Entry Level

A Domestic Affirmation, Erdogan Election Victory Could Delay Turkey Joining E.U.

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Mr. Erdogan has already served three terms as prime minister and this election will strengthen his autocratic rule over the country. Germany is Turkey’s main trading partner and this election presents new opportunities and new risks.

  • Facts


    • Germany is Turkey’s main export market, worth around $13 billion.
    • Turkey is Germany’s fifth largest export market outside the European Union.
    • Mr. Erdogan pledged during the election to make Turkey the world’s 10th largest economy by 2023.
  • Audio


  • Pdf


Elections Turkey 2014
Supporters celebrate Recep Tayyip Erdogan's victory in Ankara, Turkey. Source: AP.
The election of the former prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as Turkish president on Sunday could delay the country’s entry into the European Union, some analysts said. Source: Reuters


Turkey’s path to membership of the European Union has effectively closed after the increasingly authoritarian prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan won the country’s first-ever presidential elections.

Officially, Erdogan maintains that he is still committed to E.U. membership and that Turkey’s accession program, which began in 2005, is still active, but his lack of tolerance of dissenting voices, combined with his moves to take control of Turkey’s judiciary and central banks, has alarmed E.U. countries.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she is skeptical whether Turkey will ever become a full member of the European Union and Turkey too, appears to have lost interest. Mr. Erdogan, for his part, barely mentioned European Union membership during his campaign, where he appealed mainly to conservative, rural voters.

Want to keep reading?

Subscribe now or log in to read our coverage of Europe’s leading economy.