What Are the Prospects for Turkey-EU Cooperation in Foreign Policy? Compatibility of Turkish Foreign Policy with the EU Foreign Policy

Creative Commons License

Torun Z.

X. Uludağ Uluslararası İlişkiler Kongresi, Bursa, Turkey, 8 - 10 October 2018, pp.1-10

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Bursa
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-10
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This paper analyses Turkish foreign policy under the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government with a view to identify its compatibility with that of the European Union.  The paper starts with a section on characteristics and evolution of Turkish foreign policy. Following this, it focuses on the foreign policy of AKP governments, which have been in power since 2002. Between 2002 and 2011 examples of divergence between Turkish and EU foreign policies can be observed. However, the prevailing ethos of the period i.e., relying on soft power and cooperating with neighbours is generally in line with the EU foreign policy approach. Following this is the analysis of the period after the Arab uprisings. Turkish response to the uprisings was a function of pre-existing economic relations. Where Turkey had high levels of economic investment, Turkish support to change took longer to come forth. Turkey could not avoid being associated with a certain faction of the societies in Egypt, Syria and Libya. In addition, Turkish foreign policy became interventionist during this period. These made Turkish foreign policy incompatible with that of the EU. This study argues that in the period after the Arab uprisings, approaches of the EU and Turkey to foreign policy have diverged. Therefore, it is expected that cooperation in foreign policy in the near future would be limited to the security and energy realms in ad hoc bilateral mechanisms.