The existence of the cult of the large mother is found in the Stone Age. She was considered to be the mother of humans and gods and her cult spread along the Mediterranean belt, which once contained the Illyrian kingdom and today, among other countries, the modern day Bosnia and Herzegovina. The cult of the large mother stems from Syria, according to the available data, from which it spread to other countries and we can find it in Egypt (Izida), Babylon (Ishtar), Asia Minor (Kibela), Greece (Demetra), etc. The Syrian name Taschter or Tir, from which the name Astharte is derived, is present in Bosnia by the name of Tur, Tir or in the female form Tirinica.
Astharte was a goddess of the moon, fertility and motherhood but also of war, described as a horned deity, with a head of a bull. This data is key to linking her with the Illyrians and the myth about the bull Garonja who is only familiar to the Bosnians, the Serbs and Croats don't mention him in their mythology.
According to all of the archeological data the ox or bull belonged to the cult of the moon among the Illyrian tribes. It is important to note that the bull is a common symbol of the cult of the mother among all of the ancient peoples, the myth about Mithras also existed among the Persians; he killed the godlike bull and created entire nature out of his blood, especially wheat.
In Donja Dolina (Sanski Most) during the excavation of an Illyrian village, a skull of a pre-bull was found (Bos primigenius), which is - as Ć. Truhelka speculates, attached to the façade of the house and served as a bucranium. It is known that a head of a bull was hung on the walls of temples in Greece once it has been sacrificed to the gods, and that's where the tradition originated from also this is the reason for all of the bucranium carvings on temples and various other structures.
Numerous depictions of oxen are from an earlier time, they didn't always carry an explicit message, but they surely weren't only decorative in nature. It is interesting that the findings are only limited to the north, and to a lesser extent to central areas where the Illyrians lived, even though it is fairly certain that in other areas there was also a religious system in which the ox, as a lunar symbol, was connected to the cult of the large mother. Here we're referring to the area occupied by the Liburn people, then people from the region Dalmatia and partially tribes in the southern and central parts of the Illyrian tribes. Also in this case, as with many other symbols, lack of illustrations should be sought in the sphere of esthetic comprehension of the former men, not only in the religious differences, i.e. the lack of the cult of the bull in specific Illyrian regions.
Ritual slaughter of the bull as a sign of fertility and its connection with the cult of the large mother was very old in these regions, and was preserved unchanged to this day in the Balkans and elsewhere.
Bosnian myth about the bull Turu
In publications "Supplements for oriental philology: Revue de philology orientale" from 1980 the following content is mentioned on page 311: "In 1933 from a poor old woman, Puhalovka Alijaginica, who lived in Čerbedžije in Sarajevo, literally recorded the following: "On Wednesdays when you pray afternoon prayer and bow: Ognju and Ognjevom Piru, Turu, Hadži Dedi, Hadži Kasapi, Sitoj Nefisi, Vejsil Karaniji, their parents and brother Mevelan". Checking whether this tradition is still prevalent in other places, I found out from Mahmud Traljić (born in Sarajevo in 1918)that he listened to the enumeration of these names from a Muslim woman from Sarajevo Fatima Hajrić, which died in 1961 or 1962 in her 102nd
As Oganj, Ognjev Pir and Tur or Tir don't belong among the names of Islamic saints it is evident that these names are actually folk names for Illyrian deities. In my opinion we're dealing with two deities i.e. sun god Oganj (fire) or Ognjev Pir (emperor of fire) and goddess of the moon Tur or Tir. In other words, this means that among the Bosnian Muslims there were people who unknowingly, before WWII, prayed to the ancient gods. Confirmation of this fact can easily be found in the fact that these deities were presented in one context.
That Tur-Tir is a female deity is confirmed by a statement from Seid Traljić who mentions a female cult name Tirinica, whose godlike characteristics were annulled by Islam, but her name was kept in prayers until WWII, since it was considered holly.
The Bosnian folk believed from old times that the Earth resting on the back of a large bull called in some places Garonja. According to belief when he moves his ears there will be an earthquake and when he shakes his entire body it is believed that it will be the end of the world. Ethnologist Gržetić stated succinctly the belief which perhaps best depicts who is behind the character of Garonja, namely: "the people in Bosnia still to this day believe that the earth is supported by Turu, and once he shakes, there will be an earthquake". Meaning, the original name of the bull is Tur and not Garonja as is mentioned in south-western part of Bosnia.
According to everything that is written it is easy to conclude that the ancient mother goddess is behind the character of Tur or Tir (Tirinica), which was also depicted with the head of a bull. She is the mother of fertility, i.e. earth, and it is logical that he is depicted supporting the earth. It is quite probable that the Latin word for bull - Taurus stems from the name Tur.
On the prevalence of the cult of the mother goddess in Bosnia and Herzegovina the following place names testify, such as: Turovo (beneath Jahorina), Turić (Gradačac), Turići (Vlahovići near Travnik, Lugovi near Fojnica, Banovići, Visoko), Turija (Bihać, Konjic, Tuzla, Visoko, Srebrenica), Turjak (Bosanska Gradiška, Dobrun kod Višegrada) and Turjačani (Bosanska Gradiška).