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Trials of Europeanization: Turkish Political Culture and the European Union

Turkey’s modernization and Westernization process, which started with ‘Tanzimat’ in 1839 with an overt ambition during the Ottoman period, cultivated an awareness of political liberalism in Turkish political culture. The central assertion in the book is that Turkey-EU relations have significantly affected progress toward the liberalization of Turkish political culture.

 

Turkey’s modernization and Westernization process, which started with ‘Tanzimat’ in 1839 with an overt ambition during the Ottoman period, cultivated an awareness of political liberalism in Turkish political culture. The central assertion in the book is that Turkey-EU relations have significantly affected progress toward the liberalization of Turkish political culture. Grigoriadis argues that Turkey’s democratic transformation entered into an ongoing and irreversible phase, especially after two critical decisions of the European Council: the Helsinki European Council decision of December 1999, when Turkey became a candidate for EU membership, and the decision of the Brussels European Council in December 2004, to begin negotiations on October 3, 2005. One of the major contributions of Grigoriadis’s book to the existing literature is to illustrate the steps Turkey has made toward the development of a ‘civic’ and ‘participant’ political culture, from a ‘subject’ model in this distinctive candidate country that has been waiting at the door of the EU for almost six decades.

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