Tour of the House of Alija Đerzelez, pearl of Ottoman architecture

Mayor of Istanbul Kadir Topbaş was delighted with the beauty of the pearl of Ottoman culture – House of Alija Đerzelez, which was handed over on complimentary basis to the City of Istanbul by the Sarajevo Canton. This edifice of cultural-historic value was built in the 17th century as a house of a prominent and rich family of craftsmen.

It was built as a one-story building, incorporating all elements characteristic of housing architecture from Ottoman period, from traditional materials – stone, adobe, wood and cast iron.

Deputy Mayor Skaka opened the Symposium „Reactivate Sarajevo“ at the City Hall


A one-day international symposium under the title „Reactivate Sarajevo“ started this morning at the City Hall. Deputy Mayor Abdulah Skaka opened the Symposium on behalf of the host and honorary sponsor, City of Sarajevo, wishing all the best in their work to the participants of the Symposium which gathered local and international experts from the fields of architecture, urbanism and culture. „We are gathered in one of the most beautiful and impressive buildings in Sarajevo. This architectural and historic landmark of the Bosnian and Herzegovinian capital was once again opened to public in 2014, after 18 years of reconstruction, and has since become one of the greatest tourist attractions in Sarajevo” stressed Skaka.

Deputy Mayor acquainted those present with one other symbol of the city of Sarajevo – Trebević Cable Car, which has a symbolic, touristic and infrastructural importance for Sarajevo as the capital city.

Several round tables will be held within the framework of the Symposium, the topics under discussion will include urban infrastructure for sustainable urban development, potentials and challenges cities face relating to urban planning, as well as cultural management for rehabilitation of cities.

The Symposium organizers are Urban Think Tank and the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning (ETH) from Zürich in cooperation with international and local partners (faculties, museums, foundations).

This important gathering of architects and town planners was supported by the City of Sarajevo, and Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and Swiss (SECO) State Secretariat for Economic Affairs through the mediation of the Swiss Embassy to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Mayors of Sarajevo and Budapest signed the Cooperation Agreement


The Mayor of Sarajevo Ivo Komšić is on an official visit to the sister city of Budapest on invitation by the head of the Hungarian capital István Tarlós. The visit was agreed during the Mayor of Budapest’s visit to Sarajevo in April this year for the marking of the Day of the City of Sarajevo. At today’s meeting the mayors Komšić and Tarlós discussed the need to intensify the existing mutual ties and define concrete ways of cooperation, resulting in signing of the Agreement on Cooperation between Sarajevo and Budapest in all areas of interest for the citizens of the two cities.

The two mayors stated that this Agreement is a good starting point for development of a single programme which would be implemented through specific ways of cooperation in the areas of management of public services, tourism, economy, culture, and education through exchanges of students and professors.


The Mayor of Budapest accepted the proposal of Mayor Komšić to set up teams from the two cities in order to coordinate the organization of promotional events entitled “Days of Sarajevo in Budapest” and “Days of Budapest in Sarajevo” with the aim to intensify further cooperation.  Businessmen, tourist and culture workers from the two cities would be able to promote themselves at these events and find partners based on joint interests.

The Mayor thanked the Hungarian government and the City of Budapest for donating funds for the reconstruction of the Sarajevo City Hall and for providing aid to Bosnia and Herzegovina during the floods in May 2014.

Mayor Komšić also met with Aleksandar Dragičević, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Hungary. At the meeting Komšić stressed that today’s signing of the Cooperation Agreement between the two capitals increases the opportunity of Bosnian and Herzegovinian cities to present their tourist, cultural and other potentials in this friendly country. They also discussed establishing a direct air line between the two cities.

Bosnian and Herzegovinian sitting volleyball team met by Deputy Mayor Skaka at the Sarajevo International Airport

Deputy Mayor Abdulah Skaka was present at the welcome of BiH national sitting volleyball team at the Paraolympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. On that occasion Deputy Mayor stressed that these men are strong and honourable and the pride of our country.

“The City Administration was always among the first to provide support. It will continue to do that. The doors of the City Administration will always be open for them. On my behalf and on behalf of Mayor Komšić I wish them all the best and success in future competitions” stressed Skaka at today’s welcome.

