Seventh year of the independence of Montenegro

Seventh year of the independence of Montenegro

After the disintegration of Yugoslavia, Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovenia gained independence. Then, Montenegro joined these independent states through its own decision. After that, Kosovo was formed under different circumstances from the other six countries and in a quite tough period.

Montenegro has celebrated its seventh year of independence and liberty. I believe that after the acceptance of Slovenia and Croatia, which are also former Yugoslav states, to the European Union, it is now Montenegro’s turn to join the European Union.

Montenegro, positioned near the Adriatic, with peaceful and cheerful people, is the most stable country of the region with its economy and self-sustaining capabilities. With its democratic propensities and stable economy, Montenegro will soon be flagship of the region’s tourism.

Montenegrins, who are heroic and patriotic people of the Adriatic shores, lived independent with their principalities for many years. The only king in their history. Nikola Patrovic-Njegos, also known as Nikola I, was a statesman who left his mark on his age with his colorful personality. His visits in 1883 and 1889 to Istanbul during his 58-year-reign and his friendship with Sultan Abdülhamid II attract our attention. Nikola’s reign as the Prince of Montenegro stretched from Aug. 13, 1860 to Aug. 28, 1910 and his reign as the King of Montenegro covered the dates between Aug. 28, 1910 and Nov. 26, 1918.

The friendly relations between Nikola - who was known for his law-making abilities, attitude for separating politics from jurisdiction, progressivism and for opening the doors of Montenegro to foreign capital – and the Ottoman Empire were important for peace in the Balkans.

Mustafa Kemal, who was military attaché in Sofia during Nikola’s reign (1913-1915), also was accredited to Cetinje. Mustafa Kemal did not go to Cetinje during his short service, but he did write two reports to the residency of the General Staff and one report to the Ministry of National Defense about Montenegro. His rightfulness was proved four years later. In his three reports, Mustafa Kemal foresaw that Montenegro would not choose to be independent and would instead unite with Serbia; he therefore recommended Ottoman diplomacy to make plans according to this situation. History proved his rightfulness.

Montenegro, which was merged with Serbia in 1918, separated with Serbia in 2006.

In the seventh year of independence of this country, Montenegrin Parliament Speaker Ranko Krivokapic was elected as president of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in a meeting in Istanbul, which took place last week.

I would like to stress the importance of the mission, in which Krivokapic was elected with the support of all Balkan countries, for the peace of Europe.

In his speech, Ranko Krivokapic stated that he was “aware of the importance of an election in a country that hosted a great empire, and as the Parliament speaker of a country that is an empire for democracy.”

Independence and the election of its Parliament speaker to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s presidency is important for stability and peace in the Balkans. However, exceptional friendship between Montenegro and Turkey has greater importance.

*Dr. Akkan Suver is honorary Consul General of Montenegro in Istanbul and President of the Marmara Group Foundation.