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Dealing with the European Challenges

the benefits derived will be much higher than any cost. I hope and expect that Turkey will soon make the right decision. On the other hand I must admit that the emergence of Islamophobia in several European countries has dampened Turkish eagerness to pursue the road to the European Union. Bearing in mind that Neo-Ottomanism is a growingly strong notion in contemporary Turkish politics, it is obvious that they would seek to establish a Commonwealth with the neighbours and other traditionally Muslim countries. This constitutes an attractive strategic proposal that seduces the Turkish public opinion, despite the fact that it is considered a challenge to the country’s neighbours. The main question is whether and when will Turkey join the European Union? This question is directly related to the legal and political status of a future relationship between Turkey and the EU. If full accession is not achieved, what would a so-called “privileged regime” be like? The answers to these questions do not solely depend upon the Turkish reforms or the will of the Member States. Turkey needs to be bold at radically reforming the state. The new Government must demonstrate its dedication to democracy and to the implementation of human rights and democratic values. The abolition of the death penalty, the freedom and protection of the press, the release of all jailed journalists and the abolition of detention without trial must become a priority. I consider the amendment or the redrafting of the new constitutional order an essential point. At this stage one raises the question: Will Erdogan implement a presidential political system? If he does, will this system be more democratic or more authoritarian? Will he abolish the 10% limit for a party to enter Parliament? The European Union has already offered full support to the Turkish Government and is now expecting from those in power, and from the invincible Recep Tayyip Erdogan, all the necessary structural changes and reforms for the establishment of a democratic European state. The other side of the coin represents the personal political agenda of Mr Erdogan. According to numerous political analyses, Erdogan’s authoritarian thirst for power and ambitions will lead to internal political conflicts which will victimise the efforts for drastic reforms. According to similar analysis and to discussions

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ELENI THEOCHAROUS

Turkey on the European Doorstep  

A Publication based on the International Conference organised at the European Parliament/Brussels by Dr. ELENI THEOCHAROUS, Member of the Eu...

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