Turkey offers to mediate in Bosnian crisis ‘to ensure stability’-Sources

Turkey is ready to act as a mediator in Bosnia’s crisis and will do what it can to ensure stability, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on Tuesday, amid concerns over separatist moves by Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, according to Reuters and daily SABAH.  Turkey has befriended Serbia in recent years, but retains strong influence on Bosnia-Herzegovina through diplomatic and charitable aid, as well as a network of religious charities.


Going into 2022, Turkey’s foreign policy agenda remains focused on defending its dominions in Syria and her territorial claims in Aegean and East Med.  A new wave of separatism and ethnic conflict in Balkans could impair Turkey’s plans, by forcing Ankara to take sides, distracting from thorny negotiations with EU to launch a new Customs Union as well as hurting foreign trade.


As part of a visit to Sarajevo this week, Akar met with his Bosnian counterpart, the Bosnian presidency and other officials, according to his ministry.


“We view Bosnia and Herzegovina as a whole. We have done all we can for its unity and stability, and we will continue to do so,” Akar told broadcaster CNN Turk after his talks.


“If desired, Turkey can work as a mediator in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Akar said, without elaborating.


In a non-binding motion paving the way for secession from Bosnia, Serb lawmakers earlier this month voted to start pulling their autonomous Serb Republic out of Bosnia’s armed forces, tax system, and judiciary.



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Bosnia was split into two autonomous regions – the Serb Republic and the Federation, dominated by Bosniaks and Croats – after its 1992-1995 war. The three institutions represent the key pillars of joint security, rule of law and the economic system.


Turkey has said the Serb lawmakers’ vote was “wrong, dangerous” and could threaten regional stability. Germany has called on the European Union to sanction Dodik.


Mostly Muslim Turkey has strong ties with Bosnia. President Tayyip Erdogan has often praised Bosnia’s wartime leader, Alija Izetbegovic, while forming friendly relations with Bosnia’s tripartite inter-ethnic presidency.


Dodik wants to roll back all reforms made after the war and return to the 1995 constitution, under which the state was represented by basic institutions only while all powers belonged to the regions.


Bosnia’s opposition leaders warned the moves may lead the Serb Republic into a new war, while some Bosnian Serbs voiced disquiet over Dodik’s moves, fearing a relapse into chaos and even conflict as they struggle just to make ends meet.




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Published By: Atilla Yeşilada

GlobalSource Partners’ Turkey Country Analyst Atilla Yesilada is the country’s leading political analyst and commentator. He is known throughout the finance and political science world for his thorough and outspoken coverage of Turkey’s political and financial developments. In addition to his extensive writing schedule, he is often called upon to provide his political expertise on major radio and television channels. Based in Istanbul, Atilla is co-founder of the information platform Istanbul Analytics and is one of GlobalSource’s local partners in Turkey. In addition to his consulting work and speaking engagements throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East, he writes regular columns for Turkey’s leading financial websites VATAN and www.paraanaliz.com and has contributed to the financial daily Referans and the liberal daily Radikal.