September 30, 2011
The 1964 Association Agreement between the “European Economic Community” (EEC) and Turkey provided for the establishment of far-reaching economic cooperation, from a customs union to free movement of labour; in the preamble it also contained a reference to possible membership of what was at that time a union of modest ambitions and achievements.
The almost 40 years that have passed since were marked less by mutual confidence than by frictions and mutual recriminations. The EU has blamed Turkey for repeated violations of basic human rights and lack of democracy, while Turkey has been frustrated with the delays of time tables concerning the customs union and free movement of labour.
Since 1974, the Turkish military occupation of northern Cyprus and recurrent tensions between Turkey and Greece have constantly thrown shadows on EU-Turkey relations, especially since Greek EU-membership in 1981.
No surprise […]