Union of Turkish World Municipalities (TDBB) Executive Board Delegation who has been in Bosnia and Herzegovina to do the June Executive Board Meeting and the Project Openings attended to the 511th Ajvatovica Festival Ceremonies held on 27 June 2021, Sunday.

Ajvatovica Festival which is supported by TDBB was attended by the TDBB delegation; Mayor of Balıkesir Metropolitan Municipality Yücel Yılmaz, Mayor of Bağcılar Lokman Çağırıcı, Mayor of Beykoz Murat Aydın, Mayor of Başiskele Yasin Özlü, Mayor of Karatay Hasan Kılca and many Bosnian citizens. Turkey’s Ambassador to Sarajevo Sadık Babür Girgin and TDBB member Mayor of Bursa Metropolitan Municipality Alinur Aktaş also attended to the festival.

Ajvatovica Festival has been organizing for years for the memory of Ayvaz Dede who is a Turkish dervish from Akhisar city who contributed to the adaptation of Islam in Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the festival in Donji Vakuf, local people showed great interest to the horsemen passing through the city center with their traditional clothes, red fezes and green banners, and the mehteran team from Turkey

Mufti of Travnik Ahmed Adilovic delivered the traditional Ajvatovica Festival banner to Karaula Imam Merzuk Grabus. Adilovic, who is also the chairman of the Ajvatovica Festivals Organization Committee, posited that the festival was held for the 511th time and he added that, “This festival, which has been organized by Bosnians for almost 550 years, is a sign of the love of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina for their faith, culture, religion, identity, nation and homeland. We are grateful to the contributors of the organization and specially appreciated to Union of Turkish World Municipalities”.

Within the framework of the event, a masjid built by Bursa Metropolitan Municipality was opened in Ajvatovica during the festival program.

Who is Ayvaz Dede?

Ayvaz Dede was an Anatolian holy man from Akhisar who came from Horasan region of Turkey to Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to spread the Islamic faith like another Turkish dervish named Sarı Saltuk Dede. According to the legend, Ayvaz Dede prayed for 40 days and 40 nights at the mountain in the Prusac village (Akhisar) where the festival has been organizing now to stop the drought.

Moreover, according to the legend, one night Ayvaz Dede made a dream about two goats fighting. After this vision, when he woke up, he found the mountain splitting and the water running between the rocks of the mountain. After this event, the region got water and the drought ended, and the people of the region who heard about this miraculous event chose Islam.