Turkey’s Muslim Kin State Policy in the Balkans

How Ankara treats Muslims in the Balkans as an extension of its own power

27 July 2022

While in Kosovo and in other countries in the Balkans Turkish officials pay special attention to the Muslim minorities. This has become the basis of their foreign policy within the region.

During the visit of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to Pristina on 19 June 2022, President Vjosa Osmani stressed the importance of Turkey’s role in supporting Kosovo’s membership in NATO and other international institutions. Osmani stressed that integrating the Western Balkans into the Euro-Atlantic structures restricts Russia’s influence and destabilising tendency in the region.

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Lastly, she emphasised that Turkey and Kosovo have ‘excellent interstate relations’ and that the Turkish community, as well as the large Albanian diaspora community in Turkey, serves as a strong bridge between the two countries.

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Adriana Cupcea

Adriana Cupcea is a researcher in the Romanian Institute for Research on National Minorities, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. She is a PhD in history since 2009 of ‘Babes- Bolyai’ University of Cluj Napoca (Romania). Her research interests focus on Muslim communities in the Balkans, and particularly in Romania and are approaching the construction of modern identities, the image of the Other and the relationship between self-image and Otherness. Since 2020 she is a contributor on Romania to the Yearbook of Muslims in Europe. She is co-author, of the book ‘The Image of the Ottoman in the Romanian History Textbooks from Romania and Bosnia Herzegovina in the post-communist period’, published in 2015, at Isis Press, Istanbul. She is conducting research within the framework of Kosovo Research and Analysis Fellowship, supported by the Kosovo Foundation for Open Society.

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