Turkey-EU relations are affected by Russia’s war on Ukraine and its consequences for the EU’s place in the world.

Another major factor is Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections held in May, which are defining the prospects for the country’s democratic future and its foreign policy.

The second round of the presidential election took place on 28 May. The re-election of President Erdoğan indicates that the unilateral foreign policy and strained relationship with the West is likely to continue, although there is a chance of a short-term burst of cooperation due to Turkey’s economic troubles.        

There are increasingly divergent views about Turkey in the West, and the EU’s future relationship with Turkey needs to accommodate these different conceptualizations of the country as a state actor.

The EU needs to be flexible in the coming months and to find ways to engage with Turkey in a more fruitful manner, irrespective of the election results.

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