The Balkans (often referred to as the Balkan Peninsula, although the two are not coterminous) is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe. The peninsula has a combined area of 550,000 km2 (212,000 sq mi) and a population of over 50 million people. It is well-known for fierce nationalism and ethnic disputes.
The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains, which are uplifting from the eastern end of Bulgaria to the Bulgarian-Serbian border westwards. "Balkan" in Turkish means "a chain of wooded mountains". The ancient name of the peninsula, itself a Thracian one was the Peninsula of Haemus, a name also deriving from the Balkan Mountains, known as the "Haemus Mountains" in the period. The Romans considered the Rhodope Mountains to be the northern limit of the Peninsula of Haemus and the same limit applied approximately to the border between Greek and Latin use in the region (later called the Jireček Line). The Balkans are highly mountainous; the highest peak in the peninsula is Musala, (2925 m) located in the Rila mountains in Bulgaria. The Balkans are also referred to as Southeastern Europe.
- 1 Definitions and boundaries
- 2 Regional organizations
- 3 Nature and natural resources
- 4 History and geopolitical significance
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Cities
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes and references
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Definitions and boundaries
The Balkan Peninsula
The Balkan Peninsula is an area of southeastern Europe surrounded by water on three sides: the Adriatic Sea to the west, the Mediterranean Sea (including the Ionian and Aegean seas) to the south and the Black Sea to the east. Its northern boundary is often given as the Danube, Sava and Kupa rivers.
Countries whose borders lie entirely within the Balkan peninsula (excluding islands):
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Kosovo[a] (For those that recognize Kosovo as an independent territory.)
Countries that have a significant portion of their land located within the peninsula:
Countries that have only a small portion of their land located within the peninsula:
The term "The Balkans" covers not only those countries which lie within the boundaries of the "Balkan Peninsula", but may also include Slovenia, and Romania. Slovenia, which was part of Yugoslavia from 1919 to 1991, lies partially south of the Danube-Sava line, and thus it's partially in the Balkans. Prior to 1991 the whole of Yugoslavia was considered to be part of the Balkans. The father of the term "The Balkans" August Zeune defined it in 1808 to describe areas that remained under Turkish rule after 1699.
Italy until World War II included Istria and some Dalmatian areas (like Zara, known as Zadar), but now it has only the small area of the Province of Trieste inside the Balkan region. However, Trieste and Istria are usually considered not part of the Balkans by Italian geographers, due to a definition of the Balkans that limits its western border to the Kupa river.
Etymology and evolving meaning
The region takes its name from the Stara Planina (Old Mountain) mountain range in Bulgaria and partly in Serbia, commonly known as the Balkan Mountains (from the Turkish balkan meaning "a chain of wooded mountains"). The name is still preserved in Central Asia where there exist the Balkan Mountains and the Balkan Province of Turkmenistan. On a larger scale, the mountains are only one part of a long continuous chain of mountains crossing the region in the form of a reversed letter S, from the Carpathians south to the Balkan range proper, before marching away east into Anatolian Turkey. On the west coast, an offshoot of the Dinaric Alps follows the coast south through Dalmatia and Albania, crosses Greece and continues into the sea in the form of various islands.
The first attested time the name "Balkan" was used in the West for the mountain range in Bulgaria was in a letter sent in 1490 to Pope Innocent VIII by Buonaccorsi Callimaco, an Italian humanist, writer and diplomat. English traveler John Morritt introduced this term into the English literature at the end of the 18th century, and other authors started applying the name to the wider area between the Adriatic and the Black Sea. The concept of the “Balkan peninsula” was created by the German geographer August Zeune in 1808.
As time passed, the term gradually obtained political connotations far from its initial geographic meaning, arising from political changes from the late 19th century to the creation of post–World War I Yugoslavia (initially the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes). Zeune's goal was to have a geographical parallel term to the Italic and Iberian Peninsula, and seemingly nothing more. The gradually acquired political connotations are newer, and, to a large extent, due to oscillating political circumstances.
The term Balkans is generally used to describe areas that remained under Turkish rule after 1699, namely: Moesia, Macedonia, Thrace, Albania, Valahia, Moldavia, Epirus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro (except for the Boka Bay and Budva), central Greece and the Peloponnese. Vojvodina and Transylvania, it is argued, do not belong to Balkans. After the split of Yugoslavia beginning in June 1991, the term 'Balkans' again received a negative meaning, even in casual usage (see Balkanization). Over the last decade, in the wake of the former Yugoslav split, many Slovenians and Croatians, as well as Serbs of Vojvodina have attempted to reject their label as 'Balkan nations'.
