Throughout the last fifty years, Turkish-EU relations have fluctuated between positive to completely suspended, though one factor has remained consistent: the European Union’s hesitation to grant Turkey full membership. While some EU member countries justify barring Turkey from their ranks for a multitude of institutional, economic, and security reasons, similar issues have been overlooked in the past when accepting the membership bids of countries such as Spain, Greece, Romania, and Bulgaria. Why has Turkey in particular faced such sustained opposition from EU citizens? Is this opposition based on misinformed perceptions or an actual “clash” of cultures between the EU and Turkey? This project comparatively analyzes European public opinion and the “actual” cultural differences between Turkey and the EU, as measured by data from European Values Surveys, to conclude that EU citizens’ skepticism of Turkish accession is perhaps not very misplaced after all.



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