Key words: Kosovo independence, Serbs, Kosovo Albanians, European Union. arguments, with a particular emphasis being placed on the post official Lehne, S. () Kosovo and Serbia: toward a normal relationship, Carnegie. Jan 19, Serbs in Kosovo say that the recent 'propaganda train' dispute between and Mitrovica was needed, they argued that the Serbian authorities had made a “ Here nothing is normal, everything is political theatre, created equally and Belgrade's attitude towards Kosovo Serbs, as Kosovo Serbs depend on. this dialogue should be achieving significant progress toward normal relations, which The past months have brought very mixed news from Kosovo and Serbia . .. to begin the process with an exploratory stage during which the parameters.
This figure is also widely quoted in official and unofficial Turkish sources They claim that the census is not reliable due to political manipulations and that the number of Turkish speakers is even much larger. Indeed, ethnic identities are rather complex and unclear in the area, the practice of shifting identities widespread.
No definite estimate can thus be made, opening a vast margin to various political claims. In Turkish sources, the village of Dragas is sometimes also said to be inhabited by Turkish people. In reality, these Muslims, the Gorans [Gorancispeak a Slavic language but Turkish sources tend to assimilate this population to Turks These Turks would be more comfortable in a multicultural society - and a federal administrative structure - than in a country dominated by Albanian nationalists.
In sum, they are concerned with their long-term viability in Kosovo as an ethnic group. Their relations with the Albanians are therefore tainted with suspicions. Other Turks, however, feel close to their persecuted Muslim co-religionists. Actually, numerous Turks have been Albanized in the past twenty years.
Kosovo’s Serbs Feel Frightened, Insecure and Misused :: Balkan Insight
Besides regular marriages between Albanians and Turks, the Albanians, who - as the Turks - obtained some rights under the Constitution, put pressure on the Turks, or even had an anti-Turkish policy The Kosovar Turks are therefore represented by two political parties: For example, it opposed the boycott of the official FRY elections and schools after It is actively lobbying for the restitutions of the rights that the Turks were granted under the Constitution, and notably the restoration of Turkish as an official language since the UNMIK did not recognize it Its support in Kosovo is, however, much less higher than its counterpart - and opponent - the TDB.
For example, it failed to gather the required 1 signatures in order to be qualified for the November general elections Turkey also exerted its support for the rights of this minority within NATO through its permanent representative to this organization Turkish leaders repeated several times, for example, that no discrimination would be made between Albanians and Turks in the distribution of Turkish humanitarian assistance. The Kosovar Turks expressed several times the wish that Turkey finance education in Turkish in the area, open a cultural center in Prizren, or grant them a status of double nationality.
Except for the Turkish Red Crescent Kizilayit seems that only the official Turkish religious affairs directory Diyanet has been active in the area. Other initiatives have been taken by private institutions or organizations.
For example, Turkish business association have made several donations materials for students in Mamusa, sugar and flour, and so on. Finally, the Aydmlar Ocaklari the Hearth of the Enlightened which represents, this time, the Turk-Islam synthesis ideology 86 opened a center in Pristina.
These institutions and organizations, although unofficial, have close links with Turkey's leadership. For reasons mentioned above, Turkey's leaders remain reluctant to take official diplomatic initiatives Although Turkish had been recognized as an official language on 15 S Two month after, on 15 September, in a letter addressed by Bernard Kouchner to the TDB president, Turkish was recognized as an official language in the province In this letter, Kouchner stated that UNMIK guarantees the Kosovar Turkish community's rights as referred to in the Yugoslav Constitution, that the UNMIK regulations will be issued as well in Turkish in areas inhabited by Turkish communities, that identity cards with important information in Turkish will be issued and that in the municipalities where Turkish communities live, instruction in Turkish will be offered.
Two months after this recognition, the leader of the Turkish Democratic Union, Mahir Yagcilar, was appointed to the Interim Council The aim of the international interim administration of Kosovo is clearly to ensure the participation of all Kosovo communities to the administration of the province.
And progress has definitely been made with regards to the claims of the Turks. Problems still regularly occurred. For example, during the municipal elections, the Turkish community decided to boycott the registration process organized by the OSCE because the forms were not in their native language. But an agreement was finally reached with the Kosovo Turkish leaders and they registered for the November general elections Conclusion 37Turkey did not make any significant contribution to settle the conflict in Kosovo.
The fear of a parallel with the situation in southeast Anatolia prevented it from exerting diplomatic pressure, as it had been the case in the first phase of the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina. But Turkey was as well, and as it had been the case for Bosnia, careful not to antagonize Balkan populations highly sensitive to any Turkish interference in the area.
Last, Turkey is not such an important actor in the Balkans and, in any case, its influence remains in the shadow of the US and Europe.
Turkish policy towards the conflict in Kosovo: the preeminence of national political interests
Turkish leaders, for example, vigorously opposed the UN plan outlined in June Their main objection was the division of Kosovo into various sectors, which, according to Ecevit, might lead to a deadlock. In addition, political consultations have been launched in February with a view to renewing ties with the FRY.
He signed an agreement on cooperation with the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry and an investment deal. This visit, the first official visit of a Turkish Foreign Minister to Belgrade sinceis seen as a turning point in bilateral relations This was already the case for Bosnia-Herzegovina. Tansu Ciller, former Prime Minister, traveled twice to Sarajevo: In addition, the Bosnian experience was rather disappointing. Lazic is not alone in his concerns. Following the sharp rise in tensions between Belgrade and Pristina recently, Serbs in Kosovo say they fear for their safety and their future.
Kosovo’s Serbs Feel Frightened, Insecure and Misused
They believe they are being left out of decision-making on major issues that affect their lives, and are being used as pawns in the never-ending power games between Belgrade and Pristina. Kosovo officials said it was a provocation and urged the EU to convince Belgrade to stop it. A few hours later, the Serbian authorities stopped the train in Raska, in southern Serbia, just before the Kosovo border, and then Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic dramatically accused the Pristina government of planning to blow up the railway line and sending special forces to attack the train.
Pristina denied that it intended to attack the train, but Serbs in Kosovo were unsettled by the stunt and its aftermath. While many agreed that a train connecting Belgrade and Mitrovica was needed, they argued that the Serbian authorities had made a mistake by using it for propaganda purposes.
Lazic said that elsewhere in the world, trains and buses are used to connect people, but the opposite is the case for Serbs in Kosovo. Fear and insecurity Kosovo officials said the train was a provocation. Djoric said she could see no reason for fomenting tensions with Pristina.