Report: Serbs Would Change Name of Sarajevo With PM-Yugoslavia
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) _ If Bosnia’s Serbs have their way, many towns in the republic would undergo name changes - Sarajevo, for example, could become Ninoslavgrad, according to a newspaper report.
Radoslav Unkovic, director of the Heritage Department of the Bosnian Serbs’ self-proclaimed republic, outlined the possible name changes in an article in Belgrade’s Vecernje Novosti on Monday.
Serb forces have seized about 70 percent of Bosnia in fighting that broke out after Croats and Muslims, together a majority, voted for independence from Serb-dominated Yugoslavia in February.
Many Bosnian place names date to the centuries of Turkish Ottoman rule. Although few Bosnian Muslims actually are descendents of the Turks, many Serb fighters derisively refer to them as Turks.
Under the plans, Sarajevo would become Ninoslavgrad or Kotromangrad, in honor of medieval Orthodox Serb noblemen by those names. The origin of the name Sarajevo is believed to be Turkish.
The Serbs have had Sarajevo surrounded for months, but most of the city is still controlled by the Muslim-led government.
Bosnia’s prewar population of 4.3 million was about 43 percent Muslim, 33 percent Serb and 17 percent Croat.