Tribune européenne, Futuribles Journal n° 415


EU-Turkey Relations at a Turning Point

After the events in Turkey this summer (an attempted coup followed by an enormous wave of repression on the part of the powers that be), the question of how that country fits in with the European Union can no longer be posed in the same terms. The prospect of Ankara joining the EU was already very slim, but in this context and in light of the foreign policy pursued by Turkey’s leaders, it has virtually disappeared. It remains to be decided how the Union will manage its relations with Turkey, a pivotal country between Europe and the East, and an Atlantic Alliance member governed by an islamic-conservative party.

Jean-François Drevet looks to cast light on this question by assessing Turkey’s external relations and foreign policy stance over the last few years. He stresses the difficulties the EU has in conducting discussions with leaders who are untrustworthy and opportunistic and who look increasingly toward Asia, while the security of the European continent has long depended on its Turkish bastion in the East. But if this changed situation is rather disturbing, it also represents a real opportunity for the Union to take stock of its priorities and stand up resolutely for them, without any additional concessions to a country that is becoming less and less of an ally.

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