11-07-2019 15:43:36

“We are all families of martyrs from Srebrenica”

Youth and Sport Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoglu made a speech at ceremony of 24th anniversary of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide.

Bosnia Herzegovina on Thursday marked the 24th anniversary of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide by laying to rest 33 newly identified victims of the massacre in a memorial service.

Every year on July 11, newly identified victims of the genocide -- which claimed the lives of over 8,300 people -- are laid to rest in a memorial cemetery in Potocari, eastern Bosnia. Thousands of visitors from various countries attend the service.

The memorial center is the focal point of remembrance for friends and relatives of the victims, mostly men and boys, murdered by Bosnian Serb militias.

Among guests at this year's commemoration are a Turkish delegation led by Sports Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoglu as well as onetime Serbian presidential candidate Cedomir Jovanovic.

‘We are all families of the martyrs’

Speaking at the ceremony, Kasapoglu said: "All of us who are in Srebrenica today are families of the martyrs. As international court decisions have confirmed, a genocide was committed in Srebrenica.”

He added: "I condemn in the strongest terms this crime against humanity on behalf of Turkey. I hope that all perpetrators will be sentenced to the punishment they deserve."

Kasapoglu also decried the role of discriminatory language in fueling hate.

"We must reject the discriminatory language that feeds hate. We must promote peaceful coexistence, respect for beliefs, mutual dialogue, and reconciliation," he said.

"Turkey has always stood by Bosnia and Herzegovina in all circumstances and will continue to be there," he added.