More than three years after the Kosovo declaration of independence, the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo is still hardly moving out of the deadlock. The principles are tightly controlled on both sides, leading them to a no-win situation that neither Kosovo and Serbia, nor the principal mediator – the European Union – are satisfied with. We may then wonder to what extent nationalism is playing a role in today’s bilateral relations and whether it still retains the same features as earlier.
On 17 February 2008, the Assembly of Kosovo adopted a declaration of independence. Since then the country has been trying to gain international recognition and to becomea sovereign state in its own right. More than three years after this process, Bilge Yabanci answers our questions about Kosovo’s evolutions.
Everyone had seen it coming, but when it finally happened it was nonetheless shocking. Last year’s political crisis on a possible referendum in Bosnia and Herzegovina was yet another painful sign of the ongoing political stagnation of the country. The EU’s standard rulebook for the Balkan countries matches uneasily with the peculiar political situation of Bosnia. Not only should the EU step up its efforts, but it should also increase its legitimacy in the country.
The memory of the Armenian Genocide occupies a special place in Turkish history. What questions are raised by the feeling of guilt that can surrounds this episode ?
Prof. Ayhan Kaya, Director of European Institute of Istanbul Bilgi University speaks about the importance of researching European memory. He underlined that what is concealed in memory is very much linked to the present time with reference to the transformative effect of the European Union on Turkey.
Some EU officials argue that the result of enlargement may not be as important as the process. Indeed, acceeding to the EU implies a significant metamorphosis from the applicants: to comply with the Helsinki criteria (state of law, resistant free-economy, respect of human rights, respect of the acquis communautaire, etc), to get “europeanized”, adaptation is the only way possible. What shape does this transformation take, especially in Turkey ?
Endless controversies are revived every now and then by PM Erdoğan’s declarations, Cyprus topical events or AKP’s unambiguous victory in June exhaust the question of whether or not Turkey should become a member of the EU. Going beyond this question and taking a step back, pondering on Turkey’s share in European memory provides some elements of answers as regards to Turkey’s past and present place in Europe’s, and proves enlightening for future debates about Europe itself.
In recent times, Euroscepticism has become a quite common attitude in member states. Some sensitives European issues like enlargement to Turkey still reflect it. But what about Euroscepticism from the other side – among Turkish people ?
Armin Theophil Wegner (1886 –1978) was a German soldier and medic in World War who came to be a witness of the Armenian genocide, taking numbers of photographs in the Armenian deportation camps. Ayşegül Şah Bozdoğan, a philosopher of Istanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi, tells his story and reflects upon it.
When the membership process of Turkey to the European Union is mentioned, one of the first questions that come to mind is concerns Turkey's place in the history of Europe. If we try to answer the question from the perspective of Turkish immigrants in Europe, it may be asked whether Turkish immigrants have contributed to the European Memory or not, and if so, to what extent.