Dr. Tiryaki and Dr. Akgün Present a Paper at the IPSA Conference in Sao Paulo

Dr. Sylvia Tiryaki, together with her colleague Dr. Mensur Akgün participated in the international conference organized by IPSA (International Political Science Association) and ECPR (European Consortium for Political Research).

The conference entitled “Whatever Happened to North-South?” was hosted by the Brazilian Political Science Association at the University of Sao Paulo between February 16-19, 2011. To read Dr. Tiryaki and Dr. Akgün’s paper entitled “Obstacles, Obsessions and Prospects of Turkey’s EU Membership” click here.

Abstract of the presented paper

Turkey has been aspiring to become a member of the EU since 1959 and has managed to accomplish several significant milestones till now. However, the accession talks are rather slow and Turkey seems still to be far away from full membership. The authors argue that obstacles delaying the process can be summarized into two primary categories, i.e. cultural differences, which are often being reduced to the notion of religion, and impediments linked to the Cyprus problem. The paper will seek to address that without a settlement of the problem on the Mediterranean island, Turkey’s membership prospects are likely to remain blurred. Following this line of reasoning, it will be claimed that strategic vision of the EU can bring an end to the existing conundrum in the accession talks. Such active move forward is in the interest of the EU, especially now that Turkey becomes a more vociferous player in the arena of international relations. Some indicators show the change in that direction, e. g. Lady Ashton’s comment in her capacity of High Representative: “We welcome the increasingly important role of Turkey in the region. In this context we will also look at the ways in which the EU and Turkey can enhance cooperation.” The issues EU tries to tackle are within the problem-solving vision of Turkey. Therefore, it will be argued that as Turkey anchors its regional position, it is likely to play a crucial role in the success of the EU’s foreign policy, if admitted to the EU.

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