Europeanization and Change in Domestic Politics : Impact and the Mediating Factors of the Copenhagen Political Criteria in Turkish Democracy: 1999-2005

This study seeks to examine what domestic factors in Turkish politics refracted the democratisation requirements laid out by the Copenhagen political criteria and what impacts the Copenhagen political criteria have made on Turkish democracy in the 1999 post-the Helsinki era. It also explains how transformation of Turkish democracy was made possible after 1999 Helsinki decision. In doing this, based on Europeanization studies, the study employs a conceptual framework comprising three-steps, which are Europeanization, goodness of fit, and mediating factors. The thesis argues that the impact of Europeanization on Turkey’s democracy is institution dependent. Domestic institutions are significant in two respects. First, the institutions determine the degree of pressure for adaptation, which results from Europeanization. Second, domestic institutions have a large impact upon the strategies by which domestic actors respond to adaptational pressure facilitating or inhibiting institutional adaptation. One of the main findings of the thesis is that domestic institutions comprising parties, party system, the military, the president, civil society, the Turkish public and norms, values and traditions embedded in the Turkish polity have refracted the EU democratic reforms sometimes accelerating, sometimes retarding their translation into domestic politics and giving them a national coloring. Another conclusion is that as following 1999 Helsinki decision, “costs-benefits” equation has changed in favour of the latter from the angle of the Turkish state, it was possible for them to take courageous steps, and for the EU to play an effective anchor role in this transformation.


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