The Future of EU-Turkey Relations

The future of EU- Turkey relations was discussed during the TRT World Forum in both public and closed sessions, from 22-23 October 2019. Approximately 40 participants were present, including experts, politicians, academicians and bureaucrats in the closed session. The speakers shared their own perspectives and experiences who came from different background as academic, diplomat, bureaucrat from both Turkish and European side. The relationship between the EU and Turkey first began with Turkey’s application for membership to the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1959, a short time after the EEC’s establishment in 1957. The main points of the session which addressed bilateral relations included the following: The Customs Union Agreement and its amendment; the Readmission Agreement; the situation involving immigrants; security; the rising far right and nationalism in Europe; and the state of mutual economic relations. The question of what should be done to maintain a more advanced level of relations between Turkey and the EU was examined during the closed session. Moreover, the crisis between Turkey and the EU was one of the most important issues discussed during the session.

Written by Selçuk Aydın and Muhammed Ali Uçar

Selçuk Aydın is a Researcher at TRT World Research Centre. He has presented, conducted projects and published articles, book chapters and opinions on Turkey’s history, Turkish diaspora in the UK and Middle East. His research interests are colonialism, Middle Eastern politics and history, Islamic and Kurdish movements, diaspora, institutional, and security studies. Selçuk holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from the Faculty of Political Science at Ankara University, a Master’s Degree in Political Economy of the Middle East from King’s College London University, and is in the process of completing a PhD at the Defence Studies Department in the School of Security Studies at same university. His PhD thesis’ title is “Post-Ottoman States and Kurdish Movements: A Comparatively Analysis of Single Party Regime in Turkey (1923-1945), British Mandate Regime in Iraq (1920-1932) and French Mandate Regime in Syria (1923-1946).”

Muhammed Ali Uçar is a Deputy Resarcher at TRT World Research Centre. He is a Jean-Monnet Scholar and visiting researcher at Danube University Krems in Austria. Prior to this, he lectured undergraduate and graduate students for 5 years at the Civilization Academy in Vienna. Lectures were in various topics such as 20th century philosophy, Turkish foreign policy, political history of Turkey, modern political systems, and the relations between Turkey and the European Union. He completed his undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Political Science at the University of Vienna. His areas of expertise include party politics in Turkey, extreme right movements in Europe, German and Austrian politics and foreign policies, migration, the EU, and the relations between EU and Turkey.