- Category: Politics
- Published on Thursday, 08 September 2022 19:26
September 7, 2022
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has arrived in Zagreb to help boost economic ties between Croatia and Turkey and to open a new Islamic centre with a mosque, but the issue of Bosnia and Herzegovina's election legislation is expected to dominate talks with the Croatian state leadership.
During his visit to Sarajevo on Tuesday, Erdogan opposed any intervention by the international High Representative Christian Schmidt in the country's election law, which is demanded by Croats in order to prevent more numerous Bosniaks from outvoting them again in the general election scheduled for 2 October.
“Decisions on the election law should be made by these three leaders. We don't need any intervention by the High Representative here,” Erdogan told a joint press conference with the three members of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Presidency.
Croatia's President Zoran Milanovic and Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic have called on Schmidt several times to use his sweeping Bonn powers to guarantee the Croats equality in the election process.
Erdogan is scheduled to meet with both officials in Zagreb today. He and Milanovic will hold a joint press conference, while the government will issue a press release on his meeting with Plenkovic.
Erodgan and Milanovic will travel together to the central city of Sisak for the opening of a new Islamic Centre with a mosque. The Imam of Sisak, Alem Crnkic, has described the opening of the Islamic Centre as a dream come true for the local Muslim community.
The Islamic Centre stretches over 2,600 square metres and is the third such centre in Croatia, after those in Zagreb and Rijeka. The Sisak mosque is specific for its energy sustainability and is referred to as the first “eco-mosque” in this part of Europe.
The two presidents will then return to Zagreb for a Croatian-Turkish business forum, which is expected to be attended by 75 Turkish and 160 Croatian business people representing the construction, energy, tourism, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, agricultural, financial and other sectors.
Erdogan's visit is taking place under tight security.
The Turkish president last visited Croatia in 2016 to attend a ceremony marking the centenary of Islam in Croatia. It was said then that the Muslim community in Croatia was the best-integrated minority in Europe.