Emotion as a Factor in Turkey-EU Relations

Nas Ç.

UACES 49th Annual Conference in Contemporary European Studies, Lisbon, Portugal, 1 - 04 September 2019

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Unpublished
  • City: Lisbon
  • Country: Portugal
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Turkey-EU relations are often personified as a “love-hate” relationship which in itself signifies the important role of emotions. Turkey’s relations with the EU date back to 1959 when the country made an application to form an association with the then EEC. Since then Turkey-EU relations experienced ebbs and flows, went through periods of convergence followed by divergence. In each phase, it is possible to observe the overpowering presence of emotions influencing the relations, maybe more than rational calculations. While relations may be based on mutual interests resting on rational calculations of benefit, the overbearing influence of emotions may enhance or retard the fulfilment of specific plans and/or targets in Turkey-EU relations. For example, Turkey’s accession negotiations with the EU started in 2005 based on expectations of mutual gain for both parties but could not proceed effectively afterwards. One of the most important reasons blocking the progress of accession process was related to the influence of emotions on both sides, emotions such as fear, anxiety, anger, disdain, frustration, and rejection. The paper aims to study the role of emotions in Turkey-EU relations in a historical perspective by giving examples from ground-breaking developments in Turkey-EU relations. Newspaper articles, speeches and public opinion surveys will be analysed.