“Law occupies a central place in the political opinion and practice of Alija Izetbegović”

A ceremony was held to commemorate the 15th death anniversary of Alija Izetbegović, the first President of the newly-independent Bosnia Herzegovina.  During the memorial conference held in the University of Sarajevo, Mr. Zühtü Arslan, President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Turkey, delivered a lecture and said “it was first of all his being an intellectual that has kept his thoughts alive”.

Alija Izetbegović, the first President of the independent Bosnia Herzegovina, was commemorated with a ceremony on the occasion of his 15th death anniversary.

During the memorial activities, a ceremony was held at the Kovaci Cemetery in capital Sarajevo, where Izetbegovic's grave stands. The commemoration was attended by Izetbegovic's relatives and Bosnian state officials as well as Mr. Zühtü Arslan President of the Turkish Constitutional Court and Haldun Koç Turkey's Ambassador in Sarajevo.  

“It was first of all his being an intellectual that has kept his thoughts alive”

Within the scope of the memorial activities, a conference on “Aliya Izetbegovic and His Understanding of Law and State” was held in Sarajevo under the joint cooperation of the University of Sarajevo and the Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University. Delivering a keynote speech on “Three concepts in the understanding of Alija Izetbegović: Justice, Law and Freedom”, President Mr. Arslan noted “the name of Alija Izetbegović evokes a multi-dimensional person. A determined man of struggle, a brave commander, a fair and wise president”.

“Izetbegović’s opinion and practice are the solution for overcoming the eclipse of the mind that the whole world has been undergoing for a long time”

Indicating that law occupied a central place in the political opinion and practice of Alija Izetbegović, President Mr. Arslan also noted “Law is objective, involved in politics and society, totally directed to this world. But at the same time, it includes norms and ethics. That is to say, law is a “bipolar unity” having both political and moral aspects”.

Mr. Arslan, stressing that according to Izetbegović, the most significant function of law was to restrict the government with a view to protecting fundamental rights and freedoms, also stated “In his words, law steps in when and where government is subject to restriction”.

Indicating that Izetbegović’s opinion and practice were the solution for overcoming the eclipse of the mind that not only Europe but also the whole world had been undergoing for a long time, Mr. Arslan also added “This eclipse of the mind emerged as the predominance of a one-dimensional understanding, which ostracises “the other” in the social, political and legal fields. Spread of this eclipse to all political bodies and also to the judiciary points out the severity of the situation”.

Noting that by his words and his life serving as a model, Izetbegović also presented the formula for overcoming “the eclipse of the mind” that societies were experiencing nowadays, President Mr. Arslan ended his speech “What is incumbent on us is to merely use our ability to choose”.

Click here for the full text of the speech delivered by the President

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