by HAJRUDIN SOMUN*

Jews in the Balkans particular coexistence

Responding to the actuating Turkish foreign policy in the Balkans, Sven Alkalaj, the foreign minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina, paid an official visit to Ankara in the last days of July.

In addition to other high-level Turkish officials, he had prolonged talks with his host, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davuto?lu, who told him that Turkey placed great importance on Bosnia and Herzegovinian integration into NATO and the European Union. For this occasion, I would rather divert from a further evaluation of that visit to the very personal identity of Minister Davuto?lu’s guest.

I suppose that many Turks following political news were not aware that Alkalaj was a Jew, unlike officials, diplomats and scholars, as well as a few Turkish Jews who might figure it out from his name. For a great part of the Turkish public, whoever comes from Bosnia is considered a Bosniak, in other words a Bosnian Muslim. Alongside that diplomatic event, I was also inspired to make a short review of the past and present position of Balkan Jews in a documentary film by Dardan Islami, which premiered in Pristina recently. It was a story of how 2,000 Jews found a