News 17 Feb 16

Bosnian Serb President Accused of Insulting Bosniaks

A Bosnian NGO has filed criminal complaints against Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik, accusing him of inciting hatred for describing Bosniaks as ‘Turks’.

Emina Dizdarevic, Denis Dzidic
BIRN
Sarajevo
Bosnian Serb president Milorad Dodik. Photo: BETA.

The NGO Truth, Justice and Reconciliation field the criminal complaints on Tuesday to Bosnia’s state and two entity prosecutions, claiming that Dodik “incited hatred by calling Bosniaks Turks”.

The president of the NGO Sinan Alic told BIRN that it was unacceptable for the president of one of the country’s political entities to call one of its ‘constitutional peoples’ - Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs - “by anything else but their constitutional name”.

“This is primitivism and I find it unbelievable that the prosecutions didn’t act on their own accord, but if they don’t want to work, we have filed a complaint,” said Alic.

“We will apply pressure for them to react. This is offensive to any person,” he added.

The Republika Srpska leader made the comment last Thursday while commenting on a prosecution investigation into a banker who had given a loan to Dodik.

“Bosnia and Herzegovina could not survive during 500 years of Turkish rule, so these modern Turks will achieve nothing,” Dodik told media.

Bosnia and Herzegovina was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire from 1463 to 1878, and the term ‘Turk’ is still used as a derogative term for Bosniaks.

Dodik has made no comment so far about the criminal complaints filed against him.

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