Comment 18 Oct 17

Erdogan Visit Signals Turkey’s New Passion for Serbia

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems to be shifting his Balkan focus from Bosnia and Herzegovina towards Serbia, and from religious, ethnic and political relations towards business links.

Hamdi Firat Buyuk
BIRN
Sarajevo
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan walks with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic during his recent visit to Serbia. Photo: Beta

A brief note on Turkish president's Twitter feed on Sunday evening was the only evidence of a meeting between Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Bosniak member of Bosnia's tripartite presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic.

"I thank my dear brother Bakir Izetbegovic who visited us in Istanbul and I salute the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina," it read.

The short Twitter statement was not even mentioned on Erdogan's official web page and was generally ignored by Turkish state media.

The lacklustre attention paid to Izetbegovic, who was until recently Erdogan's main partner and closest friend in the Balkans, was a contrast with the sumptuous media coverage given to the Turkish president’s visit to Serbia last week.

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