Tuesday, October 14, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 14,2008) - Today, on October 14, 2008, the Governing Board of the Bosnian Central Bank made a decision to reduce the reserve requirements rate from 18% to 14%, the one which the commercial banks in Bosnia hold with the Bosnian Central Bank.

Although the liquidity of commercial banks in Bosnia is not jeopardised, decision on the decrease of the required reserves by 4% to the banks will provide the additional liquidity in the amount of 727 million Bosnian Marks,the Bosnian Central Bank said.

This Decision enters in force immediately and commercial banks will receive the instructions on the way of required reserves calculation in accordance to this Decision.


ISTANBUL, Turkey (October 14,2008) - International Alija Izetbegovic Symposium was held on October, 11-12th 2008 in Istanbul,Turkey.Alija Izetbegovic, the first president of Bosnia, was one of the most important state ministers and thinkers. President Izetbegovic lived as an great example to both the Bosnian nation and the rest of the world.

There was symposium, exhibition and movies. Alija's son, Bakır Izzetbegovic also attended the symposium along with many academicians and scientests from Bosnia,Turkey and the rest of the world.

Participants talked about President Izetbegovic as both a politician and a thinker during two day- symposium. The last session, called "testimonies",included explanations of friends of the first Bosnian President and journalists which had witnessed the 1992-1995 Serbian,montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia.

Lokman Cagrici, mayor of Bagcilar, said that "we do our historical duty to Alija and Bosnia. Alija is also from Istanbul as much as from Bosnia. "
Here are the paper abstracts of some panelists at the symposium:

Adamir Jerkovic, Director of Bosnia Public Records

Alija versus Machiavelli

Led by Alija Izetbegović in the recent past, the Bosniaks knew how to tell which path out of many is the right one. Unfortunately, the Bosniak leaders of today, blinded by their own egos and in absence of a Bosniak national program, fail to respond properly to the new challenges, among which separatism stands as the most dangerous one. Today, more than ever, the Bosniaks lack Izetbegović's wise advice, his political wisdom and a long-term vision. His fight for the survival of Bosnian Muslims is in fact an unambiguous call for the reasonable part of the human kind to oppose the tyranny and Machiavellian logics, which gives excuses for the state terrorism, concurring of someone else's territories, changing of borders, destruction of small peoples, destruction of cultural and any other, even genetic heritage… There can be no doubt about the fact that Alija Izetbegović marked one epoch. He was an articulate voice of a multiethnic Bosnia. He has been the most significant person for Bosniaks and Bosnians in the dramatic century that is now behind us… Izetbegović is also the most significant person in the entire Bosniak history. The World recognizes him as a honorable leader, who managed to preserve almost forgotten virtue of humanity in the mud of the international politics.

Muharrem Sevil, Dr, Author

"Dedo" the Breaker of Wineglass Chain

On occasion, Alija Izetbegovic would exclaim, "Our enemies are here, but where are our friends?" On other occasions, he would calmly declare that "as a politician, he could forgive his enemies, but, as a human being, never!" On yet other occasions, while we all might conform to his concept of an Islam torn between East and West, he taught us what is Islam. He never considered concealing his identity by resorting to the adoption of a mentality that was remote from the heart. His identity as a Muslim, which he regarded as vital, was always kept in the foreground: at one summit meeting of the Organization for the Security and Cooperation of Europe, attended by the heads of governments or states of 52 countries, when everyone present raised his glass, he was the only leader to break with tradition by not only failing to reach for his glass, but also declining to lift it in a toast. Alija Izetbegovic was not merely a leader. In his own words, "he was a Muslim intermediary who had lived for centuries along the great frontier between the East and the West as well as someone who felt he belonged to both worlds.

Kasım Trnka, Prof. Dr., Bosnia Herzegovina Constitutional Court Chairman)

Alija Izetbegović: Paradigm of the Struggle for the Statehood of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina, which bases the continuity of its statehood in the early Middle Ages, had survived a dramatic period of its history at the end of the twentieth century. It was a global breakdown of a communist system and dissolution of the joint state. There was a threat of disappearance of Bosniak people and the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the beginning of the aggression in 1992. A successful defense of the country was organized under the most difficult circumstances. In parallel, a diplomatic fight was ongoing under extremely unfavorable relations of international forces. After the establishment of the unjust peace, the fight for democratic and sustainable Bosnia and Herzegovina has followed. Under all those dramatic circumstances, Alija Izetbegovic was in a position of a state and national leader. Thanks to his strategic way of thinking, his philosophical and ethical standpoints, his strong determination for the democratic and multiethnic society, he had enormously contributed to the preservation of the continuity of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina and to the affirmation of national identity of Bosniaks. With the pragmatic concessions towards real policy, he had never put in question the strategic goals to which he dedicated his whole life.

