Turkey stresses support for sovereignty, territorial integrity of Bosnia

Turkey, together with global community, will strive for Bosnia to return to its real agenda of economic development, says Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman.

Turkey stresses support for sovereignty, territorial integrity of Bosnia

Turkey has underlined its determination to strongly support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

It stressed this support after the National Assembly of Republika Srpska, one of Bosnia-Herzegovina's two entities, took decisions at an extraordinary session widely seen as moves towards secession.

"Turkey sees the decisions of the National Assembly of Republika Srpska as harmful to the constitutional and legal framework and detrimental to the peaceful and prosperous future of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina," Tanju Bilgic, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman, said late Saturday.

Bilgic said the decisions are also a challenge to the peace and stability of the Balkans and all of Europe.

"We will continue to strive, together with the international community, for Bosnia and Herzegovina to return to its real agenda, on the path of economic development, as soon as possible. With this understanding, we call on those who will bear the responsibility of harming peace and prosperity to abide by the constitutional and legal framework and resort to dialogue instead of unilateral actions," he added.

The moves were also criticized by European politicians.

In the session, the parliament of Republika Srpska decided to draft a new constitution, and proposed Banja Luka become Republika Srpska’s new capital.

It also moved to bring the powers of legislation and regulations governing the security, defense, tax administration, and judicial system to Republika Srpska.

Officials from the Democratic Action Party (SDA) officials called the moves a direct attack on the 1995 Dayton peace accords – which ended the 1992-95 Bosnian war – with serious repercussions.

Christian Schmidt, the high representative of Bosnia-Herzegovina, urged Serbian politicians to reverse their decisions.

"Serbian politicians should stay away from decisions that would be disastrous for Republika Srpska," he said in a statement.

The Croat and Bosniak members of the presidential council of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Zeljko Komsic and Sefik Dzaferovic, asked prosecutors to initiate necessary legal proceedings against those who are linked to the decisions taken in the Republika Srpska parliament.

Political dispute in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Bosnia-Herzegovina is currently embroiled in a political conflict between Bosniaks and Serbs living in the country.

The dispute erupted after Valentin Inzko, former high representative for Bosnia-Herzegovina, amended the criminal code in July to ban the denial of genocide and the glorification of war criminals.

In response, Bosnian Serb lawmakers said that they would boycott the country's institutions.

Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of the presidential council, denounced the amendments and pushed for the controversial moves in the Republika Srpska parliament.

Hüseyin Demir