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A Model Statesman: The Wise King

25 Ekim 2020, Pazar 23:38
DATE OF DAY 19 October 2020

Aliya Izetbegovic, the founding president of The Independent Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, also known as the “Wise King” in the eyes of Turkish, Bosnian and world public opinion, passed away in the capital Sarajevo on October 19,2003. 


Upon his own will, his grave was mainly built at the place where the “martyrs of Independence" were buried. This is a very important place to visit for those who go to Sarajevo. In 2006, thank God we also went to that place; we visited the Tomb of the Wise King, recited prayers and al-Fatiha for his soul. Aliya Izetbegovic, who was born in 1925, started attending the Qur'an course and reciting the Qur'an when he was only six years old, according to his own memory. He said that again, at the same age he started to pray, even going to the morning prayer with his family elders and doing it in the mosque. Aliya, who lived a religious life from an early age and struggled to serve Islam in his youth, was incurred to the wrath of Tito, the president of communist Yugoslavia, in 1943. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison. After he got out of prison, he started studying law. He endeavored with science on the one hand and Politics on the other. He developed his knowledge and enlightenment in social area and eventually gained the identity of a distinguished personality. 


Wise Aliya's work in favor of Islam and against irreligion-communism made him an “objectionable man” in the eye of the dictate regime. He was under constant surveillance and pressure. Like other Muslim figures, he was totally aware of the reason for oppression and torment deemed proper to him and the people around him. Therefore, in the face of this inhuman treatment, again, he took care to keep himself and the people around him in the circle of faith and the right way, and explored its ways, and worked with determination and persistence to strengthen his Will day by day. The rupture of the Iron Curtain since the 1980s, the collapse of the walls of shame along with the intellectual foundations on which communism was based, and the partition of Yugoslavia in connection with this, and finally the presidency of Alija Izetbegovic in 1990, became a new turning point for communities in the Balkans. All these developments have led Alija Izetbegovic into a determined and steeled struggle for the complete independence of Bosnia. In 1992, the "independent republic" decision came from the referendum held for this purpose. However, Serbs did not recognize this decision and started bloody attacks, especially against Bosniak Muslims. Here the War of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which broke out between Muslims and Serbs on this date, continued for about three years. With the end of the war in December 1995, according to the Dayton Agreement between the parties, Serbs, Bosnians, and Croats were forced to live together as before. During the war, hundreds of thousands of Muslim Bosniaks were martyred as a result of the inhuman attacks of Serbs and Croats (especially Serbs). This corresponds to approximately 10 percent of the Muslim population in that geography. President Aliya Izzetbegovic, who passed away in 2003, has many scholarly works. Some of them are Islam Between East and West, The Islamic Manifesto, My Witness to History.


Lastly, there is a massive genocide incident that will not be forgotten as long as the world stands still, and let's not go without a reminder of it. That incident is briefly as follows:

That genocidal massacre took place in Bosnia on 11 July 1995: The brutal Serbian forces under the command of Ratko Mladic massacred more than 8000 Muslims in Srebrenica. The Srebrenica Massacre, committed by inhumane methods, was also carried out under the so-called "security umbrella" there, depending on the UN force. Although nearly a quarter of a century has passed since this massacre, which went down in history as a shame and even disgrace of the "Civil Europe", especially the United Nations Organization, the pains that were experienced that day still remain untouched. 

Writer: M. Latif Salihoğlu
Translation: Hilal Yurtseven

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