The Legacy of Ataturk: The Limits of Conditionality in the Turkish Application to the European Union

Australian Journal of International Affairs

Author/s (editor/s):

Mathew Davies

Publication year:


Publication type:

Journal article

Find this publication at:
Taylor & Francis

Published in Australian Journal of International Affairs, 67(4) 2013: 511-25.

There exists a significant and sustained difference between the ability of the European Union to successfully socialise those member states who have joined since the fall of Communism, and its apparent inability to similarly socialise Turkey. Despite some impressive legal and constitutional reforms since 2001, a key shortcoming remains, the unwillingness of many in the Turkish judiciary to implement those revised standards in a consistent way. Existing explanatory accounts of this inability would focus on the credibility of the Union offer of membership, the duration of negotiations or the importance of Turkish domestic standards. None of these, however, are able to account for why Turkey seems to occupy a half way position, exhibiting reformed laws but unreformed legal practice. To address this shortcoming this article shall combine existing scholarship on the importance of domestic normative contestation within Turkey with an appraisal of the shortcomings of the Union’s conditionality policy itself that emerge from the conceptual studies of conditionality.

Updated:  23 March 2016/Responsible Officer:  Su-Ann Tan/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team