This is in part due to the pejorative connotation of the term 'Balkans' in the 1990s, and continuation of this meaning until now. Today, the term 'Southeast Europe' is often used or, in the case of Slovenia and Croatia, 'Central Europe' and Greece has almost exclusively been regarded and referred to as a 'Southern European' country.
Because of the negative connotations of the term "Balkan", the use of the term Southeastern Europe has become increasingly popular even though it refers to a much larger area and thus isn't as precise. A European Union initiative of 1999 is called the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, and the online newspaper Balkan Times renamed itself Southeast European Times in 2003.
European Union institutions and member states define the "Western Balkans" as Albania and the former Yugoslavia, minus Slovenia. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development uses "Western Balkans" to refer to the above states, minus Croatia. Today Western Balkans is more of a political than geographic definition for the region of Southeast Europe that is not yet in the European Union.
See also the Black Sea Regional organizations
Nature and natural resources
Most of the area is covered by mountain ranges running from north-west to south-east. The main ranges are the Dinaric Alps in Slovenia, Croatia, Hercegovina and Montenegro, the Šar massif which spreads from Albania to Macedonia,the Pindus range, spanning from southern Albania into central Greece and the Albanian Alps. In Bulgaria there are ranges running from east to west: the Balkan mountains and the Rhodope mountains at the border with Greece. The highest mountain of the region is Rila in Bulgaria, with Musala at 2925 m, with Mount Olympus in Greece, the throne of Zeus, being second at 2919 m and Vihren in Bulgaria being the third at 2914 m. The karst field or polje is a common feature of the landscape.
On the Adriatic and Aegean coasts the climate is Mediterranean, on the Black Sea coast the climate is humid subtropical and oceanic, and in the inland it is humid continental. In the northern part of the peninsula and on the mountains, winters are frosty and snowy, while summers are hot and dry. In the southern part winters are milder.
During the centuries many woods have been cut down and replaced with bush. In the southern part and on the coast there is evergreen vegetation. In the inland there are woods typical of Central Europe (oak and beech, and in the mountains, spruce, fir and pine). The tree line in the mountains lies at the height of 1800–2300 m. The landscape provides habitats for numerous endemic species, including extraordinarily abundant insects and reptiles that serve as food for a variety of birds of prey and rare vultures.
The soils are generally poor, except on the plains where are as with natural grass, fertile soils and warm summers provide an opportunity for tillage. Elsewhere, land cultivation is mostly unsuccessful because of the mountains, hot summers and poor soils, although certain cultures such as olives and grapes flourish.
Resources of energy are scarce, except in the territory of Kosovo, where considerable coal, lead, zinc, chromium, silver deposits are located. Other deposits of coal, especially in Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Bosnia also exist. Lignite deposits are widespread in Greece. Petroleum is most notably present in Romania, although scarce reserves exist in Greece, Serbia, Albania and Croatia. Natural gas deposits are scarce. Hydropower is in wide use, with over 1,000 dams. The often relentless bora wind is also being harnessed for power generation.
Metal ores are more usual than other raw materials. Iron ore is rare but in some countries there is a considerable amount of copper, zinc, tin, chromite, manganese, magnesite and bauxite. Some metals are exported.
History and geopolitical significance
The Balkan region was the first area of Europe to experience the arrival of farming cultures in the Neolithic era. The practices of growing grain and raising livestock arrived in the Balkans from the Fertile Crescent by way of Anatolia, and spread west and north into Pannonia and Central Europe.
The identity of the Balkans is dominated by its geographical position; historically the area was known as a crossroads of various cultures. It has been a juncture between the Latin and Greek bodies of the Roman Empire, the destination of a massive influx of pagan Slavs, an area where Orthodox and Catholic Christianity met, as well as the meeting point between Islam and Christianity.
In pre-classical and classical antiquity, this region was home to Greeks, Illyrians, Paeonians, Thracians, Dacians and other ancient groups. Later the Roman Empire conquered most of the region and spread Roman culture and the Latin language but significant parts still remained under classical Greek influence. The Slavs arrived in the 6th century and began assimilating and displacing the older inhabitants of the northern and central Balkans. During the Middle Ages, the Balkans became the stage for a series of wars between the Byzantine, Bulgarian and Serbian Empires.
