The prospect of Turkey's EU membership as represented in the British newspapers The Times and The Guardian, 2002-2005

Aksoy S. Z.

JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES, vol.39, no.4, pp.469-506, 2009 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 39 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0047244109344801
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.469-506
  • Keywords: AKP, British press, EU constitution, EU enlargement, The Guardian/Observer, Islam, The Times/Sunday Times, Turkey, Turkey-Britain relations, Turkey-EU relations, CYPRUS, EUROPE
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


This article examines the prospect of Turkey's EU membership as presented in two influential British newspapers and their Sunday editions (The Guardian/Observer and The Times/Sunday Times) during the eventful period of 2002-5, when Turkey's expectations of setting a date for the start of accession talks overlapped with the establishment in Turkey of a single party government with roots in political Islam, the preparatory phase of the EU constitution, and the terrorist attacks on British targets in Istanbul. The particular aim is to find out how the enthusiastic support of the British government for Turkey's EU membership was reflected and evaluated in the press, and what particular arguments (pragmatic, moral and ethical-political) were put forward either for or against. A discourse analysis of the papers' regular columnists and news correspondents suggests that although The Guardian/Observer and The Times/Sunday Times do not hold radically different views on the issue, and are close to the British government's pro-Turkish stance, they differ in their degree of support for Turkey's EU membership and the rationale they deploy to support their respective positions.