Tyrkiets vej mod vestligt demokrati

Pernille Heering Andersen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The main purpose of this Master Thesis is to identify whether a European Union (EU) membership will be in the interest of Turkey as EU seems to have lost its attractiveness. This is to be seen in the light of the fact that Turkey has had increasingly foreign policy focus on North Africa and the Middle East since the Arab Spring uprisings. This thesis is focusing on Turkey's path towards Western democracy and its striving for membership of the EU. Turkey's political culture is described from Atatürk founded Turkey as a nation-state in 1923 to the present day (2012) in order to clarify how Turkish political culture has developed. This is important to be able to understand why Turkey's current accession negotiations with the EU have caused the friction they have. In this context, the Western concept of democracy is defined, applied and discussed in relation to Turkey’s progress towards Western democracy. As a theoretical basis the thesis draws heavily on Robert A. Dahl’s description of the six political institutions that define a Western democracy. These will only be able to manifest themselves if Dahl's five conditions for democracy are met. When appropriate the theories of Liberalism of Imposition, Liberalism of Restraint, Hard Power and Soft Power are applied. The Turkish path towards Western democracy seems to be long, as Turkey's political heritage is revealed to be going in circles as Erdoğan and his AKP government have evolved into an authoritarian force at the expense of Western democratic values. Meanwhile, a slightly arrogant Turkish attitude towards the EU has emerged. Thus, there is a clear perception that Turkey is better off as an independent central player and that the EU need Turkey more than Turkey needs the EU. This is due to the fact that Turkey has developed an unprecedented national self-consciousness that was further reinforced during the Arab Spring uprisings. The Arab countries see a great political role model in Turkey due to its accession negotiations with the EU and its apparent combination of Western democratic values with Islamic virtues. As such Turkey therefore appears much more Western and democratic than any other state in Turkey's vicinity.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages81