“Letters from Yugoslavia” consists of translation of previous articles published in Turkish language in different portals which are piled in "Yugoslavya Mektupları" and current articles that are published in İleri Portal, the press agency of TİP (Workers' Party of Turkey).

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Wednesday 13 April 2022


Hungarian Elections 1: Liberal Orban to illiberal Orban

The elections that were held last weekend (April 3, 2022) in Hungary were closely followed by the left and opposition public opinion in our country, due to the fact that six parties came together to overthrow Orban and the parallels established between Orban and RTE. Orban's crushing victory saw mixed reactions in the opposition and in the mainstream media.

Since we could not fit what we will write about the Hungarian election in a single article due to its similarities with Turkish politics, we decided to examine this election from several different dimensions.

In our first article, we will briefly discuss the Hungarian elections in the historical process. In our second article, we will try to make a more political analysis. In our last article, we will look at where the left and the working class in Hungary stand as a political subject in this conjuncture.

In the elections held on the same day, the victory of two Bonapartes; Vucic and Orban, in the elections held in Serbia and Hungary, shows that it is not easy to get rid of the conservative regimes in Eastern Europe. There was no expectation that Vucic would lose in the elections in Serbia. There seems to be no opposition to Vucic. But the step taken by the opposition for unity in Hungary for a year fed hopes that it would end the 12-year Orban rule. That hope was shattered in the elections at the weekend. It is seen that this defeat of the opposition bloc, in which six dissimilars came together, similar to the one in Turkey, created a demoralization of the opposition in Turkey, and that the social media trolls were also mouthing gum.

The alliance formed by Fidesz (Hungarian Citizens' Union) and KDNP (Christian Democratic People's Party), led by Orban, achieved a "super majority" (2/3 of the parliament) by taking 134 of the 199 deputies in the parliament with 54 percent of the votes. The alliance of "Unification for Hungary" (EM: Egységben Magyarországért), formed by the union of six parties, remained at 34% and only got 56 seats. Our Country (Mi Hazank), which emerged from the extreme-rightist Jobbik received 6% of the vote.

Undoubtedly, the "Nation Alliance" in Turkey and the alliance established against the 12-year-old Orban regime in Hungary are similar in some respects. Both formations consist of six parties, and we are really talking about six parties that are unlikely to come together under normal conditions. The recent vote rates in the 2018 elections and political tendencies of these parties are as follows:

- Hungarian Socialist Party (social-democratic): 12 percent

- Democratic Coalition (social-democratic): 5.3 percent

- Jobbik (extreme nationalist) 19 percent

- Momentum Movement (liberal): 3 percent

- Hungarian Green Party: 7 percent

- Dialogue Party for Hungary (Green, liberal, centre-left): did not join – established by those who left the Green Party

The first signs of a merger of the opposition parties against Orban, who has ruled Hungary for twelve years, emerged in December 2020. This was motivated by the fact that Marki-Zay, who was determined as the joint candidate of the alliance in the 2022 elections, won the municipal elections in Hódmezővásárhely, known as the castle of Fidesz, with a population of 44 thousand, as an independent candidate in the 2018 elections.

At first, the name Marki-Zay was not something that the six parties had much in common with. The election success of Marki-Zay was not associated with the political charisma of him, but with the fall of a city that was Fidesz's stronghold. It was evaluated in terms of creating a belief that Fidesz could be defetaed. On the other hand, Marki-Zay, who has seven children and is known for his devotion to traditional values, is a former Fidesz member. He described himself as a right-wing Christian, who left his party (Fides) since Fdesz, who came to power with a program based on liberal values ​​have departed from these values.

As a matter of fact, Klara Dobrev, the candidate of the Democratic Coalition or the liberal-green politician Gergely Karacsony, who was elected the Mayor of Budapest as the joint candidate of the opposition in the 2019 local elections, were spelled more at the beginning of the alliance negotiations. This story bears a great resemblance to the election process of Mansur Yavaş in Ankara. However, with similar motives to the CHP's nomination of Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu in 2014, the alliance agreed with the name Marki-Zay, who is known for his conservatism and piety, assuming that the right-wing voters could be attracted.

2019 Türkiye yerel seçimleri ve Çekya’daki Ekim 2021’de beş partili “Demokratik Cephe” adayının başbakan Andrey Babis’i devirmesi de birleşik bir muhalefetin başarısı yönünde motive edici gelişmelerdi.

Bu senenin başlarında kamuoyu yoklamaları birleşik muhalefetle Fidesz-KDNP bloğu arasındaki oy farkının bir iki puana düştüğünü gösteriyordu ve umut yükseliyordu. Hatta o dönemde Türkiye’deki kamuoyu da Macaristan’ı bu konjonktürde takibe almıştı. Fakat 4 Nisan seçimlerinde büyük bir hezimetle sonuçlandı.

The 2019 local elections in Turkey and the five-party "Democratic Front" candidate's overthrow of prime minister Andrey Babis in October 2021 in Czechia were also motivating developments for the success of a united opposition in Hungary.

Earlier this year, opinion polls showed that the gap between the united opposition and the Fidesz-KDNP bloc had narrowed to a point or two, and hope was rising. Even the public opinion in Turkey at that time followed Hungary in this conjuncture. However, it resulted in a great defeat in the April 4 elections.

