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Turkey and the Dilemma of EU Accession: When Religion Meets Politics

Turkey and the Dilemma of EU Accession: When Religion Meets Politics
Mirela Bogdani

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What impact do issues of culture, religion and identity have on Turkey's chances of joining the EU? Are religious and cultural factors per se the primary obstacle to Turkish accession, or is it their interaction with other factors that is prolonging and complicating Turkey's progress towards EU membership? Mirela Bogdani here analyses the complex range of issues that are influencing the process of Turkey's accession to the EU, assesses the positions of different European actors towards Turkey's pursuit of EU membership and identifies the reasons for the European opposition. She also analyses the issues of political Islam, multiculturalism and the compatibility of Islam with democracy. This book will be an important resource for anyone interested in EU politics, EU enlargement policy, EU-Turkey relations, the relationship between religion and politics, political Islam, multiculturalism and supranational integration.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Revival of religion in world and European politics
1.1. Religion and politics: the relationship between the two and the impact of religion on politics
1.2. Return of religious discussion to world and European politics
1.3. Secularisation Theory, Desecularisation Thesis and European Exceptionalism

Chapter 2: Turkey and the EU
2.1. EU eastward enlargement
2.2. History of Westernisation of Turkey and of its relations with the EU
2.3. Formal obstacles: domestic political and economic factors and other (Cyprus, Kurdish and Armenian) issues
2.4. Semi-formal obstacles: geography, demography, security and institutional factors
2.5. Informal obstacles: religious and cultural factors

Chapter 3: Compatibility of Islam with democracy
3.1. Muslim and Western values: Are they in harmony or do they conflict?
3.2. Is Islam compatible with liberal-democracy?
3.3. Issue of secularism: Relation of Islam and Christianity with the state
3.4. An Islamic Reformation: Is this necessary or possible?
3.5. Can Turkey maintain a balance between secular democracy and Islamic culture?

Chapter 4: What place do religion and culture have in the debate on Turkey’s candidacy?
4.1. Religion and culture: two separate concepts?
4.2. European identity
4.3. Actors in the debate:
4.3.1. European citizens
4.3.2. EU institutions
4.3.3. EU member-states
4.3.4. EU leaders and politicians

Chapter 5: Reasons for the increase of European opposition since 2001
5.1. The rise of Islamic fundamentalism around the world and its implications for Europe
5.2. The increase of the Muslim population in Western Europe and the integration issue
5.3. Fear of Islamisation of Europe
5.4. Prospect of a country of 70 million Muslims becoming part of the EU
5.5. Political Islam as part of Turkey’s mainstream politics


Author Info

Mirela Bogdani is a specialist on EU issues with a focus on EU enlargement. She has studied politics at St Antony's College, Oxford University and taught at the School of European Studies, Cardiff University.


This is a very interesting and provocative book which should cause a stir.
– John Loughlin, Fellow of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge, and formerly Professor of European Politics, Cardiff University

This book makes a significant contribution to understanding why Turkey’s desired membership of the EU is opposed by so many and why the whole question has become the "elephant in the room" in Brussels. This is a subject of extreme importance for the future not only of Turkey but of the European Union as a whole.
– Miranda Vickers, author of The Albanians: A Modern History

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Series: Library of European Studies

ISBN: 9781848854598
Publication Date: 29 Oct 2010
Number of Pages: 240
Height: 216
Width: 134

ISBN: 9781848854581
Publication Date: 29 Oct 2010
Number of Pages: 240
Height: 216
Width: 134

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