1. INTRODUCTION It is certain that being a member of the European Union (EU) is a very hot debate for Turkey since 1950 s. According to some journalists, Turkey-EU relations remind you of a couple who live together without a legal marriage bond. Though, this process has evolved for the past fifty years and effected both interior and exterior relations of Turkey with the other states and vice versa. Whether Turkey's own internal problems or to qualitative changes in European integration over time, her efforts at adaptation are significantly older than most of the other candidate countries.
Turkey is ahead of the countries that are seen as our equals regarding the admission criteria. When the historical facts based on the agreements and acts are examined, the EU-Turkey relations could be divided into three parts; such as "preparation", "transition" and "final" periods. Preparation period could be considered as the establishment of the first relations between European Economic Community by Ankara Agreement and transition period is seen as the way to the full membership of Turkey by being a member of the Customs Union Joint. In this case, Helsinki Summit would be the heart of the ongoing process. Most of the thinkers and academicians assume that Helsinki Summit paved the way for Turkey's full membership to the EU. For this reason it would be the final period.
Most of the comments and criteria were finalized and EU Commission declared its most recent opinion on enlargement process and submitted its views on each country expecting to become a member at the Summit. In this context Helsinki Summit would be the main theme of the paper. While depicting the importance of the summit for Turkey, the Turkey-EU relations would also be explained briefly. Since this study has its own limitations, in spite of a vast amount of source -journals, speeches, official records and more- the case would be examined in a descriptive perspective and would follow the chronological line of the case. 2. THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF TURKEY-EU RELATIONS European Union (EU) has been through a series of transformations from the date it was established.
First Organization of European Economic Community (EEC) has developed day by day and came to the point where it is today. The idea of EEC was to establish a peaceful and integrated Europe after the Second World War. For this reason, the main theme of the ongoing organization has never been changed during the process of transformation. Its goal is to provide a secure atmosphere by integrating the European countries on the basis of economic, politic and cultural interests and that was very important for decreasing the tension among the post-war countries. The strong desire to establish an integrated Europe and related attempts had its first stable outcomes in the beginning of 1950 s. Turkey, on the other hand made its first application to EEC on the 31 st of July, 1959.
Turkey's intention of being a European was based on its republican ideology. From the time the Turkish Republic was established, one of its main political plans is to be a civilized country and its face always turned to West. For this reason, it was inevitable to stay outside of Europe. One aspect that comes as a package with Turkey's problems in its democracy, making Turkey's inclusion doubtful, could be seen as cultural differences between Turkey and the rest of Europe. For instance, on the 4 th of March 1997, the representatives of the Christian Democratic Party declared that 'the European Union is a civilization project and within this civilization project, Turkey has no place'. Nevertheless, Turkey is an associate member of the EU since 1963 and it has a pending application since 1987.
Despite her rises and falls through those of her attempts Turkey has never given up the idea of inclusion into the EU because it is the final peak of being part of Europe. For one reason, democracy in the country was interrupted three times by military. The First one in 1960 and the second in 1971 and the last one 1980, as well as this invoked suspicion about the country's stability. Besides, Turkey's military intrusion of Cyprus in 1973 turned the advantages which Turkey had achieved through its negotiations into the disadvantages and lobbies against Turkey's membership was carried out over "human rights", "democracy" and "economic stability" issues. 2.
1. Preparation Period (1963-1973): Relations between the European Union are based on the Agreement establishing an Association between the EEC and Turkey, which was signed on 12 September 1963 (the Ankara Treaty) and came into force on 1 December 1964. The cornerstone of this agreement is the establishment of a customs union in three stages. A Financial Protocol came after this agreement. A second and third Financial Protocols were signed in 1970 and 1977 correspondingly. The Ankara Agreement also set up an Association Council that meets regularly and discusses the work of the association.
The Association Agreement was increased by an Additional Protocol, which was signed on 23 November 1970 and came into force on 1 January 1973. This settlement helped for establishing a timetable of technical measures to be taken to achieve the objective of the customs union within a period of 22 years. Turkey had to provide the necessary infrastructural preparations during those years in order to be successful in the transition period. Some important economic reforms which would enhance the Turkish economy did not take place.
