Processing Democracy: Turkey and the Kurds – by Geoffrey Gresh

The European Union’s (EU) final decision to permit Turkey’s accession talks in October 2005 ushered in a new period of hope, prosperity, and democracy for Turkey’s diverse multiethnic population. Since 1999 when Turkey was finally approved as an applicant country to the EU after several decades of waiting, it has embarked on an ambitious program to harmonize its policies and institutions with those of the Acquis Communautaire and the Copenhagen Criteria necessary for full EU membership. Turkish society and its Kurdish minority, approximately 20 percent out of 70 million in Turkey, must overcome troubled relations of the twentieth century before Turkey can be fully accepted into the EU.

Geoffrey Gresh, Fletcher MALD 2007, is Editor‐in‐Chief of al Nakhlah. He is also a former Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to Turkey and Presidential Fellow at the American University in Cairo. Currently, he is a second‐year student concentrating on international security studies and Southwest Asia andIslamicCivilization.

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