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Alaturka Gazetesi

UPDATE – Albania to boycott Nobel prize awards ceremony

ADDS STATEMENT FROM CROTIA, PROTESTS IN STOCKHOLM

By Fatjon Cuka, Seyyid Emin, Dzihat Aliju

TIRANA, Albania (AA) – Albania will boycott this year’s Nobel prize award ceremony in protest against the literature award being given to Peter Handke, a denier of the 1992-1995 Bosnian genocide, an Albanian official said Monday.

The ceremony will be held in Sweden on Dec. 10.

“Justification of war atrocities during the Yugoslavia break-up must not be rewarded,” Gent Cakaj, Albania’s acting foreign minister, said on Twitter.

“Consistent with our initial reaction, we have also instructed the Ambassador of #Albania to #Sweden to boycott @NobelPrize ceremony for #Handke,” Cakaj added.

He also said that giving awards to those who deny the genocide “will solely strengthen the state of denial that must be overcome and strongly condemned.”

The Austrian writer’s winning of the Nobel prize has sparked reactions in several countries, particularly in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.

Later in the day, Croatia also announced that it will boycott the award ceremony in protest against the award being given to Handke, the country’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs said on Twitter.

International journalists and academicians who gathered in Stockholm called on the Nobel prize committee to change their minds about awarding Handke, who also defends Serbian war criminals.

Handke is known as a great admirer of former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, who died in detention at the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague in 2006.

"Stand up if you support the Serbs," Handke had written during the 1998-1999 Kosovo war.

He claimed that Muslim Bosniaks in Sarajevo had killed themselves and that he never believed that the Serbs had committed genocide in Srebrenica.

Handke also visited Milosevic in prison and tried to testify in his favor.

"I am here for Yugoslavia, for Serbia, for Slobodan Milosevic," he said in a 2006 eulogy for Milosevic.

Handke will receive 9 million Swedish krona ($944,279) as well as a medal and a diploma.

*Writing by Burak Dag

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Alaturka Gazetesi

UPDATE 2 – Turkey's 'sole desire' is peace, stability in Balkans

UPDATES WITH MORE QUOTES FROM ERDOGAN

By Diyar Guldogan and Talha Ozturk

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey's "sole desire" is peace and stability in the Balkans, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.

Maintaining that Balkan region has suffered in the last quarter of century and has paid serious costs, Erdogan urged the need to build future together, not by seeing differences as an element of conflict, but by wealth.

''We should build our future together by seeing our differences not as an element of conflict but our wealth, and develop our cooperation in every field. I hope that we will add new ones to these projects, which are our common pride in the coming period," he said, at the inauguration of various projects and also groundbreaking ceremony of the Sarajevo-Belgrade Highway in Serbia’s Sremska Mitrovica.

Erdogan said Turkey will continue to increase investments across Serbia, adding that the countries need to develop relations in all areas.

"Every part of these territories is a monument of our solidarity and cooperation," he added.

Meanwhile, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that it is a historic event for everyone in the region.

"For us, this is a historic event. Since 1945, all roads, railroads, connections, and communications with Bosnia have generally been bad, as if some people living there were being punished intentionally," said Vucic.

He further said that an opportunity has come to take care of future, regulate relations and put aside doubts, fears and hatred.

''Today is an opportunity to show that we are taking care of our future, we can regulate relations between us. That is why one of the most important moments in the region begins today. The space that was once a space of doubts, fears, hatred, today we are starting to open and connect,'' he added.

Emphasizing urgency of connectivity, Vucic said that nothing in the Balkans is as necessary as roads.

"It is a way to move on to the future. They introduce us to one another, give us the opportunity to understand, and in the end, to forgive without a backlash …," said Vucic.

Erdogan, remotely cut the ribbon of three different projects carried out by TIKA, Turkey’s state aid agency. They included, the Ram Fortress, an Ottoman castle restored by TIKA, the Valide Sultan Mosque in Sjenica, and a court building in Novi Pazar.

