Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Sarajevo on Friday morning to attend the wedding of Jasmina Izetbegović, daughter of Bakir Izetbegović. According to the protocol, Erdogan will meet with members of the BiH Presidency in the afternoon.
Shortly after arriving in Sarajevo, Erdogan went to the cemetery in Kovaci to visit the grave of Alija Izetbegović, a former member of the BiH Presidency and leader of the Bosnian SDA party. The plan of the visit provided that the main prayer, the Jumu’ah prayer, be performed in the renovated Baščaršija Mosque in the city center. Shortly after the prayer, Erdogan officially opened the mosque, which was rebuilt with Turkish funds.
Erdogan expressed satisfaction that he had the opportunity to open the mosque because they are “a symbol of the unity of Muslims”.
“Those who build mosques and rebuild them, truly love Allah. “Since the time of the Prophet Muhammad, they have been centers of knowledge of imams and culture,” Erdogan said.
Reisu-l-ulema of the Islamic Religious Community in BiH Hussein ef. Kavazovic said he was opening a restored mosque with his brothers and friends, Erdogan and BiH Presidency member Šefik Dhaferov.
“It is one of the symbols of Sarajevo. I thank the people of Turkey for rebuilding the mosques that were destroyed during the war in BiH. They are part of our common past and future. We want to build a prosperous BiH with our neighbors and members of other faiths. “The ugly words we hear today will not shock us, any hatred brings the greatest harm to the hater himself,” Kavazov concluded.
The Turkish president attended Jasmina Izetbegovic’s sharia marriage as a witness. The wedding took place in the Beut mosque (Begova džamija) and the ceremony was led by reis Kavazov. Erdogan and Alija Izetbegovic were great friends and that friendship continued with Alija’s son, Bakir.
The announcement of the Serbian member of the BiH Presidency, Milorad Dodik, to attend the meeting of the members of the Presidency with the Turkish President caused the greatest controversy regarding Erdogan’s arrival in Sarajevo. Due to the decision of former High Representative in BiH Valentin Inzko to impose the provisions of the law that made the denial of genocide punishable, Dodik himself asked the RS National Assembly to announce a moratorium on the participation of Serbian representatives in the work of the institutions of common. However, as he claims, he received the support of all parties, including the opposition, for the meeting with Erdogan.
The meeting will be held late in the afternoon and a press conference is to be held in the early evening. Erdogan is scheduled to visit Montenegro tomorrow.