Mayor Ivo Komšić at the International Meeting for Peace in Assisi: „ Europe had lost itself in Bosnia and Herzegovina“

On invitation by the Community Sant’Egidio from Rome, the Mayor of Sarajevo Ivo Komšić participated in the three-day International meeting for peace in the Italian city Assisi. This traditional meeting gathered hundreds of religious leadres of all religions and dignitaries from the fields of culture and politics, who discussed the most urgent issues related to peace, trust, coexistance and dialogue in Europe and the world. The prayer of peace dedicated to Bosnia and Herzegovina was the first prayer to be held at the conference, which ended tonight with the meeting of Mayor Komšić and other participants with Pope Francis, and joint prayer on the occasion of the historic October Days of Prayer which were convened for the first time by holy John Paul II in 1986.

Mayor Komšić addressed today the participants of the International peace meeting on the topic “Future of Europe – possibility for integration and dialogue”.

Komšić began his address, which was met with great interest and had a significant impact among those present at the Conference, by saying that “today it is a widely accepted thesis in social sciences that society is a communication community.  Such a community is based on a higher form of action in which social reality, but also social actors are constructed. This means that the identities of social actors and societies are constructed only through interaction, through the other. More than just linguistic understanding is necessary for this interaction. If you enter the social communication with presumed identities, i.e. fixed and closed cultural and religious values communication is at best difficult, and often impossible.

Komšić added that: “the global society or the global societies are in the stage of searching for a model of social communication and cohabitation. The problem lies in the fact that these societies have constructed their identities through culture and religion, and therefore the process of cohabitation with others appears only as a process of assimilation. Solution of this difficulty is usually found in a compromise that is plausible only if we leave essentialist standpoints. However, leaving this point of view means the loss of identity. To overcome this problem, the first step is coming to know and understand other cultures and religions, and recognize their distinctions, rather than avoiding, ignoring or suppressing”.


According to Komšić, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a very good example of this: “A unique social form of communication and values arising out of it had the crucial influence in forming of the symbolic and cultural-religious goods and values there. We can claim that Bosnian society has been moulded through a kind of original social interaction.  That implies that this society has represented one of the original types of communicative community. Cultural identities in BiH, as a base for ethnical -national identities, have been formed in models of communicative action, i.e. through understanding and acknowledgement. Communicative action or the process of intersubjectivity is actually based on understanding (which implies common language) and on the fulfilled demands for validity, presuming mutual recognition of social actors and their mutual acknowledgement. Communication action i.e. social process was taking place through the structures of language and mutual recognition. Identities of social actors have been validated and maintained in this kind of communication.

The Mayor assessed that “for Bosnian society this means that it had been formed in an original interethnic communication, with a special identity form. The uniqueness lies in the fact that the identity of each ethnic community formed in the medium of the common language that has allowed understanding, and in the medium of the common milleu (topos) which has enabled recognition, i.e. coexistence. Each ethnic group had their identity composed of the other ethnic community. Simply put, the people of BiH have not lived next to each other in mechanical relations, but together, with each other. The other was part of their identity, the other for whom it is known that he is different and distinct. But it is precisely this otherness and difference that has enabled them to affirm and preserve their own identity – the cultivation of identity included preserving the identity of the other. That was not the case of any other ethnic group in Europe. European societies were founded on one ethnic community and the others have been accepted only by the mechanical bonds of interest. This is the reason why these relationships were never solid, nor vital and their history is largely the history of the mutual struggles for prestige and power , where the worst means have been used – such as persecutions and genocide.

Identity which has been created through self-understanding and recognition of the other, had unfortunately, lost its foundation in the past war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Diverse ethnic-religious communities that have built their identities on differences they were aware of, now define it by the list of attributes that belong to them as singularities.  Self-understanding is transformed into knowledge that can be broken down into a finite number of propositions. These identities have become abstract self-relations of cognizing subjects without acknowledgment of the other. The recognition is lacking on all sides, communities still understand each other, but do not satisfy demands to one another” stressed Komšić.


“Moreover, the war and the new rhetoric that has lost its communication structure ruined the foundation of the cultural-national identity of all communities, that is, a common living environment. Apparently, architects of war knew that topos was giving the most significant attribute to living together in diversity, so they made every attempt to rip communities out of their environments. In doing so, they used the most brutal means – persecutions, burning and destruction of property, ethnic cleansing, and genocide.  By destroying common living environment, the identity of all communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and their collectiveness  was equally destroyed (communities that have been living in new environments in exile are still searching for their identity)” said Komšić.

