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The Balkans, or the Balkan Peninsula, is a geographic area in southeastern Europe
Europe
with various and disputed definitions.[1][2] The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains
Balkan Mountains
that stretch from the Serbian-Bulgarian border to the Black Sea. The Balkan Peninsula
Peninsula
is bordered by the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
on the northwest, the Ionian Sea
Ionian Sea
on the southwest, the Aegean Sea
Aegean Sea
in the south and southeast, and the Black Sea
Black Sea
on the east and northeast. The northern border of the peninsula is variously defined. The highest point of the Balkans
Balkans
is Mount Musala, 2,925 metres (9,596 ft), in the Rila mountain range.

Contents

1 Name

1.1 Etymology 1.2 Historical names

1.2.1 Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity
and the early Middle Ages 1.2.2 Late Middle Ages
Middle Ages
and Ottoman period

1.3 Evolution of meaning 1.4 Southeast Europe 1.5 Current

2 Definitions and boundaries

2.1 Balkan Peninsula 2.2 Balkans 2.3 Western Balkans

3 Nature and natural resources 4 History and geopolitical significance

4.1 Antiquity 4.2 Early modern period 4.3 Recent history

4.3.1 World Wars 4.3.2 Cold War 4.3.3 Post–Cold War

5 Politics and economy

5.1 Regional organizations

6 Statistics 7 Demographics

7.1 Religion 7.2 Languages 7.3 Urbanization

8 Time zones 9 Culture 10 See also 11 Notes 12 References 13 Sources 14 External links

Name[edit] Etymology[edit] The word "Balkan" comes from Ottoman Turkish balkan 'a chain of wooded mountains";[3][4] related words are also found in other Turkic languages.[5] The origin of the Turkic word is obscure; it may be related to Persian bālk meaning "mud", and the Turkish suffix an, i.e., swampy forest[6] or Persian balā-khāna 'big high house'.[7] Historical names[edit] Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity
and the early Middle Ages[edit] From classical antiquity through the Middle Ages, the Balkan Mountains were called by the local Thracian[8] name Haemus.[9] According to Greek mythology, the Thracian king Haemus was turned into a mountain by Zeus
Zeus
as a punishment and the mountain has remained with his name. A reverse name scheme has also been suggested. D. Dechev considers that Haemus (Αἷμος) is derived from a Thracian word *saimon, 'mountain ridge'.[10] A third possibility is that "Haemus" (Αἵμος) derives from the Greek word "haema" (αἷμα) meaning 'blood'. The myth relates to a fight between Zeus
Zeus
and the monster/titan Typhon. Zeus
Zeus
injured Typhon
Typhon
with a thunder bolt and Typhon's blood fell on the mountains, from which they got their name.[11] Late Middle Ages
Middle Ages
and Ottoman period[edit] The earliest mention of the name appears in an early 14th-century Arab map, in which the Haemus mountains are referred to as Balkan.[12] The first attested time the name "Balkan" was used in the West for the mountain range in Bulgaria
Bulgaria
was in a letter sent in 1490 to Pope Innocent VIII
Innocent VIII
by Buonaccorsi Callimaco, an Italian humanist, writer and diplomat.[13] The Ottomans first mention it in a document dated from 1565.[7] There has been no other documented usage of the word to refer to the region before that, although other Turkic tribes had already settled in or were passing through the Peninsula.[7] There is also a claim about an earlier Bulgar
Bulgar
Turkic origin of the word popular in Bulgaria, however it is only an unscholarly assertion.[7] The word was used by the Ottomans in Rumelia
Rumelia
in its general meaning of mountain, as in Kod̲j̲a-Balkan, Čatal-Balkan, and Ungurus-Balkani̊, but especially it was applied to the Haemus mountain.[14][15] The name is still preserved in Central Asia
Central Asia
with the Balkan Daglary
Balkan Daglary
(Balkan Mountains)[16] and the Balkan Province
Balkan Province
of Turkmenistan. English traveler John Morritt
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 "Balkans" was created by the German geographer August Zeune in 1808.[17] During the 1820s, "Balkan became the preferred although not yet exclusive term alongside Haemus among British travelers... Among Russian travelers not so burdened by classical toponymy, Balkan was the preferred term."[18] Evolution of meaning[edit] As time passed, the term gradually acquired 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
Yugoslavia
(initially the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats
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.[clarification needed] After the dissolution of Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
beginning in June 1991, the term "Balkans" again received a negative meaning, especially in Croatia
Croatia
and Slovenia, even in casual usage (see Balkanization). Southeast Europe[edit] Main article: Southeast Europe In part due to the historical and political connotations of the term "Balkans",[19] especially since the military conflicts of the 1990s, the term "Southeast Europe" is becoming increasingly popular even though it literally refers to a much larger area and thus is less precise.[20] A European Union
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. Current[edit] In the languages of the region, the peninsula is known as:

Slavic languages:

Bulgarian: Балкански полуостров, transliterated: Balkanski poluostrov Macedonian: Балкански Полуостров, transliterated: Balkanski Poluostrov Serbian: Балканско полуострво / Balkansko poluostrvo Croatian: Balkanski poluotok Slovene: Balkanski polotok Bosnian: Balkansko poluostrvo / Балканско полуострво

Romance languages:

Romanian: Peninsula
Peninsula
Balcanică

Other languages:

Albanian: Gadishulli Ballkanik and Siujdhesa e Ballkanit Greek: Βαλκανική χερσόνησος, transliterated: Valkaniki chersonisos Turkish: Balkan Yarımadası (or alternatively: Balkanlar)

Definitions and boundaries[edit] Balkan Peninsula[edit]

The Balkan Peninsula, as defined by the Soča–Vipava–Krka–Sava– Danube
Danube
border.

