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The Process of modernisation of the customs union relations between Turkey and the European Union

Gül Tezcan, Ezgi
This thesis aims to review the process for modernising the Customs Union between Turkey and the European Union, followed by an investigation of the political reasons which led to the suspension of the negotiations. The analysis begins with an appraisal of the theoretical framework to better understand the workings of the Turkey-EU CU as an economic integration model to facilitate and liberalize trade. Then comes an investigation of the important milestones in the relationship between Turkey and the EU in its historical context, to provide insights into the unique characteristics of the CU between the two parties. The scope and the functional shortcomings of the CU are discussed. The case for the revision of the CU between Turkey and the EU is made in the light of the legitimate reasons raised in documents drawn up by crucial agencies in Turkey and the EU and the analyses performed by independent third parties. Moreover, the TTIP and Brexit processes are analyzed as external factors with an effect on the process for the revision of the CU. In conclusion, it is found that politics pose a so-far insurmountable obstacle despite the obvious need for the modernisation of the CU, and the benefits such an update would bring. At this junction, the ups and downs of the relations between Turkey and the EU are discussed in the historical context, to explain why the CU modernisation process is politicised as such. Moreover, Germany's impact on the politicisation of the negotiations for the modernisation of the CU is investigated, leading to the finding that Germany's perception of Turkey is a determining factor shaping Turkey's accession process and the CU modernisation process.