European energy policy and Turkey's energy role : will the accession process be affected?
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Increasing concerns for energy security urge the European Union countries to develop common energy policies. In this respect, diversification of energy suppliers and transit routes emerges as the most feasible policy for the EU to address the problems arising out of its energy dependency. At this point, Turkey’s strategic geographical position offers an energy bridge which has the potential of linking the EU with diversified suppliers. This thesis, examines European efforts to create a common energy policy and Turkey’s role in European energy security strategies. Based on the views that Turkey’s energy bridge position will accelerate the accession process and will bring full membership, this study questions whether energy can really be a factor for Turkey’s membership. Taking into consideration the impact of the absorption capacity and negative European public support on the long candidacy of Turkey, in addition to the examination of relevant literature, the answer to this question is investigated through the analysis of European public opinion. Relying on official Turkish and EU documents, official statistics and annual Eurobarometer surveys, contrary to the expectations, the analysis reaches to the conclusion that for full membership, Turkey’s energy role for Europe is an important yet insufficient factor on its own.