Turkish civil society organizations (CSOs) in the EU accession process
Baykal, Emine Derya (2007) Turkish civil society organizations (CSOs) in the EU accession process. [Thesis]
Civil Society has been receiving great attention in the world literature in recent decades. Similarly, the academia and the media have shown interest in Civil Society in Turkey and its actors, “Civil Society Organizations (CSOs),” especially with the rising impact of the EU accession process. The transformation of civil society and its organizations in Turkey has not been enabled solely through the impact of the EU. Nevertheless, it would not be incorrect to say that the EU is the strongest variable influencing both this transformation and the rise of several other active and efficacious actors. Specifically after the Helsinki Summit 1999, which gave Turkey candidacy status, governments have been eager to conform to EU demands. Accordingly, legislative reform packages involving amendments concerning civil society, e.g., the New Associations Law and the New Civil Code have emerged. There is no EU acquis communautaire in civil society area but rather member states have the full competence to organize their related legislation. Additionally, in the EU level, there is unbinding legislation pertaining to and intensive interactions with the CSOs. The EU helps with funding and getting CSOs involved in the decision-making processes, as well. Turkish CSOs benefit from EU funds, receive support and exercise bilateral relations, even at not the level desired, with many EU institutions. Yet, it should be born in mind that the transformation of civil society is not only political or economic, but also cultural and social. Thus, it takes time for it to be internalized by the public, which actually comes to constitute civil society itself.
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