An Essential Companion
Edited by Kolja Raube, Meltem Müftüler-Baç and Jan Wouters
Chapter 15: The Turkish–EU cooperation on the refugee crisis: the Turkish perceptions in the parliamentary debates
Turkey faces the many challenges of managing the intake of an unprecedented number of refugees, and feels the ramifications of the Syrian crisis the most. As the human tragedy of refugees fleeing their war-torn country unfolded, the need for viable cooperation between Turkey as a candidate country and the EU has proven to be vital in overcoming a common challenge, resulting in the reutilization of the Readmission Agreement and a congruent Joint Action Plan. Hence, this chapter undertakes an investigation of how this partnership was framed in the Turkish political scene in the nexus of the oscillating path of Turkey’s accession process and the gravest humanitarian crisis of our times. In this context, parliamentary representation presents itself as an inclusive site wherein a plethora of political viewpoints find expression in deliberating key policies. The analysis suggests that there has been a general tendency of skepticism towards the EU in the Turkish political discourse, and a concomitant expectation of a more committed involvement in the refugee issue, which is increasingly framed in a security narrative.
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