Paper title:
  Turkey’s Soft Power Policy towards the Balkans after the 1990’s: Challenges and Opportunities
Published in:
Issue 2 (Vol. 25) / 2019
Publishing date:
Ismail Köse
During the communist period, many people in the Balkans lost their knowledge about religious beliefs and practices. After the regime change and the abolition of anti-religious laws, the places of worship have begun to fill up: more and more Christians have chosen to go to their churches; Muslims turned to the mosques, and Jews to the synagogues. While Christians and Jews had no problems to obtain accurate information about their beliefs, Muslims were faced with a difficult and serious dilemma. In the communist era, they had lost their institutional infrastructure, their social knowledge and the needed values to separate the correct information from the false ones. These phenomena allowed radical Islamic groups to gain ground throughout the Balkan area. The dictatorial regimes of the Gulf oil tycoons became their biggest supporters, encouraging non-democratic ideologies and financing the subtle penetration of some terrorist organisations in various regions of the world and different areas of activity. This study proposes an analysis of the “radicalisation of the Balkans”, the contemporary challenges related to the Islamic extremism, and how the soft power of Turkey contributes to combat terrorism in the Balkans.
Turkey, Policy, Balkans, Soft Power, Challenges, Opportunities, Radicalism, Extremism, Recruitment.

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