SARAJEVO (AA) – August 23, 2012 – The complex structure that came into being in Bosnia-Herzegovina following the Dayton Peace Treaty at the end of the war made it very difficult for Bosnia-Herzegovina to integrate with the international system and Europe. The intellectuals in the country are concerned that Bosnia-Herzegovina would become “Europe’s Palestine”.In an exclusive interview with the Anadolu Agency (AA), Secretary General of the Bosnian Council of Intellectuals, Emir Zlatar said that the Bosnians living in Bosnia-Herzegovina were in a difficult position vis-a-vis the borders and politics of the country.
“The situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina is similar to Palestine,” Zlatar stressed.
“As is the case in Palestine, Bosnians have been divided into factions. There are no direct communications between such factions. Central Bosnia resembles Gaza,” Zlatar noted.
“The Bosnians are the Palestinians of Europe. As is the case in Palestine, we have a Gaza here. Such region happens to be the one between Sarajevo and Tuzla cities. Both the international community and local politicians are responsible for such an entity,” Zlatar stated.
“Bosnia-Herzegovina is an international problem but is no longer on the world agenda as it has been forgotten. The international community itself has been divided and Bosnia suffers from such a reality. Bosnia is no longer on the agenda of the international community. Global powers are not optimistic about Bosnia’s existence as a real country,” Zlatar said.
“Europe is crucial for Bosnia-Herzegovina. And, Bosnia-Herzegovina is meaningful for Europe from the perspective of culture and civilization,” Zlatar indicated.
“If Europe is the bread, the Bosnians are the salt of the bread. Without the Bosnians, Europe would not have cultural and demographic richness. As a country where Muslims live, we are the country in far west and could be a positive model to other European countries,” Zlatar noted.
-“Serbs’ decision to breakaway will lead to a war”-
“Europe is not yet aware of Bosnia’s potential. International community’s unprincipled behaviours lead to the politicians in the Bosnian Serb Republic to make comments about breaking away from Bosnia-Herzegovina,” Zlatar said.
“I believe that Europe would not permit such a breakaway due to the position it is in. Similar nationalist movements exist in Spain, Italy, Britain and Northern Ireland,” Zlatar stated.
“A referendum in the Bosnian Serb Republic for a possible breakaway will be a reason for a new war and bloodshed,” Zlatar remarked.
Calling on all Bosnian politicians and political parties to work for the Bosnian people, Zlatar said that young Bosnians have a great potential and, if this potential is used wisely, Bosnia would improve itself.
-“There is a new Turkey in region”-
Touching on Bosnia-Herzegovina’s international status and cooperation with other countries, Zlatar said that Turkey had a great role for Bosnia-Herzegovina.
“Turkey has made great moves in all fields in recent times. There is a new Turkey. Turkey has made great progress both economically and politically. Turkey has assumed an important role in cultural cooperation. Turkey’s active role is crucial for all regional countries and, especially, the Bosnians,” Zlatar said.
“The region was much more developed and had good living standards during the Ottoman era. Unlike in any period, Serbia had free living standards during the Ottoman period. All arguments that Islam came to the region with swords and non-Muslims were badly treated are nothing but lies,” Zlatar stated.
“Turkey should further develop its relations with Balkan countries and promote cooperation based on its historic ties. The peoples of Bosnia and Turkey have great affection for each other and such a potential must be utilized for the stability and development of Bosnia,” Zlatar also said.