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Mosquée bleue (Sultanahmet Camii), Bosphore et côté asiatique, Istanbul, Turquie

Turkey today evolves very fast, due to the joint influence of external factors and internal dynamics that are sometimes difficult to grasp.

The beginning of negotiations to adhere to the European Union allowed the Turkish government to pursue a series of political reforms in order to conform to the criteria demanded by Copenhagen. After many years of severe structural adjustment the Turkish economy benefits from outstanding growth rates that confirm its status as a promising emerging market. Turkish civil society also seems to acquire and strengthen an autonomous voice in the debates to come.

However, there are many uncertainties that are here to stay. As this process of change is still unfinished, the permanent state of political crisis comes at the expense of economic stability. Institutional models and political culture are undergoing a phase of mutations whose outcomes are difficult to predict. Experiencing a rural exodus and new forms of social mobility, the Turkish population is aware of the important consequences these profound changes have on the social contract and national consensus. On a diplomatic level, Turkey is oscillating between the ardent European demands, exercises of power that may lead to a loss in sovereignty, and the other tempting alliances that could strengthen its status as a regional power that cannot be ignored.

Far from simplifying the Turkish mosaic, the intensification of its relations with the European Union seems to complicate it: new subject positions emerge that emphasize the need to create new tools of understanding. We must look at contemporary Turkish reality with a new eye in order to spot these new actors, factors of mobilization and lines of cleavage that weigh on Turkey’s choices.

Dorothée SCHMID

Senior Research Fellow, Head of Ifri’s Turkey and Middle East Program


Project Officer at the Sub-Saharan Africa Center and Turkey/Middle East Program


Associate Research Fellow, Turkey and Middle East Program


Associate Research Fellow, Turkey and Middle East Program

By: Dorothée SCHMID, David CIRILLO

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Wednesday 31 March 2010
from 09:45 to 18:00 - Conférences

As part of the "Turkey season in France (July 2009 - March 2010)", Ifri's Contemporary Turkey Program organises "French-Turkish Media Forum" in partnership with TESEV (Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation, Istanbul).

Wednesday 09 September 2009
from 08:30 to 10:00 - Seminars and Round-table Conferences

La Commission Indépendante sur la Turquie effectue une tournée des capitales européennes pour présenter son deuxième rapport : "La Turquie dans l'Europe : Briser le cercle vicieux". L'Ifri accueille les auteurs pour faire le point à Paris avec la participation de : Martti Ahtisaari<...>

Friday 29 May 2009
from 08:45 to 11:00 - Seminars and Round-table Conferences

Seminar about the impact of the economic crisis on Turkey and about policies of AKP government, with Deniz Unal, economist at CEPII, Kadri Gursel, journalist at Milliyet, Serap Atan, TUSIAD Representative in Paris and Yves ...

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