Research event

European responses to the decay of the rule of law and human rights protections in Turkey: Exceptional or symptomatic?

Chaired by Başak Çalı, Hertie School and Esra Demir-Gürsel, Freie Universität Berlin. The workshop is hosted at the Freie Universität Berlin with the support of the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, in collaboration with the Hertie School.

The decay in the rule of law and human rights in Turkey represents a critical case-study to analyse how Europe and its institutions respond to such crises. Turkey is well-known for its long involvement with Europe as a long-term CoE member and as a candidate for membership to the EU. Both the CoE and the EU have thus closely monitored each development that has led to the current situation in the country.

Yet, responses of the European institutions to Turkey's move away from European constitutional ideals have remained not only feeble but also inconsistent and complicated. While some European institutions, such as the Venice Commission or the CoE High Commissioner for Human Rights, have strongly criticised developments, others, such as the Secretary General of the CoE or the European Court of Human Rights, have remained timid, cautious, slow and diplomatic. In the meantime, the relationships and partnerships between Europe and Turkey seem to remain intact in many areas - including the much criticized "refugee deal." Turkey thus continues to be a strategic partner of Europe, most notably in the governance of migration, security, and shared economic interests. It is however not clear whether such feebleness and inconsistency in European responses to the decay in the rule of law and human rights protections are unique to Turkey or rather symptomatic of (new forms of) inter-governmentalism vis-à-vis the rise of populism and authoritarianism in Europe.
The aim of this workshop is to analyse the responses to the decay of the rule of law and human rights protections, in particular, by different organs of European intergovernmental institutions. The workshop covers both focus on European responses to Turkey as a single case study as well as comparative analysis of the European institutional responses to the decay of the rule of law and human rights protections.


Limited slots available, please contact: Esra Demir-Gürsel, Freie Universität Berlin