In Bulgaria, which has the largest number of Turkish Muslim citizens residing among the member states of the European Union (EU), Turks are calling for more representation in politics and equal opportunity in government cadres.
In Bulgaria, where political instability continues, it is reported that both right-wing and far-left political parties, which participated in the general elections scheduled for the fifth time in the past two years on April 2, are targeting Muslim Turks.
Former Member of Parliament for Kardjali and Research Institute of Trakya Balkan University Dr. Trainer Member Shaban Ali Ahmed evaluated the positions of the extreme right-wing and left-wing political parties towards the Muslim Turks in Bulgaria and the expectations of the Bulgarian Turks from the upcoming general elections.
Shaban Ali Ahmed stated that Bulgaria has the largest number of resident Muslim Turks with a population of more than 10% among the EU member states, and said, “Despite this, equal job opportunities are not provided for Muslim Turks in government positions commensurate with Their population. There is not enough representation in parliament either.” He said.
Pointing out that the Turks do not work in these areas with the exception of some appointments in the administrative staff of the judiciary and the police, Ahmed explained that this situation contradicts the principle of constitutional equality and is an indication of the “closedness” in the country. which was governed by democracy for 33 years.
Ahmed indicated that the Muslim Turks are calling for religious freedoms and for the mufti in the elections, equal opportunities for state cadres, and political representation commensurate with their population in parliament and municipal administrations, and that they are calling for an end to segregation.
Muslim Turks are targeted by far-right and left-wing political parties
Pointing out that Turks started establishing political parties in Bulgaria after 1989, Ahmed said that the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (HÖH), which had 36 deputies in the last assembly, managed to send 24 deputies to the 400-seat Bulgarian parliament in 1991. In the local elections that took place later, 27 municipalities and 27 municipalities were elected, and it was reported that he won 653 mayors.
Ahmed explained that after the victory of the Bulgarian Socialist Party in the 1994 general elections, the “Mufti problem” began in the country with the dismissal of Mufti Fikri Salih Effendi, who was elected by the Muslim minority.
Bulgarian general elections were held in June 2001 by the former King II. Simeon and his second new party. Referring to the victory of Saman’s National Movement in coalition with the Turkey-dominated Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Ahmed said: “The Turks remained in power with this alliance until 2005. During this period, the ultra-nationalist Ataka party was on the rise. Although the ATAKA in opposition, it has tried to stick to politics with rhetoric that Turks and other minorities are not allowed to live in the country. He said.
Stressing that comments about Ataka and similar far-right parties that “get votes from the marginal minority” downplay the situation, Ahmed said, “The language they use is met by different segments. Veiled women in different regions of Bulgaria are subjected to insults and attacks. This stems from the rhetoric.” used by far-right political formations.” He rated it.
Emphasizing that Ataka’s attacks against the Turks did not remain at the level of rhetoric, Ahmed recalled that Ataka’s leader Volyn Siderov, who came to the scene, defended the mosque attack carried out by Ataka’s racist supporters and deputies in Sofia in 2011, under the pretext that “the sound of the call to prayer comes from the loudspeaker “.
Ahmed said that although the Citizens for European Development in Bulgaria party, led by former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, is not far-right, it deliberately did not mention the presence of the Turkish minority in Bulgaria and considered them to be “Muslims in Bulgaria”.
Pointing out that the Bulgarian Socialist Party has the same amount of racism towards Turks as other parties, Ahmed said, “In every election process, not only the extreme right-wing parties, but also the left-wing parties, try to increase their votes by targeting Turks. Other parties are not targeted.” You don’t defend the Turks enough or don’t give them enough space. Use the phrase.
The pressure on the Bulgarian Turks had continued since the Ottoman withdrawal
Ahmed stated that the repression against the Bulgarian Turks began immediately after the country’s separation from Ottoman rule in 1908 and continued to varying degrees according to the country’s political administration.
Expressing the growing pressure on the Turkish minority, especially in 1951, after the Bulgarian Communist Party came to power in 1944, Ahmed continued his words as follows:
With the “One Nation Resolution” (Edina Natsya) issued in 1956, the goal was for the minorities to adopt Bulgarian names and live with Bulgarian customs and traditions in order to ensure the integration of the Turkish minority with the Bulgarian people. With the migrations that took place in different periods, the population decreased Largely from the Turkish minority, and the remaining population tried to assimilate them within the scope of repression.Forcible migration from Bulgaria occurred at the end of the assimilation and persecution of the Turkish minority living in the country between 1984-1989 by the communist regime in this country.Sudden raids were launched on the villages where the minority lived The migration of 1989, which occurred as a result of this process, was one of the biggest human tragedies when it was evaluated not only in terms of the history of the Bulgarian Turks but also in terms of European history.In the first waves of mass migration, 345 thousand 960 people immigrated to Turkey in One year. And with the immigration movement in the second half of 1990, this number exceeded 360 thousand.
Ahmed concluded his speech by emphasizing that the Bulgarian Turks still have a great influence on the election results as the largest ethnic minority in the country, despite the mass migrations.
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