Bosnia and Herzegovina

  Bosnia and Herzegovina, Europe

Bosnia and Herzegovina, officially Bosnia and Herzegovina, is a country in the Balkans with a surface area of ​​51,197 km². Croatia from the north, west and south; Serbia from the east; It is also surrounded by Montenegro from the south and has a coast of only 20 km without a port on the Adriatic Sea, where the city of Neum is located. The geography of the country is mountainous in the center and south, hilly in the northwest, and plain in the northeast. The capital and largest city of the state, Sarajevo, is surrounded by many high mountains. The continental climate is seen in the Bosnia region, which covers the majority of the country, in this region the summers are hot, the winters are snowy and cold. The smaller region of Herzegovina on the southern coast of the country has a typical Mediterranean climate. Bosnia and Herzegovina is also rich in natural resources.

Human life in Bosnia and Herzegovina began in the Upper Paleolithic, while permanent settlement began with the Neolithic cultures of Butmir, Kakanj, and Vučedol. After the arrival of the Indo-European peoples, the Illyrian and Celtic civilizations settled in the region. In the country, which has a rich and complex history in terms of cultural, political and social aspects, the settlement of the South Slavs, who make up the majority today, coincides with the 6th to 9th centuries. The 14th-century Kingdom of Bosnia, which followed the Banquet of Bosnia in the 12th century, was destroyed by the Ottoman Empire in 1463. Bosnia and Herzegovina remained under Ottoman rule until the end of the 19th century. The Ottomans brought Islam to the region and greatly changed the sociocultural structure of the country. In accordance with the Congress of Berlin in 1878, the Province of Bosnia came under de facto Austro-Hungarian rule. Bosnia and Herzegovina, which joined the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in the interwar period, II. After World War II, it became one of the federated republics that formed the newly formed Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Bosnia and Herzegovina, which declared independence in 1992 following the disintegration of Yugoslavia, was dragged into the Bosnian War, which would last for three years, due to the Serbian community that did not accept the newly established state. The war ended with the Dayton Agreement signed in 1995. According to the treaty, an international council was established under the name of the Peace Implementation Council to implement peace in the country. The High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina, established by the Council, is endowed with many powers, including impeaching the president. In addition, three ethnic groups in the country were represented by the triple presidency.

The country, which has a population of 3,531,159 at the 2013 census, is home to three ethnic groups that have equal rights and are specified as constituent peoples in the constitution. These groups are Bosnians that make up 50.11% of the population, Serbs that make up 30.78% and Croats that make up 15.43% of the population. In English and in many other languages, all people of Bosnia and Herzegovina are called Bosnians, regardless of their ethnic identity. However, because of the closeness from history in Turkish, Bosnians, that is, Bosnian Muslims, are meant when Bosnians are mentioned. Other minorities, such as Jews, Gypsies, Ukrainians, and Turks, are classified in the constitution as “others”.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is governed by a bicameral legislature and a three-member Presidency, but the power of the central government is very limited. The country is divided into two autonomous entities. These are the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska. Brcko County was excluded from both entities by the Dayton Agreement and has its own local government. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is divided into 10 cantons.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a developing country and ranks 73rd in the Human Development Index. The country’s economy is largely based on industry and agriculture, but the tourism and service sector has made significant progress in recent years. Bosnia and Herzegovina is a member of the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Council of Europe, the Partnership for Peace, the Central European Free Trade Agreement and the Union for the Mediterranean. The country is a potential candidate for the European Union and has been a candidate for NATO since April 2010.

Bosnia name

The name “Bosnia” was first used in 958 by the Byzantine Emperor VII. It is mentioned in De Administrando Imperio, a geopolitical book written by Konstantinos. Bosnia gets its name from “Horion Bosona”. It means the realm of good people in the old language.

Ethnic structure

After the Dayton Agreement, the face measurements of the entities are as follows:

  • Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: 26,345 km² (51.46%)
  • Republika Srpska (RS): 24,840 km² (48.52%)
  • Brčko District: 12 km² (0.02%)


The continental climate is dominant in Bosnia and Herzegovina. While the air temperatures rise to 30 degrees in July and August, which are the hottest months, the coldest days are experienced in December and January, and the temperature drops to -20 degrees. In the country, which receives abundant rainfall in all four seasons, the wettest month is June (110–115 mm), and the driest month is December (40–70 mm). The Mediterranean climate is seen in the southwestern part of the country and in the Neretva Valley. There are fruit and vegetable gardens and vineyards in these regions. Animal husbandry is done all over the country.

Its main rivers are the Una, Sana, Drina, Sava, Bosnia, Vrbas and the Neretva, which flow under the Mostar Bridge.

