Turks in Sarajevo Celebrate Erdogan Poll Win

By Elvira M. Jukic

Dozens celebrated Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party’s win at local elections in Turkey while the strongman leader thanked his Bosnian, Macedonian and Kosovo ‘brothers’ for support.

Dozens of Turks and Bosnians celebrated Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s victory in Sunday’s local elections by gathering to celebrate in Ilidza in Sarajevo and driving through the city honking their car horns and waving AK (Justice and Development) Party flags alongside those of Turkey and Bosnia.

“We are citizens of Turkey who live in Bosnia and Herzegovina and we gathered here to follow the results of the elections and support our prime minister,” one of the organisers of the Turkish celebration in Sarajevo told Anadolu news agency.

The flag-decked cars stopped in downtown Sarajevo where a series of short speeches were made.

“We are all celebrating the victory of the AK Party,” said Jasmin Imamovic from a Bosnian group called Bridges of Friendship, who said he came from the town of Zenica to join the festivities.

“Zenica, Bihac, Sarajevo and the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina sends selam [regards] to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Bosnian and Turkish peoples are brotherly and friendly peoples and in the future we will work on strengthening our brotherhood and friendship,” Imamovic said.

In the Macedonian capital Skopje, a stage was set up on Skenderbeg Square near the old Turkish bazaar in the centre of the city, where a group of mainly Turkish people followed the election’s progress live.

They were joined by Albanians and Bosniaks from Macedonia who then celebrated the AK Party’s win by driving though the city with Turkish flags.

Erdogan was seeking a decisive poll win to lay the ground for a potential run for the Turkish presidency. His rule over the past year has been dogged by persistent mass protests and allegations of increasing authoritarianism and institutional corruption.

In a speech after the vote, he expressed his gratitude to people outside Turkey who supported his party.

“I thank [our] brothers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo and the whole of Europe… who support us and celebrate with us, especially those in Syria who, at the same time as having their problems, are praying for our success here,” Erdogan said.

“We are one with Turks, Kurds, Bosniaks and Georgians. I don’t love Turks just because they’re Turks, or Bosniaks because they’re Bosniaks, but because they were all created by the same creator,” he said.(BIRN)