The Peninsula's most extensive definition, bordered by water on three sides and connected with a line on the fourth

The Balkan Peninsula
Peninsula
is surrounded by the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
to the west, the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
(including the Ionian and Aegean seas) and the Marmara Sea
Marmara Sea
to the south and the Black Sea
Black Sea
to the east. Its northern boundary is often given as the Danube, Sava
Sava
and Kupa
Kupa
Rivers.[21][22] The Balkan Peninsula
Peninsula
has a combined area of about 470,000 km2 (181,000 sq mi) (slightly smaller than Spain). It is more or less identical to the region known as Southeastern Europe.[23][24][25] From 1920 until World War II, Italy
Italy
included Istria
Istria
and some Dalmatian areas (like Zara, today's Zadar) that are within the general definition of the Balkan peninsula. The current territory of Italy includes only the small area around Trieste
Trieste
inside the Balkan Peninsula. However, the regions of Trieste
Trieste
and Istria
Istria
are not usually considered part of the Balkans
Balkans
by Italian geographers, due to their definition of the Balkans
Balkans
that limits its western border to the Kupa River.[26] Share of land area[27] within the Balkan Peninsula
Peninsula
by country by the Danube- Sava
Sava
definition: Entirely within the Balkans:

 Albania: 28,750 km2 (100% of total land)  Bulgaria : 110,800 km2 (100%)  Bosnia and Herzegovina: 51,180 km2 (100%)  Kosovo[a]: 10,908 km2 (100%)  Macedonia: 25,710 km2 (100%)  Montenegro: 13,810 km2 (100%)

Mostly or partially within the Balkans:

  Croatia
Croatia
(southern mainland): 30,000 km2 (54%)   Greece
Greece
(mainland): 104,470 km2[28] (80%)   Italy
Italy
( Trieste
Trieste
and Monfalcone): 300 km2 (0.1%)   Romania
Romania
(mainland Dobruja): 12,000 km2 (5%)   Serbia
Serbia
(southern part excluding Vojvodina, northern Belgrade54,000 km2 (65%)   Slovenia
Slovenia
(southwestern part): 5,000 km2 (25%)   Turkey
Turkey
(European part): 23,764 km2 (3%)

Balkans[edit] The abstract term "the Balkans", unlike the geographical borders of the Peninsula, is defined by the political borders of the states composing it. The term is used to describe areas beyond the Balkan Peninsula, or inversely[clarification needed] in the case of the part of Italy
Italy
in the Peninsula, which is always excluded from the Balkans and as a totality is generally accepted as part of Western Europe
Europe
and the Apennines. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, the Balkans
Balkans
are usually said to comprise Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo,[a] the Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, while Greece
Greece
and Turkey
Turkey
are often excluded (depending on the definition), and its total area is usually given as 666,700 square km (257,400 square miles) and the population as 59,297,000 (est. 2002).[29] According to an earlier version of the Britannica, the Balkans comprise the territories of the states of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo,[a] the Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia
Slovenia
and the European part of Turkey; it notes Turkey
Turkey
as a non-Balkan state and the inclusion of Slovenia
Slovenia
and the Transylvanian part of Romania
Romania
in the region as dubious.[30] Inclusion of Balkan states in other regions:

  Albania
Albania
(alternatively placed in Southeastern Europe,[31] Southern Europe[32] or Eastern Europe[33])   Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
(alternatively placed in Southeastern Europe,[34] Southern Europe[32] or Eastern Europe[33])   Bulgaria
Bulgaria
(alternatively placed in Southeastern Europe[35] or Eastern Europe[32])   Croatia
Croatia
(alternatively placed in Central Europe,[36][37][38][39][40] Southeastern Europe,[41][42][43] Southern Europe[32] or Eastern Europe[33])   Greece
Greece
(alternatively placed in Western Europe,[44] Southern Europe[45][46] and Southeastern Europe[47])  Kosovo[a] (alternatively placed in Southeastern Europe,[48] Southern Europe[32] or Eastern Europe[33])  Macedonia (alternatively placed in Southeastern Europe,[49] Southern Europe[32] or Eastern Europe[33])   Montenegro
Montenegro
(alternatively placed in Southeastern Europe,[50] Southern Europe[32] or Eastern Europe[33])   Romania
Romania
(alternatively placed in Eastern Europe,[32] Southeastern Europe[51][52][53][54][55][56] and Central Europe[51][52][53][57])   Serbia
Serbia
(alternatively placed in Southeastern Europe[58] and Southern Europe,[32] Central Europe[59] or Eastern Europe[33])   Slovenia
Slovenia
(alternatively placed in Central Europe[60] Southern Europe,[32] Southeastern Europe,[61] or Eastern Europe[33])   Turkey
Turkey
(European part) (alternatively placed in Western Asia, Southwestern Asia[62] and Southeastern Europe[62][b])

Western Balkans[edit] Further information: 2015 Western Balkans
Balkans
Summit, Vienna

Western Balkan countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. The partially recognized Kosovo
Kosovo
is also demarcated. Croatia
Croatia
joined the EU in 2013.

The institutions of the European Union
European Union
have defined the "Western Balkans" as the Balkan area that includes countries that are not members of the European Union, while others refer to the geographical aspects. [63][64][65][66][67][68][69][70][71][72] The Western Balkans is a neologism coined to describe the countries of "ex-Yugoslavia (minus Slovenia) and Albania".[73] Thus, the region includes: Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania.[65][66][67][68][69][70][71][72] Each of these countries aims to be part of the future enlargement of the European Union
European Union
and reach democracy and transmission scores but, until then, they will be strongly connected with the pre-EU waiting program CEFTA.[74] Croatia, which was considered to be part of the Western Balkans, joined the EU in July 2013.[75] Nature and natural resources[edit]

Panorama of Stara Planina. Its highest peak is Botev at a height of 2,376 m.

View toward Rila, the highest mountain in the Balkans
Balkans
which reaches 2925 m

Golubac Fortress
Golubac Fortress
in Serbia, guarding the Danubian frontier of the Balkans

Most of the area is covered by mountain ranges running from the northwest to southeast. The main ranges are the Balkan mountains, running from the Black Sea
Black Sea
coast in Bulgaria
Bulgaria
to its border with Serbia, the Rhodope mountains
Rhodope mountains
in southern Bulgaria
Bulgaria
and northern Greece, the Dinaric Alps
Dinaric Alps
in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia
Croatia
and Montenegro, the Šar massif which spreads from Albania
Albania
to Macedonia, and the Pindus
Pindus
range, spanning from southern Albania
Albania
into central Greece
Greece
and the Albanian Alps. The highest mountain of the region is Rila
Rila
in Bulgaria, with Musala
Musala
at 2925 m, Mount Olympus in Greece, the throne of Zeus, being second at 2917 m and Vihren
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
Black Sea
coast the climate is humid subtropical and oceanic, and 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. The humid continental climate is predominant in Bosnia and Herzegovina, northern Croatia, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Macedonia, northern Montenegro, the interior of Albania
Albania
and Serbia, while the other, less common climates, the humid subtropical and oceanic climates, are seen on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria
Bulgaria
and Turkey; and the Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
is seen on the coast of Albania, the coast of Croatia, Greece, southern Montenegro
Montenegro
and the Aegean coast of Turkey.[clarification needed][citation needed] Over the centuries many woods have been cut down and replaced with bush. In the southern part and on the coast there is evergreen vegetation. Inland there are woods typical of Central Europe
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 land 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 areas 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 olive and grape flourish. Resources of energy are scarce, except in the territory of Kosovo, where considerable coal, lead, zinc, chromium and silver deposits are located.[76] Other deposits of coal, especially in Bulgaria, Serbia and Bosnia, also exist. Lignite
Lignite
deposits are widespread in Greece. Petroleum
Petroleum
scarce reserves exist in Greece, Serbia
Serbia
and Albania. Natural gas deposits are scarce. Hydropower
Hydropower
is in wide use, from 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[edit]

The Jireček Line

Apollonia ruins near Fier, Albania.

