History of Turkey and European Union

European union (EU) is the successor of the European Economic Community (EEC) for whose associate membership Ankara applied in 1959. In September 1963, the Ankara agreement was signed to include Turkey to customs union and then to full EEC membership. In the same year the first financial protocol was signed, followed by the additional protocol and the second financial protocol in November 1970.

In 1974 Turkey invaded Cyprus. The military coup d'etat that took place on 12th September 1980 led to a turmoil in the relationship between Turkey and the community. After a long gap of 6 years, the Turkey-EEC association council meeting revived the association process and just after one year the country applied for full EEC membership. In 1989, the commission endorsed Turkey's eligibility as a member and the agreement came into force on January 1st 1996.

However, in 1997 the candidate status to Turkey was declined which was reversed in the EU Helsinki council in December 1999. In the year 2001 the EU council of ministers adopted the EU Turkey Accession partnership whereas the Turkish Government and parliament accommodated over 30 amendments to meet the Copenhagen political criteria for EU membership.

In 2002 also, the Turkish parliament made reforms to meet the EU's human rights criteria. In the same year the Copenhagen European council (EC) decided that if Turkey could fulfill the criteria then in 2004 the EU would open accession negotiations with Turkey. Meanwhile, the EU leaders decided to extend their cooperation on the EC -Turkey customs union to provide the enhanced pre-accession financial assistance.

Between May 2003 and May 2005, the EU council of ministers ended monitoring of Turkey and decided to open accession negotiations, with strings attached. On 29th June 2005, a rigorous negotiating framework was presented by the commission. Turkey, on its part, banned the death penalty, revised its penal code and named Ali Babacan as the country's chief accession negotiator, thus helping the cause. On 3rd October 2005, the final document was placed by the EU-25's foreign ministers and the terms dictated in it was instantly accepted by turkey.