Think-tank calls for reviving EU-Turkey ties

Think-tank calls for reviving EU-Turkey ties

Think-tank calls for reviving EU-Turkey ties A new window of opportunity has opened after the June 7 general elections, the Ankara-based think-tank International Strategic Research Organization (USAK) said, calling for a deepening of European Union–Turkey relations. 

USAK’s call to action, which was issued after their workshop held post-elections, said, “A new agenda has emerged after the elections; it would not be sufficient to approach this agenda merely with domestic debates because Turkey’s geopolitical position, historic build-up, its features in socio-politic and economic interaction fields require us to approach the agenda from the framework of regional and global challenges.”

USAK said the EU has declared its readiness to work with the new government and adding, “The new government should respond to this approach; mutual steps should be taken urgently for the relations to enter a confidence-based constructive cycle.” 

USAK also issued proposals to revive the relations between the two. Proposals made to Turkey included an acceleration of the reform process with a full membership perspective be undertaken by the new government. It also recommended the adoption of a foreign policy framework by the new government, one that prioritizes multilateral dialogue and emphasizes harmony, in both word and deed, with EU and universal values.

USAK also suggested Turkey’s development of a comprehensive governance framework based on democracy and market economy. It added Turkey should follow an effective communication strategy prioritizing the significance of the EU process. The new government should also directly focus on the Europe integration project and start debates on what kind of a Europe it wants.

The think-tank also had recommendations for the EU, warning the EU of dissociating from its own values and urging it to develop an effective struggle against racism, xenophobia and marginalization.

The statement said the EU had not kept its promises to Turkey by not opening and closing chapters in a “proper way,” adding that the opening of new chapters is the main component enabling the development of relations and reestablishing of a basic strategic agreement. 

The EU should be in closer cooperation with Turkey, USAK said, especially in issues concerning the Middle East, East Mediterranean basin and Black Sea region. USAK recommended the EU to display more solidarity in sharing Turkey’s burden managing the Syrian humanitarian crisis.