Turkey and the ‘Maghrebization’ of the European economic community: the 1978 suspension of the association agreement

Date
2021-02-09
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Source Title
Turkish Studies
Print ISSN
1468-3849
Electronic ISSN
1743-9663
Publisher
Routledge
Volume
23
Issue
1
Pages
101 - 118
Language
English
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Abstract

Many scholars blame Turkish politicians for the country's suspension of its Association Agreement with the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1978. Some have argued that rising Turkish anti-Westernism caused the agreement to fail; others maintain that Prime Minister Ecevit's protectionist government derailed it. Such perspectives overlook the role played by concrete economic issues. The ‘Maghrebization’ of the Association, agricultural affairs, and the situation of Turkish workers in Europe decreased the economic desirability of the Association for Turkey. EEC correspondence, which has not yet been used by other scholars, demonstrates that the EEC was cognizant of the worsening terms of the Association but decided not to revise the conditions despite repeated protests from Turkey. This article argues that the 1978 suspension of the EEC-Turkey Association Agreement was not the result of the initiative of a purportedly anti-Western or erratic Ecevit government. Instead, the article highlights the declining economic benefits of the Association for Turkey.

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