SAM Papers No 19:
Possible Revamp in Turkey-EU Relations in the Post Covid-19 Era:
Opportunities and Challenges

Dr. Şuay Nilhan Açıkalın

Turkey-EU relations have been under de facto suspension for the last few years. 2020 played a transformative role in international relations, bringing huge unpredictability but at the same time presenting various opportunities in Turkey-EU relations. This SAM paper discusses the future of Turkey-EU relations in light of the positive dialogue initiated by both Turkey and the EU in terms of opportunities and challenges in the post-Covid-19 era. The key highlights of this paper are as follows: First, it will touch upon three opportunities and how they are likely to be reflected in Turkey-EU relations in the months ahead. These are, migration management and refugees as a common challenge, the effects of Covid-19 on global supply chains and the window of opportunity brought about by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU. Second, the paper will highlight three main challenges in Turkey-EU relations: the fragmented political atmosphere in the EU, the rise of Islamophobia in Europe and the maritime jurisdiction disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean. In conclusion, I will touch upon the opportunities and challenges facing Turkey-EU relations in the post-Covid-19 era and offer some recommendations regarding how to warm up the relations, especially on the societal level, which plays an undeniable role in the betterment of mutual relations.

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