Before looking at the reasons for this defeat, it is necessary to take a look at Orban's political career.

Today, Orban, who has sworn to delete the Hungarian-American speculator Soros, is known to be associated with the "Open Society Foundation" founded and funded by Soros in his youth. He even started working part-time at the Open Society Foundation in 1987 and completed his studies on civil society at Oxford with a Soros fellowship. Adhering to liberal values, who became prominent in politics in a short time, this young man took part in the parliament as a deputy of Fidesz, which exceeded the 5 percent threshold for the first time in the 1994 elections. He became the prime minister in the 1998 elections, at the age of 45, as the leader of the party in the next election. The biggest share in this is the privatization and the austerity policies implemented under the guidance of the IMF between 1994-1998 by the MSZP (Hungarian Socialist Party), which was called "socialist" but has nothing to do with social democracy.

Orban had hinted to the government that it would be “liberal” and would follow a policy compatible with the West. In this context, the similarities with the conjuncture in which the AKP came to power in 2001 are striking.

Hungary joined NATO in 1999, the first year of Orban's rule. But despite the support of the West, narrowly lost both the 2002 and 2006 elections.

In the meantime Orban realized that a nationalist and chauvinist rhetoric at home, without scaring the West, opened up greater opportunities in politics, and he came to power in 2010, never to go again. Orban, who could not afford to oppose the West and especially the EU values ​​in the first four years, came to power unopposed in the 2014 elections, saying: “My target is an illiberal society!”

In the process, Orban's Hungary, which clashed with Western liberalism in every field with its violation of the separation of powers, especially in refugee politics, became a troublemaker for the EU along with Poland, which was no different from Hungary in this regard. But the EU had nothing to do. Orban continued to receive the support of the voters with his successful consolidation moves. On the other hand, by developing cooperation with conservative regimes such as Poland, Turkey and Serbia, and even by pursuing a more balanced foreign policy with Russia, Orban successfully maintains Hungary's "national interests" in foreign policy in the eyes of the electorates.

However, in the 12-year period in Hungary, the loss of the independence of the judiciary, the restriction of democratic rights, and many similar areas, the Hungarian people were taken under control. In this stance, before the 2022 elections, almost all the parties united and formed an electoral alliance against Orban, and hopes that this period would end had begun to sprout. But on April 4, 2022, something unexpected happened and Orban had the biggest electoral success of his political career. In the 2018 elections, the parties that received 45 percent of the total votes received 34 percent of the votes, even though they were united.

In our next article, we'll take a closer look at how Orban won, or why the opposition lost.

Friday 11 March 2022

After Ukraine, is it Bosnia's turn?

(Original text: March 8, 2022)

With Russia's attack on Ukraine, eyes were again turned to Bosnia. Bosnia's worst crisis since the Dayton Agreement, which ended the Bosnian War in 1995, reached its peak in December, and many Western experts even claimed that Bosnia was on the brink of war.

However, neither those who made these claims nor the author of this column thought that Russia would launch a military attack on Ukraine in this article. In the changing conjuncture, it is necessary to re-consider the facts.

Western know-it-all experts once again asked, "After Ukraine, will it be Bosnia's turn?" We have to admit that as a broken clock shows the true time twice a day, there is a high probability that they may be right. Yes, after Ukraine, it may be Bosnia's turn. Much depends on Russia's military success. If Russia is successful in Ukraine and strengthens its hand in the region, Dodik, who is watching what is going on silently, will suddenly turn into a tiger.

First of all, let's say this: Dodik is not the only one who follows the Ukraine war with full attention. As you know, Serbia did not accept to impose sanctions on Russia and this situation was very strange in Europe. Immediately, the fuss started: “A country that does not oppose an autocrat like Putin has no place in the EU! If Serbia, which supports Putin enters the EU, the problems that EU values ​​face in Poland and Hungary will remain zero on the left.” But there is something that these experts miss: The EU wind is not as effective in the Balkans as it used to be, and a stick-carrot strategy through the EU is no longer valid. There are hardly any politicians trying to blow their sails with the EU wind. For a while, the EU is out of sight from Balkan politics, Russia is closer.

Nevertheless, we can say that "Russianism" is more popular in Serbian politics, although Serbian President Aleksander Vucic does not participate in the sanctions against Russia, but still tries to remain as neutral as possible at the discursive level. Recently, the speaker of the Serbian National Assembly, Ivica Dacic, said very openly that imposing sanctions on Russia and imposing sanctions on Serbia means the same thing, and asked: “If Kosovo becomes a NATO member tomorrow, who will we ask for help? Of course Russia"

In Serbia, and in Republika Srpska, the public seems to endorse Dacic's rhetoric. Pro-Putin and pro-Russian demonstrations are held in some cities of Serbia, especially in Belgrade, and even in Montenegro and RS (Republika Srpska). Of course, we do not deny that there were demonstrations in favor of Ukraine against them, but it is very good that just before the start of the Bosnian War, 100 thousand people demonstrated for peace in Belgrade, and that the murderers who went to war in Bosnia were from towns outside Belgrade, from Montenegro and from Serbian settlements in Bosnia, but only a few from Belgrade.

