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Aliya Izetbegovic is Commemorated on the 98th Anniversary of Her Birth

The deceased Aliya Izetbegovic , who fought for human rights and democracy, is remembered with respect, longing and longing on the 98th anniversary of her birth.

Izetbegovic , who strived to awaken religious and national consciousness among Muslim Bosniaks, was imprisoned for his articles and became “the first president of independent Bosnia and Herzegovina”, was born on August 8, 1925, in Bosanski Samac, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as one of the 5 children of Mustafa and Haba couple . came.

Izetbegovic, who moved to Sarajevo with his family during his childhood years and studied there, opposed discrimination against Muslims and therefore faced great problems.

Izetbegovic sentenced to prison twice for his works

During the Second World War, the fascist Ustaše regime in Croatia annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina and established the Independent Croatian State (NDH) here, while Muslims in the country were declared “Croats”, Jews, Serbs and Roma were subjected to great persecution. Bosnians who converted to Islam and Croats who did not agree with the regime also suffered from this persecution.

On the other hand, the Chetnik movement, formed by the nationalist Serbs, whose main goal was to completely clear all non-Serbs from the region, began to massacre Muslim Bosniaks in the regions where it was active.

Izetbegovic, who was sentenced to prison twice for his struggle for human rights and his works, became the leader of the country in the 1990s, when Serbian and Croatian forces started the war to partition Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“Islam will rise on the shoulders of brave and dashing Muslims, not cowards”

Izetbegovic, who has the word “Islam will rise on the shoulders of brave and assertive Muslims, not cowards”, was among the prominent names of the “Young Muslims” formation, whose main goal was to raise awareness of Muslim Bosniaks in the country on religious and national issues during the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

While this formation aimed to provide Muslims with equal rights with other ethnic and religious groups in the country, on the other hand, it worked for the rebuilding of Muslim houses and mosques destroyed by Chetniks and Ustashas.

Although the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia, which was established after the war in the country, was victorious over fascism, it could not find a solution to the problems of Muslim Bosniaks in religious and national matters.

Some members of the “Young Muslims”, including the late Izetbegovic, were arrested in 1946 for their efforts to “raise religious awareness”.

Izetbegovic, who was released from prison after 3 years, first enrolled in the faculty of agriculture, after 2 years he moved to the faculty of law and graduated from here. Aliya Izetbegovic, who married Halida in 1949, had three children named Leyla, Sabina and Bakir.

Aliya Izetbegovic elected as the first leader of the Democratic Action Party

Continuing his struggle for human rights in Yugoslavia led by Josip Broz Tito, who had Marxist-Leninist views, Izetbegovic wrote articles in newspapers and magazines such as “Preporod”, “Calendar” and “Glasnik”, using the pseudonym “LSB”, which consists of his children’s initials, without revealing his identity. Izetbegovic drew attention to the current situation of the Islamic world with his work “Declaration of Islam” published in 1970.

With the death of Tito in 1980, ultra-nationalist discourses re-emerged in Yugoslavia, and “expression crime” was added to the penal code in those years.

Izetbegovic, who was arrested with 12 Muslim intellectuals in 1983, just before the publication of his book “Islam Between East and West” was published, took part in the case called the “Sarajevo Process”.

While Izetbegovic and the Muslim intellectuals accompanying him were found guilty of speech and of engaging in hostile activity by forming an organization, Izetbegovic’s conviction was based on his statements in the “Declaration of Islam” and Wise King Izetbegovic was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Continuing to write while he was in prison, Izetbegovic wrote his work “My Escape to Freedom – Notes from the Dungeon: 1983-1988” here.

Izetbegovic was elected the first leader of the Democratic Action Party (SDA), which was founded in 1990 after being released in 1988 and is today the largest party of Bosnians in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Izetbegovic, the leader of SDA, who received the most votes in the country in the first multi-party election, became the president of Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the 6 socialist republics in Yugoslavia.

Karadzic argued that in case of war, Bosnian Muslims would perish

After the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, as a result of the provocative actions of the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA), conflicts broke out in Slovenia in 1991 and in Croatia shortly after, and these conflicts began in Ravno, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1991. and the Popovo villages.

