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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Crunch Time in the EU-Turkey Relationship

In the past four weeks, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has moved closer to an executive presidency and Turkey’s rule-of-law architecture has moved farther away from EU standards. Simultaneously, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has voiced criticisms of Turkey’s policies, and Turkish leaders have responded with more threats to cancel the refugee deal Ankara sealed with the EU in March 2016. Because the Turkish president is going down the authoritarian road with new powers for himself and more restrictions on the rule of law, Turkey can no longer entertain the EU’s criteria, be they on visa liberalization or on accession.
The pretense behind the refugee deal may soon be over. How will the EU and Turkey do business with each other?

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