Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan opened the airport, which was built by Turkish firms, in Kosovo’s capital Pristina. However, an important detail was overlooked. The airport which will link Kosovo to the rest of the world was named after a man who devoted his life for Kosovar independence - Adem Yashari.
Born in Drenitsa’s Prekaz village on 28th November 1955, Adem Yashari was one of the founders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) with Zahir Payaziti. Yashari served KLA’s operations in Drenitsa. One of his fellows was his brother Hamaz Yashari until he was martyred. After his first armed operations failed, he decided to escape to Albania in 1991 and mobilize Muslim youth there.
He was always very active in KLA operations and he was the army’s regional commander in Drenitsa. In 1997 he was convicted in absentia by Yugoslavian courts, a decision largely condemned by human rights groups.
The first clash between Yashari’s group and Serbian militia occurred on 30th December 1991 when the army surrounded his home and asked him to surrender. Yashari was able to break the siege and escaped. He continued to carry out attacks against Yugoslavian police and military forces.
The second siege came on 5th March 1998 which lasted 3 days. At the end, along with Yashair himself, 48 people including his parents, wife and relatives was killed.
Bullet holes still remain today in Yashari’s home where the effects of the war is still felt. Today, however, instead of guerillas fighters, visitors come to his home which has been turned into a museum.
Yashari and his friends’ efforts bore fruit as Kosovo announced unilaterally its independence on 17th February 2008. Yashari’s name was given to many places in Kosovo including the airport in the capital.
The legacy of the Kosovar national hero Adem Yashari is still fresh not only in his homeland but also in Turkey. One of Istanbul’s public parks was named after him. His saying hangs on the park: “This is not Adem’s death. This is the start of Adem’s life.”
Kuzey News Agency
Last Mod: 31 Ekim 2013, 18:24