If it is true what the President of Turkey, Tajip Erdogan, once said, that Alija Izetbegović "left Bosnia in his trust", then there is a lot of inconsistency between the proclaimed and practical behaviour of Turkey towards that "trust".
While Erdogan's "mouth is full of Bosnia", he treats Bakir Izetbegović, Aliji's successor on the SDA throne, only as a special guest for "weddings and funerals". SNSD leader Milorad Dodik is, apparently, closer to him for more serious political talks and economic moves.
In disbelief, political naïves watched the scene of the recent meeting between BiH Presidency member Milorad Dodik and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. It was a warm, almost brotherly hug between two politicians.
We should not forget that Dodik and the Turkish partners share several similar views. Both sides have a problem with the official recognition of the Srebrenica genocide, they oppose sanctions against Russia due to aggression against Ukraine, and they have a common interest in business development in Serbia.
Of course, Dodik does not give out hugs for free. After he imported artificial fertilizer from Turkey in March, in order to avoid the collapse of agriculture as an important resource in Republika Srpska in the election year, he now directed his actions to "squeeze" as much money as possible from Turkey to finance the construction of the Belgrade-Sarajevo highway. Construction companies close to him have been ready for a long time.
To make sure there is no confusion, Dodik is not worried about the realization of the entire route, but the one from Rača, via Bijeljina and Brčko, where only the section to Doboj would be left for him, which would mean a complete connection between Banjaluka and Belgrade by highway. That part to Sarajevo, Dodik will bequeath to Bakir.
Immediately after Dodik's meeting in Turkey, SNSD's Minister of Transport and Communications Vojin Mitrović convened a meeting with the directors of entity highways/motorways to resolve the current issue of the route close to Brčko. Obviously, what was promised from Turkey five years ago is still valid, first the project and then possibly the money.
Dodik did not come to Istanbul just for the highway. His idea of organizing a trilateral meeting in which the presidents of Turkey, Croatia and Serbia would participate, and as Dodik said "the three representatives of the Serbian, Croatian and Bosniak people from Bosnia and Herzegovina", was wholeheartedly accepted by the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs. Immediately afterwards, he visited Zagreb and Sarajevo to "push" the idea.
You can think a lot of things about Dodik, but you can't say that he is politically naive. By involving the "two trios" in solving the political crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina, he is trying to neutralize the engagement of both the USA and the European Union, knowing that the balance of power in such a composition of "negotiators" gives him an advantage.
It is known that Serbia and Croatia have been destabilizing the situation in BiH with Russia in the background for a long time, and Turkey is on the side of our country only for those who believe the there slogans about "brothers from Bosnia".
The time has obviously passed since Erdogan said that "if anyone touches the Bosniaks, he would have a hundred million Turks against him", and Dodik replied that Turkey is "a significant disruptive factor in Bosnia and Herzegovina".
Erdogan expects the Bosniaks in BiH to become vassals, like Bakir Izetbegović, who, neglecting his duties as a statesman, promoted personal loyalty to the image and work of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom he calls "our president", while that same president only follows the guidelines set by former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. outlined in the book "Strategic Depth", a kind of plan for Turkey's re-mastery of the Balkans.
Convinced of the impossibility of that plan, both Dodik and Vučić are investing in Turkey for concrete, even financial reasons, but Izetbegović expresses it in a different way.
He agrees to pressure to ban the work of local educational institutions financed by the foundation of Fethullah Gulen, Erdogan's main political enemy, and to discredit the teachers and students of those schools, as well as to revoke the title of honorary citizen of Sarajevo from the Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk, whose crime is the same - he is not an Erdogan devotee. The anniversary of the military coup in Turkey is solemnly celebrated, and support is given to the military action of the Turkish army against the Kurds.
The introduction of the Turkish language into the education system was achieved, it was incorporated into local customs and the celebration of April 23 as International Children's Day, which is essentially a holiday of the Republic of Turkey. In contrast to the previous years, this year it was celebrated somewhat more modestly, only in the Primary School "Ćamil Sijarić" in the Nemila settlement in Zenica. In the school magazine, there is a photo that illustrates how students experience the cultural heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina - "coffee" with fez on their heads, while girls sit on one side of the table and boys on the other.
Erdogan can be satisfied, and Dodik can hug Cavusoglu even tighter. No one asks about the section of the highway from Tuzla to Sarajevo, promised by the "brothers" from Turkey…