Sadık Yalsızuçanlar, Author

Alija Izetbegovic's Beauty and Wisdom

Alija Izetbegovic, who departed this world on 19 October 2003, formulates at one point in his significant work titled Islam between East and West, the definition of a poet: "The poet is someone who sees the invisible world and who reveals the keys to the primordial ceremonials." This definition simultaneously portrays himself. The philosopher king was the embodiment of universal principles. In the political sphere, he was the epitome of the Perfect Man. The late Alija Izetbegovic was the culmination of the line of such sovereigns. Islam between East and West informs us that poetry, in particular, and art, in general, "express the ineffable nature of that which is inexpressible." This beautiful description firmly establishes the degeneration and deterioration undergone by art in modern times. Izetbegovic is a philosopher who knowledgebly explains to us the nature of art—particularly, traditional art—and the detrimental alteration it has manifested in modern times. The traditional artist who dissolves the barriers between us and reality fulfills the duty, just as Izetbegovic affirmed, of issuing a warning and cautionary: the essential proposition of the existence of all religions and art is a completely different world (an entirely different system of things) from the natural world.

Mahmut H. Akın, Research Assistant., Selçuk University Sociology Department

The Intellectual Legacy of Alija Izetbegović

The majority of the people living in Turkey became acquainted with and came to love the late Alija Izetbegovic in the course of the war waged between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia in the early 1990s. He was admired not only by his own society and those who shared his ideas, but also by the people against whom he fought and whose ideas differed from his own. What distinguished Izetbegovic was his conceptualization of freedom and ethics and his upright and honorable stance that was enhanced by this understanding. Due to his endowed temperament, throughout his life he neither defended or acted in the name of anything he did not believe in nor did he hesitate to pay the price exacted for those beliefs he championed. The late Alija Izetbegovic was one of the greatest intellectuals produced by the modern Islamic world. Those who loved him thus called him the "Philosopher King." When the views he expounded in his works and what he experienced in his lifetime are taken into consideration, it becomes strikingly apparent that his intellectual stance and his lifelong battle were not exclusive. Today, any estimation of the stature of Alija Izetbegovic as an intellectual must be placed in the framework of his treatment of philosophical and social issues. The initiatives he advanced in relation to these issues and the whole of his struggle constitute an accumulation of wisdom bequeathed to humanity as a legacy to those from every segment who assigned importance to him.

Hasan Cengic, Former Deputy Defense Minister of Bosnia Herzegovina

Alija's Escape to Freedom

Aliya was a freedom lover in both philosophical and political meaning. When we read his note taken at prison parallel with his life and struggle we see that he is seeing freedom as the first condition of being human. But since he has lived in a time and space that freedom has been restricted his life from beginning to the end was a struggle for freedom. He has gained freedom for himself and his people with his struggle.

Recep Şentürk, Prof. Dr., Fatih University, Public Administration Department

Open Civilization: Towards a Multi-Civilizational Society and World Order

With regard to whether or not a civilization has recognized the right to life, it is possible to divide civilizations into two classes. In this paper, those civilizations that have awarded the right to life to other civilizations represent an open civilization and those that have failed to do so are closed civilizations. Islamic civilization is an example of an open civilization, because, throughout history, it has granted the right to life to the numerous civilizations subject to its administration, such as Christian, Judaic, Hindu, and Buddhist civilizations. Moreover, Islamic civilization, rather than extirpate or deny the heritage of the pre-Islamic God-seekers (the religion of Abraham), Judaism, Christianity, the Ancient Greek pantheon, and the Ancient Persian and Indian religions, kept them alive by virtue of its own critical apparatus. In fact, Greek philosophy was preserved by Muslims until it was rediscovered by the West in the Renaissance. Like many other civilizations during the Middle Ages, Western civilization represents an example of a closed civilization that wished to dominate the world by itself and destroy other civilizations. At present, modern western civilization, the dominant civilization, fluctuates between the closed and open models of civilization: on the one hand, there are those who wish to eliminate other world civilizations in order to make it the sole civilization and, on the other hand, there are those who defend the right of all world civilizations to exist. In this context, we should recall the importance of the experience of Islam as an open civilization.