Russia's friends in the Balkans now know very well that unlike NATO, which previously provoked Georgia and Ukraine today, Russia has the courage to intervene in armed conflict when necessary. This is what confuses some Balkan politicians: Those kleptocratic bandits who are eager to use Russia's confrontational prowess for their regional pragmatic policies!

While these robber bandits in the Balkans are waiting for the outcome of the war, Russia does not leave the field empty. On Monday (February 28, 2022), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called Dodik, the Serbian member of the Bosnian Presidency, reminding him to fulfill the requirements of the agreement they made with Putin last December. No one knows the requirements in this agreement. The Russian Embassy in Sarajevo, which made a press statement on the same evening, said that this phone call was made at Dodik's request, and that the EU and NATO's attempts to violate the Dayton Agreement against the will of Republika Srpska were discussed.

Here it can be concluded that Dodik received very serious support from Russia and that Russia openly cooperated with Dodik to expand its dominance in the Balkans, which is not unknown. What is unknown, or unknown to most, is that Russia-RS relations are a cooperation beyond just political ground. Russian businessmen such as Rashid Serdarov, Evgeny Zotov and Konstantin Malofeev are known for their investments in RS. The RS functions as an important stepping stone for Russian oligarchs to open up to the Balkan and even the Mediterranean market.

What's more, RS does not come across Russia with any bargaining cards. Neither the EU, nor NATO, nor even Serbia can offer anything beyond what Russia can offer. In fact, neither the EU nor NATO can offer anything to Dodik. Anything to be offered to a political structure built on genocide is questionable, where even the existence of this structure’s legimity is questionable. Russia's support in line with the win-win strategy is a unique opportunity for Dodik.

Dodik is waiting… He will act as soon when he hears of Russia's victory.

EUFOR, which left Bosnia in the hands of the cleptocratic regime, came to a standstill. A total of 3500 soldiers of the EUFOR (peacekeeping force in Bosnia) remained in the mission, of which only 600 were on the ground in Bosnia. Last week, another 500 soldiers were sent to Bosnia. Images of armored vehicles accompanying the soldiers, pictures and videos taken while the convoy was taking a break in Zenica and on the highway tolls went viral on social media. On Monday morning (March 7, 2022), EUFOR soldiers with camouflage and ski masks were seen wandering like tourists around the center of Sarajevo. As of this week, Rafale jets departing from France's Charles-de-Gaulle aircraft carrier in the Adriatic will begin their flights over the Balkans as part of the Althea operation. (Althea: codename of the operation responsible for monitoring the Dayton Agreement in Bosnia)

Exactly 25 years later, these images, in which military vehicles and camouflaged soldiers were so heavily involved in the public sphere, were enough to frighten Bosnians. Zeljko Komsic, the only non-nationalist member of the Bosnian Presidency Council, is aware that in the event of a war, neither the EU nor NATO will be able to help: "If we do not protect our country, no one else will," he says. Who will protect Bosnia in the event of a war is in doubt. Will the people of a country that has been exploited for 25 years go to the front to protect the homeland?

The reverse may also be true for Bosnian Serbs. Dodik's arrogant comment to the incoming EUFOR support was simple: "Let them bring 5000 soldiers if they want." Of course, Dodik does not have a military unit equipped to confront these 500 soldiers. The number of maniacs willing to lay down their lives for the cleptocratic regime in RS is also limited. Dodik does not have an army, but Serbia does, and Russia, which does not hesitate to intervene in Ukraine, has enough weapons to feed the bandits in RS at any moment.

In Bosnia, where military vehicles resurfaced after 25 years, the first bombs fell into the pockets of the people. Fuel prices have increased here as well, and queues have formed at the fuel stations.

Tuesday 8 March 2022



(Original text: November 8, 2021)

About four and a half years ago, on May 16, 2017, we published an article with the same headline, word for word: “Will there be a new war in Bosnia? The usual discourse that was regularly put in front of us was also in the headlines of the newspapers last week: “There could be a war in Bosnia at any moment”, “Bosnia has never been closer to armed conflict since the war”, “Bosnia” war looks at a single spark”. Those who follow Bosnia know that nothing is as it seems in Bosnia. Just as the war broke out 25 years ago when no one thought it would be possible, today the war is just as distant as the drums of war are beating.

We ended our article published years ago with the following lines:

All those events and facts that are mentioned above brings one question: Can there be a war in Bosnia as a result of all of those political crises? The Western political analysts are very likely to speak about war in any part of the world. However, the dynamics of contemporary Bosnia is not the same as it was 20 years ago. Those nationalist leaders who took advantage of the war, know very well that in case of a war, they can easily lose their positions. Moreover, Bosnia with an disfunctional state very far away of being a threat to imperialism. Thus, a change in status quo in Bosnia is not favoured by imperialism. In addition to that, neither Croatia, who is just accepted in EU would risk to arm Bosnian Croats, nor Serbia who is just domesticated on the path to EU would prefer to risk the journey to EU by falling into the adventure of “Greater Serbia“. Bosnian Muslim politicians on the other side are very much busy with exploiting the limited resources of the country."

The criteria for becoming an expert on Bosnia are very simple: You visit Bosnia for a week as a tourist, take a tour in Bascarsija, eat pies and pastries, drink a cup of Bosnian coffee in a coffeehouse overlooking the Mostar bridge, take a selfie on the porch of the Tekija in Blagaj next to spring of the Una river, and you become an expert on Bosnia! If you have watched two Kusturica movies, you will have skills to analyse the whole social and political structure.

