T-EULuxemb97

Turkey on its EU bid in Luxemburg (1997)    

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset , Queen's University Belfast (available online at http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/CentrefortheStudyofEthnicConflict/TeachingResearch/Datasets/Greek-TurkishNegotiationsandCrises1983-2003/#d.en.173636)

Case Summary:

Stability in the Eastern Mediterranean depends, to a certain extent, on Turkish accession to the European Union. G-EULux examines Greek crisis behavior over Turkish accession to the EU at the Luxemburg Summit in December 1997. At this summit, Greece spearheads a movement in the EU Luxemburg Council to exclude Turkey from the enlarged Union.[i] For the period 12/1/19971/1/1998, Lexis/Nexis provides 27 results for the terms “Luxemburg,” “crisis,” “Greece,” and “ Turkey ” (full text search under European News Sources). In response, witnessing the progress of Cyprus towards inclusion in the EU, Ankara hardens its position on Cyprus , moving from accepting federation to demanding confederation.[ii]

Case Study Features

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 0

The threat to annex Northern Cyprus cannot be considered an effective policy. For one thing, Turkish Cypriot reactions make this threat non-credible. For another, if Turkey follows this policy it will irreversibly destroy its accession bid.[iii]

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 1

By blocking Turkey’s accession, Greece defends its own strategic interests in Cyprus and the Aegean. However, the Turkish president sees this move as detrimental to regional peace [iv] and argues that Greece will pay a price for obscuring Turkey ’s EU membership bid.[v] This indistinguishability in the actions of the two sides is acknowledged by outsiders to the conflict. [vi]

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries : 1

There are enduring rivalries with Greece, resulting from crises in Cyprus, Thrace, and the Aegean, as well as the support that Turkey claims Greece and Cyprus have given PKK.

Domestic Challenges : 1

The new government in power, which “replaced” the Islamist Welfare Party in the government in June 1997, owes its presence to the support of the military. The Yilmaz government is facing a legitimacy crisis and little support in the parliament.

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 1

Turkey retaliates by freezing political dialogue with the European Union. [vii] It also threatens to integrate the Turkish-held northern third of Cyprus, if Cyprus is invited to talks with the Union.[viii]



[i] Ibid.

[ii] For statements in favor of federation, see “Radio Bayrak,” in Turkish 1530 gmt 16 Nov 83, “TRNC's Call for Recognition,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts , November 18, 1983; for hardening positions towards confederation, see Radio Bayrak, Nicosia, in Turkish 1030 gmt 2 Sep 98, “Turkish Cypriot Party Leader Criticizes Denktas’s Confederation Proposal,” BBC Worldwide Monitoring, September 3, 1998.

[iii] Philip H. Gordon, “ Turkey Overreacts, but the EU Is Not Blameless”, International Herald Tribune, December 20, 1997, p.6.

[iv] TRT TV, Ankara, in Turkish 0800 gmt 27 Dec 97, “Demirel says Greece ‘detrimental to regional peace’,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, December 30, 1997,

[v]Greece to pay for undermining Turkey : Turkish president”, Agence France Presse, December 27, 1997.

[vi] Philip H. Gordon, “ Turkey Overreacts, but the EU Is Not Blameless”, International Herald Tribune, December 20, 1997, p.6.

[vii] Martin Walker “ Turkey taken off the EU members' menu”, Manchester Guardian Weekly, December 21, 1997, p.6.

[viii]Greece, France, Germany unsettled as Turkey slams door to EU”, Agence France Presse, December 14, 1997.