Turkish media is reporting that Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davuto?lu celebrated the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr in Bosnia and Herzegovina where he was welcomed by Bosnian Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric. According to the report:
30 August 2011, Tuesday / CELIL SA?IR , SARAJEVO Foreign Minister Ahmet Davuto?lu celebrates the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The foreign minister performed Eid prayer at Sarajevo’s Gazi Husrev Bey Mosque together with Bakir Izetbegovic, the Bosniak member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, on Tuesday. Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric welcomed Davuto?lu, telling worshippers that “today is a day we waited for centuries” in Sarajevo. “Today is a day to cherish because the Turkish foreign minister is with us,” he said. Davuto?lu said Ceric’s sermon was “emotional” and added: “We were here, are here and we will always be here.” Ceric further commended Davuto?lu after his sermon at the mosque, saying “Allah created him to make history.” Calling Davuto?lu’s Eid prayer at Gazi Husrev Bey Mosque a “historic moment,” Ceric said it symbolized the “rebirth of a new politics and new realities in the Balkans, particularly in Bosnia and Herzegovina.” Davuto?lu said after the prayer that he was honored to be in Sarajevo, calling the city as “home.” He said: “In our traditions, we celebrate Eid at home. This is what I am doing, I celebrate the Eid with my family in Sarajevo. Bosnia is our home and Bosnians are our family members.” Izetbegovic, son of late Aliya Izetbegovic who was the first president of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said that Davuto?lu brought even more sunshine to Sarajevo on this sunny day. Turkey has boosted its influence in the Balkans, once dominated by the Ottoman Empire, in recent years. Speaking to Today’s Zaman at the start of his visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina at the weekend, Davuto?lu rejected “neo-Ottoman” label for his government’s foreign policy and said such a label stemmed from the uneasiness some have felt in the face of Turkey’s growing influence in the region.
A Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) report on the first Gaza flotilla described the influence of Foreign Minister Davuto?lu as follows:
The State Department had warned as early as 2004 about the thinking of Erdogan’s then-chief foreign policy advisor Davutoglu, an ally of Turkish President Abdullah Gul, who it said was “lost in neo-Ottoman Islamist fantasies”, namely, that Turkey’s role is to spread Islam in Europe, “to take back Andalusia and avenge the defeat at the siege of Vienna in 1683”, as one participant in a recent meeting at AKP’s main think tank put it. By January 2010, a US State Department cable discussed what it called “Turkey’s new, highly activist foreign policy” which it said“unquestionably represents a transition not only from prior governments, but also from the AKP regime before the Gaza/Davos events, and before the ascent of Ahmet Davutoglu as Foreign Minister in April. The cable concluded that the new AKP foreign policy was “driven by both a desire to be more independently activist and by a more Islamic orientation.
Considered by some to be a leading “liberal” Islamic leader, Mustafa Ceric is tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood through his membership in the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), headed by Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and by his participation in the U.K.-based “Radical Middle Way” consisting of a wide range of associated scholars representing the global Muslim Brotherhood. Several earlier posts have discussed Dr. Ceric’s increasing visibility and importance within the global Muslim Brotherhood, noting that Ceric sees himself as a possible future leader of a “European Islam.” Dr. Ceric recently comparedthe Iranian Revolution with the French Revolution and Iranian media reported that Dr. Ceric recently told former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in a meeting that he considers Iran a “good friend” of his country.” A post from October 2009 discussed his visit to the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), an important part of the U.S. and global Muslim Brotherhood.