During the opening ceremony, a film about Turkish investments and projects realized in Serbia was shown, which also included a video link showing inauguration of six factories.

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Alaturka Gazetesi

Turkey's 'sole desire' is peace, stability in Balkans

By Diyar Guldogan

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey's "sole desire" is peace and stability in the Balkans, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.

"Turkey's sole desire and wish is peace and stability in the Balkans," Erdogan said, at the inauguration of various projects and also groundbreaking ceremony of the Sarajevo-Belgrade Highway in Serbia’s Sremska Mitrovica.

Erdogan said Turkey will continue to increase investments across Serbia, adding that the countries need to develop relations in all areas.

"Every part of these territories is a monument of our solidarity and cooperation," he added.

The inauguration of various projects completed by the state-run Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) in Serbia and of factories set up by Turkish firms, and several groundbreaking ceremonies were held in Sremska Mitrovica.

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Alaturka Gazetesi

Turkey will continue to increase investments across Serbia, President Erdogan tells groundbreaking, opening ceremonies in Sremska Raca

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Politika

UPDATE 2 – Sarajevo-Belgrade Highway ‘important’ for development

UPDATES WITH MORE QUTOES FROM TURKISH PRESIDENT, REMARKS FROM SERBIAN PRESIDENT

By Diyar Guldogan and Talha Ozturk

ANKARA (AA) – The Sarajevo-Belgrade Highway will lead to "very important" developments between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.

"…I believe that [the highway] will contribute to very very important improvements and developments between Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina," Erdogan said after the Turkey-Bosnia and Herzegovina-Serbia Trilateral Summit in Belgrade.

He said the highway will pave the way for productivity for the residents in the region.

"I always say that 'the road is life, the road is civilization. The construction of this highway […] will make the settlement more productive and prevent migration from these areas," Erdogan said.

The president said the trilateral summit was "fruitful" and he announced that the next summit will be held in May next year.

"The most important aspect of the summit is the government issue in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A year has passed since (the elections in the country). It is not possible to achieve a fruitful future in a country where there is no government," said Erdogan.

Vucic praised Erdogan for playing a stabilizing role in the Balkans.

"I am grateful to Turkey and Erdogan for the undoubted stabilizing role in the Balkans. For the first time today, we were drawing lines and roads on maps […] Everyone present at the trilateral meeting was happy to look at such maps," said Vucic.

He added that the projects will not only connect infrastructure, but also people in the region.

For his part, Serb member of Bosnia-Herzegovina's Presidential Council Milorad Dodik said the trilateral meeting discussed the highway linking Serbia and Bosnia, the TurkStream pipeline and the need for peacekeeping and stability in the region

Dodik said it is possible that a Council of Ministers between the three countries would be formed.

Bosniak member Sefik Dzaferovic said Turkey is a stabilizing factor in this region, adding numerous issues between Serbia and Bosnia need to be addressed bilaterally.

Croat member and the current Chairman of the Bosnia-Herzegovina's Presidential Council Zeljko Komsic said new ideas — such as a railway infrastructure — were also discussed at the meeting.

Later on Tuesday, Erdogan will attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the Sarajevo-Belgrade Highway.

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Alaturka Gazetesi

UPDATE – Sarajevo-Belgrade Highway ‘important’ for development

UPDATES WITH REMARKS FROM MEMBERS OF BOSNIAN'S PRESIDENTIAL COUNCIL

By Diyar Guldogan and Talha Ozturk

ANKARA (AA) – The Sarajevo-Belgrade Highway will lead to "very important" developments between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.

"…I believe that [the highway] will contribute to very very important improvements and developments between Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina," Erdogan said after the Turkey-Bosnia and Herzegovina-Serbia Trilateral Summit in Belgrade.

He said the highway will pave the way for productivity for the residents in the region.

The president said the trilateral summit was "fruitful" and he announced that the next summit will be held in May next year.

