Turkey and the EU are bound by a curious love affair. Turkey has been an integral part of Europe’s centuries-long history and has enjoyed structured relations with the European Union and its predecessor, the European Community, almost since its inception. Both Turkey and the EU have aimed at cultivating a closer relationship. The depth and breadth of the economic, societal, cultural and political connections that the two have been able to establish over the years clearly testify to this. At the same time, the precise interpretation of what the relationship is all about, and, more poignantly, where it will end up, has been highly contested within both Turkey and the European Union, as well as between the two. It is this odd mix of a shared commitment to one another and widely varying interpretations within and between both sides as to what this would actually mean, that underpins Turkey’s tortuous path to Europe.
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