World Bulletin/News Desk
On the tenth death anniversary, Bosniak politician Alija Izetbegovic, renown as 'Wise King', who achieved to bring independence to his home country despite all difficulties and whose people embraced him as 'father', is commemorated in Bosnia Herzegovina.
Having struggled against fascism and Chetnik ideology during the Second World War and communism afterwards, Izetbegovic put effort for the independence of Bosnia Herzegovina in the 1990s. After a striving war, the Wise King managed to gain independence to his country.
Son of Wise King, Bakir Izetbegovic, who is a Bosniak member of the Bosnia Herzegovina Tripartite Presidency stated he still remembered the scenes of the war, adding he was always next to his father and followed his doings closely at that time.
Izetbegovic, after laying flowers on father's grave said that Alija Izetbegovic was a good father, person, friend and that he taught him how to forgive.
"He taught me to forgive. As you have already heard, he spent 17 years in the prisons and wars," said Bakir Izetbegovic.
Saying his father admired Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Izetbegovic said, "The team of Turkish Premier Erdogan was Alija's dream team."
Izetbegovic also noted that his father was a man full of unlimited trust of Bosniak nation, noting that "to rely on a leader happens in hard times and conditions."
Former Defense Minister of Bosnia Herzegovina Hasan Cengic, who spent five years in prison with Alija Izetbegovic and was one of twelve, who stood trial in 1983 Sarajevo case said he was a gentleman who was "simple, strong, humble, open, restful, knows Islam and West well and has a vision."
Former Bosniak Foreign Minister and envoy of United Nations of Bosnia Herzegovina Mohamed Sacirbegovic stressed Alija was known as 'Bosniak George Washington' by Americans.
He underlined Alija always prioritized his country and the protection of his people and added he did his best for the normalization of his people.
One of his best friends and advisors Dr. Hilmi Neimarliya stated Alija's lack was felt deeply in Bosnia Herzegovina and by his people.
Fifth brigade commander of the war in Bosnia Atif Dudakovic noted Alija was an authority for them as he struggled for the Bosniaks and represented them.
"He turned us into a nation and gave us the opportunity to create a state," Dudakovic said.
Turkey's ambassador in Sarajevo Ahmet Yildiz stated he remembered Alija with his painful face, which reflected the sadness of pain, slaughter, genocide and rapes of his people.
Mensur Malkic, mufti of Gazi Husrev Bey's mosque in Sarajevo, recited prayers from Quran for the memory of Izetbegovic, in the presence of Head of the Islamic Society in Bosnia and Herzegovina Husein Kavazovic.
Halid Genjac, president of the Main Board of the Party of Democratic Action said, "Today we mark 10 years since death of the man who obligated us by his deeds. His legacy is rich. It is eternal and it obligates us."
Program to mark the 10th year of the death of the first President of Bosnia and Herzegovina will continue till Saturday night at the National Theater in Sarajevo.
Former Croatian President Stjepan Mesic as well as prominent philosopher from France Bernard Henri Levi will deliver speeches.
During the program at the National Theater, an exhibition called "My Escape to Freedom" which was dedicated to the President will be opened.
Alija Izetbegovic (8 August 1925 – 19 October 2003) was a Bosniak politician, activist, lawyer, author, and philosopher who in 1990 became the first President of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was also the author of several books, most notably Islam Between East and West and the Islamic Declaration.Last Mod: 19 Ekim 2013, 16:21