Turkey’s strategic importance to the EU’s interests has grown because of developments in the latter’s eastern and southern neighbourhoods. It also coincides with a recent and clear shift towards the EU in Turkish foreign policy rhetoric. Turkey’s unstable neighbours have made the government in Ankara look for more reliable business allies. Yet, this coincidence is unlikely to bring the expected benefits to either side for two reasons: Turkey’s continuing disregard for democratic standards, and the EU’s inability to accommodate this shift due to the blocked negotiation chapters by Cyprus, France and the EU Council. Moreover, the “new focus” on EU enlargement policy may further undermine this, best tool to make the EU–Turkey partnership more effective.