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The Europeanization of Sub-National Entities in Turkey: Towards the Multi Level Polity?

Ali Ozcelik

Since being granted an official candidate status at the Helsinki Summit of 1999, territorial governance in Turkey has seemed to shift towards a more regionalized model in which the horizontal and vertical dimensions of regional governance in Turkey has changed. Within this context, the behaviour and mobilization of sub-national entities (SNEs) in the political process has become a significant issue in Turkey. Many studies illustrates that the impact of Europeanization on the creation of multi-level governance, promoting the sub-national mobilization and territorial representation in new members and applicant states, are one of the biggest impetuses. Also, the activities of subnational level in the EU and sub-national relations with the supranational institutions have generally discussed under the multi-level governance approach. Scholars also argue that MLG is at work in many countries not because they appreciate to do so but it is because of the top-down effect of Europeanization. In the broader context of the role of regions in the European governance structure, this paper analyzes the euro-engagement of Turkish SNEs. As a main question, the paper investigates to what extent Europeanization has changed the behaviour of Turkish SNEs and mobilized regional interests within a broader political game across Europe. Based on the findings from the cross-sectional surveys over 107 SNEs in Turkey, the research employs the MLG approach and incorporates with the Europeanization literature to explore the awareness and the attitude of sub-national level administration in Turkey towards the issue of sub-national mobilization by providing a snapshot analysis for the euro-engagement of Turkish SNEs. This paper finds that SNEs in Turkey only engage with two of the fifth channels and their participation is relatively lower than those other SNEs from the fifth enlargement round.

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