Turkey after the start of negotiations with the European Union - foreign relations and the domestic situation. PART I
The start of accession negotiations between Ankara and the EU is vital for the future of both Turkey and the Union, including Poland as its member state, as well as for the geopolitical situation in Eurasia (the Black Sea region, Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle East). Appreciating the significance of these issues, the Centre for Eastern Studies in early 2005 decided to launch a project entitled "Turkey after the start of negotiations with the European Union - foreign relations and the domestic situation". The goal of this project is to present, within the context of accession negotiations, Turkey's greatest internal challenges as well as Ankara's relations with its neighbour regions, the EU and the USA. This Report is the first of three which will be published as part of the project. The Report includes texts on Turkish-US relations since 2003, major political and social challenges on Turkey's path towards the EU and the current condition of the Turkish economy. The Report was developed between July 2005 and November 2006, over which time CES workers and associates searched for publicly available materials in Poland, Turkey and EU countries, and went on three research trips to Turkey, where they met local researchers, analysts, politicians and officials. The authors of the Report would like to express their gratitude to everyone who have shared their opinions with them, and to the Polish Embassy in Ankara, especially to Ambassador Grzegorz Michalski and Minister Andrzej Ananicz for their expert support and assistance in the authors' work on this Report. This Report does not present the official stance of the Polish government on the issues discussed therein; instead it reflects the personal views of its authors, who have made their best efforts to ensure that their work is reliable.