He emphasized that “Unfortunately, this situation continues to this day and has become a social fact. At the heart of Europe, a special and unique living world with a particular form of identity was lost, for which Europe itself was responsible to some extent and which it is now seeking to find”.

Mayor Komšić ended his address by saying:”Through the liberalization of space, transnational identities arising from such scenarios are attempting to imitate topos of the world of living that existed in Bosnia and Herzegovina in its original form. This space, artificially constructed is nothing more, but an attempt to compress the environment in order to achieve mobile and profitable relations and partnerships. This is not the Bosnian topos as the environment in which diverse communities maintain their differences by living. Within this artificially produced transnational identity there are insurmountable boundaries in language, culture, religion and tradition that still remain. These  boundaries, although attenuated by new types of European democracy, or the tourist agencies’ strategies, often come up to the surface taking the form of assaults, small riots or open crimes against members of other ethnic and religious groups. In Bosnia and Herzegovina Europe has lost itself”.


The 4th International Congress of Traditional and Western Medicine was held under the patronage of Sarajevo City Council and the Mayor of the City of Sarajevo, Mr. Komšić


The 4th International Congress of Traditional and Western Medicine was held this weekend in Sarajevo City Hall under the patronage of the Sarajevo City Council and the Mayor of the City of Sarajevo, Ivo Komšić, Ph.D.  The Deputy Mayor, Mr. Abdulah Skaka opened a two-day programme of the Congress, which was organized by Mrs. Branislava Rakonjac, the founder and director of the Association of informotherapists and herbalists in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Among the lecturers were informotherapist, herbalist and physiotherapist – masseur, Branislava Rakonjac, (topic: Presentation of the Center for Traditional Alternative Medicine and its Results, Leit in the Service of Conventional Medicine and Achieved Results, Phytotherapy: Skin as the Largest Organ, Feedback in our Bodies, Toxicity, Peroxidation, Causes and Consequences), Ranko Čović MD (topic: Supplements and Experiences in Informotherapy), herbalist Erna Okanović (topic: Health from God’s Garden), Muhamed Bikić (topic: Sports Law), chief physician Melika Babić-Zečević MD (topic: Headaches and Their Causes), Dr. JadrankaŠarić (topic: Insecurity and Human Health).

Congress participants were also addressed by Larysa Peleshko (topic: The philosophy of Chinese medicine and Informotherapy; Experiences of the Use of Electrical Acupuncture Diagnostics, doctor Skrypniuku’s Micro Generators and Intera-Cristal Chips in Medical Practice), professor Damir Pejin (topic: Homeopathy and its Contribution in  Pre-Operative and Post-Operative Treatment of Surgical Patients),  Aida Mujić-Čaušević MD (topic: How to Speed up Metabolism and Lose Weight Healthily), Emina Karamehić (topic: Influence of the Stay in Labyrinth Ravne and Therapy on the Health Condition of Examined Patients) informotherapist Mirzeta Kamberović (topic: The Effect of Cleansing Liver  from Gall Stones according to Hulde Clark’s Recipe and the Impact on Health),  Orest Proniv MD (topic: Switzerland Technology ERI-  Efficient Method of the Recovery of Children with Acute Bacterial and Viral Infections), Elisaveta Tomov MD (topic: Auricular Acupuncture Informo Implant in Cervico- brachial Syndrome), Vaselije Negovanović (topic: Supplements and experiences in Informotherapy) and Feđa Maunagić (topic: The State of Alternative Medicine in the Region).

Owing to the intensive cooperation between Sarajevo and Istanbul, our sister city donated 15 additional buses to GRAS


Mayor of Sarajevo Ivo Komšić and his Deputy Abdulah Skaka attended the ceremony of putting into service of 15 buses in front of GRAS Company. According to city officials this donation was the result of international cooperation between Sarajevo and other cities in Europe and beyond.

„We have very good relations with Turkey and sister city relations with several Turkish cities, including Istanbul. This proves that the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s international relations are not just representational but based on concrete cooperation, which result in donations such as this one, and very often in important agreements which strengthen our economy“, said Mayor Komšić.

Prime Minister of Sarajevo Canton, Elmedin Konaković thanked our friends from Istanbul on their wholehearted assistance.

“More than half of the motor fleet of KJKP GRAS – are donations from Istanbul. These 15 buses will help us to strengthen transport lines in the suburban areas which had fewer connections to the city centre” stressed Konaković.

