“Us versus Them, Over and Over Again…?” National Identity Contestation in Turkey’s EU Stalemate, Spring 2013
This article argues that a central reason for Turkey’s EU stalemate can be located in domestic debates over what constitutes an appropriate definition of Turkish national identity. Three oft-cited understandings of Turkish identity –Pan-Turkism, Kemalism, and Islamist Ottoman-nationalism– all have components that are incompatible with EU accession criteria. This article demonstrates how each understanding of “Turkishness” has obstructed Turkey’s EU membership bid for in its own way. Underlining that identities have an inherent capacity for change, however, the article argues that Turkey’s seemingly ossified “Us v. Them” relations at both the domestic and international levels contain the potential for reconciliation.