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Identity & Culture Drivers

This Work Package identified historical and present drivers of EU-Turkey relations from an identity and culture perspective. Taking into account the long-term view necessary for understanding identity constructions and cultural contexts, the WP adopted an encompassing approach and started its analysis in the late Ottoman modernisation period. 

As a historical driver, it understands significant historical milestones that have influenced the EU-Turkey relationship and have shaped the mutual identity perceptions and representations. The analysis of present drivers focused on national and supranational debates in Turkey and the EU, and on developments in Turkey-EU relations, with specific emphasis on the rise of nationalism and debates around secularism. 

Overall, the WP focused on Turkey’s and Europe’s perceptions of each other in identity and cultural terms, which play a pivotal role in shaping the relationship. By identifying historical and contemporary patterns in the evolution of mutual identity perceptions, this work package assessed the likelihood of the three ideal type scenarios – conflict, cooperation, and convergence – materialising in the near future of EU-Turkey relations.

Two main questions were addressed: 

(1) What identity and culture drivers are relevant and what constellations of them exist?

(2) What are the most prominent drivers both within each focal issue and across them?

The weighing and ranking of the identified drivers, conducted in a last step, substantiated the proposed scenarios from an identity/culture perspective.


Turkey in European Identity Politics: Key Drivers and Future Scenarios by Jakob Lindgaard, Ayça Uyğur Wessel, Cecilie Felicia Stokholm Banke (April 2018)

Turkish and European Identity Constructions in the 1946-1999 Period by Senem Aydın-Düzgit, Johanna Chovanec, Seçkin Barış Gülmez, Bahar Rumelili, Alp Eren Topal (March 2018)

Identity Representations of Turkey and Europe in Global and Regional Media by Justine Louis, Shaimaa Magued, Nino Mzhavanadze (March 2018)

Turkish and European Identity Constructions in the 1815-1945 Period by Senem Aydin-Düzgit, Johanna Chovanec, Seckin Baris Gülmez, Bahar Rumelili, Alp Eren Topal (July 2017)


Researchers involved:

Koc University

Bahar Rumelili (WP leader), Seckin Baris Gülmez, Alp Eren Topal

Sabanci University

Senem Aydin-Düzgit, Johanna Chovanec

American University Cairo

Justine Louis, Shaimaa Magued

Caucasus Research Resource Centre Georgia

Dinara Urazova, Nino Mzhavanadze

Danish Institute for International Studies

Jakob Lindgaard

University of Cologne

Wolfgang Wessels, Hanna-Lisa Hauge