For his part, Serb member of Bosnia-Herzegovina's Presidential Council Milorad Dodik said the trilateral meeting discussed the highway linking Serbia and Bosnia, the TurkStream pipeline and the need for peacekeeping and stability in the region.

Dodik said it is possible that a Council of Ministers between the three countries would be formed.

Bosniak member Sefik Dzaferovic said Turkey is a stabilizing factor in the region, adding numerous issues between Serbia and Bosnia need to be addressed bilaterally.

Croat member and the current Chairman of the Bosnia-Herzegovina's Presidential Council Zeljko Komsic said new ideas — such as a railway infrastructure — were also discussed at the meeting.

Later on Tuesday, Erdogan will attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the Sarajevo-Belgrade Highway.

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Alaturka Gazetesi

Sarajevo-Belgrade Highway ‘very important’ for development

By Diyar Guldogan

ANKARA (AA) – The Sarajevo-Belgrade Highway will lead to "very important" developments between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.

"…I believe that [the highway] will contribute to very very important improvements and developments between Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina," Erdogan said after the Turkey-Bosnia and Herzegovina-Serbia Trilateral Summit in Belgrade.

He said the highway will pave the way for productivity for the residents in the region.

The president said the trilateral summit was "fruitful" and he announced that the next summit will be held in May next year.

Later on Tuesday, Erdogan will attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the Sarajevo-Belgrade Highway.

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Alaturka Gazetesi

Sarajevo-Belgrade Highway to lead to 'very important' improvements between Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Turkish President Erdogan says after Trilateral Summit among Turkey, Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia

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Alaturka Gazetesi

Serbia: Turkey's first lady views Zero Waste Project

By Talha Ozturk

BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) – Turkey's First Lady Emine Erdogan on Monday visited the Turkish Embassy in Belgrade which is the first foreign mission to implement a zero waste policy.

Erdogan, accompanied by Serbian Environmental Protection Minister Goran Trivan, congratulated the embassy staff for implementing the zero waste project which envisages the most efficient use of resources by preventing waste or minimizing the amount of waste when it is generated.

She said that environmental issues will now be taken up by the diplomatic mission.

"When it comes to the fight against the environmental crisis, there is not you, there is us. Global warming is not affecting a certain region, the whole world is under the influence," said Erdogan.

Trivan said that the Zero Waste Project is an example to follow for municipalities in the region.

Also, the first lady visited Vokan Cupic Children's Hospital and participated in a ceremony where an ambulance was donated to the hospital by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA).

Erdogan also visited the 200-year-old Princess Ljubice Mansion which was converted into a museum.

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Alaturka Gazetesi

UPDATE – Turkey wants to deepen ties with Serbia: Erdogan

UPDATES WITH MORE QUOTES FROM PRESIDENT ERDOGAN, SERBIAN PRESIDENT VUCIC AND UPDATES DECK

By Diyar Guldogan and Talha Ozturk

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey wants to "deepen and diversify" bilateral relations with Serbia, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday.

"We want to deepen and diversify relations with Serbia," Erdogan told the Turkey-Serbia Business Forum in Serbia's capital Belgrade.

Erdogan said the two countries have "strong" desire to improve bilateral relations.

"Serbia is a friendly country for us and a key country for peace and stability in the Balkans.

"We have had strong friendship ties with Serbia for centuries. We have many common words in Turkish and Serbian, we have poems and folk songs describing this beautiful geography, Balkans," the Turkish president said.

Erdogan told the forum that Ankara and Belgrade signed nine agreements after the Turkey-Serbia High-Level Cooperation Council meeting.

He also called on Serbian entrepreneurs to invest in Turkey.

Erdogan said that relations between the two countries have gained momentum in recent years with numerous high-level visits.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic called on Turkish business people to up investments in Serbia.

Praising Erdogan's leadership, he said, Turkey's national income per capita has increased from $3,500 to $11,000.

"Show me another world or European leader who has achieved it," said Vucic.

He said Turkey has emerged stronger each time from external pressures.

"The Turkish people are very hard-working people. President Erdogan is committed to the development of his country," he added.