Ruins of the Roman-era palace Felix Romuliana, UNESCO, Serbia.

Main article: History of the Balkans Antiquity[edit] The Balkan region was the first area in Europe
Europe
to experience the arrival of farming cultures in the Neolithic
Neolithic
era. The Balkans
Balkans
have been inhabited since the Paleolithic
Paleolithic
and are the route by which farming from the Middle East
Middle East
spread to Europe
Europe
during the Neolithic (7th millennium BC).[77][78] The practices of growing grain and raising livestock arrived in the Balkans
Balkans
from the Fertile Crescent
Fertile Crescent
by way of Anatolia
Anatolia
and spread west and north into Central Europe, particularly through Pannonia. Two early culture-complexes have developed in the region, Starčevo culture
Starčevo culture
and Vinča culture. The Balkans
Balkans
are also the location of the first advanced civilizations. Vinča culture
Vinča culture
developed a form of proto-writing before the Sumerians and Minoans, known as the Old European script, while the bulk of the symbols had been created in the period between 4500 and 4000 BC, with the ones on the Tărtăria clay tablets even dating back to around 5300 BC.[79] The identity of the Balkans
Balkans
is dominated by its geographical position; historically the area was known as a crossroads of cultures. It has been a juncture between the Latin
Latin
and Greek bodies of the Roman Empire, the destination of a massive influx of pagan Bulgars
Bulgars
and Slavs, an area where Orthodox and Catholic
Catholic
Christianity met,[80] as well as the meeting point between Islam
Islam
and Christianity. In pre-classical and classical antiquity, this region was home to Greeks, Illyrians, Paeonians, Thracians, Dacians, and other ancient groups. The Achaemenid Persian Empire incorporated parts of the Balkans
Balkans
comprising Macedonia, Thrace, Bulgaria, and the Black Sea coastal region of Romania
Romania
between the late 6th and the first half of the 5th-century BC into its territories.[81] 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 Romans considered the Rhodope Mountains
Rhodope Mountains
to be the northern limit of the Peninsula
Peninsula
of Haemus and the same limit applied approximately to the border between Greek and Latin
Latin
use in the region (later called the Jireček Line).[82] The Bulgars
Bulgars
and Slavs
Slavs
arrived in the 6th-century and began assimilating and displacing already-assimilated (through Romanization and Hellenization) older inhabitants of the northern and central Balkans, forming the Bulgarian Empire.[83] During the Middle Ages, the Balkans
Balkans
became the stage for a series of wars between the Byzantine Roman and the Bulgarian Empires. Early modern period[edit] By the end of the 16th-century, the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
had become the controlling force in the region after expanding from Anatolia
Anatolia
through Thrace
Thrace
to the Balkans. Many people in the Balkans
Balkans
place their greatest folk heroes in the era of either the onslaught or the retreat of the Ottoman Empire.[citation needed] As examples, for Greeks, Constantine XI Palaiologos and Kolokotronis; and for Serbs, Miloš Obilić
Miloš Obilić
and Tzar Lazar; for Montenegrins, Đurađ I Balšić
Đurađ I Balšić
and Ivan Crnojević; for Albanians, George Kastrioti Skanderbeg; for ethnic Macedonians, Nikola Karev[84] and Goce Delčev;[84] for Bulgarians, Vasil Levski, Georgi Sava
Sava
Rakovski and Hristo Botev
Hristo Botev
and for Croats, Nikola Šubić Zrinjski.

Modern political history of the Balkans
Balkans
from 1796 onwards.

Hagia Sophia, an Eastern Orthodox Christian
Eastern Orthodox Christian
cathedral built in the 6th-century in Constantinople
Constantinople
(present-day Istanbul, Turkey), later an imperial mosque, and now a museum.

In the past several centuries, because of the frequent Ottoman wars in Europe
Europe
fought in and around the Balkans
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
Balkans
has been the least developed part of Europe. According to Halil İnalcık, "The population of the Balkans, according to one estimate, fell from a high of 8 million 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."[85] Most of the Balkan nation-states emerged during the 19th and early 20th centuries as they gained independence from the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
or the Austro-Hungarian empire ( Greece
Greece
in 1821, Serbia, Montenegro
Montenegro
in 1878, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
in 1908, Albania
Albania
in 1912). Recent history[edit]

Tsarevets, a medieval stronghold in the former capital of the Bulgarian Empire
Bulgarian Empire
— Veliko Tarnovo.

The 13th-century church of St. John at Kaneo and the Ohrid Lake
Ohrid Lake
in Macedonia. The lake and town were declared a World Heritage
World Heritage
Site by UNESCO
UNESCO
in 1980.

World Wars[edit]

Austro-Hungarian troops executing Serbian civilians, 1914. Serbia
Serbia
lost about 850,000 people during the war, a quarter of its pre-war population.[86]

