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International Information Centre for Balkan Studies



Turkish FM signals citizenship to be granted to all Ottoman dynasty members

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu signaled on Feb. 11, 2018  that Turkish citizenship will be provided to all overseas members of the Ottoman dynasty at a meeting in Istanbul, one day after events held to mark the centenary of the death of Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II.

Read more: Turkish FM signals citizenship to be granted to all Ottoman dynasty members

Erdogan hits the bottle

Under Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has its roots in political Islam, taxes on alcohol sales have skyrocketed.

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Turkish government stops relocating Syrians to Istanbul

The Turkish government has stopped registering and relocating Syrians in Istanbul due to the increasing population, the Interior Ministry has told daily Hürriyet. 

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MEPs grill Romania’s government in absentia

Procedural problems prevented Romanian Justice Minister Tudorel Toader from addressing the European Parliament’s plenary session on Wednesday (7 February 2018) and explaining the government’s current judiciary reforms, which many MEPs see as a threat to the rule of law.

Read more: MEPs grill Romania’s government in absentia

Turkey 'ready' to reform terror laws for EU visa deal

Turkey's crackdown on suspected Gulenists is winding down, leaving open the space for Ankara to reform its anti-terror laws as demanded by the EU, according to the country's ambassador to the EU.

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Bulgarians denied a say on air pollution

While Bulgaria hosted a forum on Eco-innovation for air quality this week, its citizens are denied the right to clean air. Bulgaria has some of the dirtiest in Europe, yet its citizens are not allowed to go to court and claim their right to clean air, warns Ugo Taddei.

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Council of Europe Pushes Bulgaria to Ratify Domestic Abuse Convention

The Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner has called on Bulgaria's legislators to ratify the convention on gender-related violence, calling the arguments against it fallacious. 

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Controversy as Bulgaria empowers mayors to contract private security firms to guard entire towns

Controversy has surrounded the Bulgarian Parliament's approval of a new law that will enable mayors to conclude contracts with private security companies to take over the guarding of entire municipalities, with critics saying that amounts to privatising police powers.

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Parliament in FYROM votes in favor of the advancement of the Albanian language

On 11.01.2018 the Parliament of FYROM has voted the law concerning the use of languages, which mainly advances and expands the use of the Albanian language as a second official language in the country.

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Greece to abolish Sharia Law

The Greek PM, Alexis Tsipras, hailed the step and, of course the new law, calling it a "historic" one, adding that it "extended equality before the law to all Greeks".

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Hungarians in Romania Renew Call for AutonomyAs Romania gears up to celebrate its union with Transylvania in 2018, the three main ethnic Hungarian parties in the country on Monday (08.01.2017) launched a joint political agenda to renew their demand for au

 

As Romania gears up to celebrate its union with Transylvania in 2018, the three main ethnic Hungarian parties in the country on Monday (08.01.2017) launched a joint political agenda to renew their demand for autonomy.

Read more: Hungarians in Romania Renew Call for AutonomyAs Romania gears up to celebrate its union with...

Cyprus Arrests Kosovo Organ-Trafficking Suspect

Moshe Harel, an Israeli citizen accused of being involved in organ-trafficking from Kosovo’s Medicus clinic in 2008, was arrested in Cyprus after years of being listed as wanted by Interpol.

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Kosovo politicians and the Specialist Chambers

Top Kosovo politicians are getting edgy as a special court prepares to issue indictments for war crimes.

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Turkey slams US verdict finding Turkish banker Hakan Atilla guilty

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Jan. 4, 2017  said a U.S. court verdict finding Turkish banker Hakan Atilla guilty of helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions is “unjust and unfortunate.”

Read more: Turkey slams US verdict finding Turkish banker Hakan Atilla guilty

Kosovo Court Finds Four Opposition MPs Guilty

A Kosovo court has handed down conditional jail terms for four opposition Vetevendosje MPs, found guilty of using offensive weapons when they let off tear gas in parliament in 2015.

Read more: Kosovo Court Finds Four Opposition MPs Guilty

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