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Preparing for a new blueprint in EU-Turkey relations?

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Relations between Ankara and Brussels have been facing a downwards spiral during the past decade. Publically, this trend gained momentum in 2013, when Ankara clamped down on environmental protestors in what become known as the Gezi Park protests. Diplomatically, Turkey’s difficult relationship with the EU predates 2013 by over a decade. From the inception of the Turkish accession process, broken promises and the continued freezing of chapters created a set of distorted incentive mechanisms, which continue to affect any attempts at building trust, reconciliation, and improved relations. A classic example continues to be the 2007 freezing of accession chapters by France and the blocking of chapters by Cyprus in 2009 through the European Council—both of which set the tone for future relations. Apart from distorting credibility in accession outcomes and thereby gradually rendering the institutional mechanisms of accession void, it also created a new populist incentive mechanism, commonly known in EU circles as “scapegoating.”

This familiar concept revolves around leaders shifting blame towards EU institutions after or during major summits in order to gain electoral........

© Hürriyet Daily News