Ismail Bardhi, Prof. Dr., Southern California University, Islamic Works Department

Alija Izetbegovic: Believer and a Faith Educator

Alija Izetbegovic considered his Islamic identity as his way of life, as his way of life was not an abstract belief in God. The object of his belief first of all was the Word of God, which is the Qur'an, as exemplified by His last Prophet, who was a permanent model of a believer and a statesman. Main features of his belief were his intensive relation with the supranatural, his strength, his universality as well as well experiencing of religion in daily life. He didn't consider religion as his own property, but as a universal field which enables a permanent development in improving its meaning and experiencing. Even in the field of existentialism he found the excellence of religion. This is what made him a faith educator.

Stjepan Gabriel Mestrovic, Prof Dr., Texas A&M University, Sociology Department

Alija Izetbegovićc's Legacy Caught Between The East And A Postemotional West

Alija Izetbegovic's book, Islam Between East and West, as well his legacy as President of Bosnia-Herzegovina, are re-evaluated in the context of David Riesman's social theory in The Lonely Crowd and Mestrovic's theory in Postemotional Society. In this context, it is argued that Izetbegovic's book and legacy were intended for and make sense in an "inner-directed" social context which assumes that most people are sincere in their commitment to a set of goals and values that are intended to last for at least a lifetime. But, since the 1950s, the so-called "West," consisting primarily of the USA and Western Europe, has shifted dramatically through an "other-directed" phase, in which goals and values shift rapidly to fit the approval of peer groups and media, and is currently in a "postemotional" phase, in which his ideas and Bosnia-Herzegovina's existence were subjected to "spin" and emotional manipulation by governments as well as media. Thus, the Belgrade regime convinced a willing Western audience that its genocidal campaign against Bosnia and Izetbegovic was justified on the postemotional basis of fighting "Turks" in Bosnia in response to the more than 600-year-old loss to the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Kosovo in the year 1389. Izetbegovic's theme of tolerance was twisted into acceptance of terrorism. Izetbegovic's cultural depiction of Islam in Bosnia as promoting patience and charity was manipulated into the notion that all three sides (including the Croats) were "equally guilty." Other examples drawn from the reception of Izetbegovic's book and policies will be examined. It is concluded that Izetbegovic's authentic message, aims, and objectives need to be evaluated and appreciated in the inner-directed context which he assumed, but which is becoming extinct in the West.

Alija Izetbegović (8 August 1925 – 19 October 2003) was a Bosnian activist, lawyer, author, philosopher and politician, who, in 1990, became the first President of Bosnia. He served as the Bosnian President until 1996, when he became a member of the Bosnian State Presidency, serving until 2000. He was also the author of several books, most notably "Islam Between East and West" and "The Islamic Declaration".


TRABZON, Turkey (October 14,2008) - The First Trabzon Silk Road Businessmen's Summit will take place in Trabzon,the capital of the Turkish north-eastern province of Trabzon,between October 16 and 19, 2008.

Hosted by the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board, the summit will bring together businessmen from 22 countries that were a part of the ancient Silk Road: Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia,Bulgaria, China, Georgia, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Russian Federation, Turkmenistan, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania,Turkey and Ukraine.

Meetings between the businessmen, speeches and discussions on new projects in the region will take place at the summit intended to revive the old Silk Road.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 14,2008) - Bosnian police today arrested four Serbians living in Bosnia suspected of taking part in a mass murder of more than 200 Bosnian civilians and Croatians living in Bosnia during the 1992-95 Serbian aggression against Bosnia, the Bosnian State Prosecutor's Office said.

The mass murder in central Bosnia occurred on August 21st, 1992.Serbian war criminals Milorad Skrbic, Milorad Radakovic, Gordan Djuric and Ljubisa Cetic were arrested on charges of crimes against humanity in the area of the northwestern Bosnian town of Prijedor, the Bosnian State Prosecutor's office said in a statement.

"They are suspected of taking part in the execution on Mount Vlasic of more than 200 Bosniak and Croat civilians who had been taken off the buses that transported them from a Prijedor area concentration camp to the central Bosnian town of Travnik," it said.

The genocide victims were told by the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor they were being released in a prisoner exchange and were driven from the Trnopolje concentration camp to some woods.

There, the detained Bosnian and Croatian civilians were forced to kneel by the edge of a ravine and shot by the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor. A dozen survived by tumbling or jumping down the cliff.

Former member of the genocidal paramilitary fascist formations of the Serbians living in Bosnia (VRS),Serbian war criminal Darko Mrdja, who confessed to taking part in the massacre on Mount Vlasic, was jailed for 17 years in 2004 by the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 14,2008) - Ambassador Dimitris Kourkoulas, Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Bosnia attended yesterday the conference "Cooperation between the Police and Prosecutor's Offices in Bosnia" that takes place in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo from October 13-15.

