(5.7.2023) Continuity or Change? The Next Chapter of EU-Turkey Relations

EU-Turkey Relations

Date: July 5th

Time: 17.30-20.00

Place: FNF Europe Office, Avenue de Cortenbergh 71, 1000 Brussels



17:30 Registration and Refreshments

18:00 Opening Remarks by Sahra Lissek, European Affairs Manager, FNF Europe

18:05 Panel Discussion

Beate Apelt, Head of Office, FNF Turkey

Demir Murat Seyrek, Adjunct Professor at the Brussels School of Governance and Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Moderator: Sahra Lissek, European Affairs Manager, FNF Europe

19:00 Networking Reception


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About the Event

2023 is a key year for Turkey. The country is not only celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic, but voters have chosen a new President and a new Parliament. In the second round of the presidential election, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was re-elected as the President of Turkey for another five-year term. Erdoğan won the presidential mandate despite the economic crisis of recent years and the earthquake in February, while the party alliance behind him won a parliamentary majority.

Although after 1923, Turkey forged close economic and military ties with the Western countries as part of its vision of becoming a modern, secular nation, under the 20 years rule of Erdoğan and the AK Party, the NATO member country has launched military interventions in Libya and Syria, presses territorial claims in the Mediterranean, courts China and Russia, and continues to veto Sweden's bid for NATO membership. As a result, Turkey is widely seen as a difficult partner within NATO. Not least, following the attempted coup d’état in 2016, increasing autocratisation can be observed within the country. These domestic political developments eventually resulted in freezing Ankara's accession talks with the European Union (EU) in 2018.

The recent election of Erdoğan, therefore, sparks several questions regarding Turkey's foreign policy and Erdoğan's probably last presidential term. In our upcoming event, we aim to address the most pressing questions and delve into Turkey's evolving political landscape and its implications for EU-Turkey relations. We will also discuss Turkey's role in a broader regional context, including its relationships with neighbouring countries and the Middle East, while assessing its impact on EU-Turkey relations.

About the Speakers

Beate Apelt, Head of Office, FNF Turkey

Beate Apelt is the Head of Office at Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Turkey. Graduated from Free University Berlin in Eastern European Studies and Political Science, she worked at FU Berlin as a Research Fellow before she joined FNF in 2013. In the Foundation’s Head Office, she was the Desk Officer for Eastern Europe and later the Head of Department for Eastern Europe and MENA. From 2017 to 2021, she managed the FNF Ukraine and Belarus Office in Kyiv.

Demir Murat Seyrek, Adjunct Professor at the Brussels School of Governance and Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Demir Murat Seyrek is an Adjunct Professor at the Brussels School of Governance and Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Senior Policy Advisor at the European Foundation for Democracy. He holds a PhD in Social Sciences and an MA in European Studies from KU Leuven. His work focuses on the promotion of democracy and fundamental rights and freedoms and the prevention of radicalisation. Murat is currently leading different projects on radicalisation, disinformation, transatlantic cooperation and EU foreign policy. He is also supervising and contributing to several activities under the RAN (Radicalisation Awareness Network) Policy Support of the European Commission.


If you have any questions about this event, please contact Greta Kiss by email at