Bulgarian Nationalists Rise against 'Unconstitutional' Ethnic Turkish Party

Domestic | October 23, 2012, Tuesday // 14:29|  views

The few nationalists who protested Tuesday in front of DPS's headquarters in Sofia carried photographs of Bulgarian military leaders in the 1912-13 First Balkan War. BGNES

Nationalists from Bulgaria's VMRO party have staged a protest in Sofia, demanding that the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) party be declared unconstitutional.

Scores of activists of nationalist parties VMRO and Ataka protested against DPS over the refusal of municipal councilors from DPS to declare Gen. Vasil Delov honorary citizen of Kardzhali posthumously, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the liberation of the southern Bulgarian city from Ottoman rule.

Protestors carried posters saying "DPS – National Traitors", "DPS - Fifth Column of Erdogan", and "DPS - Hands Off Kardzhali."

"Since these people refuse to grant Gen. Delov honorary citizenship, to us they are also negating the liberation of Kardzhali and this is DPS' way of showing what will happen when they become strong," Angel Dzhambazki from VMRO stated.

He pointed out that the liberation of Kardzhali was part of Bulgaria's national liberation and Bulgaria's national unification.

"DPS showed us what rights and freedoms actually means – a dictate of an ethnic Turkish party, an anti-Bulgarian party, an un-constitutional party, which simply and straightforwardly denied one part of Bulgarian history," he suggested.

Nationalists from VMRO insist that the Municipal Council in Kardzhali should be disbanded because it has become "illegitimate" and is no longer a "Bulgarian municipal council."

The protesters also demand a review of the decision rejecting the awarding of honorary citizenship to Gen. Vasil Delov.

Ethnic Turkish party DPS has opposed the awarding of honorary citizenship to Delov on the grounds that "the memories of the Balkan War are still alive, they affect people living today, and there are unhealed wounds".

Gen. Vasil Delov, born in the mountain town of Kotel in 1859, then still in the Ottoman Empire, was a hero from the Serbian-Bulgarian War in 1885, and the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913, which were fought by Bulgaria after much of its population was left outside of its territory under the 1878 Berlin Treaty.

During the First Balkan War, in which Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, and Montenegro fought their former conqueror, the Ottoman Empire, Delov commanded the Bulgarian forces that took over much of the Rhodoppe Mountains, including the liberation of Kardzhali. In 1913, he participated as a commander in the Battle or Siege of Adrianople.

During the Second Balkan War, in which Bulgaria was attacked simultaneously by Serbia, Greece, Romania, and Ottoman Turkey, Delov was a division commander in the southwest facing Greek forces.

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Tags: VMRO, nationalists, ethnic Turkish party, ethnic Turkish DPS, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, Kardzhali, Ataka, Vasil Delov, Ottoman rule, Balkan War, honorary citizen


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