Analysis 09 Jan 18

Turkish Party’s Balkan Branches Plan Causes Concern

After Turkey’s ruling party announced that it plans to open representative branches in some Balkan capitals – and elsewhere – experts have been pondering the party’s motives and agenda.

Hamdi Firat Buyuk, Mladen Lakic
BIRN
Sarajevo
Bakir Izetbegovic and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: BETA

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP – which Turkey’s current President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, formed and once led – has announced plans to open nine representative branch offices abroad – in the US, Britain, Russia, Germany, France, Bosnia and Macedonia.

AKP Deputy Chair Mehdi Eker said the party was no longer limiting its vision to Turkey alone.

“The AKP does not have a vision exclusively based on Turkey’s domestic politics. It has a vision about the world, humanity and civilization,” he told state-run Anadolu Agency on December 29, when he announced the plan.

The news has attracted attention across the Balkans, where Turkey has been steadily building up its influence.

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