Turkey will provide consular assistance to Montenegrin citizens travelling or residing in 25 countries where Montenegro does not have diplomatic and consular missions as of August 7th, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan approved a bilateral agreement on Friday, the Movement for Change president (PzP) one of the leaders of the Democratic Front and former member of the Assembly Nebojša Medojević.
“The decision of the Government of Montenegro to conclude this bilateral agreement with Turkey raises many questions,” he added.
It is especially important when it is known that Turkey does not have such an agreement with any other country in the world. The level of economic relations with Turkey is not at a strategically important level. Exports to Turkey make up 3.3% of total exports, and imports from Turkey account for only 5.1% of total exports, Medojević points out.
While companies with Turkish owners are the most numerous, total investments from this country are only in tenth place.
In the banking sector, we have Zirat Bank, a Turkish investor who bought the Fjord Hotel in Kotor and the Turkish company Toščelik manages the ironworks in Nikšić, with the growing and more justified objections of the Trade Union that human rights are being violated en masse.
“It seems that the most intensive cooperation is in the criminal field and that large figures of organized crime from Turkey feel welcome in Montenegro,” says the president of PzP.
There is no serious cooperation in the military field and the cooperation of intelligence agencies.
According to him, however, this bilateral agreement is much more important to Turkey than to Montenegro. Turkey has serious geostrategic plans and is expanding its influence in the Balkans. Although a member of NATO, official Turkey does not share the values of democracy, human rights and freedoms. After the failure of the military coup, Erdogan suspended the entire spectrum, primarily political rights, and introduced a rigid personal rule that, with the changes to the Constitution, became superior to all other branches of government.
He says that Turkey is undoubtedly one of the most important authorities in the Islamic world, of enormous strategic importance to some of the largest Western powers, most notably Britain.
On the other hand, Turkey is a country of a rigid regime in which human rights and freedoms are massively violated. Erdogan very clearly expresses his ambition to strengthen not only the interests of the Turkish state, but also Islam in the Balkans, so this exclusive decision for Montenegro must be understood as part of the policy of “soft power” and, possibly, the instrumentalization of some future geostrategic interests in the region, via Montenegro.
This is, for now, the most direct and concrete expression of Turkey’s special interests towards Montenegro, and it brings with it a whole series of open questions. The level of diplomatic, economic, political, security, military relations (especially in the past) of Montenegro and Turkey did not indicate a strategic alliance.
“It remains to be seen whether this sudden agreement closes the ring around Serbia and increases the pressure to resolve the issue of Kosovo and Republika Srpska. Diplomacy is often secret and shrouded in multiple layers of interest. We will see why Montenegro is so important for Turkey,” concludes the president of PzP.