Its main natural resources are coal, iron, bauxite, manganese, forests, copper, chromium, zinc, lead, salt, barite, asbestos, kaolin and gypsum.

The rate of arable land in the country is 14%, the rate of pastures and pastures is 20%, the rate of forest and wooded areas is 39%, and the rate of other lands is 27%. The irrigable land is 20 km².


Primary education is 9 years. High school education is 4 years. Bosnians, Croats and Serbs receive education in the same schools. Teacher training takes place in pedagogical faculties, but teaching is also carried out without a teacher’s license. We should divide education in Bosnia and Herzegovina into two parts in terms of quality: pre-tertiary and higher education. not abandoning the solid Yugoslav education system in primary and secondary education; It ensures that students are fully prepared for higher education. Although there is no university entrance exam in Bosnia and Herzegovina, students can study in the department they want for as long as they want.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has a long history of higher education. The first higher education institution in the country was established in 1531 by Gazi Husrev Bey. The country’s first modern university is the University of Sarajevo, founded in 1940. Today, many public schools as well as private universities provide education services. Bosnia and Herzegovina Academy of Sciences and Arts is one of the most important art schools in the region.

Two Schools Under One Roof

In this system, which was implemented after the end of the Bosnian War in 1995, for Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian students, courses such as history, literature and language are given as separate curricula by teachers of their own ethnic origin in different classes. The school has two different entrances and a divided garden.


Like other cities on the Mediterranean coast, Bosnia took its place on the stage of history within the Roman Empire. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the administration of Bosnia changed hands several times until it gained its independence in the 1200s. The Bosnian Kingdom, which preserved its independence for more than 260 years, had to defend its lands against the Hungarians and Serbs during this time.

Bosnians who came under Ottoman rule in 1463 also embraced Islam. The Ottoman administration, which allowed the Bosnians who did not accept Islam to fulfill their religious obligations, also affected the traditions and culture of the Bosnians with the buildings and mosques they built in Bosnian territory. During the period under the Ottoman administration, which would continue until 1878, many Bosniaks were appointed to important positions in the Ottoman administration. As a result of the pressure of the allies, who decided to break up the weakening Ottoman Empire, to Istanbul, which was in financial difficulties, the Ottoman administration in Bosnia ended at the table without a fight, and passed under the control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The period between 1918-1941 was spent with internal turmoil and war in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. World War II between 1941-1945. During World War II, the Nazis invaded Yugoslavia, connecting Slovenia to Germany, Croatia to Italy, and Macedonia to Bulgaria, and killed thousands of people in concentration camps by embarking on an ethnic cleansing movement, especially against Jews and Gypsies.

35 years of the cold war period between 1945-1990 passed under the leadership of Tito. During this period, the borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina returned before 1918 and Bosnians regained their cultural identity. With the support of the West, the traces of the war in Yugoslavia were quickly erased. Western countries supported Yugoslavia not only economically, but also militarily and politically. In the 1970s, when faced with the risk of Soviet intervention, the United States announced that it could use nuclear power to defend Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia was also affected by the disintegration of the Soviet Union with the end of the Cold War and the end of the communist regime.

After the bloody civil wars between 1986-1992, Yugoslavia broke up. A systematic massacre was carried out by ultra-nationalist Slobodan Milosevic and the militants he supported, with dreams of establishing a Greater Serbia. Over 100,000 Bosniaks lost their lives during this period. Western countries to the ethnic cleansing movement carried out by the Serbs bombing the cities they besieged, especially Sarajevo, killing innocent civilians with sniper fire, and killing selected people, especially intellectuals, in concentration camps; It remained a spectator to the genocide by not showing the necessary reaction for a long time.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, which declared its independence in February 1992, was recognized by the USA and other western countries on April 7, 1992, and its application for membership to the United Nations was accepted on May 22, 1992.

The Bosnian War began in the spring of 1992. The aim of the attacks targeting the northern part of Bosnia was to establish the Serbian state by removing the Bosniaks and Croats from these regions. These attacks by the Serbs turned into a complete disaster for other ethnic groups in the region. Many were killed and tortured in besieged cities and refugee camps.

In the first months of the war, many non-military eastern Bosniak cities fell easily as a result of Serbian attacks. However, with the help of the hills surrounding the city, Srebrenica successfully defended itself against the attacks.

In 1993, the United Nations declared six settlements “safe zones”; Srebrenica was one of them. The aim was to create a negotiable basis for peace by making borders safe.