By the end of the 16th century, the Ottoman Empire had become the controlling force in the region after expanding from Anatolia through Thrace to the Balkans. Many people in the Balkans and Carpathians place their greatest folk heroes in the era of either the onslaught or the retreat of the Ottoman Empire. As examples, for Croats, Nikola Šubić Zrinski and Petar Kružić; for Greeks Constantine XI Palaiologos and Kolokotronis for Serbs, Miloš Obilić and Tzar Lazar; for Albanians, George Kastrioti Skanderbeg; for ethnic Macedonians, Nikola Karev  and Goce Delčev; for Bosniaks, Husein Gradaščević and for Bulgarians, Vasil Levski, Georgi Sava Rakovski and Hristo Botev.
In the past several centuries, because of the frequent Ottoman wars in Europe fought in and around the Balkans, and the comparative Ottoman isolation from the mainstream of economic advance (reflecting the shift of Europe's commercial and political centre of gravity towards the Atlantic), the Balkans has been the least developed part of Europe. According to Suraiya Faroqhi and Donald Quataert, "The population of the Balkans, according to one estimate, fell from a high of 8 millions in the late 16th century to only 3 million by the mid-eighteenth. This estimate is in harmony with the first findings based on Ottoman documentary evidence."
Most of the Balkan nation-states emerged during the 19th and early 20th centuries as they gained independence either from the Ottoman Empire or the Austro-Hungarian empire. Serbia in 1817, Greece in 1829, Bulgaria and Montenegro in 1878, Romania in 1878, Albania in 1912, Croatia and Slovenia in 1918.
In 1912–1913 the First Balkan War broke out when the nation-states of Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Montenegro united in an alliance against the Ottoman Empire and after a five months war essentially terminated five centuries of Ottoman' presence in Europe. Two months after the end of the war, a Second Balkan War broke out when Bulgaria, dissatisfied by its share, attacked its allies Serbia and Greece. The Serbs and the Greeks repelled them and after the Greek army invaded Bulgaria following by a Romanian intervention, Bulgaria collapsed. The Ottoman empire used the opportunity to recapture Eastern Thrace, establishing its new western borders that stand until today.
The First World War was sparked in the Balkans in 1914 when a Black hand revolutionary organization with predominately Serbian and pro Yugoslav oriented members assassinated in Bosnia and Herzegovina's capital Sarajevo the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. That caused a war between the two countries which—through the existing chains of alliances-- led to the First World War. The Ottoman empire soon joined the Central powers becoming one of the three empires participating in that alliance. The next year Bulgaria joined the Central Powers attacking Serbia which was successfully fighting Austro-Hungary to the north for a year. That led to Serbia's defeat and the intervention of the Entente in the Balkans which sent an expeditionary force to establish a new front, the third one of that war, which soon also became static. The participation of Greece in the war three years later, in 1918, on the part of the Entente finally altered the balance between the opponents leading to the collapse of the common German-Bulgarian front there which caused the exit of Bulgaria from the war, and in turn the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire ending the First World War.
With the start of the Second World War all Balkan countries with the exception of Greece were allies of Germany having bilateral military agreements or being part of the Axis Pact. Fascist Italy expanded the war in Balkans by using its protectorate Albania to invade Greece. After repelling the attack the Greeks counterattacked, invading Italy-held Albania and causing Nazi Germany's intervention in the Balkans in order to help its ally. Days before the German invasion a successful coup d'état in Belgrade by neutral military personnel seized power.
Although the new government reaffirmed Serbia's intentions to fulfil its obligations as member of the Axis, Germany using its other two allied countries in the region, Bulgaria and Romania, invaded both Greece and Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia immediately disintegrated when those loyal to the Serbian King and the Croatian units mutinied. Greece resisted, but, after two months of fighting, collapsed and was occupied. The two countries were partitioned between the three Axis allies, Bulgaria, Germany and Italy, and two independent states, Croatia and Montenegro were created.
