Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has offered his condolences to the families of thousands of Bosnian civilians murdered during the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.
His comments came in a written statement on Saturday, the 20th anniversary of the genocide. Erdogan described the incident as one of the most “disgraceful” events in the history of humanity.
“On that day, whatever pain you experienced there, believe me, we felt the same thing from here in our hearts,” Erdogan said.
“Today, without forgetting the past, we are responsible for building a future with peace…where similar tragedies are not seen,” he added.
Two decades ago in July, towards the end of Bosnia’s 1992-95 war, a town called Srebrenica in the eastern part of the former Yugoslav country witnessed the murder of at least 8,000 Bosnian men and boys.
Along with the forced deportation of around 30,000 women from their land, the incident became the worst mass murder in postwar Europe.
“We are dreaming of a world, where children are not killed while they are flying a kite on a coast, while sleeping in their mother’s arms or playing with their children. There is no doubt that the United Nations Security Council countries and international and regional powers have big responsibilities on this point,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan thanked politicians and civil societies which had contributed in bringing those responsible for the massacre to account.
In his statement, the president said that Turkey had exerted efforts to provide stability and trust in the Balkans especially in Bosnia-Herzegovina, adding that it would continue to do so.
“Our wish and prayer now is also an end of tragedies, which the children of Iraq, Yemen, Palestine, Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan and Somalia experience.”