Turkey and the EU: A Tug of War Relationship

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The decline in both the rule of law and the adherence to democratic norms in Turkey has made it easier for the EU to keep Ankara at a distance than was previously the case. Talks of future EU accession have become altogether symbolic and the substance of even the so-called “privileged partnership” is being hollowed out to cover limited areas of strategic significance. However, neither side is willing or able to abandon the other entirely. The existence of both pull and the push factors in Turkey-EU relations can explain why there are seeming overriding contradictions in each entity’s approach to the other.

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