, Delanty also points out that there are mentally and physically several Europes in the geopolitical space of Europe which can be considered in civilizational, political and continental factors (Delanty and Rumford 2005, 37).

The formation of the European identity and the integration of the multiple identities in geographical and geopolitical spheres is quite understandable in the above mentioned constructivist approach. The question is can we understand the rejection of Turkish membership in that framework? When we look at the history of Turkey and European countries, there can be seen a geographical distinction between them until the Ottomans’ reach to the Vienna in 1600s and it can be shown as an evidence to the reality of the history that is not common. However, according to Delanty, there are three major geopolitical components that create the Europeanization: Judeo-Christian, Russian-Slavic and Islamic-Turkish (Delanty and Rumford 2005, 37). It is for sure that contributing to the history of Europe in some degree is not a valid card that guarantee the membership of Turkey to EU. Nevertheless, the reality that Turkey’s geographical distance to the core of the continent is not the only reality. On the other hand, it is popularly argued that the low level of performances of Turkey in norms like human rights, minority rights and rule of law prevent a more optimistic approach on Turkish membership (ESI 2006). To conclude, we can say that a constructivist approach can both defend and criticize the acceptance of Turkey at the same time. It can be criticized as Turkey do not have the exact shared values in aspects like religion or democratic values and it can be defended that Europeanization is a continuing process of integrating multiple identities which can also be seen at the acceptance of former Soviet countries as members.

IV. Justifications of Turkish Membership in Rationalist and Constructivist Approaches

Throughout the paper, I analyzed the historical process of European enlargement and Turkey – EU relations and after that I framed three theoretical approaches, which are neo-realist, liberal intergovernmentalist and constructivist approaches, to better understand the underlying factors on the European foundations and related experience of Turkey’s non-acceptance to the Union. In this part, I will argue about the facts that justify Turkey’s EU membership in rationalist (neo-realist and liberal intergovernmentalist) and constructivist approaches. I firmly believe that the addition of Turkey into the European Union would be a great asset for the continent in a rationalist view. In addition I will discuss that how Turkey can be embedded in the European society in a constructivist view.

In a rationalist approach, we should write down the cons and pros of the possible membership of Turkey. But before that, we should analyze the structure of the state relations to properly put the Turkish membership in that framework. After the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union the unipolar structure of the world stage is changed. At first it seemed like an emerging bipolar world which the US would lead but the process showed that it became a multipolar world where regional powers gained importance both politically and economically. Today there are several powers which are trying to be regionally, and globally as well, influent such as China, Russia, India, Brazil and Turkey in the last couple of years. But European Union, due to its long history of alliances and experiences of integration and enlargement, seems to be in a different position. Although EU experienced issues of deepening problems and economical obstacles in the last couple of years, it is still the most reputable organization concerning Europe.

Turkey, on the other hand, is a country that is trying to be more influent in her region of Middle East. Since Turkish Foreign Policy officials adopted a “zero problem with neighbors” policy, they started to have increasing relationships with her neighbors in economical and diplomatic channels. This time of period is parallel to the time of events when Turkey seemed to slow down the EU membership process and public opinion started to discuss about Turkey’s Eastern inclination which is surprising compared to her Western-oriented approach in the past (Friedman 2010). Nonetheless, this new approach of Turkey may be a chance to prove her resources’ worth to the West which are basically her economical and diplomatic relations with the Middle East and Caucasus also.

This is obviously a rationalist view to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the Turkish membership for the possibilities of strengthening EU’s regional power status. The most prominent advantages of Turkey is her large army which is a definite contribution the EU’s defense. Also the policy that is pursued to enhance the security of the East while accepting memberships of Eastern countries can be repeated in a different way if Turkey can be seen as an important factor to secure the South Eastern part of the continent with its geographical position. In a rationalist approach again, from a liberal perspective this time, inclusion of Turkey means a new market of approximately 75 million new customers also with the emerging areas, that are not developed very well such as industry of several materials, to be invested. In addition, Turkey’s recent good economic relations with the Middle Eastern countries increases her importance for EU as a channel to reach the further new markets.

Again from a rationalist perspective, there are also disadvantages and possible anxieties of Europeans for Turkish membership. What seems like a threat to the European Union is Turkey’s high rates of unemployment (ESI 2006). Although the young population of Turkey may sound like a possible force to increase the productiveness of European industry (Timmerman and Mels 2008, 19) many Europeans fear of the inevitable immigration of Turkish people who are to take their place in lower wages and poorer conditions (ESI 2006). This fear of the public opinion, which is in mostly practical and contemporary understanding, cannot be ignored by the national and institutional organs of the Union. Furthermore, the low rates of literacy and GDP and other similar economical factors can be an economical burden for the EU budget which has a mission to compensate each member’s status in order to decrease large level of differences among the member countries (ESI 2006).

As Helena Sjursen underlines that European expanding consists of two basic assumptions that are pragmatic thinking which we can relate to the rationalist understanding and ethical/political thinking which we can relate to the constructivist understanding (Sjursen 2002, 508). Conception of collective understanding of Europeans and the EU as a reflection of it seems to be the source of obstacle that slows down the Turkish membership. Turkey is counted as not sharing the democratic values of European countries such as human rights, rule of law or respect to minorities. Although Turkey and her Ottoman past is very much related to the European history, Turkey is seen as an Asian due to her identity related to geographical and societal factors. This approach can be proven from another perspective of constructivist thinking as Delanty underlines that Europe is not essentially a geographical border that is being changed over time constantly (Delanty and Rumford 2005, 68). As an evidence, recent members from Eastern Europe have a Soviet past of an authoritative regime but they were accepted as members. Turkey, both from a rationalist and constructivist perspective, should be accepted by European Union as a member to contribute to the practical purposes and evolving identity of the European region.

Conclusion

Throughout the paper, I argued about the justifications of Turkey’s membership in rationalist and constructivist approaches. Before thinking about Turkey’s membership, I thought that the enlargement rounds, and acceptance of 21 new members as a result, had to be analyzed to understand the enlargement processes happened in the past. What is significant is that the membership negotiations between Turkey and the EU does not seem like any negotiation happened before concerning its time and content. What I argued is that Turkey deserves to be a European Union member due to its possible contributions in economical and political areas which fits in the rationalist approach of study. Furthermore, from a constructivist approach I tried to prove the fallacy in the belief that Turkey would not be able to share the values and history of European culture. On the contrary, I underlined that Turkey has a part in the history of Europe and also the constantly evolving culture of Europeanization has the power to absorb Turkey and her different but connected history and values.

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