The fear of Neo-Ottomanism is futile as Turkey has no such project, Turkish Deputy PM Bulent Arinc said on Friday, while noting Turkey cooperates with all states in the region without an expansionist motivation, in an exclusive interview with Nasuhi Gungor, the TRT Turk TV Coordinator.
Stating that Balkan states including Serbia are interested in the EU and NATO, Arinc said Turkey supports their efforts to join these kinds of international organizations because these processes are significant for the democratization and development of these states.
Arinc also said that Turkish-Serbian relations are quite well as Turkish people and institutions are respected there.
Touching on Turkey's interest in the Balkans, Arinc stated that, despite a century-long historical break after the Balkan Wars in the 1910s, Turkey remains there with its architectural heritage, culture and traditions.
“We respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty rights of Serbia,” added Arinc.
“Turkey has become a powerful state. While the EU is crippled by the economic crisis, Turkey recorded a significant economic development rate. Even the countries which would not like to cooperate with Turkey ask Turkey to invest and cooperate with them now,” noted Arinc.
The misperceptions against Turkey have two main causes, said Arinc. “First Turkey cannot sufficiently express itself; second there are some who don’t like to see Turkey as it truly is.”
Arinc is in Serbia to participate at the Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Media and Information Society held in Belgrade, Serbia.