One of the reasons of that were the Turkey's five year development plans. The second Five Year Development plan had taken place between the years of 1968 and 1972, focusing on the latest economic issues. Besides, Turkish political side was in a hurry and they assumed that most of the necessary institutions which would conduct the mutual relations were ready and as a result there was no need to extend the preparation period. On the other hand, it was true that Turkey established institutions which served in an ideal condition such as Common Market Center (Or tak P azar Merkez i), Turkish Chambers and Stock Union (T"urkiye Od alar ve Borsa lar Birl idi) and by the support of the private entrepreneurs Economic Development Foundation ('Yktisadi Kalk " y nma Vakf'y) in order to fulfill the demand.
On the EEC side, Turkey's rush was understandable but EEC stuck on their policy of setback and assumed that it was early for Turkey to start the transition period. Turkey's responsibilities for transition period were more than for the preparation period. Since the necessary economic acquisitions were not fulfilled, very though days were awaiting. For EEC, slowing down the Turkey's and other Mediterranean countries' accession would be an advantage. 2. 2.
Transition Period (1973-1996): On 7 June 1990 the Commission adopted a set of proposals (the 'Matures Package') including conclusion of the customs union, the recommencement and strengthening of financial cooperation, the promotion of industrial and technological cooperation and the strengthening of political and cultural ties. At the end this package was not approved by the Council. On 6 March 1995 the EC-Turkey Association Council decided to move onto the final stage of the customs union and resume financial cooperation. The Council also decided to step up cooperation in several sectors, to strengthen institutional cooperation and to intensify political dialogue. On 13 December 1995 Parliament accepted the customs union.
The Decision on the final phase of customs union came into force on 31 December 1995; on the institutional front, it set up a discussion body, the Customs Union Joint Committee. On 15 July 1996 the General Affairs Council agreed to the Regulation on the MEDA program for 12 Mediterranean countries, including Turkey. This was the result of the EC Mediterranean strategy. For EC, this region was perceived as the backyard. Following a meeting of the Conference of Presidents on 28 November 1996, a specific procedure was adopted by which Parliament gives its opinion on the projects the Commission wished to finance under the MEDA program (of which ECU 375 million for Turkey more than the period 1996-99). Despite this procedure, by the end of 1997 commitments came to ECU 103 million.
ECU 272 million is programmed for the period 1998-99. The European Union, speaking at the meeting of the EC-Turkey Association Council on 29 April 1997, said again Turkey could be elected for membership of the European Union. At the same time, the European Union also said that Turkey's application would be judged on the same criteria as the other applicant countries, and the Commission was called on to draw up a communication on the future development of relations between the European Union and Turkey, in the context of the customs union. This period was very though for Turkey since the relations had to be pended because of Cyprus intrusion and military interventions. Political instability made it very hard to progress. In all these interruptions, the Turkish military did not rule the country for a long-term but 'clean the mess created by the politicians' and then left the stage to the civilians.
The 1990 s witnesses the integration of the Turkish military into daily political affairs through the National Security Council which has a special role under the 1982 Constitution in the formulation and implementation of national policies. 2. 3. Final Period (1996-1999): It was realized during the discussions after the publication of Agenda 2000 that the exclusion of Turkey, the longest standing applicant of the Union, from the enlargement process would not only aggravate tensions between the Union and Turkey but also lead to an increasing anti-European feeling in Turkey. Some observers of the Turkish case argued that Turkey could be kept within the emerging European project, short of full membership. As the Luxembourg Summit in December 1997 approached, discussions on the nature of this special status got more intense.
For the Turkish side, the traditional Turkish policies of Europeanization and Westernization made it extremely difficult to give up the idea of full membership. In consequence, there was clear disagreement to the idea of special status. The Turkish side also thought that granting the opportunity of full membership to eleven applicant countries and putting Turkey in a special category would be prejudiced and unjust. Some European Union members, such as France and Italy, which were more interested in seeing the integration of the Mediterranean countries in the Union, saw the dangers of this scenario more clearly than the others.
There was also mounting US pressure on the European Union member countries to include Turkey in the enlargement process. Because of all these pressures, it became more difficult to put Turkey in a special category without the hope of full membership. On 4 November 1998, report on Turkey and on other applicant countries, which designed to show that all, including Turkey, were being judged on the same Copenhagen criteria. This attitude was a clear improvement on that of the Luxembourg Summit: Turkey was reported together with other applicant countries, rather than put in a special category. The Turkish government, however, did not change its distant attitude towards the Union.
