Bosnia and Herzegovina–Turkey relations

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Bosnian–Turkish relations
Map indicating locations of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Turkey

Bosnia and Herzegovina


Bosnia and Herzegovina–Turkey relations are foreign relations between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Turkey. Bosnia and Herzegovina is a southeast European country, while Turkey is an Asia Minor country with small European part on the Balkan peninsula around Istanbul. Diplomatic relations between the two countries started on 29 August 1992.[1] Bosnia and Herzegovina has two embassies in Ankara and Izmir and one consulate in Istanbul, while Turkey has one embassy in Sarajevo and one consulate in Mostar.


Due to the strong bond between Bosnia and Herzegovina with Turkey since the Ottoman conquest of Balkans, a significant Turkish community was established when Bosnia came under Ottoman rule. The Bosniaks were the first Illyrian people to admire Islam, in which made most of them convert to Islam. Although different in ethnic background when Bosnia is a Illyrian nation while Turkey is a Turkic nation, Bosnia and Turkey have remained their friendly relationship and more stronger, is the brotherhood between Bosnia and Turkey.

However, most of Turks left Bosnia and Herzegovina when Austria-Hungary occupied this region. So far, still, many of Bosniaks wished for the return to Turkish rule, but the World War I had officially ended the Ottoman era.

After Mustafa Kemal Atatürk established the newly Republic of Turkey from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, many of modern Turkish politicians had been looking towards on uniting Bosnia and Herzegovina with Turkey, forming policy "two states, one heart". It became more influence when Bosnia, under Yugoslav rule, had been reduced from going to mosque despite Josip Broz Tito did not totally suppress other religions like any Communist nations at the Cold War. Later, after Tito's death, the policy "two states, one heart" became more clear in Bosnia when Yugoslavia was close to a total war.

Bosnian War[edit]

Turkey recognized Bosnia and Herzegovina as an independent state on 6 February 1992, while both countries established diplomatic relations on 29 August 1992.[1] On 22 July 1995, Turkish president, Süleyman Demirel, mediated between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia when both countries signed the Split Agreement which enabled joined defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia against the Serb forces.[2]

Post war relations[edit]

Mustafa Cerić, the president of the Islamic community of Bosnia and Herzegovina, stated: "Turkey is our mother, so it was, so it will remain".[3] On 11 July 2012, while visiting commemoration of Srebrenica massacre in Srebrenica, Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, stated that Alija Izetbegović told him while he visited him in hospital that he left him "Bosnia [and Herzegovina] as a testament" and that "Bosnia [and Herzegovina] is an inheritance of the Ottomans".[4] In recent years Turkish influence amongst the Bosniak politicians is growing. Erdogan is known for his effort in conciliation of two major Bosniak political parties, the Party of Democratic Action and the Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the latter is de iure a multi-ethnic party.[5] Today Erdogan is a widely admired figure among Bosniaks.

Many Bosnian towns with Bosniak majority have streets named after Ottoman statesmen and conquerors. In center of Sarajevo there is a street named after Sokollu Mehmed Pasha[6] and in Bihać there is a street named after Suleiman the Magnificent.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Dates of Recognition and Establishment of Diplomatic Relations". Ministry of Foreign Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Archived from the original on 19 December 2010. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Ivo Pukanić (10 June 2003). "Ante Gotovina: "Spreman sam razgovarati s haaškim istražiteljima u Zagrebu"" [Ante Gotovina: "I am ready to talk to ICTY investigators in Zagreb"]. Nacional (weekly) (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 24 July 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  3. ^ Borić, Faruk (21 October 2011). "Zukorlić daje Sandžak za BiH". Dani (in Bosnian). Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "Tayyip Erdogan: Alija mi je ostavio Bosnu u amanet". Bitno (in Bosnian). 11 July 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  5. ^ Bjelica-Šagovnović, Sanja (18 October 2012). "Erdogan miri Tihića i Lagumdžiju". Dnevni list. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Osnovne škole" (in Bosnian). Sarajevo Center Municipality. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  7. ^ "Bilter 19.05.2009" (in Bosnian). Ministry of Interior of Una-Sana Canton. 19 May 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2012.