From myth to reality: How to understand Turkey’s role in the Western Balkans
Source:European Council on Foreign Relations Date:14Mar2019
For those who care about Turkey’s diplomatic focus: Turkey and Balkans, a sober assessment
- European fears of Turkish expansionism in the Western Balkans have no basis in reality.
- Turkey spots opportunity in the region – yet it actually wants the Western Balkans inside the EU and NATO.
- The AKP’s approach once deserved a ‘neo-Ottoman’ tag, but Erdogan has since refocused on personalised diplomacy and pragmatic relations.
- Western Balkans governments remain reluctant to act on Turkey’s behalf by pursuing Gulenists, despite overall warm ties.
- Europeans should cease questioning Ankara’s motives and work on shared goals instead – hugging Turkey close and keeping it out of Russia’s embrace.