During the occupation the population suffered considerable hardship due to ethnic cleansing policies, repression and starvation, to which the population reacted by creating a mass resistance movement. Together with the early and extremely heavy winter of that year (which caused hundreds of thousands deaths among the poorly fed population), the German invasion had disastrous effects in the timetable of the planned invasion in Russia causing a significant delay which had key consequences to the route of the war.
Finally at the end of 1944, the Soviets invaded Romania and Bulgaria while the Germans evacuated the Balkans. They left behind a region largely ruined as a result of war-time exploitation, but by making use of the post-war separation of Germany into two independent entities, the German states successfully and legally avoided paying any reparations or repaying the forced taken loans to the occupied countries. The official Yugoslav post-war estimate of victims in Yugoslavia during World War II is 1,704,000. Subsequent data gathering in the 1980s by historians Vladimir Žerjavić and Bogoljub Kočović showed that the actual number of dead was about 1 million. Greece suffered more than 300,000 casualties during the occupation.
During the Cold War, most of the countries on the Balkans were governed by communist governments. Greece became the first battleground of the emerging Cold War. The Truman Doctrine was the US response to the civil war, which raged from 1944-49. The Civil War, unleashed by the local communist party, backed by communist volunteers from neighboring countries (Albania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia), led to massive American assistance for the non-communist Greek government. With this backing, Greece managed to defeat the partisans and, ultimately, remained the only non-Communist country in the region.
However, despite being under communist governments, Yugoslavia (1948) and Albania (1961) fell out with the Soviet Union. Yugoslavia, led by marshal Josip Broz Tito (1892–1980), first propped up then rejected the idea of merging with Bulgaria, and instead sought closer relations with the West, later even spearheaded, together with India and Egypt the Non-Aligned Movement. Albania on the other hand gravitated toward Communist China, later adopting an isolationist position.
In the 1990s, the region was gravely affected by the wars between the former Yugoslav republics broken out after Croatia and Slovenia's attempt to change the status of equality between the Yugoslav federated Republics to proportionate status. Serbia in turn declared the dissolution of the union as unconstitutional and the Yugoslavian army unsuccessfully tried to maintain status quo, while Croatia together with Slovenia had declared independence. The Army eventually slowly withdrew from both nations by 1992 and in Croatia the war between the Croatian government and local Serbs would continue until 1995. In the ensuing 10 years armed confrontation, gradually all the other Republics declared independence, with Bosnia being the most affected by the fighting. The long lasting wars resulted in a United Nations intervention and NATO ground and air forces took action against Serb forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia (including its southern province of Kosovo).
From the dissolution of Yugoslavia six republics achieved international recognition as sovereign republics: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. The Albanian institutions in Kosovo, currently under UN administration, declared independence in 2008 (according to the official Serbian policy, Kosovo is still an internal autonomous region). In July 2010, the International Court of Justice, after a UN General Assembly's request, opined that, since there is not an active rule in international law limiting the declarations of independence, the unilateral Kosovar proclamation does not violate it (leaving unanswered the questions about the consequences of said act, including whether with said declaration Kosovo achieved the status of a State). The international community is still divided on the matter and while the majority of the UN members do not recognize it as independent, most NATO and EU countries do. After the end of the wars a revolution broke in Serbia and Slobodan Milošević, the Serbian communist leader (elected president between 1989–2000), was overthrown and handed for trial to the International Criminal Tribunal for crimes against the International Humanitarian Law during the Yugoslav wars. Milošević died of a heart attack in 2006. Ιn 2001 an Albanian uprising in Macedonia forced the country to give local autonomy to the ethnic Albanians in the areas where they predominate.
With the dissolution of Yugoslavia an issue emerged over the name under which the former (federated) republic of Macedonia would internationally be recognized, between the new country and Greece. Being the Macedonian part of Yugoslavia (see Vardar Macedonia), the federated Republic under the Yugoslav identity had the name Republic of Macedonia on which it declared its sovereignty in 1991. Greece, having a large region (see Macedonia (Greece)) also under the same name opposed to the usage of this name as an indication of a nationality. The issue is currently under negotiations after a UN initiation.
Balkan countries control the direct land routes between Western Europe and South West Asia (Asia Minor and the Middle East). Since 2000, all Balkan countries are friendly towards the EU and the USA.
