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ESRG Seminar and VIADUCT Lecture: Funda Tekin (University of Cologne)

Dr Funda Tekin (University of Cologne) will guide the next European Studies Reading Group (ESRG) on 'Drivers and brakemen in EU-Turkey relations - Which Road Ahead?'
When Nov 23, 2017
from 05:00 PM to 06:30 PM
Where Room S1, The Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DT
Contact Name
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The European Studies Reading Group returns in Michaelmas 2017 - with financial support of the DAAD Cambridge Research Hub.

We are delighted to announce that Dr Funda Tekin (University of Cologne) will guide the next session of the European Studies Reading Group on 'Drivers and brakemen in EU-Turkey relations - Which Road Ahead?'. This event is also part of the VIADUCT Lectures series.

In particular, we would like to invite all interested graduate students to join us for this session. Please also refer to the outline of the reading group series and the readings for this session. For more information, please contact .

About the topic

VIADUCTIn 2015, more than 1.3 million asylum applications were registered in the EU. Although this came as no surprise to the EU and its Member States, this massive refugee influx put the Schengen area severely under strain. At the same time Euroscepticism and populism are on the rise in EU Member States and while a GREXIT was - for the time being - avoided last-minute, the risk of BREXIT looms with Article 50 TEU having been triggered. Turkey, on its side, has to accommodate more than 3 million refugees on its territory. The Turkish economy is substantially slowing down and Turkey's relations with global powers such as Russia and the United States are highly unstable. Finally, the authoritarian drift in Turkey's political system continues unabated fueled by the failed coup d'état attempt of July 2016 and the Constitutional referendum of April 2017 – leaving President Erdoğan as the sole uncontested leader of the country.

These rather gloomy snapshots of the EU and Turkey in recent months highlight mounting challenges for both internally, in relation to one another, and internationally.

While at the end of 2015, this led to the inherent paradox of these challenges resulting in the restart of Turkey's accession negotiations and the visa liberalization procedure with the EU and a strengthening of institutional EU-Turkey relations through biannual EU-Turkey Summits and regular meetings at the highest levels at times when Turkey's reform process in light of the Copenhagen Criteria has seriously backslided. The EU had rediscovered Turkey as a "key strategic partner" and the EU-Turkey Refugee Deal represents one of the key pillars of this strategic partnership since March 2016.

After the failed coup d'état attempt and the ruling under the state of emergency in Turkey ever since EU-Turkey relations have been deteriorating again. Beginning of 2017 they reached an all-time low with open discussions of suspending or ending Turkey's accession procedure in the EU and its Member States as well as President Erdogan’s fierce rhetoric against the European Union. This was even reinforced by the deteroration of the German-Turkish relationship. For decades both countries had built up strong ties based on economic interests and the number of people with Turkish origin living in Germany. In 2016 the relationship started to crack by the so-called Böhmermann-affaire, the Armenia-Resolution adopted by the German Bundestag and finally representatives from the ruling AKP-party in Turkey being denied the permission to campaign in favour of the constitutional referendum in Germany.

Against this backdrop, the question that is worrying us all is as simple as difficult: where to go from here? This seminar and VIADUCT Lecture can only approximate an answer. And will do so by building on various research projects dealing with the future of EU-Turkey relations (FEUTURE, H2020) and the EU/German-Turkish relationship (TRIANGLE, Stiftung Mercator). The aim is to academically identify drivers and brakeman in the relationship and assess their past and potential future developments affecting the EU-Turkey relationship.

About Funda Tekin

Funda Tekin

Dr Funda Tekin holds a PhD from the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Cologne. Fields of her research and expertise include EU enlargement in general and EU Turkey relations in particular, the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, flexibility and differentiation of EU integration, the added value of Europe as well as Euroscepticism. During her appointment as research assistant at the Jean Monnet Chair of Political Science at the University of Cologne Funda Tekin has been involved in various research projects funded under FP5, FP6 and FP7 (FORNET, CHALLENGE, MERCURY). She has published on flexible integration, BREXIT, various aspects of the AFSJ and decision-making procedures in the EU. From November 2005 to July 2009 she was the Project and Financial Manager of the FP6 Network of Excellence "EU-CONSENT".

Funda Tekin is also Vice Director of the Centre for Turkey and European Union Studies (CETEUS) at University of Cologne. She directs the following research projects dealing with the EU-Turkey relationship: Jean Monnet Network "Enhancing Visibility of the Academic Dialogue on EU-Turkey Cooperation" (VIADUCT); "TRIANGLE – Blickwechsel in EU/German-Turkish Relations Beyond Conflict: Towards a Unique Partnership for a Contemporary Turkey?" (research project funded by Stiftung Mercator) and "The Future of EU-Turkey Relations: Mapping Dynamics and Testing Scenarios" (FEUTURE, H2020).

Additional affiliations are the Centre international de formation européenne (CIFE) where she leads as Senior Researcher FEUTURE's dissemination work package and Institut für Europäische Politik, Berlin where she is Senior Research Adviser.

For more information, please see here and here. For a list of selected publications, please see here.


Suggested readings for this seminar will follow soon.

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