We have experienced a growing interest in how and why the European identity is constructed. The most tangible results of the efforts to produce some kind of common identity for all EU Member States are the symbols of European unity such as the flag, the anthem, the common currency, the .eu domain or the European passport. Most of the research evaluating the construction and impact of shared identity faces problems with the operationalisation of European identity. The paper examines the Turkish accession process and the ongoing debate on Turkish membership in the EU. It argues that the EU seeks to utilize the debate for strengthening the notion of European identity. The choice of Turkey was deliberate as it it is a controversial topic in many Member States and among them. Some consider Turkish membership as a test to European identity and/or an issue that can help to define/foster the content of European identity. As such, the question is problematic and consensus cannot be expected to appear any time soon, which makes it a topic where the EU has to show a sophisticated level of communication abilities. In turn, Turkey itself is undergoing significant changes in perceiving its new and changing identity in the post-Cold war era, where the relations with the European Union play a crucial role.
|Keywords:||European Identity, Turkish Accession, Constructivism, Discourse|
Assistant Professor, English lLanguage and Literature, Fatih University, Istanbul, Turkey
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