Bosnian Serb officials condemn Foreign Minister for 'comparing Dodik to Hitler'

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Bisera Turković
Source: Bisera Turković (FENA/Arhiv)

The Chairman of Bosnia’s Council of Ministers demanded on Saturday an apology from Foreign Affairs Minister, Bisera Turkovic, arguing that while she advocated for abolishing Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity in an interview the day before she compared the Serb member of the tripartite Presidency with Adolf Hitler.

“I demand an urgent apology from Minister (Bisera) Turkovic to the Serb people, and especially to the few members of families who managed to survive the horrors of fascist ideology, for her scandalous, discriminatory and insulting statements made against the Serb people and their legitimate representatives,” Council of Ministers Chairman, Zoran Tegeltija, told ATV.

Speaking to Face TV on Friday, Turkovic spoke about the possibility of abolishing Bosnia’s Serb-majority semi-autonomous Republika Srpska (RS) entity, arguing that it could happen with the “will of the people, as well as support from abroad.”

Turkovic implied that abolishing Bosnia’s entities would mean a better life for citizens. She then commented on Bosnian Serbs insisting on Republika Srpska.

“They are under pressure, so were the Germans, who were under pressure from Hitler, but they overcame that period,” Turkovic said.

“Once the main person who is responsible faces an adequate punishment, or when he changes the course of his behaviour, many things are then set in a completely different context,” she said.

When asked whether she was comparing Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik to Hitler, Turkovic said: “No, I am not comparing anybody, just talking about various scenarios.”

Her statements were met with strong criticism from Republika Srpska.

According to RS President, Zeljka Cvijanovic, Turkovic is a person who “is not even trying to hide her hatred towards Republika Srpska and the Serb people” and that her statements “reflect extremism which is detrimental to the foundations Bosnia and Herzegovina exists upon.”

According to RS Prime Minister, Radovan Viskovic, Turkovic would be removed from office in any normal society for making such statements.

The leader of the Serb Democratic Party (SDS), Mirko Sarovic, called Turkovic’s statements “scandalous, unacceptable and untrue” and alleged that the minister is trying to “return the spiral of conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”