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Abstract

This article assesses the recent developments in the Turkish democratic reform processes, particularly those affecting the Kurdish minority, induced by Turkey's ambition to accede to the European Union (EU). The analysis is rooted in the Europeanization literature, specifically the external incentives model. In addition to providing a systematic review of recent political developments in this area, the analysis leads us to question some of the model's basic premises. Most notably, it is found that credible EU commitment, rather than low adoption costs and weak veto players, has constituted a necessary and sufficient condition for the reform process. Likewise, there is a dynamic relationship between EU-induced democratic reforms and adoption costs that is largely overlooked in the existing literature.