Greece has been a member of the European Union since 1981; Slovenia and Cyprus since 2004. Bulgaria and Romania joined in 2007. In 2005, the European Union decided to start accession negotiations with candidate countries; Croatia, Turkey, and Macedonia were accepted as candidates for European Union membership. As of April 2009, Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Slovenia are also members of NATO. Bosnia and Herzegovina and what was then Serbia and Montenegro started negotiations with the EU over the Stabilization and Accession Agreements, although shortly after they started, negotiations with Serbia and Montenegro were suspended for lack of co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. In 2008 Greece vetoed Macedonia's NATO membership bid over the Macedonia naming dispute between the two countries.
All other countries have expressed a desire to join the EU but at some date in the future.
The Balkans today is a very diverse ethno-linguistic region, being home to multiple Slavic, Romance, and Turkic languages, as well as Greek, Albanian and others. Through its history many other ethnic groups with their own languages lived in the area, among them Thracians, Illyrians, Romans, Pechenegs, Cumans, Avars, Celts and various Germanic tribes.
The population of countries of the region is:
State Population Albania 3,195,000 Bosnia and Herzegovina 3,843,126 Bulgaria 7,364,570 Croatia 4,290,619 Greece 10,787,690 Italy 236,520 in the Province of Trieste Kosovo[a] 1,733,872 Macedonia 2,048,619 Montenegro 620,145 Romania 971,643 in Dobruja Serbia 7,276,195 Slovenia 2,038,733 Turkey 9,799,745 in the European part;
or 1,566,626 in the European part if excluding city of Istanbul
Note that most of Slovenia and parts of Serbia and Croatia are not included in the Balkans, yet these parts are included in the population counts in the table.
The region's principal religions are Christianity (Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic) and Islam. A variety of different traditions of each faith are practiced, with each of the Eastern Orthodox countries having its own national church.
Eastern Orthodoxy is the principal religion in the following countries:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina (Serbian Orthodox Church)
- Bulgaria (Bulgarian Orthodox Church)
- Greece (Greek Orthodox Church)
- Macedonia (Macedonian Orthodox Church)
- Montenegro (Serbian Orthodox Church and Montenegrin Orthodox Church)
- Romania (Romanian Orthodox Church)
- Serbia (Serbian Orthodox Church)
Roman Catholicism is the principal religion in the following countries:
- Croatia (87.83% Catholics (3 897 332); according to 2001 census official data)
- Slovenia (57.80% Catholics (1 135 626); according to 2002 census official data)
Islam is the principal religion in the following countries:
- Albania (absolute majority)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina (relative majority)
- Turkey (absolute majority)
The following countries have minority religious groups of the following denominations:
- Albania: Orthodoxy, Catholicism
- Bosnia and Herzegovina: Orthodoxy, Catholicism
- Bulgaria: Islam
- Croatia: Orthodoxy, Islam
- Greece: Islam
- Macedonia: Islam
- Montenegro: Islam
- Serbia: Catholicism, mainly in the province of Vojvodina, and Islam, mainly in Kosovo and Raška/Sandžak (absolute majority)
- Romania: Catholicism
The Jewish communities of the Balkans were some of the oldest in Europe and date back to ancient times. The Jewish communities of the Balkans were Sephardi Jews, except in Slovenia, Croatia and Romania where the Jewish communities were Ashkenazi Jews. In Slovenia, there were Jewish immigrants dating back to Roman times pre-dating the 6th century settlement of the region by the Slavic peoples. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the tiny and fast disappearing Jewish community is 90% Sephardic and Ladino is still spoken among the elderly. The Sephardi Jewish cemetery in Sarajevo has tombstones of a unique shape, inscribed in ancient Ladino. Sephardi Jews used to have a large presence in the city of Thessaloniki, and by 1900, some 80,000, or more than half of the population, were Jews.
However the Jewish communities in the Balkans suffered immensely during World War II and the vast majority were killed during the Holocaust. However an exception were the Bulgarian Jews many of whom were saved by Boris III of Bulgaria, who resisted Adolf Hitler for their deportation to concentration camps. Almost all of the few survivors have emigrated to the (then) newly founded state of Israel and elsewhere. No Balkan country today has a significant Jewish minority.
