The Balkans: The Feast Feeding Russia’s And Turkey’s Hunger

Alon Ben-Meir and Arbana Xharra The political tension between Kosovo and Serbia is creating a perfect environment wherein Turkey and Russia can lure the two countries into their respective spheres of influence. High-ranking US and EU envoys are trying to resolve the long-standing dispute, urging Serbia and Kosovo to normalize relations when in fact it…

March 11, 2019 Read more

Truthful Reporting In The Balkans Is Life-Threatening

Alon Ben Meir and Arbana Xharra Kosovo investigative journalist Parim Olluri knew the assailants who physically attacked him two years ago in front of his house, while the police and other security institutions remained silent. “I sent names to the Kosovo Police as well as to the Prosecutor’s Office, but none of them took any…

February 6, 2019 Read more

Corruption In The Balkans Is Impeding EU Membership

By Alon Ben-Meir and Arbana Xharra The six Western Balkan countries —Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Albania, are “state captured” by corrupt politicians, linked with organized crime. These facts have been documented by various international reports, which are raising major concerns among EU officials on the enlargement process. These countries are expected…

January 9, 2019 Read more

Diyanet: Erdogan’s Islamic Vehicle To The Balkans

By Alon Ben-Meir and Arbana Xharra A billboard at a construction site, with a photo of an Ottoman-style mosque with four minarets and the flag of Turkey, was erected recently in the center of Pristina, the capital of Kosovo. With less than 2 million people, Kosovo, which declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, is…

October 18, 2018 Read more

Bosnia, Erdogan’s “Jerusalem At The Heart Of Europe”

Alon-Ben Meir and Arbana Xharra As Turkey’s President Erdogan runs out of money, he is now, more than any time before, using religion to exploit the Balkans, especially the states that are more susceptible to Islamic influence. Bosnia is at the fore of Erdogan’s ambitious Islamic agenda, where he is sparing no political capital or…

September 14, 2018 Read more

Erdogan And The EU Are On A Collision Course In The Balkans

By Alon Ben-Meir and Arbana Xharra 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…

August 2, 2018 Read more

Erdogan’s “Trojan Horse” In Macedonia

This article is co-written by Alon Ben-Meir and Arbana Xharra. Arbana Xharra authored a series of investigative reports on religious extremists and Turkey’s Islamic agenda operating in the Balkans. She has won numerous awards for her reporting, and was a 2015 recipient of the International Women of Courage Award from the US State Department. Turkey’s…

June 14, 2018 Read more

Serbia, Turkey, And Russia—Alarm Bells For Europe

By Alon Ben-Meir and Arbana Xharra As the EU seeks to increase its influence in the Balkans, Russia and Turkey have been working hard to strengthen their own ties to the region. The EU’s renewed interest in its southern backyard has been prompted by fears of Moscow’s mounting impact in the Balkans. Although Russia’s closest…

May 22, 2018 Read more

Albania Must Choose Between the EU and Turkey

By Alon Ben-Meir and Arbana Xharra The ‘Sultan’ of an illusionary Ottoman Empire—Turkey’s President Erdogan—is pressuring submissive politicians throughout the Balkan countries to do his bidding to restore the glory of the Ottoman period. For Erdogan, this is not simply an unfulfilled quest; he has been targeting the Balkans for the past several years (which…

May 2, 2018 Read more