Ethnic Turkish Chief: Bulgarians Turned Dogan's Attacker into Martyr

Domestic | January 23, 2013, Wednesday // 11:34|  views

Lyutvi Mestan (center), the newly elected leader of Bulgaria's ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms, at the emergency party press conference after the attack. Photo by BGNES

Instead of condemning the attack against ethnic Turkish leader, Ahmed Dogan, Bulgarians are demonstrating a dangerous trend of turning the attacker into a victim.

The statement was made by Lyutvi Mestan, the newly elected Chairman of the ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS. Speaking for TV+ Wednesday, Mestan said the assailant has been made looking like a martyr and a hero, which was a demonstration of the flaws of Bulgarian democracy which violate texts in the country's Constitution.

The ethnic Turkish leader further stated that even senior officials in Bulgaria have shown deep ignorance about integration of minorities, interpreting it simply as accepting "their way of life."

He stressed integration cannot be implemented to the detriment of identity.

"Identity is a condition for integration. The integration issue is not only a culture problem, it is a very serious economic one," Mestan pointed out.

Last Saturday, police in Bulgaria detained a man after he pointed a gun at Dogan  as he was delivering a speech in the capital Sofia. No shots were fired. The man was identified as Oktay Enimehmedov, a 25-year-old ethnic Turkish resident of the city of Burgas, with a previous criminal record for assault and theft.

In the following hours, thousands of Bulgarians began uniting in outrage from live footage showing DPS delegates at the party's Eight National Conference hitting with fists and kicking the young man, trying to pull his pants down and shouting "kill him," and "beat him." The footage also made international headlines.

The Facebook group demands for them to be legally prosecuted and fairly punished and have launched of a petition for the above.

Oktay's brother, Metin, also asks legal prosecution of the thrashers. Metin has published several pictures of the beating, where he marked the main culprits.

The prosecutor's office informed they would seek legal sanctions against them.

Enimehmedov says he did not actually want to kill Dogan, but to scare him. He, however, also stresses the gas pistol misfired.

Sofia City Prosecutor, Nikolay Kokinov, announced Enimehmedov will be charged with grave hooliganism and death threat. The Sofia Regional Court ruled Tuesday to keep him under permanent detention.

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Tags: Facebook, Prosecutor, gas pistol, death threat, grave hooliganism, Oktay Enimehmedov, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, ethnic Turks, ethnic Turkish, assassination attempt, Oktay Enimehmedov, Lyutvi Mestan, Ahmed Dogan, Nikolay Kokinov, Metin


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