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Turkey’s “Zero Problems” Era in the Balkans 11 octobre 2013

Posted by Acturca in South East Europe / Europe du Sud-Est, Turkey / Turquie.
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Analysis (SETA) N° 1, October 2013
Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA)

Mehmet Uğur Ekinci *

This analysis offers a general assessment of Turkey’s relations with the Balkans under the AK Party government.

While some observers, referring to recent developments in the Middle East, are questioning whether Turkey’s “zero problems with neighbours” doctrine is still in effect, Turkey’s relations with the Balkans are enjoying their golden age. Since the mid-2000s, bilateral relations with all governments in the region have been in good terms, social and economic relations have intensi­fied and Turkey’s public image has become increasingly positive.

This analysis offers a general assessment of Turkey’s relations with the Balkans under the AK Party government. It examines the main concerns, principles, strate­gies and instruments of Turkey’s Balkan policy, assesses the role of non-state actors in Turkey’s growing role in the region and discusses the relevance of the debates on “neo-Ottomanism”. Following an evaluation of Turkey’s political position in the Balkans, it closes with policy recommendations to Turkey and Balkan countries for a more effective cooperation that would benefit all sides.

* Mehmet Uğur Ekinci is a foreign policy researcher at SETA. He has received his M.A. in History from Bilkent University and Ph.D. in Politics and International Studies from SOAS, University of London.

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