News16 July 2021
A Promotion Program Was Held for TİKA’s Potočari Genocide Victims Memorial Museum Project in Srebrenica
Serdar Çam, Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism, attended the Promotion Program held for the Potočari Genocide Victims Memorial Museum Project, implemented by Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) to commemorate the Srebrenica Genocide.
Pointing out that the first phase of the construction of the museum in the former car battery factory, one of the major locations where the genocidal atrocities took place, was completed, Çam said, “The roof of the building has been renovated completely and made functional. We have also started the museum exhibition design process by preserving the originality of the location.”
Çam stated the memorial museum project, which was implemented to ensure that the genocide would never be forgotten, would be completed in a short time. He added, “Bosnia and Herzegovina is very special for Turkey and has a special place in the hearts of the people of Turkey. Turkey has stood in solidarity with its Bosnian brothers and sisters since the war, and will continue to do so.”
Noting that 8,372 innocent civilians were killed by inhumane means in the Srebrenica Genocide, Çam said, “The Srebrenica Genocide, which is the greatest humanitarian tragedy in Europe after the Second World War, is a deep wound not only for the Bosniak people, but for all people.”
Çam remarked that European Muslims still face discrimination, and said, “Turkey has always fought Islamophobia, which threatens the future of humanity, and will continue to do so. As President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan always says, we will continue to point out faults boldly and look for solutions together, in order to prevent genocides such as the Srebrenica Genocide from recurring.”
Çam stressed that TİKA has implemented more than 1,000 projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1995, and that Turkey will contribute to peace and prosperity in Bosnia and Herzegovina in any way it can.
“It has been 26 years, but our wounds are still fresh.”
At the ceremony, Šefik Džaferović, Bosniak Member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, pointed out the importance of the project and said, “It has been 26 years, but our wounds are still fresh. When it comes to genocide, time does not fly as it usually does. The pain remains the same, and the memories do not fade. However, the number of the living witnesses to the genocide is decreasing day by day. We should preserve the memories to inform future generations about these events.”
Noting that the Srebrenica Memorial Center played a major role in ensuring that the genocide is not forgotten, Džaferović said, “The Srebrenica Memorial Center will become even more important when mass funerals will not be held anymore. It is because the burial of victims is the basis of memorial ceremonies. When there are no more victims to be buried, all attention will be directed to the content to be offered at the center.”
Džaferović remarked that the center operated thanks to the financial support of the state, and that the Dayton Peace Agreement, which ended the war, prevented the center from receiving further support.
Noting that Turkey was one of the biggest donors of the Srebrenica Memorial Center, Džaferović said, “We would like to thank Turkey for the support they provided under the leadership of President Erdoğan for revealing the truth about what happened in Srebrenica.”
Emir Suljagić, Director of the Srebrenica Memorial Center, stressed that they were grateful to Turkey for their support, and said, “Now, we have a new building. The Turkish friends involved in the project are very successful architects and designers. However, we should remember that our stories will be told here.”
Stating that the project actually deserved a celebration, Suljagić said, “However, this is not a place for celebration. Here, every emotion, every word, and every thought lose their meaning and turn into something else.”
Meanwhile, Çam visited the Potočari Memorial and Cemetery, where 19 genocide victims would be buried on the next day, and prayed for victims.
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