It is very interesting that when there are so many Bosnian experts in Turkey, whether they are Islamist, Turanist/nationalist, liberal or social democrat, regardless of their political identity, the information sources of these experts about Bosnia are often the Western media they sneer at. They follow Bosnia through channels that report on information originating from Brussels or Washington, and these sources say that war could break out at any moment in Bosnia today.

The reason is the ignorant statements of an idiot who is about to lose his seat and gets more ridiculous and aggressive as he approaches the end. (Sounds familiar, right!) We are talking about Milorad Dodik, the Serbian member of the tripartite presidential system in Bosnia.

Dodik, the leader of the autonomous Republic of Srpska in Bosnia, which was built on massacres and genocide and whose existence somehow continues even though the genocide was accepted by international courts, is known for his rudeness and arrogance.

This Dodik have nicely spoke nonsense again in mid-October that he was going to make certain institutions of Bosnia to leave the Republic of Srpska. Which institutions? The armed forces, the judiciary and the tax office, which are indispensable elements for the security, legal and financial system of a state. Mr Dodik would not be satisfied with this and would close the SIPA (State Investigation and Protection Agency) and the Constitutional Court.

Where does Dodik get the power to speak so indecently? First; from Russia. As NATO makes moves to swallow the Balkans, Russia threatens to put Balkans into chaos with her interventions.

But the main source of strength for Dodik's arrogance comes from the dysfunctionality of the Bosnian state. Much has been written on these pages: The Dayton Peace, which put an end to the Bosnian War, made the enmity between the warring parties eternal while putting an end to the war, and on top of that, it built an absurd governance regime that could not be seen in the history of the world. Two autonomous regions, 10 cantons, a special-status entity, a system where the president changes every 8 months according to his ethnic identity, and all this is in a small country like Bosnia!

It should come as no surprise that such a regime would become clogged. It should not surprise anyone that corruption and poverty are at an unbearable level in a country where politics is based on ethnic identities.

This is the source where Dodik finds his real power: A state that doesn't work!

He actually gets what he wants if he loses his mind, but he says that his aim is to gain more autonomy without destroying the territorial integrity of Bosnia, in order not to look like he is violating Dayton, and adds: “There is no war, there will be no war and there is no possibility of a war. !”

While saying this, he does not hesitate to hold an exercise on the Jahorina Mountain next to Sarajevo on October 22 with the participation of armoured vehicles, helicopters and special police forces armed with camouflage and assault weapons. Supposedly, it was an exercise carried out as part of the fight against terrorism.

The reactions against Dodik rose immediately. The US, which has already banned Dodik from entering the country, warned that if he continues his separatist moves, some sanctions will be applied. Gabriel Escobar, the new US special envoy for the Balkans, also arrived in Bosnia last Saturday and declared: “The closing down of institutions belonging to the Bosnian State by the Republic of Srspka is unacceptable according to Dayton.”

The new High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Christian Schmidt, demanded a response at the UN level to these statements of Dodik, and warned that these actions of Dodik would cause a crisis not in a single country, but in the international arena, and brought the usual discourse: “Bosnia is in danger of disintegrating and the possibility of an armed conflict is a very realistic prediction”

The probability was so realistic!

This statement made the headlines in the Western media, and the drums of war began to sound. After all, there is a "very realistic" statement expressed at first hand!

But it is also known that; The reality of the West and the reality of the Balkans often do not coincide.

Bosnia has an election next year. In the last election, Dodik lost very important positions and it is said that this rude, arrogant bandit may end up in the junk of politics in the next election. Dodik has nothing to offer his electorate, but warlike prowess and nationalist provocation.

This heroism and nationalist provocation is not only beneficial for Serbian nationalists, but also for Croat and Bosniak conservatists. Inevitable; nationalisms feed each other and they do not have to hide the corruption and impoverishment in the society.

Well, will there be a war?

To answer this question, the correct question would be: Who benefits from war? To those who use a country as their own farm? Those who have already turned the country into a slaughterhouse? Is it imperialism that holds the country in the palm of its hand? Who does it benefit?

Order is already established and no one wants to risk their own position. Moreover, all these nationalist leaders know very well that from now on, no one will fight for them except a handful of lunatic fanatics.



Saturday 3 April 2021

New era in Kosovo and Balkan politics

(Original text: March 25, 2021)

It is obvious that Kosovo, and even the Balkans, has entered a new era when Vetevendosje leader Albin Kurti established the new cabinet by receiving a vote of confidence from the Assembly of Kosovo on March 22. It seems Kurti will address Kosovo's international politics within the framework of a pragmatic understanding of foreign policy. In order to understand this framework better, it is necessary to evaluate Kurti's influence on Balkan politics.

We ended our previous article by saying that we will discuss the political change in Kosovo within the context of the Balkan politics of the EU, USA and Russia in the post-Trump period. A glance at Balkan politics, the possible effects of the Kosovo elections on the Balkan geography is necessary before the promised article.

