Analysis 05 Jul 17

Erdogan’s Battles With West Threaten Balkan Stability

Turkey’s worsening relations with its old allies including Germany, the EU and the US will have an impact on the Balkan region, too, experts say.

Ankara, Istanbul, Sarajevo
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: Presidency Press Service via AP

Turkish relations with Germany reached a new low recently, posing new troubles for the EU and for the Balkans as well, experts warn. Last week, the Bundestag backed the German government’s plan to move some 260 German soldiers based at Incirlik, Turkey, to an air base in Jordan.

The decision came after Turkey blocked German lawmakers from visiting German servicemen stationed at the Incirlik base, which Germany has used to carry out reconnaissance flights as a part of the international operation against Islamic State.

Turkey blocked the German delegation’s visit to Incirlik after Germany prevented Turkish ministers from giving speeches in several German cities in support of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of the presidential elections last April.

Then, earlier last week, German media reported that the German Foreign Ministry had warned Turkey that bodyguards for Erdogan who had been involved in scuffles in Washington last month would not be allowed to accompany Erdogan to the upcoming G20 summit on July 7-8 in Hamburg. The ban was seen as humiliating to Erdogan.

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