It was strongly pointed out that Turkey would give less attention to such reports as long as it was not granted candidate status in a summit meeting of the European Council. The proposals of the Commission were unable to create important changes in the relationship between Turkey and the Union. While the Commission worked towards an incremental change, the Turkish government continued to wait for a major change on the issue of candidacy from the European Council. EU started in March 1998 the negotiations for full membership with six countries, namely Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovenia and Cyprus, who had already won the candidate status.
Apparently there are no serious problems in the negotiations with these countries that have been proceeding with their integration in line with the agreed calendar, while at the same time receiving both technical and financial support from the EU. The main issue to be decided at the Summit is the approval of the candidacy of other Central European countries and the start of negotiations for full membership in the year 2000. These countries are Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Malta. Although all of these countries lag behind Turkey economically, politically and socially, EU expects Turkey, to make certain improvements in a number of areas. 3. HELSINKI SUMMIT Following the Helsinki summit, recognizing Turkey as a candidate to EU membership, brief periods of joy pervade Turkey-EU relations.
Despite the simply symbolic value of the decision, the Turkish political elites, media and public opinion at large interpreted the event as a historic turn in the future of the country, the final acceptance of Turkey into the European family, sought after since the foundation of the Kemal ist Republic in 1923. In Helsinki Summit European Union leaders decided whether Turkey, which has been knocking on the door since 1987, could be officially named as a 'candidate.' The Helsinki summit offered an opportunity and put Turkey's relations with Europe on a new era. On the other hand, there were still two obstacles in Turkey's path. Some EU countries (mainly Sweden) that any extension of candidacy status to Turkey be assisted by a detailed 'road map' that would tell the Turks what they must do between candidacy status and actual membership. As it was put before much of the insistence was on the "democracy", "human rights", "economic stability and openness" and "diplomatic behavior" on Turkey's acceptance to EU. Besides, the second probable barrier was Greece.
While Greek government declared that it wanted to help Turkey become a candidate and added that Greek was indeed a strong supporter of Turkey's final membership than many of the other countries, on the other hand Greece also placed indefinite conditions on Turkey's candidacy. 3. 1. Decisions of the Helsinki Summit Turkey's candidacy for full membership was accepted on 10-11 December 1999 at Helsinki Summit. That is to say Turkey would benefit from the pre-acceptance strategy of EU. Thus, Turkey would have the opportunity to be present at the meetings which would be held among the candidate members and EU countries.
Turkey was included in the EU enlargement process. By offering Turkey the possibility of full-EU membership, the EU Council's Helsinki Decision of December 1999 provided a powerful impetus for change in Turkey's domestic politics and helped to instigate a series of radical reforms on the democratization front. Turkey had the program that was to be followed. It was consisted of two main parts; political and economic criteria. Under the title of political criteria there were certain issues such as, "Democracy and the rule of law", "Human rights and the protection of minorities", "The Cyprus issue." On the other hand, there was a wide range of subjects, from structural reforms to inner market, under the title of economic criteria. In addition a number of new obligations and rules in various fields will come up, namely, European Monetary System, taxation, energy, telecommunication, fisheries, regional policies and cohesion, environment, Medium and Small Enterprises, public procurement, scientific and technical research, transportation, employment social affairs, statistics, common foreign and security policy, education.
3. 2. Advantages of EU Enlargement EU Enlargement process first of all designed for the integration of East European countries which were on the Soviet side during the cold war. Those countries's structural transformation must have taken place under peaceful circumstances. For instance, Yugoslavia tragically was torn into pieces because of her ethnic entities after the collapse of the soviet regime. The inner war of Yugoslavia which led to the changing of the European map accelerated the project of EU enlargement.
Those countries should have received economic aid and their structural transformation had to be compatible with the other European countries. For this reason, those East European countries demanding the membership of EU started their preparations in order to accomplish their structural deficiencies. On the other hand, Turkey had its own unique place in this enlargement process. For EU, after the collapse of the Soviet Union power vacuum should have been replaced by a strong and well organized countries which could fulfill the demand s of the new world order.
Hence Turkey regained its geo-strategic importance and included in the enlargement process mostly for security reasons. 3. 2. 1.
For EU countries There are mainly three reasons which could be perceived as advantage for EU. First of all, security issues gained a remarkable importance due to the shifting political attitudes and Turkey is a potential source as a military back-up for EU. The second reason is Turkey's geo-strategic properties are recognized again. Finally, Turkey is not only a cultural bridge between Europe and Middle East but also for economic purposes.