Before that, we would like to recall a point that we have criticized from time to time here: After the Kosovo elections, we did not see the usual cliché headlines in the Western media on possibility of a new warfare. Whenever there is an important development in the Balkans, the Western media is equipped with expert opinions claiming that "a new war may break out at any time". The Balkan “experts” in Turkey as well, who are tired of the right-conservatist crap on Balkans, who most often follow Balkans via Brussels or Washington fall into that fictive story that "a war may occur at any moment in the Balkans war". But this time, after the last elections, which unquestionably marks a new era in Kosovo, and even heralds the end of the war politics of the former UCK commanders, Vetevendosje’s, the party whose fundamental political programs aims at a “United Balkans” and her proud leader Albin Kurti’s victory did not cause usual “war cries”.

The Balkan experts do not care that Kurti is a follower of a program forging social development, social justice, state intervention and advocate of the rule of law and put forward a serious program against corruption and poverty, but what the new government that prioritizes these policies will bring to Balkan politics is important. Articles claiming that the political change in Kosovo will cause problems in Albania, confuse Macedonia, and even that the end of the political crisis that may emerge will touch Bosnia, will surely be released before the beginning of summer, as usual. It is a fact that tensions in the region will increase due to the coming to power of a party with a political program formed with the "United Albania" range. Will this be increasing tension pregnant with new crises and even wars? Is there any expectation of war in the Balkans this Summer, as every Summer?

Let's look at the clues given by the government established by Albin Kurti, who brought a new and completely different breath to Kosovo's politics, regarding the new period. Albin Kurti has not included other parties that have ruled Kosovo for years. Kurti, who has kept Rugova's party LDK and former UCK leader Hashim Thaci's party PDK out of the government, clearly shows that he will stay away from the traditional political style in the Balkans. As a matter of fact, Vetevendosje, who won the 14 February elections but won 58 out of 120 seats, went to the current president Vjosa Osmani's party, Guxo (Courage), the Serbian List, the Kosovo Roma party IRDK (Iniciativa e Re Demokratike e Kosovës: The New Democracy Initiative of Kosovo) and the Turkish Democratic Party of Kosovo received 67 votes, more than 61 votes they needed to establish the cabinet, with the support of the minority parties holding 10 of the 120 seats.

The message given by Kurti, who also includes the Serb minority in Kosovo in his government, is very clear: It clearly demonstrates his goal to solve the Kosovo issue not with Serbia, but with the Serbs in Kosovo, by internalizing the Serbs in Kosovo in internal politics.

The first step that Vetevendosje will take in this matter will be relations with Albania, whose primary goal is "United Albania", even as the reason for entering the political scene. The Albanian elections, to be held next month (April 25, 2021), have a significant impact on the determination of this policy. Albin Kurti, who is a bit distanced with the PS (Socialist Party of Albanian) leader Edi Rama, who is currently in power in Albania, hopes the opposition will win. Noting that not the PS but the LSI (Lëvizja Socialiste për Integrim: Socialist Movement for Integration) might be regarded as the party representing the "left" in Albania and also noting the emphasis on “integration” in LSI's name, Vetevendosje would prefer to see LSI in power. LSI has a similar political program to Vetevendosye and received 8.4% of the votes in the first elections in 2008, when it entered the parliament, it got 14.3% in the most recent 2017 elections, but opinion polls predict that its votes will decrease in next month’s election. Even if Edi Rama wins the elections, regardless of who is in charge of Albania, the Kurti government will look to keep tight relations in Albania, regardless of who is in the government, for the sake of "unification".

Here we need to draw attention to the fact that although Albania is thought to be the address of "United Albania", historically the political center of the Albanian national movement has always been Kosovo, and this phenomenon is still true today. Therefore, it will not be surprising that Kosovo's politics also affect, or even direct, politics in Albania. But Kurti will follow a policy that will not allow for political polarization in Albania. Although it has an LSI government in his heart, he will not hesitate to establish a pragmatic relationship with the PS.

There is an expectation that the real problem will arise in Macedonia, and this expectation has reasons that cannot be ignored. About a quarter of Macedonia’s 2 million population is Albanian. Of course the "United Albania" project also includes Albanians, who make up the majority of the population in the west of Macedonia. The newly foemed Vetevendosye government has not yet made shocking statements about Albanians in Macedonia, but Kurti has already called for the Macedonian Albanians in the diaspora to do their best to be counted in the census to be held in Macedonia between April 1-21 in 20 years. Despite this conjuncture, Kurti will avoid any action that would come into conflict with the moderate Zaev government in Macedonia. Sacrificing Zaev to the hawks in Macedonia is a strategy Kurti would definitely not prefer in Macedonia.

Erdoğan Regime was one of the first to celebrate Kurti's election victory. The government of Turkey's policy on Kosovo is clear: Unconditional support in every situation even in the situations that  the Turkish schools were closed justified by insufficient number of students or when street signs including Turkish translation were removed or Turkish radio channels were not given new frequence lines. Turkey has been one of the first to recognize Kosova’s independence in 2008 and this was very important for Kosovo in order to gain very precious support of Islamic countries through support of Turkey, who had then considerable power in Middle East politics.  Albin Kurti and Vetevendosje also still cares about Turkey's presence in the Balkans. He said that the decion of Kosovo to open the embassy of the Zionist entity in Jerusalem will be re-evaluated following reaction of Erdoğan to this decision. Kosovo Turkish Democratic Party (KTDP) in the cabinet have given the Ministry of Regional Development which will provide a positive contribution to relations with Turkey.

