Serbia angry over reported remarks by Turkish PM

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbia's government says it will formally protest reported remarks by Turkey's prime minister in Kosovo, the former Serbian province whose 2008 declaration of independence Serbia rejects.

Serbian media have quoted Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying in Kosovo on Wednesday that "Turkey is Kosovo and Kosovo is Turkey." The comment has been widely criticized in Serbia which is sensitive to the centuries-long Ottoman rule in the Balkans and to any acknowledgement of Kosovo's independence.

Serbia's government said Friday it will seek an official explanation. It described Erdogan's statement as a grave violation of international law and a blow to mutual relations and efforts to stabilize the Balkans.

Turkey has recognized Kosovo's independence. Serbia has been told it must improve ties with the former province to move closer to the EU.

Related Headlines

  • Ivica Dacic

    Serbia looking for EU membership by 2020

    Prime Minister Ivica Dacic wants Serbia to become a member of the European Union by 2020. The Serbian leader said at Tuesday's start of membership negotiations he wants the ... 

  • Kosovo ethnic divide tackled on rugby pitch

    They've been roughing each other up for over a century, but now Serbs and Albanians in this ethnically divided city are learning to work together through a sport that is all ...