Turkey-EU relations have been discussed for decades both in Turkey and in the international arena. Cultural differences between the EU and Turkey are at the core of the opposition claims and those groups and countries strive to bring about discussion of Turkey’s “European” identity. These opposition groups make reference to and try to define a specific European identity.
The culture and identity- based groups opposing Turkey’s membership of the EU strive to define a specific European identity from the perspective of what they perceive as the common history and culture of European countries and from a western point of view. This approach fuses the concept of the European identity with that of what constitutes ‘Western societies’. But it should be noted that the influence of non-Western factors in Europe has been increasing as a result of increasing globalization and migration and Europe, when examined from this perspective, holds not only Western factors and values but also non-Western factors and values.
Turkey – EU relations should be taken in consideration attaching special regard to the cosmopolitan structure of Europe and cultural barriers should be reexamined and redefined through a critical approach taking into account new cultural transformations which will provide a new dimension to Turkey’s EU membership process.