The Conference is a part of the Project “Establishment of enhanced mechanisms of cooperation between the police and prosecutor’s offices in Bosnia” and is implemented by the Bosnian High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of Bosnia.

This project has been facilitated by the EU Police Mission in Bosnia (EUPM) and financed by the United Kingdom. The project is jointly implemented by the Bosnian State Ministry of Security, entity ministries and Brčko District Police.

European Union is attaching particular importance to the consolidation of the rule of law in Bosnia .

"In this context, improved cooperation between prosecutors and police agencies is essential for the European integration process," said Ambassador Kourkoulas and named three main reasons for the rule of law importance. First, the rule of law is a precondition for democracy and economic development, second, for the Stabilisation and Association Process, and third, it is important for future progress in relation to Visa Liberalisation.

Ambassador Kourkoulas noted that to date the European Union had made investments in Justice and Home Affairs in Bosnia in amount of 140 million Euros.

"The European Union and European Commission will continue to be fully committed supporting your efforts in the area of Justice and Home Affairs throughout new financial instruments,“ concluded Kourkoulas.

All ministers underlined the importance of further enhancement of the cooperation between the Police and Prosecutor’s Offices throughout the country for the benefit of all Bosnian citizens. They were all united in the message that it was the only way to efficiently fight organised crime and all other forms of criminal behaviour.

Head of the European Union Police Mission to Bosnia, Brigadier General Vincenzo Coppola evaluated the relations among police agencies and prosecutors in the entire country, and stressed that although there was a room for improvement, the situation was much better than several years ago.

"We witnessed the number of complex and high profile investigations, which resulted with arrests and indictments. Some of the most dangerous criminals are behind the bars and serious organised crimes gangs have been dismantled. This shows that we are on the right track," outlined the general Coppola.

Raffi Georgian, the International community's Principal Deputy High Representative in Bosnia and Supervisor for the Brcko District said that this conference had a unique role to play in bringing professionals together to consider the relations between police and prosecutors and how they could be improved.

In the afternoon, all present professionals had panel discussions on Human Trafficking, Organised Crime, General Crime and Criminal Intelligence Service.

During the day, the beneficiaries of the Project signed the Memorandum of Understanding for Implementation of Joint Training Programmes for the Police and Prosecutors in Bosnia and Memorandum on the Implementation of the “Community Policing in Bosnia” Project (phase 3)”.

About Project:

The purpose of the project is to enhance current and adopt new coordination mechanism between the police and prosecutor’s offices with the aim of more efficient combat against all types of crime in Bosnia. The project implementation is also going to increase the efficiency of prosecutor’s offices in terms of a better capability of the prosecutors to process criminal offences.

The aim of the project is defined through four operational goals:

1. Drafting and adoption of non-existing bylaws and harmonization of the existing bylaws;

2. Development of joint training programmes for the police and prosecutors;

3. Harmonisation of records and statistical data;

4. Feasibility study conducted to define methodology for development of criminal/other records accessible by the police and prosecutor’s offices.

The project is being implemented by the project team of the Bosnian High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council, facilitated by the EUPM and financed by the UK government in cooperation with the Coordination Board, whose formation was approved by a decision of the project Steering Board.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 14,2008) - Coordination meeting of the representatives of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative (AII), Permanent International Secretariat of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC PERMIS) and Central European Initiative (CEI) took place yesterday in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.The host was the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC).

This regional meeting has been organized in order to analyse the ways of harmonizing the activities of the RCC Secretariat with the activities of the three initiatives which have 42 member countries.

They also discussed the projects that are related to developing and modernising the regional transport infrastructure network.AII General Secretary Alessandro Grafini, BSEC PERMIS General Secretary Ambassador Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos and CEI General Secretary Ambassador Pietro Ercole Ago were present at the meeting.

South East Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP) representatives, CEI President, President of Republic of Moldova and members of initiatives from Albania and Greece are also present at the meeting.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 14,2008) - The Sarajevo Canton is the leader of industrial production in Bosnia in the first nine months of this year. Whereas the Bosnian national average is 6 percent, production in the Sarajevo Canton was growing at the rate of almost 14 percent.

According to an official of the local chamber of commerce, the positive trend has been particularly true of finalization in metal processing – an industry with a strong tradition in the area.

The production growth in the metal processing industry reached as much as 161.8 percent, compared to same period of 2007. There are positive effects on employment as a result, so that there were by 18.1 per cent more employed people in the Sarajevo Canton.