Turkey and the West: Bargaining for Realignment

Ozer-Imer I., Kugler J., Root H. L.

JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN STUDIES, vol.21, no.2, pp.218-251, 2013 (ESCI) identifier identifier


As the only Muslim majority secular country in its region with a pro-western democracy, Turkey is pivotal to western interests in the Middle East. However, Turkey's European Union accession negotiations are currently at a deadlock, and disparity between Turkey and the West is increasing on many critical issues. Despite its liberal market orientation, a more socially conservative Turkey is causing apprehension to its western partners. Turkey has started to drift eastward, while the West seeks to consolidate ties and establish common values. This paper offers an agent-based game theoretic model to assess the policy trade-offs that might align Turkey's interests more closely with those of its potential western partners and to determine where the impetus will come from to revive the enthusiasm of both Turkey and the EU for further integration.