Turkey Wants to Play Role in Bulgarian Muslims Mufti Issue

Diplomacy | September 24, 2010, Friday // 18:18|  views

Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu (left sitting) is pictured here in Plovdiv with Bulgarian Foreign Minister Mladenov (right, sitting) in March 2010. Photo by BGNES

The foreign ministers of Bulgaria and Turkey have discussed the situation with the appointment of a Chief Mufti of the Bulgarian Muslims.

This occurred at the Balkan reception hosted by Turkey in New York City, after the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov allegedly snubbed the form of the event leaving his dinner untouched, with only his Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov remaining to represent Bulgaria.

After that Mladenov had a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu, which made headlines in Turkish newspapers on Friday.

"This is a question which can be resolved within the friendly relations between Bulgaria and Turkey. It should not be causing any crises. There will definitely be a solution to this problem," Davutoglu is quoted as saying after the meeting.

He has not made it clear how exactly Turkey plans to participate in resolving an issue that refers only to the Muslim community in Bulgaria.

The Bulgarian Muslim community has been agitated for months over a court ruling that allowed the reinstatement of former Chief Mufti Nedim Gendzhev, who appears to be resented by many Muslims in Bulgaria because of his alleged involvement in controversial practices.

The Muslim community in Bulgaria generally consists of two large groups - ethnic Bulgarian Muslims (known as "Pomaks") and ethnic Turks. Some ethnic Roma and an increasingly large number immigrants from Arab countries also belong to the Bulgarian Muslim community.

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Tags: turkey, Chief Mufti, Nedim Gendzhev, Ahmet Davutoglu, Nikolay Mladenov, Foreign Minister, Bulgarian Muslims


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