In short, giving Turkey the candidate status is in line with the EU's strategic interests. The enlargement towards the East of the EU will have little importance if Turkey is not included. In the new millennium, a Europe which aims to be effective and have a role to play in Caucasus, Middle East and Central Asia can not be without Turkey. Therefore, the EU's court had the right to decide and the decision to be taken in Helsinki is actually related with this outcome. In addition to this, Europe should be careful enough to realize the significance of Turkey and accept it as a candidate for the EU, the possibility of which no one could have ever expected.
With Turkey being integrated into the EU, the center of gravity of the Union will shift away from Northwest Europe to Southern Europe and Turkey. Trading among Southern, Southeastern Europe, and from Turkey to the Middle of Asia, a new economic playground will open up for trade and development. From this perspective an EU without Turkey is unthinkable. However, Turkish entrance will not be expected to be a normal process, and this reality is well known by the Turkish side. They know that they are not up to the economic standards of the EU. Nevertheless both sides know that Turkey has recently become a difficult competitor within its own sphere as well as in Europe, which creates the hope that this problem can be overcome.
3. 2. 2. For Turkey Although the changing international climate has increased Turkey's strategic importance, the relationship of Turkey with one of the central actors of the international system, i. e. Europe and primarily the European Union, has become more problematic.
While Turkey's place in the present enlargement process of the European Union is rather secondary, Turkey has a 'pivotal' position in the Eurasian region. Problematic relations with the European Union have limited Turkey's role in enhancing regional stability and her efforts for the process of integrating the region in the international system. In the context of the trans- of security issues and the erosion of boundaries between the European Union and Eurasian regions, Turkey and the European Union needed to find ways to overcome the stalemate in their relationship. European security problems, such as the conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo, have also become Turkey's problems. Therefore, there is a mutual interest in overcoming the problematic relationship between Turkey and the Union. The Union has concentrated its attention on the incorporation of Central and Eastern Europe, but the developments in the Balkans are also critical for Europe, as the conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo have demonstrated.
As the European Union starts to realize the significance of the promotion of stability in her surrounding regions, the solution of the problematic relationship with Turkey will be more evident. The Helsinki Summit overcame the long-lasting ambiguity over the Turkish case, ending the debate over whether Turkey is a European country. Turkey was clearly situated in the present enlargement process along with another twelve candidate countries with the addition of Malta. Turkey also became part of a similar accession partnership to those of the other candidate countries. This is a clear reflection of the willingness of the European Union to provide financial and technical support to prepare Turkey for membership, as it has done with the other candidate countries. 3.
3. Interpretation As a consequence, Turkey-EU relations can be summarized as before and after the Helsinki Summit. Since one of the most prominent goals of Turkish foreign policy is to become a civilized and modern country, to put it another way become a country which is on the standards of developed European countries in every aspect, Helsinki Summit is the corner stone of her achievement. On the other hand EU's enlargement policy after the Cold War was different till Bosnia-Kosovo conflict. After the inner war, and the unsuccessful attempts which tried to settle peace in the region by U.
N. , EU and NATO made it clear that Turkey is important not only for her market but also for security issues. IV. CONCLUSION This paper argued that Turkey's intention of being European and part of it is a permanent desire; on the other hand EU's attitude was not always clear. When the historical facts based on the agreements and acts are examined, the EU-Turkey relations could be divided into three parts; such as "preparation", "transition" and "final" periods. It was broadly accepted that Helsinki Summit paved the way for Turkey's full membership to the EU.
For this reason, Helsinki Summit is perceived as the corner stone of the EU-Turkey relations. As a result of the Helsinki Summit, EU clarified the position of Turkey which was ambiguous for years. Even though Turkey was still incompatible with European values, being a participant prompted the ongoing structural transformations. Therefore a number of developments were made in strengthening Turkey's democracy.
In the 1990 s, various "democracy packages" were adopted. Turkish public opinion on democratization supported the other transformations. Turkey had the opportunity to participate the meetings which are held among the member countries. Voice of Turkey is much clearer after the Helsinki Summit. Besides, Turkey boldly started its political reforms. Most of the decisions which were taken during the progress towards EU were considered as taboo before the Helsinki Summit.
As a result, Turkey becomes more flexible and easy-going by the support of other members of the EU. Bibliography Bac, Meltem. "The Never-Ending Story: Turkey and the European Union", Middle Easten Studies. 54 / 7. Bac, M. Meltem.
"The Never-Ending Story: Turkey and the European Union", Middle Easten Studies. 54 / 7. Baykal, S. And Arat T.
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