In 1912–1913 the First Balkan War
First Balkan War
broke out when the nation-states of Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece
Greece
and Montenegro
Montenegro
united in an alliance against the Ottoman Empire. As a result of the war, almost all remaining European territories of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
were captured and partitioned among the allies. Ensuing events also led to the creation of an independent Albanian state. Bulgaria
Bulgaria
insisted on its status quo territorial integrity, divided and shared by the Great Powers next to the Russo-Turkish War (1877–78)
Russo-Turkish War (1877–78)
in other boundaries and on the pre-war Bulgarian-Serbian agreement. Bulgaria
Bulgaria
was provoked by the backstage deals between its former allies, Serbia
Serbia
and Greece, on the allocation of the spoils at the end of the First Balkan War. At the time, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
was fighting at the main Thracian Front. Bulgaria
Bulgaria
marks the beginning of Second Balkan War
Second Balkan War
when it attacked them. The Serbs and the Greeks
Greeks
repulsed single attacks, but when the Greek army invaded Bulgaria
Bulgaria
together with an unprovoked Romanian intervention in the back, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
collapsed. The Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
used the opportunity to recapture Eastern Thrace, establishing its new western borders that still stand today as part of modern Turkey. The First World War
First World War
was sparked in the Balkans
Balkans
in 1914 when members of Mlada Bosna, a revolutionary organization with predominately Serbian and pro-Yugoslav members, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
in Bosnia and Herzegovina's capital, Sarajevo. That caused a war between the two countries which—through the existing chains of alliances—led to the First World War. The Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
soon joined the Central Powers
Central Powers
becoming one of the three empires participating in that alliance. The next year Bulgaria
Bulgaria
joined the Central Powers
Central Powers
attacking Serbia, which was successfully fighting Austro- Hungary
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
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
Bulgaria
from the war, and in turn the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, ending the First World War.[87] With the start of the Second World War, all Balkan countries, with the exception of Greece, were allies of Nazi Germany, having bilateral military agreements or being part of the Axis Pact. Fascist Italy expanded the war in the Balkans
Balkans
by using its protectorate Albania
Albania
to invade Greece. After repelling the attack, the Greeks
Greeks
counterattacked, invading Italy-held Albania
Albania
and causing Nazi Germany's intervention in the Balkans
Balkans
to help its ally.[88] Days before the German invasion, a successful coup d'état in Belgrade
Belgrade
by neutral military personnel seized power.[89] Although the new government reaffirmed Serbia's intentions to fulfill its obligations as member of the Axis,[90] Germany, with Bulgaria, invaded both Greece
Greece
and Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
immediately disintegrated when those loyal to the Serbian King and the Croatian units mutinied.[91] Greece
Greece
resisted, but, after two months of fighting, collapsed and was occupied. The two countries were partitioned between the three Axis allies, Bulgaria, Germany
Germany
and Italy, and the Independent State of Croatia, a puppet state of Italy and Germany. During the occupation the population suffered considerable hardship due to repression and starvation, to which the population reacted by creating a mass resistance movement.[92] 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
Russia
causing a significant delay,[93] which had major consequences during the course of the war.[94] Finally, at the end of 1944, the Soviets entered Romania
Romania
and Bulgaria forcing the Germans out of the Balkans. They left behind a region largely ruined as a result of wartime exploitation. Cold War[edit] During the Cold War, most of the countries on the Balkans
Balkans
were governed by communist governments. Greece
Greece
became the first battleground of the emerging Cold War. The Truman Doctrine
Truman Doctrine
was the US response to the civil war, which raged from 1944 to 1949. This civil war, unleashed by the Communist Party of Greece, backed by communist volunteers from neighboring countries (Albania, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
and Yugoslavia), led to massive American assistance for the non-communist Greek government. With this backing, Greece
Greece
managed to defeat the partisans and, ultimately, remained the only non-communist country in the region. However, despite being under communist governments, Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
(1948) and Albania
Albania
(1961) fell out with the Soviet Union. Yugoslavia, led by Marshal Josip Broz Tito
Josip Broz Tito
(1892–1980), first propped up then rejected the idea of merging with Bulgaria
Bulgaria
and instead sought closer relations with the West, later even spearheaded, together with India and Egypt the Non-Aligned Movement. Albania
Albania
on the other hand gravitated toward Communist China, later adopting an isolationist position. As the only non-communist countries, Greece
Greece
and Turkey
Turkey
were (and still are) part of NATO
NATO
composing the southeastern wing of the alliance. Post–Cold War[edit] In the 1990s, the transition of the regions' ex-Soviet bloc countries towards democratic free-market societies went peacefully with the exception of Yugoslavia. Wars between the former Yugoslav republics broke out after Slovenia
Slovenia
and Croatia
Croatia
held free elections and their people voted for independence on their respective countries' referenda. Serbia
Serbia
in turn declared the dissolution of the union as unconstitutional and the Yugoslavian army unsuccessfully tried to maintain status quo. Slovenia
Slovenia
and Croatia
Croatia
declared independence on 25 June 1991, followed by the Ten-Day War
Ten-Day War
in Slovenia. Till October 1991, the Army withdrew from Slovenia, and in Croatia, the Croatian War of Independence 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
United Nations
intervention and NATO ground and air forces took action against Serb forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.

State entities on the former territory of Yugoslavia, 2008

From the dissolution of Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
six republics achieved international recognition as sovereign republics, but these are traditionally included in Balkans: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro
Montenegro
and Serbia. In 2008, while under UN administration, Kosovo
Kosovo
declared independence (according to the official Serbian policy, Kosovo
Kosovo
is still an internal autonomous region). In July 2010, the International Court of Justice, ruled that the declaration of independence was legal.[95] Most UN member states recognise Kosovo. After the end of the wars a revolution broke in Serbia
Serbia
and Slobodan Milošević, the Serbian communist leader (elected president between 1989 and 2000), was overthrown and handed for trial to the International Criminal Tribunal for crimes against the International Humanitarian Law
International Humanitarian Law
during the Yugoslav wars. Milošević died of a heart attack in 2006 before a verdict could have been released. Ιn 2001 an Albanian uprising in Macedonia forced the country to give local autonomy to the ethnic Albanians
Albanians
in the areas where they predominate. With the dissolution of Yugoslavia
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
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) 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
( Asia Minor
Asia Minor
and the Middle East). Since 2000, all Balkan countries are friendly towards the EU and the USA.[citation needed] Greece
Greece
has been the member of the European Union
European Union
since 1981 while Slovenia
Slovenia
is a member since 2004, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
and Romania
Romania
are members since 2007, and Croatia
Croatia
is a member since 2013. In 2005, the European Union decided to start accession negotiations with candidate countries; Turkey, and Macedonia were accepted as candidates for EU membership. In 2012, Montenegro
Montenegro
started accession negotiations with the EU. In 2014, Albania
Albania
is an official candidate for accession to the EU. In 2015, Serbia
Serbia
is expected to start accession negotiations with the EU. Greece
Greece
and Turkey
Turkey
have been NATO
NATO
members since 1952. In March 2004, Bulgaria, Romania
Romania
and Slovenia
Slovenia
have become members of NATO. As of April 2009,[96] Albania
Albania
and Croatia
Croatia
are members of NATO. Montenegro joined in June 2017.[97] All other countries have expressed a desire to join the EU or NATO
NATO
at some point in the future. Politics and economy[edit]

View from Santorini
Santorini
in Greece. Tourism is an important part of the Greek economy.

Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik
in Croatia, UNESCO's World Heritage
World Heritage
since 1979

Drvengrad
Drvengrad
(also known as Mećavnik or Küstendorf), an ethno village in Serbia
Serbia
and home to the annual Kusturica
Kusturica
film festival

Currently all of the states are republics, but until World War II
World War II
all countries were monarchies. Most of the republics are parliamentary, excluding Romania
Romania
and Bosnia which are semi-presidential. All the states have open market economies, most of which are in the upper-middle income range ($4,000 – $12,000 p.c.), however, Greece and Romania
Romania
have high income economies (over $12,000 p.c.), and is also classified with very high HDI in contrast to the remaining states which are classified with high HDI. The states from the former Eastern Bloc that formerly had planned economy system and Turkey
Turkey
mark gradual economic growth each year, only the economy of Greece
Greece
drops for 2012 and meanwhile it was expected to grow in 2013. The Gross domestic product (Purchasing power parity) per capita is highest in Slovenia (over $34,000) and Greece
Greece
(over $25,000), followed by Romania
Romania
and Croatia
Croatia
($24,000) and then Turkey, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia ($10,000 – $15,000), Bosnia, Albania
Albania
and Kosovo
Kosovo
(below $10,000).[98] The Gini coefficient, which indicates the level of difference by monetary welfare of the layers, is on the second level at the highest monetary equality in Albania, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
and Serbia, on the third level in Greece, Montenegro
Montenegro
and Romania, on the fourth level in Macedonia, on the fifth level in Turkey, and the most unequal by Gini coefficient
Gini coefficient
is Bosnia at the eighth level which is the penultimate level and one of the highest in the world. The unemployment is lowest in Romania
Romania
(below 10%), followed by Bulgaria, Turkey, Albania
Albania
(10 – 15%), Greece
Greece
(15 – 20%), Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia (20 – 30%), Macedonia (over 30%) and Kosovo
Kosovo
(over 40%).

On political, social and economic criteria the divisions are as follows:

Territories members of the European Union: Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Romania
Romania
and Slovenia Territories currently in negotiation process for EU membership: Montenegro, Serbia
Serbia
and Turkey Territories official candidates for EU membership: Albania
Albania
and Macedonia Territories with "potential candidates" status for EU membership: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
and Kosovo

On border control and trade criteria the divisions are as follows:

Territories in the Schengen Area: Greece
Greece
and Slovenia Territories that are legally bound to join the Schengen Area: Bulgaria, Croatia
Croatia
and Romania Territories in a customs union with the EU: Turkey Territories members of the Central European Free Trade Agreement: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro
Montenegro
and Serbia.

On currency criteria the divisions are as follows:

Territories members of the Eurozone: Greece
Greece
and Slovenia Territories using the Euro
Euro
without authorization by the EU: Kosovo
Kosovo
and Montenegro Territories using national currencies and are candidates for the Eurozone: Bulgaria
Bulgaria
(lev), Croatia
Croatia
(kuna), Romania
Romania
(leu) Territories using national currencies: Albania
Albania
(lek), Bosnia and Herzegovina (convertible mark), Macedonia (denar), Serbia
Serbia
(dinar) and Turkey
Turkey
(lira).

On military criteria the divisions are as follows:

Aerial photo of Camp Bondsteel, the main base of the United States Army under KFOR command in Kosovo

Member territories of NATO: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Romania, Slovenia
Slovenia
and Turkey Member territories of the Partnership for Peace
Partnership for Peace
with Individual Partnership Action Plan and Membership Action Plan
Membership Action Plan
for joining NATO: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
and Macedonia Member territories of the Partnership for Peace: Serbia

On the recent political, social and economic criteria there are two groups of countries:

Former communist territories: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia
Serbia
and Slovenia Territories with capitalist past: Greece
Greece
and Turkey During the Cold War
Cold War
the Balkans
Balkans
were disputed between the two blocks. Greece
Greece
and Turkey
Turkey
were members of NATO, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
and Romania
Romania
of the Warsaw Pact, while Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
was proponent of a third way and was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement. After the dissolution of Yugoslavia, Serbia
Serbia
and Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
kept an observer status within the organisation.

Regional organizations[edit]

Southeast European Cooperation Process
Southeast European Cooperation Process
(SEECP) member states

Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe   members   observers   supporting partners

Southeast European Cooperative Initiative
Southeast European Cooperative Initiative
(SECI)   members   observers

Black Sea
Black Sea
Economic Cooperation (BSEC)   members   observers

See also the Black Sea
Black Sea
regional organizations Statistics[edit]

Albania Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria Croatia Greece Kosovo[a] Macedonia Montenegro Romania Serbia Slovenia Turkey

Flag

Coat of arms

Capital Tirana Sarajevo Sofia Zagreb Athens Pristina Skopje Podgorica Bucharest Belgrade Ljubljana Ankara

Independence November 28, 1912 March 3, 1992 October 5, 1908 June 26, 1991 March 25, 1821 February 17, 2008 November 17, 1991 June 3, 2006 May 9, 1878 June 8, 2006 June 26, 1991 October 29, 1923

Current President Ilir Meta Bakir Izetbegović Rumen Radev Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović Prokopis Pavlopoulos Hashim Thaçi Gjorge Ivanov Filip Vujanović Klaus Iohannis Aleksandar Vučić Borut Pahor Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Current Prime Minister Edi Rama Denis Zvizdić Boyko Borisov Andrej Plenković Alexis Tsipras Ramush Haradinaj Zoran Zaev Duško Marković Viorica Dăncilă Ana Brnabić Miro Cerar Binali Yıldırım

Population (2016) 2,886,026 3,515,982 7,153,784 4,190,669 10,783,748 1,771,604 2,071,278 622,218 19,760,314 7,076,372 2,064,188 78,741,053

Area 28,748 km² 51,197 km² 110,879 km² 56,594 km² 131,957 km² 10,908 km² 25,713 km² 13,812 km² 238,391 km² 77,474 km² 20,273 km² 783,562 km²

Density 100/km² 69/km² 65/km² 74/km² 82/km² 163/km² 81/km² 45/km² 83/km² 91/km² 102/km² 101/km²

Water area % 4.7% 0.02% 2.16% 1.1% 0.99% 1.0% 1.09% 2.61% 2.97% 0.13% 0.6% 1.3%

GDP (nominal) total (2016) $12.269 billion $16.324 billion $49.364 billion $49.928 billion $194.594 billion $6.471 billion $10.424 billion $4.182 billion $181.944 billion $42.139 billion $43.791 billion $751 billion

GDP (PPP) per capita (2015) $11,301 $10,492 $19,097 $21,581 $26,449 $9,540 $14,009 $16,123 $20,787 $13,671 $31,007 $18,035

Gini Index (2012[99]) 29.0 33.0 36.0 32.0 36.7 N/A 43.2 33.2 27.3 29.7 25.6 40.0

HDI (2017) 0.764 (High) 0.750 (High) 0.794 (High) 0.827 (Very High) 0.866 (Very High) 0.786 (High) 0.748 (High) 0.807 (Very High) 0.802 (Very High) 0.776 (High) 0.890 (Very High) 0.767 (High)

