Impact of the Syrian Refugee Crisis on Turkey-EU Relations

Sefa ÇETİN

Abstract


Abstract

With regards to the recent developments, the question of “What is the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on Turkey-EU relations?” will be discussed with the argument that while refugee issue has brought the EU and Turkey closer, the crisis should not be the part of the unstable negotiation process anymore, since many of precious refugee lives are put in danger for the sake of national interests and daily politics.

Turkey began to regulate and reform its laws in accordance with the European Union laws as a process of alignment and harmonization. Under the National Action Plan for Adoption of Acquis on Asylum and Migration, with regards to the migration and asylum policies, required steps and timetable were introduced in line with the EU laws and regulations. Readmission Agreement (2013), Joint Action Plan (2015) and the EU-Turkey Deal Statement (2016) were came into force by the contributions and efforts of Turkey and the EU. With these steps, Turkey-EU relations was renewed in a more cooperative approach promising partnership and cooperation objectives, after a period of ups and downs within the long lasting history of accession process.

Fulfilling the obligations and keeping the promises is very important for both sides because it can pave the way for the improvement of the relations. From the Turkish side, the increasing instability in the region and Turkey’s isolation from the EU have led the Turkish public to think pessimistic about the relations with the EU.

In the study, the issue of how the refugee crisis contributed to the relations will be analysed together with the responses of both sides to the crisis. Considering the scope and effectiveness of the crisis, an evaluation of the challenges for both sides will be provided. Depending on the recent situation and challenges, an analysis about the future of the relations and recommendations will be discussed.

 

Keywords: Refugee crisis, Turkey-EU Relations, migration

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