The discreet charm of hypocrisy: An EU-Turkey Power Audit

Vladimír Bartovic has contributed with a chapter on the relations of Czech Republic with Turkey within this ECFR publication aimed to analyse at the relationship of the EU and Erdogan's Turkey.

Since Turkey shows no immediate desire to restore the rule of law or a reform process, for the time being EU member states can, at best, strive to engage in transactional bilateral relations with Turkey, as an effective partnership with the country is critical to their interests. 

The Czech Republic regards Turkey as a partner, albeit a difficult one. In recent years, there has been a substantial decline in support for Turkey among Czech citizens, partly due to growing Islamophobia. Although Prague’s official position on Turkey has not changed in this period, its view of the country is becoming more negative due to the perceived increase in Ankara’s authoritarianism. 

The Czech-Turkish bilateral agenda centres on, inter alia, pressure from the Turkish government to extradite, or otherwise limit the activities of, supporters of US-based cleric Fethullah Gülen. This pressure has created economic losses for the Czech Republic. 

According to a poll conducted in December 2016, only 2 percent of Czech citizens trust President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan – the lowest score for any foreign political leader. The same poll shows that most Czech citizens do not recognise him, indicating Turkey’s lack of influence on, and involvement in, Czech domestic politics. 

The whole publication is available through the PDF button on the right side of this site.

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