Volume 8, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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This article examines the impact of national borders on public discourses, based on a case study of the struggle surrounding Turkey’s application to join the European Union (EU). Comparing opinions, reasons and interpretation patterns in quality press commentaries about enlarging the EU beyond the Bosphorus, the article confirms the importance and robustness of national cleavages between the German and the French public spheres on the one hand and the British public sphere on the other. Whereas Turkish membership was predominantly rejected on the continent, the British commentators strongly and almost unanimously supported Ankara’s request. These similarities and divergences, I argue, are first and foremost the result of competing visions of Europe’s finality, especially regarding various constitutional ideas and cultural principles. Against this background, the Turkey question was partly exploited as an instrument to advance or to suppress different concepts on the future of European integration.


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