“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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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.

dirimozkan@gmail.com

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

A NEW ERA in KOSOVO?

 

(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

IMMIGRANT CRISIS IN BOSNIA AND HYPOCRICY OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

(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

“LET ERDOĞAN ORGANIZE HIS PRE-ELECTION MEETING IN BELGRADE?”


(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?”

Saturday, 19 May 2018

AK-BOTS ARE IN DUTY IN BOSNIA AS WELL

(Original text: Published in May 18, 2018)

Well-known public manipulative methods of AK-bots in Turkey which are in increase in Turkey especially during election period seems to be active in Bosnia as well before Erdoğan’s disputable pre-election rally in Sarajevo.

When European countries have declared that they will not allow Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (RTE) to organize pre-election rallies in their countries, AKP found a solution to this by giving a decision to organize a rally in Sarajevo at May 20 by involvement of Turkish AKP supporters. This created reactions in Bosnia since then.

Bosnian community is polarized into two groups between those who support RTE’s rally in Bosnia and those who oppose it since the news on rally appeared in Bosnian media. Part of Bosnian society is affirmative for RTE’s rally, while some others who think that RTE exploits positive stance of Bosnian prole towards Turkey and RTE while they also know that RTE collaborates well with conservative government in Bosnia.

Three days ago a survey was launched in Klix.ba, one of the most popular web portals in Bosnia and some strange things occurred yesterday. Following the moment that survey was launched, the “no” replies for “Do you support Erdoğan’s pre-election rally in Sarajevo” was far more than “yes” votes. However, with the manipulation of AK-bots, the “yes” votes suddenly exceeded “no” votes, [which is a very well-known tactic of AKP in Turkey].

The screenshots photos below Show how it happened:





Saturday, 25 March 2017

WILL THERE BE A NEW WAR IN BOSNIA?

(Original text: Published in May 16, 2016)
Recent developments in Balkans, like admission of Kosovo first to UEFA and to FIFA, re-opening of Ferhadija Mosque in Banja Luka, the capital city of the Serbian entity, which was demolished during the Bosnian War and lastly the demonstrations in Banja Luka by March 14, 2016 were all enough to warm up Bosnian politics. Some talk about an armed conflict or even a new war likely to happen in Bosnia? How realistic is this?

The rise of the ultra-right politics was the focus of the previous article. One of the points that we took attention was the fact that, those political parties who were responsible from the breakup of Yugoslavia are again currently holding the power in ex-Yugoslav republics. The main actors of the nationalist monsters are again in the power. Even Seselj, from whom even Milosevic was discontent of his extreme “practices” is again in the Serbian parliament

Like a nightmare! Those who transformed Yugoslavia into a blood lake are governing the countries again.

Moreover, the recent developments in May 2016 made Bosnia to be more in political tension.

If it winds in Kosovo, Bosnia catches cold. It was in Kosovo where the first crisis in Yugoslavia occurred, and followed by devastation of Bosnia. Since some time Bosnian Serb Republic (Republika Srpska – RS) claims independency referring to the independency of Kosovo. In May 2016, despite 24 votes against, with 28 votes Kosovo became member of UEFA and followed by membership to FIFA after a meeting in Mexico in May 13 where membership of Gibraltar was also confirmed.
This was like a cold shower for Serbia who still defines Kosovo as part of Serbia. However, having no other political vision than EU membership, Serbia has not other choice than accepting the bitter reality. Yet, last week (May 2016) the deputy director of European Parliament and Kosovo Reporter Ulrike Lunacek warned once Serbia again that Serbia cannot be member of EU without recognition of Kosovo as a sovereign state.

Serbia is politically locked in that sense, but the naughty brother, RS was not late to use this opportunity and claimed that if UEFA and FIFA recognizes Kosovo, than they have to accept membership of RS as well. Indeed, this is not so easy, since Dayton Peace Accord does not allow such a thing.

Two weeks ago (May 2016) Bosnia probably faced with one of the biggest political crisis since the end of the war.

Ferhadija Mosque in Banja Luka (capital city of RS), built in Ottoman Era and being demolished with 16 more mosques at May 6-7, 1993 despite being under protection of UNESCO, was restored and re-opened in May 7, 2016. When the reconstruction of the mosque have started in 2001, the start-up ceremony was attacked by about a thousand Cetniks (Serbian nationalists) firing the vehicles around and besieged the building of Bosnian Islamic Union where 250 Bosnian Muslims as well as Jacques Klein, the representative of UN in Bosnia and ambassadors of England, Sweden and Pakistan were also inside. One Bosnian Muslim was killed and 30 people were injured.

Nothing feared happened in May 7, 2016 in the opening ceremony of Ferhadija Mosque where highest security measures were taken and EUFOR battalions were ready to involve in a possible conflict.

