Global Diyanet and Multiple Networks: Turkey’s New Presence in the Balkans

In: Journal of Muslims in Europe
Kerem Öktem St Antony’s College, University of Oxford United Kingdom

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Turkey’s relations with the Muslim communities of Southeast Europe have changed significantly since the early 2000s, when Turkish actors largely replaced Wahhabi and Salafi missionaries. This paper discusses four domains of the new Turkish presence: The intellectual and political networks in the Balkans around Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu; non-conventional foreign policy actors of the Turkish state such as the Turkish Development Agency (TIKA) and the Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet); and finally Islamic grassroots organisations, such as the Gülen movement. United by a common imaginary of neo-Ottomanism’, these actors have contributed to the strengthening of the established Islamic communities and to the visibility of the Ottoman tradition of Hanafi Islam in the Balkans.

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