Ethnic Turks Demand Bulgarian Culture Minister Resignation

Domestic | September 14, 2010, Tuesday // 14:59|  views

Culture Minister Rashidov (left) has accused DPS deputy Mestan (right) of nepotism. Photos by BGNES

The Member of the Parliament and Deputy Chair of the ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), Lyutvi Mestan, reiterated demands for the resignation of Culture Minister, Vezhdi Rashidov.

In a Tuesday morning interview for the TV channel bTV, Mestan stated if accusations against him on Rashidov's part were true, he would have already left politics and expects the latter to act the same over his own admissions of lying.

The scandal flared up last Friday, when Rashidov, a renown Bulgarian sculptor of Turkish origin and Culture Minister in the center-right government of the GERB party, accused Mestan, in plenary hall, of helping relatives take advantage of Culture Ministry funds in the city of Kardzhali.

"It is obvious the culture of the Culture Minister allows him to be a lier and, at the same time, a member of the cabinet. The issue here is how long the Prime Minister would endure such behavior," Mestan said Tuesday.

The quarrel erupted after Rashidov announced that the Deputy Director of the first theater, Sabiha Mestan, is the wife of Lyutvi Mestan's first cousin. Sabiha Mestan is said to have registered a private firm hosted in the building of the theater that received state funds illegally; her brother, who was also alleged to be a distant cousin of Lyutvi Mestan, has been appointed as the theater's driver.

Mestan firmly denies the above named people are his relatives.

Two days ago, Sabiha Mestan launched a counterattack, saying it was Rashidov's daughter-in-law, who was hired in the beginning of the year as a wardrobe and props manager at the theater, even though the theater had no need of such person. She further accused the Culture Minister of being biased when making staff cuts at different theaters.

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Tags: Vezhdi Rashidov, Culture Minister, Lyutvi Mestan, DPS, ethnic Turkish, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, Turkish theaters, nepotism, Sabiha Mestan


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