Dissertation Abstracts


Author: Nanov, Plamen Y., plamen_nanov@abv.bg
Department: Department of Applied and Institutional Sociology
University: University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Supervisor: Ivo Hristov, PhD Associate Professor of Sociology
Year of completion: In progress
Language of dissertation: Bulgarian

Keywords: Turkey , European union , Enlargement , Geopolitics
Areas of Research: Law , Political Sociology


The European Union in its nature is a complex supranational organization. As such it has the aspiration to be one of the leading actors on the international political scene. With its policy of expansion the barriers between large and small countries, between Eastern and Western democracies are removed. The question that remains unsolved today is whether the civilization barrier shall be lifted as well, whether it will allow to turn the prospects of Turkey’s membership into a pending “clash of civilizations”. The EU wants to see Turkey simultaneously as a secular, modern and democratic country. The course of modernization that has been undertaken since decades in the internal political aspect in Turkey is still in a process of open finish line, while in United Europe the apex of this process has been achieved a long time ago. That is, here we have two parties in different stages of their modernization development, which is the main hypothesis of this study. The fast growing economy from the last decade, the strongly expressed demographic boom and the relatively stable political elite seemingly are among the main weapons of the Islamic core that has gained dominance. They are in the core of its geopolitical ambitions and the new role envisaged by the governing elite. In the same time, in a multifaceted state, which Turkey is, the factors that could cause destabilization (including such induced from the outside) are present: the more and more deepening gap between the Kemalist and Islamic elites, the unsolved problem with the Kurds, the unstable geopolitical region, the marginalization of its military and strong foreign trade relations. On its part, the EU is not that strong, united and prosperous alloy for which its founders have dreamt of. The reasons and factors affecting its imperfect state are many and diverse – from purely economic to conceptual and political and demographic. The only basis which until recently looked stable and resistant was the common Christian identity of the member states. With the policy of multiculturalism however this foundation also is jeopardized. Definitely Turkey and the EU are in two completely different levels of its development, different civilization code and vision for its own future, and whether Turkey will be accessed to the EU one day, is above all a geopolitical issue, rather than anything else.

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