Balkan peninsula

HomePage | Recent changes | View source | Discuss this page | Page history | Log in |

Printable version | Disclaimers | Privacy policy

Region of southeastern Europe, usually considered to comprise Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, the European part of Turkey and the former (pre-1991) republics of Yugoslavia, with a combined area of 550,000 sq. km. and population of 53 million. Once the most developed part of Europe, in the past 550 years it has been the least developed, reflecting the shift of Europe's commercial and political centre of gravity towards the Atlantic and comparative Balkan isolation under the Ottoman Empire from the mainstream of economic advance. Principal nationalities include Serbs (11 million), Greeks (10.8 million), Turks (9.2 million), Bulgars (7 million), Albanians (6 million) and Croats (4.5 million). In recent years the region has been affected by conflict in the former Yugoslav republics, resulting in intervention by NATO forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Macedonia.