Hakija Turajlić

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Hakija Turajlić
Personal details
Born 1936
Čapljina, Littoral Banovina, Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Died 8 January 1993 (aged 56)
Sarajevo, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Hakija Turajlić (1936 – 8 January 1993) was a Bosniak politician, economist and businessman who served as the Deputy Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina until he was killed in 1993.[1] Prior to the start of the 1992–1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turajlić was the director of the multifaceted Bosnian company Energoinvest and as such secured large sums of money for the defense of the country. He was known for his democratic and ability to cooperate, especially for persuading everyone through his own self-denial and hard work. His death at the hands of the Bosnian Serb Army in Stup was one of the great losses that the government was to sustain during the war.[2]


Dutch journalist Robert Dulmers beside Hakija Turajlić's grave at the Ali Pasha mosque located in central Sarajevo.

On 8 January 1993 Hakija Turajlić went to Sarajevo International Airport to greet Orhan Sefa Kilercioğlu who accompanied an aid shipment from Turkey. In order to return to Sarajevo he had to pass through Serb-controlled territory for which UNPROFOR was supposed to provide protection. The UN convoy which was taking Turajlić to Sarajevo was stopped by Serb soldiers at an illegal roadblock a few kilometers from the airport.[3] After a 90-minute standoff a French UNPROFOR officer opened the door to the armoured personnel carrier in which Turajlić was sitting and a Serb soldier opened fire with an AK-47. Turajlić was hit with 7–8 rounds. The French troops did not return fire, call for reinforcements — less than six hundred yards away — or detain the killers. British troops who arrived on the scene were ordered to leave.[3] When the same French peacekeepers came home to France, they were decorated for heroism.[4]

His murder strained relations between the Bosnian government and UNPROFOR and was also the reason that peace talks in Geneva were cancelled. The UN and the Serbs both refused to cooperate with the Bosnian government investigation and help find the killer. A Bosnian Serb soldier, Goran Vasić, was eventually charged with Turajlić's murder but ultimately acquitted of that charge in 2002.[5][6] A wall about ten meters long and just under two meters high, reminiscent of the Berlin Wall, was put up by Serb residents in Dobrinja after the Bosnian police entered disputed territory under Serb control to arrest Vasić.[7]


A street in the Dobrinja section of Sarajevo is named in his honor.

Boxing tournament Memorijal Hakija Turajlić takes place in Sarajevo every year in his honor. Since 1994. more than 400 boxers from 30 World countries participated on this tournament.


  1. ^ Bosnian official's slaying shatters Muslim trust in UN protection.Dallas Morning News, February 10, 1993.
  2. ^ Pejanović, M. (2004). Through Bosnian Eyes: The Political Memoir of a Bosnian Serb. Purdue University Press. ISBN 9781557533593. 
  3. ^ a b LeBor, A. (2006). "Complicity with Evil": The United Nations in the Age of Modern Genocide. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300111712. 
  4. ^ Sells, M.A. (1996). The Bridge Betrayed: Religion and Genocide in Bosnia. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520922099. 
  5. ^ WORLD; In Brief. Washington Post, 4 January 2002. Quote:"A Sarajevo court has convicted a Bosnian Serb soldier of committing war crimes against prisoners but acquitted him of killing the country's deputy prime minister. Goran Vasić was sentenced to 4½ years in prison, local media reported. He was convicted on charges of beating prisoners at the Medjarici camp in Sarajevo during the country's 1992–1995 war. The court said it lacked evidence to convict him of killing Hakija Turajlić, the deputy prime minister of Bosnia in 1992."
  6. ^ Fischer, H.; McDonald, A.; Dugard, J.; Gasser, H.P.; Greenwood, C.; Fenrick, W.; Posse, H.G. (2011). Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law - 2001. T.M.C. Asser Press. ISBN 9789067041690. 
  7. ^ "BBC News | EUROPE | Bosnian Serbs build symbolic wall in Sarajevo". news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
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  • "Bosnia". amateur-boxing.strefa.pl. Retrieved 2014-07-12.