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Europeanization, Framing Competition and Civil Society in the EU and Turkey


This paper examines the relationship between the European Union and Turkey with a particular focus on the Europeanization of Turkish civil society. The Occupygezi movement has revealed that a more comprehensive approach needs to be taken in order to understand the deep socio-political drives underpinning the Turkish bid for EU membership. Understanding the broader processes of Europeanization in political and social terms in Turkey is crucial for us to capture the real drives of the European integration process. In this regard, the paper will pay special attention to the ideational factors shaping the political discourse in Turkey concerning the attitudes towards the EU. This is important not only to understand what push and pull factors are animating and perhaps transforming Turkish society, but also to see how the debates in Turkey and the EU reciprocally shape each other. Subsequently, this paper focuses specifically on three different framings developed by civil society organizations in Turkey with regard to the Europeanization process since the 1999 Helsinki Summit of the European Union. These three main frames are Euro-enthusiastic, Euro-sceptic and critical Europeanist attitudes generated by different civil society actors as a response to the changing political, social, economic and cultural climate between Turkey and the European Union as well as within Turkey itself. Consequently, this paper also shows the transformative effect of the Occupygezi movement on the mindsets of secular groups, who were previously Euro-sceptic.

Paper produced within the framework of the project Turkey, Europe and the World. Publ. in IAI Research Paper 13.

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