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Imagining the EU in the Turkish Mirror

Abstract : Turkey’s European Union (EU) membership seems very likely to be the most historic and decisive stage in the construction of Europe. It is now well known that Turkey is not a candidate like others. Years after the Ottoman forays into Europe, Turks are today, again, challenging Europe, this time not as adversaries but with the desire to be partners. Ironically, this challenge is as much cultural as it is political for a Europe preoccupied more and more by its identity, borders and future. The simple opening of membership negotiations has confused Europeans, provoking passionate and unprecedented debates. Muslim Turks, at the threshold of the EU, are being imagined as the other through allusions to history and memory. Focusing on the cultural and religious factors in the debates, this chapter deals with how ‘Christian Europe’, with its long history of hostility to Muslim Turks, is now positioning itself vis-à-vis the integration of Turkey within the EU. The author shows, with a short historical perspective on Turkey-EU relations, that the interrogation about the europeanité of Turks is not new.
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Ali Ihsan Aydin. Imagining the EU in the Turkish Mirror. Arvanitopoulos Constantine. Turkey's Accession to the European Union. An Unusual Candidacy, Springer, pp.171 - 182, 2009, 9783540881971. ⟨hal-02405086⟩



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