Internet TLD .al .ba .bg .hr .gr

.mk .me .ro .rs .si .tr

Calling code +355 +387 +359 +385 +30 +383 +389 +382 +40 +381 +386 +90

Demographics[edit] The region is inhabited by Albanians, Aromanians, Bulgarians, Bosniaks, Croats, Gorani, Greeks, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Serbs, Slovenes, Romanians, Turks, and other ethnic groups which present minorities in certain countries like the Romani and Ashkali.[29][not in citation given]

State Population (2016)[100] Density/km2 (2013)[101] Life expectancy[102]

 Albania 2,886,026 100 78.3 years

 Bosnia and Herzegovina 3,515,982 69 76.7 years

 Bulgaria 7,153,784 65 74.5 years

 Croatia 4,190,669 74 75.9 years

 Greece 10,783,748 82 80.5 years

 Kosovo[a] 1,771,604 163 71 years[103]

 Macedonia 2,071,278 81 76.2 years

 Montenegro 622,218 45 76.4 years

 Romania 19,760,314 83 75.1 years

 Serbia 7,076,372 91 75.5 years

 Slovenia 2,064,188 102 78.2 years

 Turkey 10,620,739[104][c] 101 74.8 years

Religion[edit]

Map showing religious denominations

The region is a meeting point of Orthodox Christianity, Islam
Islam
and Roman Catholic
Catholic
Christianity.[105] Eastern Orthodoxy
Eastern Orthodoxy
is the majority religion in both the Balkan peninsula and the Balkan region. A variety of different traditions of each faith are practiced, with each of the Eastern Orthodox countries having its own national church. A part of the population in the Balkans
Balkans
defines itself as irreligious.

Approximate distribution of religions in Albania

Territories in which the principal religion is Eastern Orthodoxy
Eastern Orthodoxy
(with national churches in parentheses)[106] Religious minorities of these territories[106]

Bulgaria: 59% (Bulgarian Orthodox Church) Islam
Islam
(7%) and undeclared (31%)

Greece: 98% (Greek Orthodox Church) Islam
Islam
(1%), Catholicism, other and undeclared

Macedonia: 64% (Macedonian Orthodox Church) Islam
Islam
(33%), Catholicism

Montenegro: 72% (Serbian Orthodox Church, Montenegrin Orthodox Church) Islam
Islam
(19%), Catholicism (3%), other and undeclared (5%)

Serbia: 84% (Serbian Orthodox Church) Catholicism (5%), Islam
Islam
(3%), Protestantism (1%), other and undeclared (6%)

Territories in which the principal religion is Catholicism[106] Religious minorities of these territories[106]

Croatia
Croatia
(86%) Eastern Orthodoxy
Eastern Orthodoxy
(4%), Islam
Islam
(1%), other and undeclared (7%)

Slovenia
Slovenia
(57%) Islam
Islam
(2%), Orthodox (2%), other and undeclared (36%)

Territories in which the principal religion is Islam[106] Religious minorities of these territories[106]

Albania
Albania
(58%) Catholicism (10%), Orthodoxy (7%), other and undeclared (24%)

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
(51%) Orthodoxy (31%), Catholicism (15%), other and undeclared (4%)

Kosovo
Kosovo
(95%) Roman Catholicism (2%), Eastern Orthodoxy
Eastern Orthodoxy
(1%)

Turkey
Turkey
(99%) Catholicism and Orthodoxy

The Jewish
Jewish
communities of the Balkans
Balkans
were some of the oldest in Europe
Europe
and date back to ancient times. These communities were Sephardi Jews, except in Transylvania, Croatia
Croatia
and Slovenia, where the Jewish communities were Ashkenazi Jews. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the small and close-knit Jewish
Jewish
community is 90% Sephardic, and Ladino is still spoken among the elderly. The Sephardi Jewish
Jewish
cemetery in Sarajevo
Sarajevo
has tombstones of a unique shape and inscribed in ancient Ladino.[107] Sephardi Jews
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.[108] The Jewish
Jewish
communities in the Balkans suffered immensely during World War II, and the vast majority were killed during the Holocaust. An exception were the Bulgarian Jews, most of whom were saved by Boris III of Bulgaria, who resisted Adolf Hitler, opposing their deportation to Nazi concentration camps. Almost all of the few survivors have emigrated to the (then) newly founded state of Israel
Israel
and elsewhere. No Balkan country today has a significant Jewish
Jewish
minority. Languages[edit]

Ethnic composition map of the Balkans

Ethnic composition map of the Balkans
Balkans
- by Ami Boué, 1847

Ethnic map of the Balkans

Main article: Languages of the Balkans Further information: Balkan sprachbund The Balkan region today is a very diverse ethno-linguistic region, being home to multiple Slavic, and Romance languages, as well as Albanian, Greek, Turkish, and others. Romani is spoken by a large portion of the Romanis living throughout the Balkan countries. Throughout history many other ethnic groups with their own languages lived in the area, among them Thracians, Illyrians, Romans, Celts
Celts
and various Germanic tribes. All of the aforementioned languages from the present and from the past belong to the wider Indo-European language family, with the exception of the Turkic languages
Turkic languages
(e.g., Turkish and Gagauz).

State Principal language[109] Linguistic minorities[109]

 Albania 98% Albanian 2% other

 Bosnia and Herzegovina 53% Bosnian 31% Serbian, 15% Croatian, 2% other

 Bulgaria 88% Bulgarian 5% Turkish, 2% Romani, 1% other, 5% unspecified

 Croatia 96% Croatian 1% Serbian, 3% other

 Greece 99% Greek 1% other

 Kosovo[a] 94% Albanian 2% Bosnian, 2% Serbian, 1% Turkish, 1% other

 Macedonia 67% Macedonian 25% Albanian, 4% Turkish, 2% Romani, 1% Serbian, 2% other

 Montenegro 43% Serbian 37% Montenegrin (official), 5% Bosnian, 5% Albanian, 5% other, 4% unspecified

 Romania 91% Romanian 7% Hungarian, 1% Romani

 Serbia 88% Serbian 3% Hungarian, 2% Bosnian, 1% Romani, 3% other, 2% unspecified

 Slovenia 91% Slovene 5% Serbo-Croatian, 4% other

 Turkey 84% Turkish 12% Kurdish, 4% other and unspecified

Urbanization[edit] Most of the states in the Balkans
Balkans
are predominantly urbanized, with the lowest number of urban population as % of the total population found in Kosovo
Kosovo
at under 40%, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
at 40% and Slovenia
Slovenia
at 50%.[110]

