Turkey: The Other in an oriental soap opera
Vít Beneš and Kristýna Tamchynová are the authors of the Czech country report which is part of a series on the future of EU-Turkey relations. "The Future of EU-Turkey Relations: Mapping Dynamics and Testing Scenarios" (FEUTURE) is a Horizon 2020 project coordinated by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wessels, the Director of the Centre for Turkey and European Union Studies at the University of Cologne.
"The Czech debate on EU-Turkey relations is primarily affected by the local and regional developments in the European Union and in the Middle East, rather than global developments. With regard to the European context, a connection can be observed between Czech Eurosceptic discourses, the fear of Islam in the wake of the migration crisis and the debate about EU-Turkey relations. As already mentioned, the war in Syria and the migration crisis highlighted the geostrategic relevance of Turkey for the European Union. Yet, the acknowledgement of Turkey’s importance did not lead to a more positive attitude towards Turkey and in fact the opposition to the prospective Turkish membership in the EU has increased..."
The EU 28 Country Reports were completed before the Turkish Constitutional Referendum on 16 April 2017. Thus, the reports do not take account of any potential changes in the national debate that might have occured in the meantime.