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Turkey's Way to "Fortress Europe": Two Sides, Two Challenges

Ahmet Cemal Erturk

Since the evolution of the Justice and Home Affairs and rise of new security threats such as terrorism, European Union slowly became marginalized and formed a very contrasting system to control the illegal immigration which is so strict, composed of very hard measures and clearly controversial to the civilian, in other words "soft" principles of the Union pillars. In the current literature, this evolution of the Union is called as the "Fortress Europe".On the other hand, there is Turkey, an increasingly well economic actor and a long lasting partner, candidate for the European Union. What is significant for Turkey in the area of migration security is that given the latest events in the Middle East and Turkey's geographical location, Turkey tends to be a "safe haven" for illegal migrants mainly coming from the vast areas of Middle and Far East which European Union tries to hold. Moreover, given the latest events and discourse of Turkish politicians, Turkish immigration policy will probably continue to open the gates for these migrants for various reasons. However, Turkey still has a mountain to climb to promote its candidacy status to become a member state of the EU and also has to ensure that Union acquis over Justice and Home Affairs is very well transmitted to the country rules. So, the question is then: Is Turkey a real candidate for the "Fortress Europe" given the above circumstances?Related to the first question, for a long time, Turkey plays a role of being a kind of "buffer zone" for the EU to prevent a significant amount of illegal immigrants to travel directly from Middle/Far East to the EU. The second question: Have the EU enough capacity to give up on this "Turkish buffer zone" and include Turkey into the "Fortress Europe"?



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