Panoramic view of Istanbul

A list of largest cities:

City Country Population Agglomeration Year

Istanbul*  Turkey 9,000,000 10,000,000 2014

Bucharest  Romania 1,883,425 2,272,163 2011[111]

Sofia  Bulgaria 1,260,120 1,681,666 2014[112]

Belgrade  Serbia 1,233,796 1,659,440 2011[113]

Zagreb  Croatia 792,875 1,113,111 2011[114]

Athens  Greece 664,046 3,753,783 2011[115]

Skopje  Macedonia 444,800 506,926 2014[116]

Tirana  Albania 418,495 800,986 2011[117]

Plovdiv  Bulgaria 341,567 396,092 2014[112]

Varna  Bulgaria 335,949 383,075 2014[112]

Thessaloniki  Greece 325,182 1,012,297 2011[115]

Cluj-Napoca  Romania 324,576 411,379 2011[111]

Timișoara  Romania 319,279 356,443 2011[111]

Iași  Romania 290,422 382,484 2011[111]

Constanța  Romania 283,872 425,916 2011[111]

Ljubljana  Slovenia 279,756 279,756 2016[118]

Novi Sad  Serbia 277,522 341,625 2011[119]

Sarajevo  Bosnia and Herzegovina 275.524 413,593 2013[120]

Craiova  Romania 269,506 420,000 2011[111]

Çorlu  Turkey 253,500 273,362 2014[121]

Brașov  Romania 253,200 369,896 2011[111]

* Only the European part of Turkey
Turkey
is a part of the Balkans.[30] It is home to two thirds of the city's 14,025,646 inhabitants.

Time zones[edit] The time zones in the Balkans
Balkans
are defined as the following:

Territories in the time zone of UTC+01:00: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro
Montenegro
and Serbia Territories in the time zone of UTC+02:00: Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Turkey

Culture[edit]

Cuisine of the Balkans Balkan music

See also[edit]

Balkan Insight Balkan Universities Network Balkanization History of the Balkans

Balkan Wars

Languages of the Balkans

Balkan sprachbund

List of Roman Catholic
Catholic
dioceses in the Balkans Music of Southeastern Europe Orient Express

Notes[edit]

a.   ^ Kosovo
Kosovo
is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo
Kosovo
and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo
Kosovo
has received formal recognition as an independent state from 113 out of 193 United Nations
United Nations
member states.

b.   ^ As The World Factbook cites, regarding Turkey
Turkey
and Southeastern Europe; "that portion of Turkey
Turkey
west of the Bosphorus is geographically part of Europe."

c.   ^ The population only of European Turkey, that excludes the Anatolian peninsula, which otherwise has a population of 75,627,384 and a density of 97.

References[edit]

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Into Southeastern Europe, 1914–2014: A Century of War and Transition. London, United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-137-01907-3. Retrieved June 8, 2015.  ^ Švob-Ðokic, Nada, ed. (2001). Redefining Cultural Identities: Southeastern Europe
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(PDF). Zagreb, Croatia: National and University Library in Zagreb. ISBN 953-6096-22-6. Retrieved June 8, 2015.  ^ Istituto Geografico De Agostini, L'Enciclopedia Geografica – Vol.I – Italia, 2004, Ed. De Agostini p.78 ^ "Field Listing: Area". CIA: The World Factbook. Retrieved 20 January 2016.  ^ "The Law of the Sea".  ^ a b "Balkans". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2015-05-03. The Balkans
Balkans
are usually characterized as comprising Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia—with all or part of each of those countries located within the peninsula. Portions of Greece
Greece
and Turkey
Turkey
are also located within the geographic region generally defined as the Balkan Peninsula, and many descriptions of the Balkans
Balkans
include those countries too. Some define the region in cultural and historical terms and others geographically, though there are even different interpretations among historians and geographers....Generally, the Balkans
Balkans
are bordered on the northwest by Italy, on the north by Hungary, on the north and northeast by Moldova
Moldova
and Ukraine, and on the south by Greece
Greece
and Turkey
Turkey
or the Aegean Sea
Aegean Sea
(depending on how the region is defined)...For discussion of physical and human geography, along with the history of individual countries in the region, see Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, and Turkey. Area 257,400 square miles (666,700 square km). Pop. (2002 est.) 59,297,000.  ^ a b Crampton (2014-07-15). The Balkans
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and regional policy of the West Balkans". Southeast-Europe: state borders, cross-border relations, spatial structures. Ivan Illes, Zoltan Raffay. Centre for Regional Studies. p. 141. ISBN 978-963-9052-65-9. Retrieved 18 October 2014.  ^ a b "European Economic and Social Committee – Western Balkans". European Economic and Social Committee. Retrieved 12 September 2014.  ^ a b " European Union
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External Action – EU relations with the Western Balkans". Retrieved 12 September 2014.  ^ a b Redaktion: PT-DLR. "Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany
Germany
– Western Balkan Countries". Retrieved 12 September 2014.  ^ a b "Austrian Foreign Miniistry – The Western Balkans
Balkans
– A Priority of Austrian Foreign Policy".  ^ a b "WBIF – Western Balkans
Balkans
Investment Framework – Stakeholders". Retrieved 12 September 2014.  ^ a b "European Commission – Trade – Countries and regions – Western Balkans". Retrieved 12 September 2014.  ^ a b "Western Balkans: Enhancing the European Perspective" (PDF). Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council. 5 March 2008. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 April 2008. Retrieved 8 April 2008.  ^ Pond, Elizabeth (2006). Endgame in the Balkans: Regime Change, European Style. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-8157-7160-9.  ^ "Perspectives on the Region" (PDF). Retrieved 19 July 2013.  ^ De Munter, André (December 2016). "Fact Sheets on the European Union:The Western Balkans". European Parliament. Retrieved 22 March 2017.  ^ "Regions and territories: Kosovo". BBC News. 20 November 2009. Archived from the original on 14 February 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2010.  ^ Borza, EN (1992), In the Shadow of Olympus: The Emergence of Macedon, Princeton University Press, p. 58, ISBN 0691008809  ^ Perlès, Catherine (2001), The Early Neolithic
Neolithic
in Greece: The First Farming Communities in Europe, Cambridge University Press, p. 1, ISBN 9780521000277  ^ Haarmann, Harald (2002). Geschichte der Schrift (in German). C.H. Beck. p. 20. ISBN 978-3-406-47998-4.  ^ Goldstein, I. (1999). Croatia: A History. McGill-Queen's University Press.  ^ Joseph Roisman, Ian Worthington A Companion to Ancient Macedonia pp 135–138, 342–345 John Wiley & Sons, 7 jul. 2011 ISBN 978-1-4443-5163-7 ^ "JSTOR". jstor.org.  ^ Twenty Years of Balkan Tangle. Mary Edith Durham (2007). p.125. ISBN 1-4346-3426-4 ^ 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 0-521-57455-2 ^ "The Balkan Wars
Balkan Wars
and World War I". p. 28. Library of Congress Country Studies. ^ Encyclopedia of World War I, Spencer Tucker, Priscilla Mary Roberts, p.242 ^ Europe
Europe
in Flames, J. Klam, 2002, p.41 ^ Russia's life-saver, Albert Loren Weeks, 2004, p.98 ^ Schreiber, Stegemann and Vogel 1995, p. 484. ^ Schreiber, Stegemann and 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 ^ " Kosovo
Kosovo
independence declaration deemed legal". Reuters. 22 July 2010. Retrieved 16 February 2014.  ^ Ceremony marks the accession of Albania
Albania
to NATO, NATO
NATO
– News, 7 April 2009. Retrieved 18 April 2009. ^ Archives, EWB (20 April 2017). "Darmanović: Montenegro
Montenegro
becomes EU member in 2022 - European Western Balkans".  ^ "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". International Monetary Fund. 2009–2016.  ^ GINI index ^ "Eurostat – Tables, Graphs and Maps Interface (TGM) table". europa.eu.  ^ "List of Countries by Population Density".  ^ "Country Comparison: Life Expectancy at Birth". CIA: The World Factbook. Retrieved 20 January 2016.  ^ "Kosovo". The World Bank. Retrieved 20 January 2016.  ^ "Turkish Statistical Institute. Registered population as of 2012". Archived from the original on 10 October 2012.  ^ Okey, Robin (2007). Taming Balkan Nationalism. Oxford University Press.  ^ a b c d e f "FIELD LISTING :: RELIGIONS". CIA.  ^ European Jewish
Jewish
Congress – Bosnia-Herzegovina[permanent dead link], Accessed 15 July 2008. ^ "Greece". Jewish
Jewish
Virtual Library. ^ a b "FIELD LISTING :: LANGUAGES". CIA.  ^ "Data: Urban population (% of total)". The World Bank. 1960–2016.  ^ a b c d e f g "ROMANIA: Counties and Major Cities". Retrieved 9 November 2015.  ^ a b c "BULGARIA: Major Cities". Retrieved 9 November 2015.  ^ Statistical Officeof the Republic of Serbia
Serbia
Archived 14 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine. page 32 ^ "CROATIA: Counties and Major Cities". Retrieved 9 November 2015.  ^ a b "GREECE: Regions and Agglomerations". Retrieved 9 November 2015.  ^ "MACEDONIA". Retrieved 9 November 2015.  ^ "Albania: Prefectures and Major Cities - Population Statistics in Maps and Charts". citypopulation.de.  ^ "SLOVENIA: Major Cities". Retrieved 9 November 2015.  ^ "SERBIA: Regions, Districts and Major Cities". Archived from the original on 8 November 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015.  ^ Cite error: The named reference Bosnian was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ " Çorlu
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(Tekirdağ, Turkey) – Population Statistics and Location in Maps and Charts". www.citypopulation.de. Retrieved 21 January 2016. 

