Turkish President Erdogan is now seeking to use his growing influence in the Balkans against the Western countries.…the region where he is pursuing more assertive policies and strategically spreading his brand of Islamist nationalism through a network of mosques and religious institutions.
Erdogan is using the same method of spreading the Salafist ideology through mosques and Islamic religious institutions that Saudi Arabia has used. In the West, it is high time to surveil these institutions, which export this ideology throughout Western Europe and North America.
Many corrupt politicians, Imams, representatives of NGOs, and members of academia in the Balkans remain united in their resolve to campaign on Erdogan’s behalf.
There is a similar loyalty and resolve in the West, with campaigns to protect Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups that espouse jihadi ideology.
As the article below points out, as has Jihad Watch on numerous occasions, Erdogan has made his intentions clear about reviving the Ottoman Empire, and has tried on numerous occasions to bully the EU, going so far as to investigate “Islamophobia” in Europe and accuse the EU of launching a crusade against Islam.
The article also offers good advice for the Balkans. If only all Western countries would abide by it:
The path to EU membership is open, but of necessity requires that they not cozy up to Erdogan, who has betrayed the EU’s founding principles and is obsessed with luring the Balkans to join his Islamist nationalistic orbit.
“EU and Turkey vie for Balkan influence,” by Alon Ben-Meir and Arbana Xharra, San Diego Jewish World, August 2, 2018:
NEW YORK — Banned from promoting his dangerous Islamic agenda across the European Union, Turkish President Erdogan is now seeking to use his growing influence in the Balkans against the Western countries. Erdogan’s aggressive return to the Balkans increased concerns among critics in southeastern Europe—the region where he is pursuing more assertive policies and strategically spreading his brand of Islamist nationalism through a network of mosques and religious institutions.
The EU countries have come to realize the danger emanating from his Islamic scheme. As a result, Austria, the Netherlands, and Germany banned Erdogan from organizing electoral campaigns. Furthermore, two months ago, Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz ordered the closing of seven mosques and expelled Turkish-funded Imams while placing under tight scrutiny dozens more Turkish Imams. “Parallel societies, politicized Islam or radical tendencies have no place in our country,” Kurz said as was reported by the New York Times.
Austria’s move to close mosques prompted a furious reaction from Erdogan, who condemned the decision, labeling it Islamophobic and promising to retaliate against them. He used the rally in Bosnia to underline his proclivity for challenging the Western countries. He declared in front of a crowd of more than 12,000 supporters that “At a time when the glorious European countries that claim to be the cradle of democracy failed, Bosnia and Herzegovina proved to be not ostensibly, but truly democratic by giving us the opportunity to gather here.”
Many corrupt politicians, Imams, representatives of NGOs, and members of academia in the Balkans remain united in their resolve to campaign on Erdogan’s behalf, as they have been enjoying over the years the largesse and comfort that Erdogan provides to his loyalists. This is how Erdogan succeeded in winning hearts and minds, especially among the region’s Muslim population…..
……The Balkans now are Erdogan’s trump card against Europe, especially after he was barred by EU countries from expanding his Islamic agenda and particularly because the door for Turkey to become an EU member has, for all intents and purposes, been shut.
Since the Western Balkan countries have been seeking long-lasting relations with the EU, the EU should further strengthen its relations with the Balkan states by providing financial support and investing in major projects, while continuing to encourage social, political, and economic reforms.
That said, despite the preoccupation with Brexit, immigration, and violent extremism, the EU must maintain steady progress toward integration of the Western Balkan nations. By commencing accession negotiations with Macedonia and Albania, which according to the European commission are ready to join, the EU will send a clear message to the rest of the Balkan states of its seriousness about their prospective membership.
This will send a cautionary note to the Balkan leaders that the path to EU membership is open, but of necessity requires that they not cozy up to Erdogan, who has betrayed the EU’s founding principles and is obsessed with luring the Balkans to join his Islamist nationalistic orbit.