EU looks to improve strained ties with Turkey | The Times of Israel
Greek-Bulgarian diplomatic relations, which date back to , evolved gradually , and are at a remarkable level. They are developing in a constructive way and. Nationalists had tried to keep Bulgarian-Turkish dual citizens from voting in The Turkish-Bulgarian strife comes amid deteriorating relations between Ankara President Rumen Radev has set March 26 as the date for early. Bulgarian–Turkish relations are foreign relations between Bulgaria and Turkey. Bulgaria has an embassy in Ankara, two general consulates in Istanbul and.
The year-old retired scientist, along with on average 58 per cent of all Bulgarians watching TV at this time, is preparing to savour the latest installment of the Turkish soap opera Leaf Fall. Leaf Fall is a drama about a large family which moves from a small Turkish town to Istanbul. It is the most popular show on Bulgarian TV this year. Millions are tuning in to watch the father, the key protagonist, struggle to maintain traditional moral values following their move to the city.
Petrova seems oblivious to the irony of her dedication to this Turkish soap, as she sips tea sitting beneath a picture of Vasil Levski, a Bulgarian national hero who fought the Turks, and next to books detailing atrocities committed in Bulgaria under Ottoman rule.
It is a period of history that Bulgarians still find painful. When asked to describe life under the Ottomans, most Bulgarians will tell you about women being raped, the abduction of children, mass killings, the destruction of churches and monasteries and the razing of villages.
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Yet around 10 per cent of the Bulgarian population — roughly 7m people in total — is of Turkish ethnic origin. They are the largest minority group in the country, living mostly in rural areas in southeastern and northeastern Bulgaria.You Know You Are Dating a BULGARIAN Man When...
Villages and towns with majority ethnic Turk populations were surrounded by army vehicles, forced to take new names and destroy all signs of Turkish identity. The rumble of army trucks and the blinding glare of searchlights would disturb the sleep of an ethnic Turkish village.
Greece’s Bilateral Relations
Those who refused or hesitated watched as their wives or daughters were raped by the militiamen. Thousands more were imprisoned or driven into internal exile. These fears were exacerbated after Ankara invaded ethnic Turk-majority northern Cyprus infollowing an Athens-backed military coup on the island. In the eighties, the communist regime presided over a particularly fierce and prolonged assimilation campaign.
Fromthe government forced all Muslims to adopt Bulgarian names and renounce Muslim customs. Turkish towns and villages were surrounded by army units.
Recalling the fate of Bulgaria's Turkish minority
Citizens were issued new identity cards with Bulgarian names. Traditional Turkish clothing was banned, homes were searched and all signs of Turkish identity removed. Even Turkish names engraved on gravestones were replaced with Bulgarian ones.
Thousands were sent to labour camps or forcibly deported. In Maytravel restrictions - for ethnic Turks only - were relaxed. Within months more thanethnic Turks fled Bulgaria for Turkey, Austria and other countries.
While the fall of communism in late led to a reversal of the assimilation policy it also - as in other eastern European countries - exposed long-standing grievances between different ethnic communities. Rising nationalism These fears are played upon by many nationalists in Bulgaria.
The nationalist party VMRO Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation has so far collected more thansignatures calling for a referendum to be held allowing Bulgarians to vote for or against Turkey's accession to the EU. Anti-Turkish rhetoric also featured prominently in the European and national parliamentary election campaigning by Ataka, another nationalist party. Ataka was duly elected to both and is now the fourth biggest political party in Bulgaria. Attempts to ease ethnic tensions have been hampered by various corruption scandals linked to, in particular, the ethnic Turk Movement for Rights and Freedoms party, the MRF.
Up untilthe MRF was part of the ruling coalition government. Ahmed Dogan, the MRF leader, was jailed by the communist leadership in the s after resisting the assimilation campaign. At the time, Bahtiyar Karaali approached Deutsche Welle: I knew the number by heart; it started with Shortly afterwards, Bulgaria's ruling Communist Party announced that the campaign in Kardzhali and in the whole region had been completed successfully. The Communists further announced that it would be resumed in other regions of the country with Turkish minorities.
On March 31,the government made it known that all Turkish names had been changed. From that point on, considerable effort went into entering the new names into all relevant registries.
Bulgaria and the European Union - Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics
In the years to come, each member of the Turkish minority got an average of 19 new official documents, including birth certificates, driver's licenses and medical files. Mass exodus of Bulgarian Turks Simultaneously, the ideological part of the campaign was under way. The state-imposed violation of human rights was dubbed, euphemistically, a "rebirth," suggesting that the assimilation measures helped the Turkish minority to retrieve its Bulgarian roots.
The Communist propaganda took a stab at convincing the remainder of the population, and the international community with it, that the assimilation attempt was a voluntary decision by the Turkish minority. However, the government's propaganda efforts failed due to growing resistance. In Marchpro-Turkish terrorists launched an attack on a passenger train, which left seven people dead.
The terror strike was later followed by political protests, which developed from to as human rights organizations and societies for the protection of the Turkish minority were established. Barbed wire separating Turkey and Bulgaria along the countries' borders Early inthe Communist rulers in Sofia realized that the situation was spiraling out of control.
They decided that only a mass emigration of the Turkish minority to Turkey could ease the pressure. At the end of May inparty leader and head of state Todor Zhivkov addressed the population, declaring that those willing to leave the country could do so.
In response, the members of the Turkish minority frantically started selling their belongings in order to be able to move to Turkey. Chaos ensued, with many Bulgarians shamelessly profiting from the plight of their fellow countrymen by buying their houses at knock-down prices and selling them old vehicles for excessively high amounts of money.
At border crossings, cars queued up for many kilometers.
Yet, for many, a new life in Turkey remained a dream. And the necessary passports were in our pockets," recalls Mastin Essirov.
Ottoman Past Dogs Sofia-Ankara Relations
The rulers in Sofia subsequently tried to justify their campaign and put all the blame on the Turkish minority. Cynically, they even dubbed the mass exodus a "Great Excursion," suggesting to the public that people had only travelled to Turkey temporarily to visit relatives there. But those propaganda efforts failed. A few months later, on November 10,the discredited head of state Zhivkov was removed from power by his own party comrades.
Nationalist parties agitating against Turkish minority One of the first policy measures of the new government - still made up of Communists - was the restoration of the Bulgarian Turks' minority rights. However, the coercive actions against that group had poisoned the atmosphere in the country.