8 thousand 372 martyrs who suffered genocide in the Bosnian city of Srebrenica in July 1995 were commemorated with the ceremony organized by Keçiören Municipality at the 23rd anniversary of the genocide.
Mayor of Keçiören Mustafa Ak and Ambassador of Bosnia Herzegovina in Turkey Bakir Sadovic, as well as local administrators, Members of the Assembly, NGO representatives and citizens, attended the ceremony in front of the Srebrenitsa Monument found in Keçiören’s Alija Izetbegovic Park.
The program was opened with the recitations from Holy Qur’an and a stand-in silence. Bosnia Herzegovina in Turkey Bakir Sadovic said, “I thank you for the support you have given us and for organizing the commemoration program every year. New 35 civilian victims of the genocide were identified and will be buried this year. Alija Izetbegovic told us ‘Don’t hate any man or nation’. Over the past 15 years, many civilians and soldiers responsible for the massacres gave accounts before the courts. Peace Marches that we traditionally organize every year is attended by many people from Turkey and from around the world. Peace March is important in order for massacre not to be forgotten and to prevent it to happen once again”.
Ambassador Sadovic said that martyrs of the July 15 Coup Attempt were commemorated as well. “I wish them all mercy from Almighty Allah. As Bosnia and Herzegovina, we always will be by your side. I pray to Allah that atrocities do not happen again”.
Mayor of Kecioren Mustafa Ak pointed out that the genocide in Bosnia was a disgrace for the humanity, and remembered the victims with prays. “International Justice Court defined the events in Srebrenica as a “genocide”. There are still mass graves in Srebrenica, identification of the victims is still being made. This shows us the size of the genocide committed in the heart of Europe”.
Mayor Ak said how brutalities committed in 1995 has left deep scars on Turkey’s memory as much as they left on Bosnia and Herzegovina. By reminding the participants that during the genocide Srebrenica was under the official protection of the UN, he said, “The world heard cries for the help very late, but Bosnia was lucky to have Alija Izetbegovic who enlightened the path of the Bosnian people not only with his leadership but with his humanism. He brought the independence to Bosnia. Prior to his death, the wise Alija Izetbegovic had entrusted Bosnia to our President Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey is taking care of this entrust and will continue to take care”.
Ak reminded that this year is the second anniversary of the treacherous coup attempt of July 15. “The coup that aimed the occupation and internal conflict was defeated with the call of our President and the struggle of our people and the state. We know that the hearts of our Bosnian brothers was with Turkey on that day”.
After the speeches, the delegation laid a wreath on the memorial and white balloons symbolizing martyrs of Srebrenica were released into the sky.