Balkans: Creeping Islamization

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May 16, 2007: The United States has agreed to sell Turkey 30 more F-16D jet fighters. This is in response to a recent Greek purchase of 30 more F-16s.

May 15, 2007: Serbia's parliament approved, by a vote of 133-106, a pro-democracy government. Since the January elections, the Serbian Radical Party (ultranationalist and anti-West) had frustrated efforts to form a new government. The Radical Party won the most seats of any single party but did not have enough votes to form its own government. The pro-Western coalition is fragile. The upcoming UN Security Council vote on Kosovo independence could well cause the government to shatter. The Radical Party is adamantly against Kosovo's independence. If the government falls the Radical Party will portray itself as the only protector of Serbia.

May 13, 2007: One and a half million Turkish pro-secular demonstrators filled the streets of Izmir, Turkey. Izmir is Turkey's third largest city and is one of Turkey's major seaports. Turkish secularists continue to put pressure on Prime Minister Erdogan's government. The secularists oppose what they call "creeping Islamization."

May 12, 2007: A bomb exploded in the Turkish city of Izmir, killing one person and wounding 14. The bomb was detonated in a market area. Turkish police said the bomb was attached to a bicycle. No group claimed responsibility for the attack but was similar to many carried out by the TAK (Kurdish Freedom Falcons).

May 11, 2007: The US State Department said that it believes the UN Security Council will ultimately vote to approve independence for Kosovo. The US believes that at least ten members of the Security Council support Kosovo's independence. Russia, however, once again indicated that it will consider vetoing such a resolution.

May 7, 2007: The commander of the European Union peacekeeping force (EUFOR) stationed in Bosnia said that Montenegro has agreed to allow EUFOR to pass through Montenegro if NATO forces in Kosovo require reinforcement. Montenegro will allow transit by road and air on "a very short notification." Montenegro is signaling that it will not support Serbia in a confrontation with the EU and UN over Kosovo.

 

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