The Istanbul Public Transport Company (IETT) has, for the past two years, delivered a total of 45 buses to the Cantonal Company GRAS and a considerable number of spare parts for maintenance of the vehicles, thanks to the intensive cooperation between the two sister cities, Sarajevo and Istanbul.

The Sarajevo Canton Minister of Traffic Mujo Fišo, the Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Bosnia and Herzegovina Cihad Erginay and representative of the Turkish International Cooperation and Coordination Agency TIKA, Birol Çetin were also present at today’s ceremony.

The signing of Contract between the City of Sarajevo and Italian company Leitner marks the official beginning of construction of Trebević Cable Car

The signing of the Contract on development of main design, delivery of equipment and putting into operation of the cable car between Mayor of Sarajevo Ivo Komšić and representative of Leitner Company, Dominic Bosio at the City Administration Office marks the official beginning of construction works on the Trebević cable car.

“This is a very important day for Sarajevo. The cable car will be built by the Italian company Leitner, which was chosen as the most favourable contractor through international tender announced by the City of Sarajevo. Furthermore, Leitner is one of the leading companies for designing, production and assembly of cable cars”, stressed Mayor Komšić at the press conference held after the Contract signing.

The official representative of the donor Mr. Offermann, Armin Rustanbegović, who was also present at the press conference, said that as of today the donor funds are available and that advance payment will be made to the account of Lietner Company, in order that the construction works could start without delay.

The press conference participants stated that the Trebević Cable Car will be the most modern facility to operate in Sarajevo. It will consist of 33 cabins, with 10 seats each, and the loading capacity of 1 200 passengers per hour. Instead of former 12 minutes riding time, the new cable car will reach Trebević in just 7 minutes 15 seconds. In contrast to the old cable car, the new cable car will not create noise, it will consume less energy and be environmentally-friendly.

The cabins are in fact panoramic gondolas, which can be used day and night, or as a convoy if appropriate during festive events in the city. Deputy Mayor Skaka announced that the Leitner Company will deliver one gondola in seven to ten days, to be put on display in front of the City Hall in order that the citizens of Sarajevo could see how it will look like.

Delegation of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe paid a visit to the City of Sarajevo

A meeting between the Delegation of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and the representatives of the City of Sarajevo, headed by Assistant to Mayor for Local Government, Mrs. Dragana Solaković, was held today at the Sarajevo City Administration.  Multimember Congress Delegation headed by Stewart Dickson from the United Kingdom is staying in Bosnia and Herzegovina in preparation for the observation mission of the forthcoming local elections. In that context, there was a discussion about the upcoming elections from the perspective of Local Government.

During today’s meeting at the City Administration, in view of the interest expressed by the members of the Congress Delegation, Mayor’s Assistant Dragana Solaković, briefly informed them about the organization structure of the City of Sarajevo, the process of election of the officials of the City of Sarajevo and city councilors and the priority projects in urban infrastructure.

Meeting of the mayors of Sarajevo and Pécs

On invitation by the Mayor of the friendly Hungarian city of Pécs, Pava Zsolt, the Mayor of Sarajevo Ivo Komšić, Ph.D. attended the ceremonial session of the Pécs City Council on the occasion of the marking of the Day of the City of Pécs, September 1st, 2016. It provided an opportunity for a bilateral meeting between the mayors of Sarajevo and Pécs, where the Mayor of Pécs, Pava Zsolt inquired about the possibility of hosting an opera festival in Sarajevo in 2017.

Furthermore, a meeting was held with the manager of Zsolnay Heritage Management Non-profit LTD who suggested hosting a concert of choir competition winners (World Youth Choir) in Sarajevo and Mostar in 2017.

The Mayor of Sarajevo presented his colleague with a photograph of the City Hall with displayed holey Hungarian flag in memory of the Hungarian revolution of 1956 year.

With this gesture the City of Sarajevo joined the sister and partner cities of Pécs, which this year celebrates, together with all citizens of Hungary, the 60th anniversary of struggle for liberalization of the Hungarian society.

Mayor Komšić once again expressed his gratitude on his behalf and on behalf of the citizens of Sarajevo to the City of Pécs and Mayor Zsolt for allocating funds for reconstruction of Sarajevo City Hall – the world symbol of the meeting of civilisations, the confirmation of dignity and unbreakable spirit of the city of Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina.