The importance of values in predicting Turkish youth's opinions about the European Union in light of the Copenhagen Political Criteria

KUŞDİL M. E., Simsek S.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY, vol.43, no.6, pp.988-996, 2008 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 43 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00207590701484827
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.988-996
  • Keywords: Turkish youth, European Union, Values, Religiosity, Nationalism, VALUE PRIORITIES, PERSONALITY, IDENTITIES
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


The enlargement process of the European Union may be regarded as one of the most important social projects of human history in that it is trying to unite several nation-states under a European identity. As a historically and culturally distant candidate, Turkey has been asked to meet a set of expectations referred to as the Copenhagen Criteria, requiring a series of large-scale reforms to the infrastructure and superstructure of the country. Taking advantage of the unique opportunity to relate Turkish people's opinions on the criteria to their values, hypotheses based on Schwartz's model of values were tested. Schwartz's Personal Values Questionnaire and a questionnaire measuring opinions on the criteria and the Union were completed by 368 Turkish university students. Factor analysis of the opinion items yielded five factors: reduction of military influence in civil life, scepticism towards Europe and the European Union, improvement of human rights and liberties, improvement of minority rights, and lack of transparency in public institutions. Regression analyses showed that values and nationalism were powerful predictors of opinions whereas the effect of religiosity was limited only to the prediction of a preference for the reduction of military influence in civil life. Preference for openness to change values were successful in predicting variance in three of the five criteria: The more the participants favoured these values, the more they supported the improvement of human rights and liberties, the improvement of minority rights, and regretted the lack of transparency. Self-transcendence values were also positively related to support for the same three criteria together with a preference for reduction of military influence. As for nationalism, the results showed that this variable was related negatively to reduction of the military influence, improvement of human rights and liberties, improvement of minority rights; and positively to scepticism.