Much has changed since 2008. Turkey have lost much of her international diplomatic power sacrificed to Erdoğan’s personal deeds. The arrest of 6 Turks in Kosovo in 2018 and the kidnapping of them by the MIT caused great reaction Kosovo.

The Kurti government, which has shaped its domestic political moves with a program to fight against corruption and poverty and to ensure developmental and social justice, and which is clear that it will follow a political line that avoids polarization and conflict in the region, will shape its foreign policy on a global scale in a very pragmatic and rational framework. In this context, if new Kosovo government will have to make a chose between Zionist entity and Turkey, an unexpected decion would not be gathered as a suprise. It would not be a surprise if Kosovo will choose Zionist entity, who would like to cooperate with a realiable and stable ally with a Muslim majority in the Balkans, like they did with Azerbaijan, sacrificing support of Turkey who is already stuck in foriegn politics.

In our next article, we will look at what kind of relations Kosovo can develop with international actors, especially the USA, within the framework of a pragmatic foreign policy in the new process.


Tuesday 2 March 2021



(Original text: February 18, 2021)

For the past 15 years, Kosovo's most frequently mentioned political movement is Vetevendosje, literally "Lëvizja Vetëvendosje!" which means "Self-determination movement". Vetevendosje came to power in Kosovo in a landslide election victory. Does the victory of Vetevendosje mark the beginning of a new era in Balkan politics busted in poverty and corruption in the grip of chauvinism and banal nationalist discourse?

Vetevendosje, the winning party in the 14 February elections, received 48 percent of the vote, had a serious victory against its closest rival; PDK (Democratic Party of Kosovo), the party of Hashim Thaci, which won 17 percent, and the party of the founding president of Kosovo, Ibrahim Rugova, which won 13 percent.

The most important factor behind this success of Vetenvendosje is 46-year-old young leader Albin Kurti. It is predicted that the Vetevendosje government led by Albin Kurti, who started politics on the streets, will bring a serious change to Kosovo. The main reason for this prediction is that Vetevendosje has a serious political and economic program, unlike the political actors that dominate the Balkans in particular, Kosovo in general. What's in this program?

When we look at the discours of Albin Kurti and the political program of Vetevendosje, the emphasis on the rule of law and the strengthening of the state are two important points that draw attention at first sight. The political program of Vetevendosje, which aims to provide income justice has a developmental perspective, aiming to increase national production and prioritizes the support of small enterprises. In addition, it foresees the prevention of unregistered labor and further strengthening of unions. Another priority of the economic program is the struggle against corruption. Vetevendosje clearly emphasizes that the privatizations will be re-evaluated due to the corruption, unemployment and economic collapse caused by the privatized state owned enterprises in Kosovo, which are bankrupted with corruption and poverty. In this context, Vetevendosje frightens the big capital owners who are in collaboration with the mafia. Another feature that distinguishes the Vetevendosje movement in Kosovo politics is that it respects the rights of women and minorities.

But neither the mafia, nor the owners of big capital, nor those who have ruled Kosovo for years in the swamp of corruption and poverty with rhetorical nationalist rhetoric, have almost nothing to do against Vetevendosje! When it comes together with the ideal of the self-named Vetevendosje, that is, the "United Albania" ideal of the "self-determination movement", another fundamental political element of the developmentalist, statist and anti-corruption program, the voice of its rivals is deeply muted.

The origins of the Vetenvendosye Movement, founded in 2005, are the Albanian Rrjetit të Aksionit për Kosovën movement that took to the squares in Kosovo in 1997, but is originally known by the acronym KAN (Kosovo Action Network). Albin Kurti, formed a party around the slogan "No reconciliation, the right to self-determination" (Jo Negocijata Vetevendosjë), a slogan that was written on the walls in June 2005, when street clashes with UN forces were exacerbated by KAN militants who took to the streets demanding the independence of Kosovo. Kurti was one of the militants that was taken under custody.

KAN's request was very clear: "We want Kosovo to have the right to self-determination! The independence of Kosovo will be determined by the referendum of the people of Kosovo, not by the negotiations and international powers that compromise our freedom! "

Vetevendosje, which received 13 percent of the votes in the first elections in 2010 after the establishment of the party in 2005, was still seen as a youth movement in its early years and was seen as a street power that would put pressure on the parliament rather than a party to take power in the future. They showed that they are permanent in politics by getting 14 percent of the votes in 2014. After consolidating its place in Kosovo's politics, it gained 27 percent in the 2017 elections and 26 percent in the 2019 elections, paving the way for the path to power, with the confidence that they have an unusual political consistency in Kosovo politics.

The feature that distinguishes KAN from other nationalist parties is its emphasis on human rights, social justice, education, culture and arts. The political range of the "right to self-determination" discourse constitutes the dynamic of Vetevendosje's exit to the political arena, the struggle for "United Albania". The point where this dynamic differs from banal nationalism is that it has a developmentalist, social justice, statist and political program that defends the rule of law, puts forward a serious program against corruption and poverty, and also cares about the minority rights in Kosovo. It is no coincidence that the name of the party is formed by the "right to self-determination" and Kurti describes himself and his party as "leftist".