While the issue of independence in Bosnia and Herzegovina was also on the agenda with the disintegration of Yugoslavia, Bosnian Serb politician Radovan Karadzic, who would later be sentenced to life imprisonment for his crimes in the war in Bosnia, opposed the idea of ​​independence and argued that “in case of war, Bosnian Muslims would perish”.

The independence referendum, boycotted by the vast majority of Bosnian Serbs, was held on February 29-March 1, 1992, and 99.7 percent of the referendum voters said “yes” to independent Bosnia and Herzegovina.

While the JNA and the paramilitary Serb groups it armed began attacks in different cities of the country after the referendum, Izetbegovic urged all Bosnians to resist these attacks.

While the Bosnians put up a fierce struggle under the leadership of Izetbegovic, Serbian paramilitary groups carried out massive massacres of civilians, including women and children. People were driven from their homes, women were raped, everything about Islam was destroyed, prisoners in concentration camps were tortured.

Those who defended the independence of the country, who fought against the Serbs in the north and east, entered into a fierce struggle with the Croats in the south and west. Great massacres and genocides took place in many cities such as Prijedor, Bijelina, Zvornik, Visegrad, Srebrenica and Foça, as well as the capital Sarajevo, which was under siege by the Serbian forces for 3.5 years.

While the Dayton Peace Agreement, which ended the war in the country, contributed to the cessation of weapons in 1995, nearly 200,000 people died in the heavy-balanced war, and more than 1 million people had to leave their homes.

Regarding Dayton, which brought a complex political structure to the country, “This is not a just peace, but it is better than continuing war.” Making his comments, Izetbegovic became the first President of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was divided into the Brcko Autonomous Region with the two entities brought along by the agreement (Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska) and the first President of the Presidential Council in an independent country consisting of 10 cantons.

“I feel much better than the doctors’ reports”

While Izetbegovic resigned from the Presidency Council in 2000 due to health problems, he announced that he would not be a candidate for the presidency at his party’s congress in 2001.

Izetbegovic, who left the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina an internationally recognized, independent and sovereign state, used the following statements in the live broadcast he attended from the hospital where he was due to health problems:

“I feel much better than the doctors’ reports, but most likely my feelings are deceiving me. For years I was a very healthy man, now it’s time to get sick. Nothing in life is accidental. The important thing is that Bosnia and Herzegovina survived, we survived. As for meeting you again in the studio; I’m not so sure we’ll see each other, but as an old song says, ‘But that doesn’t matter anymore.’

I don’t know what message to give to the citizens, the important thing is; Bosnia and Herzegovina’s survival. Besides the fact that Serbs remain Serbs, Croats Croats, Bosniaks Bosniaks, they must all be ‘Bosnian-Herzegovinian’. I think this is of great importance for the survival of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I want to express that there is justice instead of revenge. They shouldn’t forget the past, but they shouldn’t live in the past either.”

The last statesman that Izetbegovic met before his death on October 19, 2003 was President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The Bosnian leader, whose funeral was attended by more than 150 thousand people from different countries, was buried in the Kovaçi Cemetery in Sarajevo.

Aliya Izetbegovic, who is also known for her wise personality, left behind works such as “Islam Between East and West”, “Declaration of Islam”, “My Escape to Freedom”, “My Witness to History” and “We Will Not Be Slaves”.

The current situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Independent Bosnia and Herzegovina, of which Alija Izetbegovic was the first President, frequently faces crises due to the complex political structure brought about by the Dayton Peace Agreement.

While there are disagreements between the two entities in the country, the rhetoric of independence and war by the Republika Srpska (RS) causes uneasiness.

The highest authority of the state in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Presidency Council, which consists of 3 members, Bosniak, Serb and Croat.

While Denis Becirovic is the Bosniak member of the Presidential Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zeljka Cvijanovic is the Serbian member of the Council, and Zeljko Komsic is the Croatian member and the Council President.

Many Serbian officials, notably Cvijanovic and RS President Milorad Dodik, are currently on the US sanctions list for failing to comply with the decisions of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina and therefore opposing the Dayton Peace Agreement.

Source : Balkan News