Why does Turkey seek European union membership? A historical institutional approach

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13 Scopus citations


Notwithstanding the troubled past and uncertain future of its relations with the European Union (EU), Turkey persists in its bid for membership in the EU. What accounts for Turkey's continuing pursuit of EU membership? We argue that the historical and institutional trend of modernization has locked Turkey into a pattern of domestic and foreign policies which is difficult, if not impossible, for current policymakers to break or reverse. As part of its modernization process, Turkey chose to follow a Western-oriented foreign policy, which became entrenched during the Cold War era with increasing returns or positive feedback from its overall engagement with the West and Europe in particular. Hence, the policy choices of Turkish policymakers about the EU are constrained by historical and institutional factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-386
Number of pages16
JournalTurkish Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations


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