The EU should not turn its back on Turkey

17 October 2017

By Amanda Paul and Demir Murat Seyrek

Getting EU leaders to agree on a strategy for Turkey is like herding cats. At the forthcoming 19-20 October European Council meeting, EU heads of state and government are expected to kick-off a discussion on the future of EU-Turkey relations, a first step towards developing a new strategy for maintaining the EU’s ties with the country. While the EU needs to stand firm on its core principles of civil liberties and freedoms, it should also look for avenues for constructive engagement that could help reduce tensions, and find ways to boost support for Turkish democratic advocates. In this Commentary Amanda Paul and Demir Murat Seyrek weigh up the options related to the EU accession process, the Turkey-EU Customs Union, the fight against the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), visa liberalisation and support for civil society. They argue that keeping the channels of dialogue open and aiming for small achievements seems to be the most reasonable option in the short term.

The article is in English and can be read here.