This is partly due to the fact that Serbian nationalists have a bit of trouble nowadays. Since the bully tempered RS president Milorad Dodik's SNSD lost 2014 elections, RS is in a serious political crisis. There were two demonstrations last Sunday in Banja Luka organized by Dodik's supporters and opponents. Until the elections in October 2016, it is expected that the political tension will be tightened and may have serious implications in a country stuck into corruption and poverty.
Since the founder of RS; Radovan Karadzic is subjected as committing genocide in Bosnia, the legitimacy of RS as a state founded on genocide, is more under question. No doubt that this issue is well exploited by Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat politicians who cannot offer anything to their people than a corrupted state and poor citizens. That is what they do the best for 20 years.

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 a 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.


If a war in Bosnia will happen, this might be a war against all of those blood sucking current politicians!

Saturday, 11 March 2017

8th of MARCH: MOTHERS' DAY!

(Original text: Published in March 7, 2015)

It is not a joke! Similar to the international mothers’ day, which is celebrated by the second Sunday of May every year, 8th of March is celebrated in a similar way in ex-Yugoslav countries. 8 of March is still defined as “Women’s Day” not as “mothers’ day, but it is normatively accepted as the day for mothers. Kids buy presents to their mothers, and it is very common that women arrange entertaining activities.

For those who have experienced any Mayday in any ex-Yugoslav country, this is not an interesting situation. In fact, where 8th of March is Women’s Day, Mayday is “spring festival”. Usually the days prior or after Mayday become free day and a holiday of a couple of days is arranged. If you see smoke over Beograd, Zagreb or Sarajevo, be sure it is not the tear gas thrown by police to Mayday demonstrators, but it is the smoke coming from barbecue parties. It does not matter if the unemployment rate is breaking new records or it does not matter if the real salaries continue to drop; Mayday is spring festival.

Yugoslav Hedonism

I do not think that the readers of this article favour an ascetic political struggle, avoiding profane joys. At least I am not. At least neither I nor my comrades would not like to have a political vision ignoring the joy of spending time together, having a dinner or a coffee or a drink together or playing football together etc. … Consequently we are all struggling to enjoy life altogether and in those “great days” we will be dancing in the city centres until the dawn.

However, we also cannot think something which is more absurd than transformation of 8th of March into a day where consumerism is boosted, where we in fact commemorate 159 women textile workers at March 8, 1857 in New York. Moreover, it is not only absurdity, nor a disrespect, but it also has to be perceived as an aggression towards the struggle of women.

What means lockouting a strike for workers means the same to celebrate “8 of March” within the conceptualization of it as a day boosting consumerism.

It is very common that especially white electronic companies make special sales in 8th of March. What a paradox! Strengthening the domestic division of labour, defining women in her natural place as “kitchen” in 8th of March, in the day symbolizing the equality and freedom struggle of women!
It becomes even weirder in Yugoslavia where Maydays are transformed into “spring festival” and “8th of March” is considered as “mothers’ day”. At the end, Yugoslavia was a socialist country having an experience of socialist values for 45 years! It is quite difficult to understand how those dates of struggle became the ritualistic carnivals of capitalism.

Considering the theoretical background and practices of “self-management” in Yugoslavia, it is a fact that this absurdity is just a visible scene of a chain of nonsense which is not only limited to 8th of March or Mayday, but an expected consequence of politics of self-management. Briefly, with an anti-Soviet claim, Yugoslav “market socialism” widely enjoyed an artificial welfare society thanks to the financial credits donated by West who were content about that anti-Soviet stance. The most essential part of this hallucination was the culture of hedonism especially at the end of 1960’s that was connected with the hallucination that the “working class was holding the means of production” where in fact the system was exploiting not only the financial credits of Western imperialism, but also socialist values dissolving the pillars of a socialist country like class consciousness and class struggle.
Transformation of Mayday into spring festival and 8th of March into “mothers’ day” is part of this systematic hallucination.

Politicising 8th of March!

Leftist political struggle is not a hobby.

It is a rebellion against pressure which takes place in everyday life, against a very political repression! The system which does not allow women’s political existence, is a political system and the reply should be political as well!

Not only within its historical context, but also regarding the current political situation, women’s day is a political fact. It is not like that only in countries like Turkey where fundamentalist religious politics restrain women in every single sphere in public life, but also in countries like Yugoslavia with a serious experience of socialism where women enjoyed progressive rights and social representation in every sphere of the society.


In this context, no one can claim that 8th March shall be “celebrated” free of its political meaning! In ex-Yugoslav countries, 8th of March shall even be commemorated in a more political concept where the heritage of self-management shall be questioned as well.

No wonder that, in this land, in Yugoslavia, 8th of March will again be the date symbolizing the struggle of women for freedom and equality, following the path of Marija Bursac and her martyr comrades in the struggle against fascism under the banner of Communist Party of Yugoslavia.