Presentation in Istanbul on the German and Austrian debates on Turkey and the EU

4 October 2006

On the occasion of Angela Merkel's visit to Turkey and recent parliamentary elections in Austria, the Open Society Institute (OSI) organized a briefing night in Istanbul on 4 October 2006. About 25 representatives from Turkish TV stations, newspapers and magazines, think tanks, and universities discussed the findings of ongoing ESI research on the debates on Turkey and the EU in Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands.

What is Turkey's role in the domestic debates on Islam in Austria and Germany? What is the outlook of the Islam Conference in Germany, which was initiated and recently launched by Wolfgang Schäuble, minister of the  interior? To what extent might the outcome of Austrian elections – a surprise victory for the social democrats – change the Austrian approach to Turkey?

ESI president Gerald Knaus's presentation led to a lively and extensive debate among the Turkish thinkers and the researchers of ESI. Please find below the two papers that ESI presented at the discussion in both English and Turkish.