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Florida of Europe

Reader comment on item: Kastelorizo - Mediterranean Flashpoint?
in response to reader comment: Kastelorizo is just a sign

Submitted by Mozere (United Kingdom), Feb 28, 2012 at 10:26

Before the Ottoman arrived on scene the Balkans were riven with internal wars Bogomil Heresy and Albanian grudges against Greeks and Slavs being the chief bones of contention.So they brought much needed peace.Up to 18th century the region enjoyed prosperity due to trade without the frontiers.The Greeks did especially well as the empires merchants and sailors and sultans foreign relations officers.The standard of living was on par with western Europe.Most of the officials of the empire was of Balkan stock,and the greatest of the grand viziers Sokollu never forgot his Serbian roots helped his christian kin,as did others.The Ottomans cannot be viewed through today's prisms of nationalism,liberalism and jihadism. Neither can you rule an empire for 500 years on blood and pillaging.After the 18th century gradual decay set in due to empire falling behind in technology .

For the foreseeable future the leading power in the Balkans will be Germany in the guise of EU,Russia will exert some influence to counter this.Turkey cannot match these powers neither technologically nor financially.Turkey can act as an honest broker between Balkan nations and give moral and cultural support to muslim communities,but will be neutral in political matters vis a vis muslim and christian countries as it will not want to harm its trading opportunities with the majority christian countries.

Balkan countries have already thrown their lot in with Germany,so it is not hard to guess their future,they cannot be manufacturing countries as with their Euro wages how can they compete.They may aspire to be the florida of Europe, Disneyland Athens would beat Disneyland Paris hands down.More ambitious among them will emigrate the rest will be hospitality workers or estate agents.On the positive side no need to worry about Ottoman empire coming to your shores soon.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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