A Frame for Turkey’s Foreign Policy via the Diyanet in the Balkans

In: Journal of Muslims in Europe
Ahmet Erdi Öztürk University of Strasbourg/Linköping University

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İştar Gözaydın Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Istanbul

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This article deals with Turkey’s increasing involvement and activism in the Balkans between 2002 and 2016, under the government of the Justice and Development Party. The central focus is Turkey’s pliable state apparatus; the Presidency of Religious Affairs and its activities in the region. The article therefore aims to answer the following questions: Why does Turkey use these various state apparatuses specifically as a foreign policy tool and how does their influence differ from country to country? What factors determine the scope of activity of Turkish transnational state apparatuses in the case of each country? And, how do local actors and public opinion respond to Turkey’s newly-emerging activities in the region?

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