What is driving the European debate about Turkey?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This article explores the cultural politics of European opposition to Turkish accession to the EU. It argues that the foundations of secularism-the powerful a prioris that structure the debate in Europe regarding religion and politics-make it difficult for Europeans to cope with what is often described as an "Islamic challenge" to Europe, both internally and externally. Turkish candidacy makes these stumbling blocks explicit, as Turkey has become the symbolic carrier of domestic European angst about religion, particularly Islam, and politics. Turkish candidacy highlights unfinished business in the social fabric of the core EU members, including what it means to be secular and how religion, including but not limited to Islam, relates to European identity. These sticking points are what the debate over Turkish membership is really about, and it is for this reason that it is culturally-in addition to economically and politically-so contentious.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-203
Number of pages19
JournalInsight Turkey
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 19 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'What is driving the European debate about Turkey?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this