A list of cities with population of over 200,000 inhabitants:
City Location Population Istanbul Turkey 8,803,468 (c. 5,000,000 in the Balkan part) Athens Greece 3,074,160 Belgrade Serbia 1,710,000. Sofia Bulgaria 1,270,284 Thessaloniki Greece 790,824 Zagreb Croatia 686,568 Skopje Macedonia 668,518 Tirana Albania 618,431 Novi Sad Serbia 381,388 Plovdiv Bulgaria 338,153 Varna Bulgaria 334,870 Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina 310,605 Constanța Romania 302,040 Niš Serbia 279, 564 Ljubljana Slovenia 272,220 Patras Greece 214,580 Corlu Turkey 206,134 Trieste Italy 205,374 Durres Albania 203,550 Burgas Bulgaria 200,271
Notes and references
a. ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, while Serbia claims it as part of its own sovereign territory. Its independence is recognised by 85 UN member states.
- ^ Robin Okey. Taming Balkan Nationalism. Oxford University Press, 2007.
- ^ a b "Balkan". Balkan. Microsoft Corporation. http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_/balkan.html. Retrieved 2008-03-31.
- ^ "balkan". Büyük Türkçe Sözlük. http://www.tdkterim.gov.tr/bts/: Türk Dil Kurumu. "Sarp ve ormanlık sıradağ"
- ^ "The Hemus mountains - a Thracian name, p.54". Bulgaria. Indiana University. http://books.google.com/books?id=VDoQAQAAMAAJ&q=hemus+thracian+name&dq=hemus+thracian+name&output=html_text&cd=6.
- ^ Boundary between Greek and Latin
- ^ a b Jelavich, Barbara (1983). History of the Balkans: Eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Cambridge University Press. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-521-27458-6. http://books.google.com/?id=qR4EeOrTm-0C&printsec=frontcover.
- ^ britannica.com; encarta.msn.com (Archived 2009-10-31); The Columbia Encyclopedia.
- ^ Tintero, Felipa L.; Felicitas R. Manacsa. World Geography Affected by World Upheavals. Goodwill Trading Co., Inc.. p. 51. ISBN 9715740413. http://books.google.com/?id=jsnlxH9nnn4C&printsec=frontcover.
- ^ Istituto Geografico De Agostini, L'Enciclopedia Geografica - Vol.I - Italia, 2004, Ed. De Agostini p.78
- ^ "Balkhan Mountains.". World Land Features Database. Land.WorldCityDB.com. http://land.worldcitydb.com/balkhan_mountains_3522246.html. Retrieved 2008-03-31.
- ^ Todorova, Maria (2009). Imagining the Balkans. Oxford University Press US. p. 22. ISBN 0-19-538786-4.
- ^ Pavic, Silvia (2000-11-22). "Some Thoughts About The Balkans.". About, Inc.. http://geography.about.com/library/misc/ucbalkans.htm. Retrieved 2008-03-31.
- ^ Lindstrom, Nicole (2003). "Between Europe and the Balkans: Mapping Slovenia and Croatia's 'Return to Europe' in the 1990s". Dialectical Anthropology 27 (3–4): 313–329. doi:10.1023/B:DIAL.0000006189.45297.9e.
- ^ Bideleux, Robert; Ian Jeffries (2007). A history of Eastern Europe. Taylor & Francis. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-415-36627-4. http://books.google.com/?id=PTB0gn_qwTcC&printsec=frontcover.
- ^ "Western Balkans: Enhancing the European Perspective". Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council. 2008-03-05. http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/pdf/balkans_communication/western_balkans_communication_050308_en.pdf. Retrieved 2008-04-08.
- ^ Marjola Xhunga (2006-05-21). "Western Balkans Initiative launched". European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Archived from the original on 2008-06-16. http://web.archive.org/web/20080616200335/http://www.ebrd.com/new/stories/2006/060521a.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-17.
- ^ "Regions and territories: Kosovo". BBC News. 2009-11-20. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/country_profiles/3524092.stm. Retrieved 2010-04-17.
