1st Edition

EU–Turkey Relations Civil Society and Depoliticization

By Özge Zihnioğlu Copyright 2020
    164 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    164 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This book focuses on the hidden but ever-present civil society dimension of the EU’s policies towards Turkey and uncovers the pitfall of EU–Turkey relations.

    It establishes the growing depoliticization of Turkish civil society (in contrast to what the EU’s policies aimed for) and engages with the questions of why and how Turkish civil society depoliticized. It discusses how Turkey’s retreating democracy, and the intense polarization in Turkish political and social life make rights-based activism more difficult. Finally, this book investigates what implications Turkish civil society’s depoliticization bears for EU–Turkey relations, reveals the diminishing leverage of the EU’s policies and discusses how this reflects on Turkey’s already closing civic space. It explains why and how EU-Turkey relations deteriorated over the last decade, examines the current stalemate, and discusses why civil society matters.

    This text will be of key interest to scholars and students in the field of EU–Turkey relations, Turkish studies and civil society studies as well as more broadly to NGOs, European studies and politics, and International Relations.

    1. Introduction

    2. The Recent History of EU-Turkey Relations

    3. Current Issues and Challenges in EU-Turkey Relations

    4. Revisiting Turkish Civil Society

    5. Changing Landscape of Turkish Civil Society

    6. EU Civil Society Support in Turkey

    7. The Impact of EU Funds over Turkish Civil Society

    8. Conclusion


    Özge Zihnioğlu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Bahçeşehir University, Turkey.

    "This rigorous, objective, and thought-provoking account simultaneously dissects European Union support for civil society in Turkey and the depoliticization of Turkish society. In so doing, it provides an invaluable larger understanding of Turkey's troubling political path and the equally problematic evolution of Turkey's relations with the European Union." - Thomas Carothers, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, USA.

    "Re-launching Turkey's European integration process by restoring the EU’s transformative power on Turkey is crucial. Özge Zihnioglu’s book is so lucid and enlightening in understanding the dynamics of setbacks and progress for a better future to be designed by the civic society.” - Bahadir Kaleagasi, TUSIAD-Turkish Industry & Business Association and Paris Bosphorus Institute.

    "Recommended. Graduate students and faculty." - CHOICE.