Foreign Policy Digital

The Balkans Are the World Capital of Islamophobia

The region’s genocidal wars are over—but bigots from across the West still flock there for inspiration.

It was a sharp shock for Greeks when someone on Twitter noticed the word “Turkofagos” on the rifle of Brenton Tarrant, the man charged with murdering dozens of Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand, last month. Literally translated, it means “Eater of Turks.” Historically, it was an honorific bestowed upon fighters who distinguished themselves in the Greek 1821 revolution against the Ottoman Empire.

There is a darker meaning, however, lurking behind the term, a meaning that Greeks have long been keenly aware of—and of which the New Zealand terrorist clearly was, too. It traces to the very birth of the Greek

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