Bosniak Parties Condemn Croatian Lobbying in Turkey

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Internal issues of Bosnia and Herzegovina should be resolved within the country and not by lobbying abroad, say Bosniak parties.

Major Bosniak political parties have condemned the attempt by Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović to influence the Turkish president to help change the electoral law in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which would make Croats equal with other two major peoples, reports N1 on January 10, 2018.

President of the Alliance for Better Future of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the owner of the Avaz media group, Fajrudin Radončić, who is known for his sharp criticisms of the ruling Bosniak Party of Democratic Action (SDA), but also of Turkish authorities, told the Avaz newspaper that he agreed with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, adding that internal affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) need to be addressed in that country. Radončić said that the move by Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović had offended Bosniaks.

“Although I am one of those politicians who often has a different opinion from that of Turkish President Erdogan, I support his statement that relations within BiH can be resolved in our country. Mrs Grabar-Kitarović should understand that Bosniaks cannot be managed through Turkey and that this kind of approach represents an offensive attitude towards us as a political, national and constitutional element,” Radončić said.

Avaz also quotes former Croatian President Ivo Josipović, who pointed out that in previous years Croatia sometimes found itself in tricky situations owing to interfering with the internal affairs of BiH, and that talks in Turkey “about internal legislation of BiH have no prospect for success.” “That will not happen; it’s completely naive. That has to be done in BiH between all sides,” Josipović told Avaz.

SDP BiH announced that meeting of the Croatian President and her Turkish counterpart on BiH’s internal affairs “represented a sort of political occupation” of Bosnia and Herzegovina. “The Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina considers it unacceptable that our country’s internal politics are being decided in Turkey, at a meeting between Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” SDP said, adding that it was just another step in continued interference with BiH’s internal affairs.

On Tuesday, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović visited Turkey and met with the Turkish President. It is assumed that the main reason for her visit was an attempt to ask Turkey to put pressure on Bosniaks to accept the demands of Croats living in Bosnia and Herzegovina to change the electoral law, which would prevent Bosniaks from choosing Croatian representatives in the country’s institutions.


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