Turkey and the Balkans: New Policy in a Changing Regional Environment
Turkish policymakers consider regional cooperation and integration in the Balkans as an essential component of Turkey’s new regional policy as well as its own stability at home. The regional policy is based on minimizing the problems in the region and to develop economic and political relations to the highest level of integration. Turkey aims to initiate a psychological breakthrough in the Balkans to undo the negative memories of the past. At the regional level, Turkey follows three different sets of policies. The first is to develop bilateral relations to the possible highest extent. The second track is the creation of trilateral mechanisms, such as between Turkey, Serbia, and Bosnia; and Turkey, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The third track aims to achieve region-wide cooperation efforts and foster economic interdependence to secure the future of political relations.