In every occasion Kurti announces that he is not a “chauvinist”, but also putting emphasize that Albanians should have the right to live in an independent and a democratic country of their own, where there will be rule of law. Kurti has already announced his first goal in the "national question": Firstly, reconciliation with the Serb minority in Kosovo, rapprochement with the EU, then negotiate with Serbia. In this context, Kurti, who is likely to clash with the mafia-backed big capital groups in the future, seems to have acknowledged the importance of EU support in this fight. It should not come as a surprise that Kurti, who has an unusual profile in the Balkans, will be welcomed by the EU.

At this point, the main question is; What kind of foreign policy will Kosovo follow, which has been the puppet and chief stooge of the USA in the region for years. What kind of foreign policy will Kosovo follow in relation with EU, USA and even Russia, and how this policy will affect Balkan politics, especially in the post-Trump period? This will be the subject of our next article.



Friday 22 January 2021


(Original text: January 21, 2021)

What happened to hundreds of transit migrants struggling to survive in the open air in the difficult Balkan winter conditions for about a month is not only a new story of corruption and incompetence in Bosnia's record, but a document of shame that tells the West's hypocrisy and dishonour in "humanitarian aid".

When the route of the refugee influx to Europe shifted to the Balkans, Bosnia was excluded from this route for a while, and this situation was interpreted in Sarajevo, where sarcasm is a part of daily life, that Bosnia is not the country which is not desired to live in even by the refugees.

Human traffickers, who exploit the refugees, soon discovered the mountainous topographic structure of Bosnia and the fact that the control of Bosnia's borders under these geographical conditions is not done very tightly. Especially the refugees who entered Bosnia from Serbia and Montenegro thought that they could pass to EU member Croatia easier and Bosnia was included in the refugee route.

But things are not that much easy.

Croatia, new member of the EU, famous of promoting racism, is doing its best to prevent refugees from Bosnia from entering Croatia. They beat the refugees which they catch and steal belongings of them: Their wallets, cell phones and even their shoes and release them back to absolutely not doing this in a formal and decent way.

There are currently around 9000 refugees in Bosnia, and only three percent have applied for asylum in Bosnia. The remaining thousands are "transit" refugees. The vast majority of refugees are those who have been returned to Bosnia by the Croatian police with human rights violations.

Currently, only 6000 of the 9000 refugees in Bosnia stay in "reception centres". About 3000 refugees are outside the camps cannot meet their basic needs. A tragedy has been going on since the end of December.

Since the fire at the Lipa Camp in Bihac, in the canton of Una-Sava in western Bosnia, on the Croatian border, 1,700 transit migrants in the camp have been struggling to survive in the harsh Balkan Winter conditions. After the fire, the Bosnian Army has set up 20 tents that can accommodate about 500 people, but the remaining migrants have been struggling for weeks in the forest without basic needs.

The fire in the Lipa Camp contains an enigma. It is suspected that the fire was caused by immigrants or by local residents. But why? The answer to this question tells us a new story about the hypocrisy and dishonour of the West regarding "humanitarian aid".

The local canton administration was responsible for the basic needs of the Lipa Camp, which was established last April with the COVID-19 outbreak. IOM (International Organization Migration), which constantly warned the local government to meet these needs of the camp, which lacked basic infrastructure, electricity and heating, announced that it had finally left the camp on December 23, 2020.

You did not read wrong: IOM was not ashamed to show its pride against the local government over the lives of 1,700 immigrants!

The local government claims that resources to improve camp conditions are not covered by the central government. The central government states that they lack resources for this. IOM asks that a total of 88 million Euros has been transferred to Bosnia since 2018: "We gave that much money, you couldn't take care of 1700 refugees!"

Looking at it this way, IOM seems quite right. Bosnia and Herzegovina is already a corrupt country. Bosnia, dominated by ethnocracy, is one of Europe's leading countries in corruption and poverty. So it deserves these preaches.

But reality is not like that: IOM is not an angel, not clean as a whistle preaching Bosnia.

If there are those among the readers who have taken part in projects of international institutions, they might know the corruption and incompetence within these institutions, which appear to be very reliable and very serious from outside. IOM in Bosnia is also part of this scene.

IOM, who has been preaching Bosnia by saying; "We gave you 88 million Euros, you are incapable of meeting the basic needs of those poor immigrants," misses one thing: 77 million of this 88 million Euros have been transferred to Bosnia via IOM. Unsurprisingly, this money was mostly spent on technical and administrative improvements in Bosnia during the transition to the EU. We are sure that some of these technical and administrative expenses are paid as daily fees to the experts who reside in London and New York, stay in Bosnia for a day or two and work a daily wage of at least 1000 Euros. Or it was spent on "very high quality" technical equipment “produced according to solid standards.” Of course, by paying a “high quality” price...

IOM, which took 77 million of the 88 million Euro payment, does not account for this, but asks Bosnia to give account for it and brutally withdraws from the camp without hesitating to leave 1700 people, children, elder and women exposed to harsh winter conditions.

They cannot increase their voice against Croatia who tortures and robs immigrants, or they cannot increase their voice against EU countries that close their gates to the refugees.

Besides all they cannot oppose Republika Srpska of Bosnia whose government simply says; "We do not want a single immigrant in my region", or to the cantonal administrations under the Bosnian Croat rulers who exempt them from the migrant crisis.