In May 1995, the Serbs intensified the siege of Sarajevo and NATO launched an airstrike against the Serbs. In retaliation, the Serbs bombarded six safe zones, taking 300 United Nations soldiers hostage. Upon the approach of the Serbs to the city, the Bosnians in Srebrenica asked the Dutch soldiers to defend themselves. Despite this, when they received a refusal, the Bosnians were left unarmed and alone, even though they conveyed their demands for the surrender of the weapons taken from them when entering the city, as it was a safe zone, and for the city to be defended by the Bosnians themselves. In July 1995, Serbian forces under the command of General Mladic made an agreement with the Dutch United Nations forces in Srebrenica and targeted the city. About 25,000 Bosniaks left the city upon the threat of Serbs and reached another safe zone, Potocari. When the Serbs arrived in Srebsenitsa, the Dutch United Nations force commander assisted the Serbs in the massacre rather than hindering them. The commander of the Dutch troops even had a toast to the Serbian general Mladic. Dutch troops did not intervene at all, they even assisted the massacre in order for the genocide to be carried out properly. After the women and children were separated, the men who were of military age were put on buses and shot near the camp. II. It is claimed that 10-15 thousand Bosniaks were killed in this biggest genocide after World War II. Red Cross officials reported that 7,500-8,000 people went missing during these events. The most interesting aspect of the event is that the Dutch troops, who should be ashamed of this incident, were awarded a “medal” by the Dutch government when they returned to their hometown.

After the Srebrenica Massacre, the pressure against the Serbs increased in the western public, which had been indifferent to the events until that day, and the war ended at the end of 1995.

B.C. 1st century: Roman domination over present-day B-H lands.
476 : The fall of the Roman Empire and the region falling into the hands of the Ostrogoths and later the Byzantines.
650 : Migration of Croats and Serbs and other Slavs to the Balkans (Some sources claim that Croats and Serbs migrated from present-day Iran to the Balkans).
1102 : The region passed under Hungarian domination.
1167-1180 : The region is again under the control of Byzantium.
1180-1204 : Dominion of Ban Kulin.
1322-1353 : Rule of Ban Stephen Kotromanic.
1353-1391 : The reign of King Stephen Tvrtko.
1366 : The first gains of the Ottomans in the Balkans.
1382-1386 : Ottoman territorial gains in Bulgaria, Albania and Serbia.
1389 : Battle of Kosovo.
1463: Bosnia was conquered by Mehmed the Conqueror and joined the Ottoman Empire with the status of a sanjak of the Rumelia Province.
1483: Ottoman conquest of Herzegovina.
1492 : The settlement of the Jews fleeing the persecution of the Inquisition in the Balkans and especially in Bosnia.
1583 : Bosnia gains state status.
1699: Treaty of Karlowitz (Habsburg conquest of Hungary).
1789 : The French Revolution and the strengthening of nationalist movements in Europe.
1804 : Revolt of Serbian nobles against Ottoman rule.
1807 : Acceptance of Serbian autonomy.
1812 : Ottoman administration regains dominance over Serbia.
1875: Religious conflicts begin in Bosnia.
1878 : Bosnia was left to the administration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in accordance with the provisions of the Berlin Treaty (1878) made following the 93 War (1877-1878 Ottoman-Russian War).
1908: Annexation of Bosnia by the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
1912-1913 : Balkan wars.
1914 : The Austro-Hungarian Crown Prince Franz Ferdinand and his wife are killed in Sarajevo (Sarajevo), by a Serbian nationalist named Gavrilo Princip, and World War I begins.
1918 : Bosnia becomes a part of the Kingdom of Serbs-Croats-Slovenes established after World War I.
1921 : King Alexander’s rule and the name of the country changed to Yugoslavia (Land of the South Slavs).
1929 : Efforts to transition to multi-party democracy in Yugoslavia, but without success.
1941 : Bosnia comes under the administration of the “Independent State of Croatia” declared by Germany. The takeover of the Croatian nationalist Ustaše under German control. Partisans and Chetniks (Serbian nationalist) initiating resistance against Germany and the Ustaše rule.
1945 : Josip Broz Tito founding the new Yugoslavia, World War II. The end of World War II.
1948 : Yugoslavia’s expulsion from the Cominform as a result of disagreement between Tito and Stalin.
1974 : Ethnic status granted to Muslims in YFSC.
1980 : Tito’s death.
1990 : Election of Slobodan Milosevic as President of Serbia. Firing of nationalist Serbian movements.
1991 : Slovenia and Croatia secede from Yugoslavia, Yugoslav Army controlled by Belgrade attacks these countries. United Nations’ arms embargo on former Yugoslavia.
1992 : After the referendum, Bosnia-Herzegovina declared independence, in turn, the Bosnian Serbs declared Republika Srpska, and internal conflicts began. The UN’s relocation of UNPROFOR Headquarters in Sarajevo in order to prevent the conflict in Croatia from spreading to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Serb-H

