The German daily Die Welt outlines the dangers of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s efforts over many years to increase Turkish influence in the Balkans by using the Muslim populations as a tool.
“Like the pieces on a chessboard, Erdogan for years has been trying to win over the Muslims of the Balkans. He is operating as an opponent in the region of the EU, which is considered a stabilising force. While the EU wants to solve old conflicts and bring together old enemies – Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, Christians and Muslims – Turkey over-stresses old injustices and wants to preserve old animosities,” the analysis said.
Erdogan is depicting the slaughter at Srebrenica not as a Serbian attack, but as a symbol of Christian harshness
In Erdogan’s worldview, it is a fight of the faithful against the infidels, the report suggests, noting his comment that Turkey should be everywhere the Turkish ancestors had ruled, including the Balkans.
The report noted Erdogan’s speech to an audience of 15,000 supporters in Sarajevo, where he said there was a plot to murder him that was thwarted.
The analysis says that Erdogan still blames the Americans and Europeans for the abortive coup against him, in July 2016.
It notes that EU countries forbade Turkish pre-election rallies, and underlined his call to ethnic Turks in the Balkans to become active in politics and seek parliamentary seats.