Turkey's role in NATO-European Union cooperation
Arkali, Saltuk Bugra
Yost, David S.
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This thesis analyzes the significant role of Turkey in cooperation between NATO and the European Union (EU). It first examines Turkish-EU relations in the period 1991-1999, when the EU relied on the Western European Union (WEU) as its instrument for security and defense matters. The years 1995-1999 were especially fruitful, because Turkey was an associate member of the WEU and participated fully in the relevant EU decision-making. After the emergence of the EU's European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) in 1998-1999, most WEU institutions were transferred to the EU, and Turkey's status in the WEU became irrelevant. The EU sought ready access to NATO assets and capabilities for EU-led ESDP operations. However, Turkey as a NATO member opposed granting this access in order to protect its national security interests until agreement could be reached on the "Berlin Plus" arrangements. Turkey has also upheld the NATO-EU agreement on information security. That is, classified NATO information cannot be shared with states that are not members of NATO's Partnership for Peace and that have not concluded security agreements with NATO in that framework, such as Cyprus and Malta. Turkey's principled policies have thus significantly affected cooperation between the EU and NATO.
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