Prague, Czech Republic at 10.00am on November 9th, 2012
The public opinion surveys conducted in the last seven years show that the support for Turkey’s future membership in the EU varies among the Visegrad countries. Since these countries—Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia—are known to share a similar cultural background and a similar experience in their accession to EU, it is interesting that there is a variance in their approach to Turkey’s membership. According to the surveys, while Hungary and Poland are more supportive of Turkey; Czech Republic and Slovakia are closer to the public opinion observed in Western Europe, which is more skeptical and less supportive of Turkey’s accession to EU.
A recently concluded research project centered on this issue and led by Anglo-American University investigates the reasons for this variance among Visegrad countries. For instance, does the percentage of Turkish population in each country affect the public opinion; or do the economic and cultural relations of each country with Turkey have an impact on the people? Is Turkey a popular touristic destination and does it change the image of Turkey in the eye of the people? How is Turkey’s foreign policy and cultural identity publicly portrayed in media in each country?
The research, which included the media analysis of popular newspapers and magazines as well as interviews with opinion leaders in four Visegrad countries was financially supported by International Visegrad Fund and jointly conducted by Anglo-American University in Prague, Central European University in Budapest, Tischner European University in Krakow and Comenius University in Bratislava. The results of the research will now be open to public discussion at a Symposium organized by Anglo-American University on November 9, 2012.
Turkey, compared with EU countries, is known to have a distinctive cultural identity with a Muslim population; thus has been one of the most disputable candidate countries for EU membership. Yet, together with its rising role as a regional power in the Middle East nowadays, the issue of Turkey’s accession to EU deserves to be re-debated and put on public agenda again. The Symposium on “Public Portrayal of Turkey in Visegrad Countries” where a comprehensive report on the research findings will be presented, is supposed to trigger such public discussion.
Any individuals or organizations interested are welcome to attend this Symposium. However please be sure to send your RSVP to the contact details below by 30 October 2012 as spaces are limited.
Lazenska 4, 118 00, Praha 1
RSVP Contact: Tanya Bechev
Mobil. 773 542 862
Email. [email protected]