Enacting European citizenship beyond the EU: Turkish citizens and their European political practices
Rumelili, Bahar and Keyman, Fuat (2013) Enacting European citizenship beyond the EU: Turkish citizens and their European political practices. In: Işın, Engin F. and Saward, Michael, (eds.) Enacting European Citizenship. Cambridge University Press, New York, pp. 66-83. ISBN 9781107033962 (Print) 9781139524025 (Online)
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139524025.005
By conceiving of Europe as a broad juridico-political space and order that extends beyond the European Union (EU), this chapter sets out to comparatively analyse the ways in which four citizen groups in Turkey, namely Kurds, non-Muslims, youth and women, enact European citizenship. Although these groups are neither citizens nor residents of EU member states, and hence not in possession of EU citizenship as a legal status, they routinely engage in acts of European citizenship as they demand the extension and full implementation of their citizenship rights in Turkey. Their acts of European citizenship include petitioning the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR); contacting EU officials and politicians; mobilising campaigns that target EU institutions and the European public writ large; invocation of European norms as shared principles; and the attribution of political and moral responsibility to European institutions. The fact that Turkish citizens can, and routinely do, engage in acts of European citizenship attests to Europe being an ultimately open and dynamic assemblage, constituted by both those who are deemed to be ‘in and of’ its historically specific incarnation and those who are left out and excluded. The chapter begins by providing a detailed account of a number of episodes where different groups in Turkey have engaged in multi-layered citizenship acts which embody a European citizenship dimension in addition to the national and, possibly, the sub-national. The following sections of the chapter build on these rich empirical accounts derived from in-depth interviews with activists and analysis of published accounts and news articles. Firstly, we outline the ways in which European-level political activism by Turkish citizens redefines and extends the scope of European citizenship beyond the formal institutions of the EU into associated institutions in the broader European order and into informal networks. Secondly, we analyse the meanings that Turkish citizens ascribe to their European-level political practices, and contend that they are embedded in a broader discourse on Europe as a shared identity and normative order.
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