Gazimestan Speech

The Gazimestan speech was a speech given on 28 June 1989 by Slobodan Milošević, then President of Serbia. It was the centrepiece of a day-long event to mark the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo, which spelled the defeat of the medieval Serbian kingdom at the hands of the Ottoman Empire, as well as the annexation of most of Serbia's territory aside from the Serbian Despotate. The speech was delivered to a huge crowd gathered at the place where the battle had been fought, Gazimestan in the Central Kosovo. It came against a backdrop of intense ethnic tension between ethnic Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo and increasing political tensions between Serbia and the other constituent republics of the then Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia caused by the "anti-bureaucratic revolution".

The speech has since become famous for Milošević's reference to the possibility of "armed battles", in the future of Serbia's national development. Many commentators have described this as presaging the collapse of Yugoslavia and the bloodshed of the Yugoslav Wars. Milošević actually spoke of the "battles" in the context of "implementing economic, political, cultural, and general social prosperity" and he himself later said that he had been misrepresented.

Read more about Gazimestan SpeechBackground To The Speech, Content of The Speech, Responses To The Speech

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Gazimestan Speech - Responses To The Speech
... The speech was enthusiastically received by the crowds at Gazimestan, who were reported to have shouted "Kosovo is Serb" and "We love you, Slobodan, because ... Emmert, writing in 1993, commented that since the day of the speech, "Serbs have not failed to remind themselves and the world that they are fighting for the very defense of Europe against Islamic fundamentalism ... Politika reprinted Milošević's speech in full in a special edition dedicated entirely to the Kosovo issue ...

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