The power of IOM, benefitting from millions of Euros, is only brave against Bosnia. Can we say that Bosnian politicians, who are busy with exploiting Bosnia's resources more, are uncomfortable with this? No. As the corruption wheels spin, they don't even speak out!

Sunday 20 May 2018


(Original text: Published in May 19, 2018)

Once he was prohibited to hold pre-election meetings in European countries, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (RTE) by-passed this problem with a meeting in Sarajevo. When this clever idea appeared in newspapers almost a month ago, neither MoFA of Republic of Turkey, nor Embassy of Turkey in Sarajevo, nor Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina made a statement about the issue. Later on when the posters of the meeting were published in social media, we became aware that it was officially not a pre-election meeting, but RTE was just to participate in the general assembly of Union of European Turkish Democrats. It was a clever act for official legitimization of the meeting but disputes continued in Bosnia since then, becoming fiercer everyday.

RTE, who is a professional in polarizing a society showed his talent in Bosnia as well.
While the disputes are going on, AKP supporters flowed in Sarajevo. Some Bosnians are fine with it. Tens of thousands of Turks will make shop keepers happy. But those who are thinking more about the long term outcomes of this rally in Sarajevo are more cautious.

Bosnian public is almost divided into two camps regarding RTE’s rally in Sarajevo. The disputes are going on. In the meantime RTE’s manipulative tactics are in duty in Bosnia as well. (See:
Discourse of hatred became dominant on the discussions about RTE’s rally in Sarajevo. People began to insult each other heavily in social media. Seems that what we call “vindictive generation” in Turkey, signifying the new typology of youngsters of post-truth society have well thought strategies of manipulation to their Bosnian comrades.

İzetbegoviç seems to have learnt a lot from his master as well. Last week, during the youth meeting of SDA in Sarajevo/Ilidza, the member of presidency of the country which is stuck in corruption and poverty, where hundreds of thousands of people escaped from country since the war, who has nothing to offer to his citizens more than a discourse of being a member of EU claimed: “West does not like our friend. A lot of Bosnians with complexes do not like him as well”.
According to Izetbegoviç, those who oppose RTE’s pre-election rally in Bosnia are people with complexes.

Bosnia was under Ottoman domination for 425 years and even those viziers, who were assigned by the Ottoman Empire to Bosnian Vilayet were not that much devoted to sultan. The viziers would stay not more than a day in Sarajevo on their way to Travnik or Banja Luka paying attention not to disturb locals. Member of presidency of the independent and sovereign state of Bosnia and Hercegovina seems to be more loyal to sultan than the viziers of old times!

Surely, RTE’s Sarajevo rally will have effects in internal and foreign politics of Bosnia. The most important internal effect will be on right-wing SDA and the leader Bakir İzetbegoviç. For some time RTE have overt support for SDA despite the objection of other parties on involvement of Turkey in the internal politics of Bosnia. In SDA congress on May 26, it is expected that Bakir İzetbegoviç will announce his wife Sebija İzetbegoviç’s candidacy for presidency and surely RTE’s visit will be a valuable support for Izetbegoviç.

Probably, most serious impact of Erdoğan’s rally will be on EU-Bosnia relations. There will certainly be some implications since Bosnia has accepted the political action of a leader that is not allowed in European countries.

Most probably, RTE’s Sarajevo rally will have the most serious negative impact on post-Dayton politics of Bosnia, which is already in crisis. RTE’s political involvement in Bosnia is very much in favour for the Bosnian Serb nationalist leader Milorad Dodik. Recently, Dodik by-passes Belgrade and have direct contact with Putin, which was highly criticised by Bosnian presidency. Now thanks to RTE he has legitimate reasons for that. If Izetbegoviç allows RTE to have rally in Sarajevo, Dodik may invite Putin to Banja Luka for his own pre-election campaign. It is RTE’s pre-election rally which serves basis for Milorad Dodik’s irresponsible political actions as well.

As it is known, Putin’s reply to NATO’s enlargement in Balkans is destabilization of Balkans. His message is clear: If NATO enlargement in Balkans continue, the region will be destabilized. A strategy which opens path for armed conflicts in the region, respectively in Bosnia. A strategy similar to how Putin implied in Ukraine and what RTE -Putin’s buddy- does is an act supporting this strategy.
Another issue is that, something which would never be expected happens in Bosnia: A will against Turkey is rising in Bosnia as well, despite the cultural and historical ties between Bosnia and Turkey. In social media, it is quite often to read comments like; “In fact Turkey is not that much close friend of us”. It is very often expressed that for Turkey Bosnia is taken for granted, while political and economic relations of Turkey with Serbia is more densed. It is also expressed widely that Turkish investments in Bosnia are more “procurement” than new investments in order to create more jobs and support production.

It is also taken attention by many that TİKA’s (Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency) often uttered 300 million USD investment in Bosnia is mostly spent for the renovation of historical Ottoman sites, but not for projects aiming to reduce poverty or unemployment.
In addition to all of those, after Vuçiç’s visit to Turkey two weeks ago when he was welcome with flashy ceremonies in Ankara, that İzetbegoviç was never welcome like that, some Bosnians ask: “If Erdoğan gives so much importance to his relations with Vuçiç and Serbia, why does not he organize his pre-election rally in Belgrade?”