Scholars largely agree that political conditionality has been key in transforming Turkey during the ‘golden years of Europeanization’ (1999-2006). European Council giving the country candidacy status at the Helsinki Summit in 1999, triggered an unprecedented democratization and reform process in the country. However, in recent years the reform process has been first stagnated (2006-2011) and then reversed (since 2011). While the existing literature on political conditionality has explained this reversal either by highlighting EU-level factors (lack of credible and consistent EU conditionality) or by focusing on domestic-level factors (democratic backlash, cultural mismatch or instrumentalization of the EU process by domestic elite), the impact of the crisis context on EU’s conditionality policy has remained an unstudied topic. In an attempt to fill this gap, the purpose of the paper is twofold. First, it traces how the crisis context in and around the EU (Syrian refugee crisis and Turkey’s rapid deterioration in democratic credentials since 2015) has given rise to a new form of political conditionality in the form of policy linkage in EU-Turkey relations. Second, the paper seeks to understand how the EU’s evolving response to Turkey’s rapid de-Europeanization affects elite behavior vis-à-vis the EU in the country. The paper relies on original data gathered from primary EU documents.


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June 14th, 2016

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – 5 + 1 Steps Away From Visa-Free Travel for Turkish Nationals

* This article has been published by Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union (with Melih Özsöz).   Aspired facilitation of the issuance of […]

June 7th, 2016

The European Response to the Refugee Crisis: Angela Merkel on the Move

* This article has been published by Istanbul Policy Center (with Bianca Benvenuti)   Executive Summary The European project has hit strong […]

March 15th, 2016

Stormy months on the Aegean: the refugee deal and its impact on Turkey-EU relations

* This article has been published by Real Instituto Elcano, Madrid, Spain (with Melih Özsöz).   Theme The refugee deal of […]

March 1st, 2016

Reshaping relations in the midst of crises: A bitter anniversary for Turkey-EU accession negotiations

* This policy brief has been published by Istanbul Policy Center (with Melih Özsöz).   Executive Summary Relations between Turkey […]

January 6th, 2016

A New Era in Spanish Politics: Time to Negotiate

* This article has been published by Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union (with Marta Paradés).   The question that has to be […]

December 21st, 2015

New politics in Spain: No more two-party dominance, it is time to negotiate

* This article has been published by Hurriyet Daily News   Spanish citizens went to the ballot box on Dec. […]

December 1st, 2015

How to read the next generation progress reports

* This article has been published by Hurriyet Daily News (with Melih Özsöz).   The annual progress reports prepared by […]

November 7th, 2015

Having won back his majority, Erdoğan must now focus on reuniting Turkish society

* This article has been published by London School of Economics European Policy and Politics (EUROPP) Blog   The November elections […]

November 3rd, 2015

Unas elecciones extraordinarias, unos resultados extraordinarios: Turquía ha vuelto a la mayoría absoluta

* Este articulo se ha publicado en Agenda Publica.   Como consecuencia de la imposibilidad –o, mejor dicho, de la […]

October 25th, 2015

Turkey-EU deal on migrant crisis: Just a tactical whitewash?

* This article has been published by Hurriyet Daily News (with Melih Özsöz).   Relations between Turkey and the European […]