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Erdogan: 'Kosovo Is Turkey'

Prime Minister Erdogan's comments on Kosovo have damaged one of Turkey's few foreign policy bright spots, peacemaking and peacekeeping in the Balkans.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan looks on during his visit to Prizren, some 90 km (56 miles) southwest of capital Pristina October 23, 2013.    REUTERS/Hazir Reka (KOSOVO - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX14LBP

In a recent article, "Turkey's Lost Illusions," adviser and professor Dominique Moisi wrote that Turkey is now more in search of itself than it is of Europe. According to him, the end of the Soviet-era was a wake-up call for Turkey to revive a long-lost dream of (re)shaping its neighborhood under the banner of neo-Ottomanism. The endeavor, recently encapsulated in the foreign policy slogan of "zero problems with neighbors" turns out to have been an unsuccesful exercise based on costly trial and error.

It has bruised Ankara's relations near and far. The backlash stems from rhetoric tinged with a sense of superiority, political insensitivity to history and a peculiar blend of nationalism, sectarianism and activism. Amazingly, new pieces continued to be added to the pattern, next to the long-term frosty relations with Greece. The most recent one, involving Serbia, has Turkey losing ground in one of the more succesful parts of its foreign policy, namely, peacemaking and peacekeeping in the Balkans, one of the former "Ottoman territories."

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