Analysis 05 Sep 17

German-Turkish Feud Threatens EU Role in Balkans

If the dispute between Germany and Turkey worsens, President Erdogan will be tempted to try to undermine the EU in the Balkans, experts warn.

Ankara, Istanbul, Sarajevo
Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo Anadolu Agency Kayhan Ozer

Turkey’s escalating crisis with Germany may prompt it to become a factor of instability in the Balkans, forcing powerful Muslim communities in the region in particular to choose between their loyalty to the EU and Turkey, experts say.

Turkey could get closer to Russia, for example, which would upset the geostrategic balance in the Balkans, or it could start using refugees as a bargaining chip with both the EU and Balkan leaders.

Either course could destabilise the Balkans and jeopardise those countries’ EU and NATO aspirations, experts say.

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