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Igitur quum inter loquendum Verancius loqueretur ad interpretem, quod passae responderi debebat, conversus passa ad Zay: Tu, inquit, scisne Croatice? Of course, it was in much lesser use than other scripts. Many of the Muslim Slavs in Bosnia-Herzegovina had a strong awareness of their Croatian descent, and even called themselves Muslim Croats, to distinguish from the Catholic Croats.

Some of the most outstanding Croatian writers and intellectuals of the Muslim faith in Bosnia and Herzegovina are: etc.

We would like to indicate that the name of Bosniaks does not refer exclusively to Bosnian Muslims, but to Bosnian Croats too.

See also Vladimir Zerjavic: Muslim-Bosniaks did not secure the right of autochthony in Croatia.

In order to avoid misunderstanding we shall rather use their descriptional name - Muslim Slavs.

The reason is that the Croats in Bosnia are also Bosniaks.

Marco Pigafetta in his "Itinerario'' published in London in 1585 states: "In Istanbul it is customary to speak Croatian, a language which is understood by almost all official Turks, especially military men." This can also be confirmed by the 1553 visit of Antun Vrancic, Roman cardinal, and Franjo Zay, a diplomat, to Istanbul as envoys of the Croat - Hungarian king to discuss a peace treaty with the Turks. Hrvat Rustem pasha originates from the region of Makarska, and his original Croatian second name was Opukovic. He was also known as Piale Pasha in the West or Pial Baj in Spain; Turkish: Piyale Pasa.

During the initial ceremonial greetings they had with Rustem - pasha Hrvat (= Croat) the conversation led in Turkish with an official interpreter was suddenly interrupted. One of the oldest texts written in Arabica (which is in fact Arabic script for the Croatian language) is a love song called "Chirvat-trkisi" (= Croatian song) from 1588, written by a certain Mehmed in Bosnia.

Biographies of important Muslim Croats can be found in his ``Kratak pregled hrvatske knjige u Herceg - Bosni'' (A short survey of Croatian literature in Herzeg - Bosnia) printed in Sarajevo in 1912. It should be noted that the literary and scientific activity of such intellectuals has been severely suppressed during the 70 years' Yugoslav period, resulting that today a very small percentage of the entire Muslim Slav population in Bi H and Croatia has the awareness of its Croatian roots.

The way out was to choose an old geographical name Bosniak, which traditionally denoted any citizen of Bosnia - either Croat (as we said, many of them have Bosniak as a surname), or Muslim, or Serb.

It is strange that this usurpation of the name of Bosniak has been accepted even in the official Croatia.

Additional information: We can document the equivalence of the name of Bosniak and Hrvat during many centuries, until the Yugoslav period (see below).

It seems that the final and almost complete national individualization of Muslim Slavs took place only during the tragedy they experienced during the Serbian large-scale aggression on Bosnia and Herzegovina in the period of 1992-95 (the aggression against Bi H started already in October 1991 by the slaughter of the Croats in the Herzegovinian village of Ravno).

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