World Bulletin / News Desk
“A strong Turkey is good for the Balkans, and a stable and prosperous Balkans is good for Turkey and the world,” wrote presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin in a column in Saturday's Daily Sabah, a Turkish English-language newspaper.
Kalin focused on Turkish-Balkan ties in the areas of political stability, economic development, and cultural flourishing.
On political stability, he said peace in the region is “of extreme importance,” underlining Turkish efforts to support all incentives to keep the Balkans calm and safe.
He said Turkey is working to maintain peace and stability in the Balkans.
“Turkey's goal in the Balkans is not to seek influence but to ensure political stability, spur economic development, and support cultural and educational activities,” Kalin underlined, stressing that Turkey is against any foreign intervention in national or local issues.
Mentioning various projects in the region by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), a state agency which works in the economy, infrastructure, and humanitarian sectors, he wrote: “Economic development is the cornerstone of Turkey's Balkan policy.”
Kalin also emphasized the cultural affinities between Turkey and the Balkans, tracing this back to the Ottoman era.
"Having a vibrant cultural and artistic tradition, Turkish, Bosniak, Albanian, Macedonian, Serbian, Slovenian, Bulgarian and Greek authors, poets, painters and other artists can learn from each other and create works of great art by fusing their respective horizons," he said, expressing Turkey’s readiness to support such initiatives.