1993 : The rejection of the Vance-Owen plan, which envisages the division of B-H into cantons on ethnic grounds, by the Bosnian Serbs. Beginning of conflicts between Bosniaks and Croats. Enforcement of UN flight ban on NATO planes. The UN Security Council declared 6 safe zones for Bosniaks.
1994 : Croats and Bosniaks sign the treaty ending their conflict. NATO’s ultimatum to the Bosnian Serbs to withdraw. NATO bombing the military airports of the Bosnian Serb Administration with the participation of 50 aircraft.
1995 : Massacre committed by the soldiers of the Bosnian Serb Administration in Srebrenica, one of the 6 safe zones of the UN Security Council for Bosnians, regardless of women, men or children. (After the Srebrenica Massacre, the number of corpses that could be found is 8,372 out of thousands of corpses mixed together and become unrecognizable. This massacre has the distinction of being the biggest mass murder Europe has ever seen.
1995 : The advance of Bosniak and Croat forces into Serb-controlled Central and Western Bosnia. The parties’ acceptance of a ceasefire as a result of NATO’s increased air strikes.
1995 : 14 December: The signing of the “Dayton Peace Treaty” in Paris and the establishment of the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The UN Security Council’s handover of peacekeeping activities to NATO. Deployment of 60,000-man IFOR (Implementation Force) under the leadership of NATO to implement the military aspects of the Dayton Peace Treaty.
1996 : IFOR is replaced by the less staffed SFOR (Stabilization Force, still 17,700 people). Opening of the Office of High Representative (OHR), responsible for implementing the civilian aspects of the Dayton Peace Treaty. Election of the members of the first tripartite Presidency Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Aliya Izetbegovic (Bosnian member), Kresimir Zubak (Croatian member), Momcilo krajisnik (Serbian member).
1997 : February 4: Transfer of the disputed Brcko District, whose status was not regulated by the Dayton Peace Treaty, to international administration.
1998 : 22 June: The currency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Convertible Mark (KM), enters into force.
2001 : The extradition of Slobodan Milosevic, one of the defendants wanted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, to the Court to stand trial for crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Croatia.

Political structure

The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of two states:

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, consisting of Croats and Bosniaks with 51% of the land,
Republika Srpska, made up of Serbs with 49% of the land.
The structure of the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina was determined by the Dayton Peace Treaty (DBA), which ended the civil war between 1992-1995, and the country was divided into two units as the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the Federation is also divided into 10 Cantons) and the Republika Srpska-RS. (statelet) and one small autonomous region (Brcko).

The political and economic structure of each unit is different from each other. The Dayton Peace Agreement, signed as observers by the EU, France, Federal Germany, Russia, England and USA representatives as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Yugoslavia, consists of a main text and 11 annexes, and includes regulations in civil and military fields. Implementation of the military aspects of the agreement has been given the responsibility of a force of approximately 60,000, formed under the leadership of NATO, with the participation of some non-NATO countries, under the name IFOR (Implementation Force) for the first one-year period.

This force, whose one-year mandate expired on December 20, 1996, was replaced by the SFOR (Stabilization Force) with less personnel. Turkey joined both forces with a Brigade stationed in Zenica. By the end of 2001, the number of soldiers in SFOR was reduced to 17,700 and the Turkish Brigade to the level of Battalion.

At the Peace Implementation Conference held in London on 8-9 December 1995, it was determined that the main objectives of the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia (ICFY) were achieved with the signing of the Dayton Peace Treaty and that a new structure was needed to be responsible for the implementation of peace. It was decided to establish a Peace Implementation Council (PIC) with the participation of all states, International Organizations and Organizations participating in the London Conference to take its place. members were determined. Turkey is on the Steering Committee, representing the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

Implementation of the civil aspects of the Agreement is the responsibility of the Office of the High Representative. Paddy Ashdown, the former leader of the British Liberal Democrat Party, is currently the High Representative, while his assistants are American Ralph Johnson and German Matthias Sonn. A member of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the General Directorate of Security from Turkey also works in the Office of the High Representative in Sarajevo. In addition, personnel from the Turkish Ministry of Interior, Gendarmerie General Command and the General Directorate of Security serve under the leadership of the Turkish Police Force under the United Nations International Police Task Force – UNIPTF. Ömer Gürülkan, one of the Chief of Police, served as the Head of Metin Meydan UNIPTF-Turkish Group on different dates in the said task.