Sources[edit]

Gray, Colin S. (1999). Geopolitics, Geography and Strategy. London, United Kingdom: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-7146-8053-8.  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.  Banac, Ivo (1984). The National Question in Yugoslavia: Origins, History, Politics. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-9493-2.  Goldstein, Ivo (1999). Croatia: A History. Montreal, Quebec, Canada: McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN 978-0-7735-2017-2.  Carter, Francis W., ed. An Historical Geography of the Balkans Academic Press, 1977. Dvornik, Francis. The Slavs
Slavs
in European History and Civilization Rutgers University Press, 1962. Fine, John V. A., Jr. The Early Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century [1983]; The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, [1987]. Jelavich, Barbara (1983a). History of the Balkans: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. 1. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521274586.  Jelavich, Barbara (1983b). History of the Balkans: Twentieth Century. 2. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521274593.  Jelavich, Charles and Jelavich, Barbara, eds. (1963). The Balkans
Balkans
in Transition: Essays on the Development of Balkan Life and Politics Since the Eighteenth Century. University of California Press. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) Kitsikis, Dimitri (2008). La montée du national-bolchevisme dans les Balkans. Le retour à la Serbie de 1830. Paris: Avatar.  Lampe, John R., and Marvin R. Jackson; Balkan Economic History, 1550–1950: From Imperial Borderlands to Developing Nations Indiana University Press, 1982 Király, Béla K., ed. East Central European Society in the Era of Revolutions, 1775–1856. 1984 Komlos, John (15 October 1990). Economic Development in the Habsburg Monarchy and in the Successor States. East European Monographs No. 28. East European Monographs. ISBN 978-0-88033-177-7.  Mazower, Mark (2000). The Balkans: A Short History. Modern Library Chronicles. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-679-64087-8.  Schreiber, Gerhard; Stegemann, Bernd; Vogel, Detlef (1995). The Mediterranean, south-east Europe, and north Africa, 1939–1941. Germany
Germany
and the 2nd World War. Volume III. Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0-19-822884-4.  Stavrianos, L. S. (1 May 2000) [1958]. The Balkans
Balkans
since 1453. with Traian Stoianovich. New York: NYU Press. ISBN 978-0-8147-9766-2.  Stoianovich, Traian (September 1994). Balkan Worlds: The First and Last Europe. Sources and Studies in World History. New York: M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 978-1-56324-032-4. 

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v t e

Regions of Oceania

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Regions of South America

East

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North

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South

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West

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Earth's oceans and seas

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Atlantic Ocean

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Indian Ocean

Andaman Sea Arabian Sea Bali Sea Bay of Bengal Flores Sea Great Australian Bight Gulf of Aden Gulf of Aqaba Gulf of Khambhat Gulf of Kutch Gulf of Oman Gulf of Suez Java Sea Laccadive Sea Mozambique Channel Persian Gulf Red Sea Timor
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Pacific Ocean

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Southern Ocean

Amundsen Sea Bellingshausen Sea Cooperation Sea Cosmonauts Sea Davis Sea D'Urville Sea King Haakon VII Sea Lazarev Sea Mawson Sea Riiser-Larsen Sea Ross Sea Scotia Sea Somov Sea Weddell Sea

Landlocked seas

Aral Sea Caspian Sea Dead Sea Salton Sea

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 252087561 GND: 4004334-4 NDL: 00560534

Coordinates: 42°00′00″N 22°00′00″E / 42.0000°N 22.0000°E

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