The restoration of mosques carried out by the Foundation of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet Vakfı) and the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TİKA) constitute solid ground for Davutoğlu’s public diplomacy in the Balkans.
The popularity of Turkish television series, from the Balkans to the Middle East, has brought Turkey to an international audience, and is subtly transforming the image of the country abroad.
Turkish soap operas have conquered the Balkans reversing Turkey's negative image with the Balkan nations from the time of the Ottoman yoke, according to Austrian paper Der Standard. Turkey's film industry is not only making money from the showing of its soaps in Balkan countries... but it is also helping out the Turkish diplomacy, the newspaper says in an article entitled "Ottoman Television Runs Like Clockwork."
Iran held a one-day seminar on the impact of the Persian language on the regional languages of the Balkans at the International University of Novi Pazar in Serbia last week. Several Iranian and Serbian scholars and officials attended the seminar which was held by Iran’s cultural attaché’s office in Belgrade.
Due to the pressure either by NATO or the EU, as well as, the efforts by the countries involved, the Iranian influence has rather decreased, but it remains in the form of a "soft power" structure, closely related to the state apparatus of Teheran.
The Qatar-based media giant Al Jazeera has purchased a broadacasting station in the Bosnian capital. The operation is slated to begin January 2011 in Sarajevo and later be extended to the entire region. News of the Arab broadcaster's Bosnian expansion has produced diverse reactions.
The Balkan Express departed from Ankara last week and will travel throughout the Balkans to improve relations between Turkey and Southeastern European countries during a 50-day trip.