TURKEY (OBSERVATORY) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday held an election rally in Sarajevo, which has the support of the Bosnian authorities, but it angers part of the population.
Informed sources revealed that the President of the Republic of Bosnia and the Minister of Foreign Affairs is not aware of the mass conference, which was announced by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to hold in their country on May 20 as part of his campaign in preparation for the early presidential elections, scheduled for June 24 next.
Erdogan chose Sarajevo after several European countries, led by Germany, banned pro-Erdogan election rallies ahead of the April 2017 referendum on strengthening his powers. This refusal led to intense tension between Ankara and Brussels.
The election rally, a month before the presidential and legislative elections called by Erdogan, aims to win the votes of Turks abroad, more than three million voters, including 1.4 million in Germany.
According to the Bosnian media, 20,000 people are expected to attend the meeting at Zitra Hall, which was held for the 1984 Winter Olympic Games and since Saturday, two giant portraits of Erdogan and Kemal Ataturk, the first Turkish president, have been held.
Many see this visit as an expression of the new Ottoman trend. The Balkans, especially Bosnia, were under Ottoman guardianship for more than 40 centuries until 1878.
Turkey played an important role in the reconstruction of this small country in the Balkans after the 1992-95 war and pursued an active investment policy in the Balkans.