10 March 2006
Editor in chief of Zaman writes on ESI's Balkan work

Mehmet Kamış, the editor in chief of the Turkish daily Zaman wrote on ESI's work on the countries of the Western Balkans. His article was published on 10 March 2006 under the title "The road to the EU goes through the Balkans".

Mehmet KamışGeographically and historically Turkey is a Balkan country. Approximately 5 million Turks and Balkan Muslims migrated to Turkey after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. In 1989, 2 million people who were trying to escape from the Bulgarian Communist Regime chose Turkey as a haven. 15 percent of our country's population are of Balkan origin. There are more people of Albanian origin in Turkey than there are in Kosovo. There are more Turkish citizens of Bosnian origin than Bosnians in Bosnia. Moreover, during the wars in Yugoslavia thousands of students came to Turkey from the Balkans to study.

ESI emphasizes that on the path of integration with the EU, Turkey should develop stronger relations with the Balkan countries. They say: You have cultural and ethnic heritage from your ancestors in the Balkans and countries in this region may be the ones that could best understand you in Europe - and that you could understand the most too.

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About us
Photo credits
Alan Grant is an Irish photographer who travelled extensively in the Balkans and other countries and regions of the world. Thanks to him, ESI is able to show fascinating pictures of the Balkans: the facades of Tirana, the painted mosques of Travnik, the fabulous old houses of Plovdiv and the spectacular blue of water - dark in the Bay of Kotor, emerald in the river valleys of Bosnia, deep blue in Ohrid, twinkling in the Aegean Sea and on the Bosporus.

You can find out more about Alan Grant on his websites:
Jonathan Lewis lives between London and Istanbul. He moved to London and spent many years studying photography and now specialises in photojournalism, documentary photography and commercial work for a wide variety of private and commercial clients in the UK, Europe and Turkey. His work has appeared in a number of magazines and publications and is used on the ESI website as well.

You can find out more about Jonathan Lewis on his website www.jonathanlewisphoto.com