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The EU politics of AK party between the years 2002-2017

Altuntaş, Yavuz
In this thesis, the European Union politics of AK Party between the years 2002-2017 will be examined. The chapters are organized according to the election periods in Turkey. The first period, between 2002 and 2007 is when Turkey started transferring European standards into its legislation rapidly under the first AK Party government. In the second period, between 2007 and 2011, the process gained a stagnant pace due to several international and domestic issues. During the second government of AK Party, although the EU accession was desired, the process did not succeed as intended. During the third period between 2011 and 2017, we see increasing problems between Turkey and the EU, such as the EU’s criticism of backsliding in democracy and disagreements between the EU member states and Turkey. Overall, the thesis finds out that academics analyze Turkey-EU relations during 2002-2017 as a process moving from Europeanization towards de-Europeanization. However, the period between 2011 and 2017 also experienced a significant cooperation between Turkey and the EU regarding the issue of Syrian refugees. Since the relations between Turkey and the EU never ceased to exist and tend to go between strong and weak from time to time, the opportunities should be used efficiently, and a functional cooperation should be sustained in order to continue cooperative relations.