- ^ "Twenty Years of Balkan Tangle". Mary Edith Durham (2007). p.125. ISBN 1434634264
- ^ a b Considered a Bulgarian in Bulgaria
- ^ "An economic and social history of the Ottoman Empire". Suraiya Faroqhi, Donald Quataert (1997). Cambridge University Press. p.652. ISBN 0521574552
- ^ Encyclopedia of World War I, Spencer Tucker,Priscilla Mary Roberts, p.242
- ^ Europe in Flames, J. Klam, 2002, p.41
- ^ Russia's life-saver, Albert Loren Weeks, 2004, p.98
- ^ Germany and the 2nd World War Volume III:The Mediterranean, south-east Europe, and north Africa, 1939-1941, Gerhard Schreiber,Bernd Stegemann,Detlef Vogel, 1995, p.484
- ^ Germany and the 2nd World War Volume III:The Mediterranean, south-east Europe, and north Africa, 1939-1941, Gerhard Schreiber,Bernd Stegemann,Detlef Vogel, 1995, p.521
- ^ Inside Hitler's Greece:The Experience of Occupation, Mark Mazower, 1993
- ^ Hermann Goring: Hitler's Second-In-Command, Fred Ramen, 2002, p.61
- ^ The encyclopedia of codenames of World War II#Marita, Christopher Chant, 1986, p.125-6
- ^ Ceremony marks the accession of Albania and Croatia to NATO, NATO - News, 7 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-18.
- ^ "Anketa e Matjes së Nivelit të Jetesës 2008". http://www.instat.gov.al/.
- ^ Bosnian Statistical Institute, 2010
- ^ "Bulgarian 2011 census". http://www.nsi.bg/Census_e/Ethnos.htm.
- ^ Croatian 2011 census
- ^ Greek 2011 census
- ^ Italian Census of 2009
- ^ Kosovan 2011 census
- ^ "State Statistical Office, Republic of Macedonia". Stat.gov.mk. http://www.stat.gov.mk/english/glavna_eng.asp. Retrieved 2010-04-17.
- ^ Official results of the 2003 Montenegrin census
- ^ The 2002 census counted 715,151 persons in the Constanţa County and 256,492 persons in the Tulcea County, Recenseamant.ro
- ^ 2011 estimate by "The Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia". http://webrzs.stat.gov.rs/WebSite/Public/PageView.aspx?pKey=2. This data refers only to central Serbia (including the province of Vojvodina). The Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia cannot provide data of the current population of Kosovo due to the situacion in the terrain.
- ^ "Population, Slovenia, 31 March 2009". Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia. 2009-07-31. http://www.stat.si/eng/novica_prikazi.aspx?id=2505. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
- ^ a b Turkish Statistical Institute. "2009 Census, population by provinces and districts". Turkish Statistical Institute. http://tuikapp.tuik.gov.tr/adnksdagitapp/adnks.zul?dil=2.
- ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, while Serbia claims it as part of its own sovereign territory. Its independence is recognised by 85 UN member states.
- ^ Jews of Yugoslavia 1941–1945 Victims of Genocide and Freedom Fighters, Jasa Romano
- ^ European Jewish Congress - Bosnia-Herzegovina, Accessed July 15, 2008.
- ^ "Greece". Jewish Virtual Library.
- ^ http://www.citypopulation.de/Turkey-C20.html Largest cities in Turkey in their administrative limits
- ^ a b c "'Πίνακας 1: Προσωρινά αποτελέσματα του Μόνιμου Πληθυσμού της Ελλάδος'". National Statistical Service of Greece: Ανακοίνωση προσωρινών αποτελεσμάτων Απογραφής Πληθυσμού 2011, 22 Ιουλίου 2011. http://www.tovima.gr/files/1/2011/07/22/apografh22.pdf.
- ^ "Statistical yearbook of Belgrade" (pdf, link IE only). Zavod za informatiku i statistiku Grada Beograda. 2009. p. 66. https://zis.beograd.gov.rs/upload/G_2009S.pdf.
- ^ http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:tGmhZgG6tW0J:www.nsi.bg/EPDOCS/Census2011pr.pdf+%D0%BF%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%B1%D1%80%D0%BE%D1%8F%D0%B2%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B5+2011+%D0%B3%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%B4%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B5&hl=bg&gl=bg Bulgarian 2011 census
- Banac, Ivo (October 1992). "Historiography of the Countries of Eastern Europe: Yugoslavia". American Historical Review (University of Chicago Press) 97 (4): 1084–1104. doi:10.2307/2165494. JSTOR 2165494.
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- Western Balkans Photos and tourism information about: Croatia, Serbia, BiH and Montenegro
- South-East Europe Review
- Introduction to Tourism in the Area
- Balkan History by Steven W. Sowards
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- Southeast European Times
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- Analysis from Balkans
- Balkan Business News
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