Bulgarian Liberal Party Deplores Plovdiv Mosque Attack

Domestic | February 15, 2014, Saturday // 11:32|  views

MRF leader Lyutvi Mestan. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian liberal party Movement for Rights and Freedoms has issued a declaration protesting against the recent attack against the main mosque in Plovdiv.

"The MRF Central Bureau and parliamentary group sharply denounce the vandal attack against a religious temple. In essence this is an assault on the unencroachable territory of human inner life," says an official statement of the party issued Saturday.

MRF, which is known to be supported by many of Bulgaria's ethnic Turks, further said that it sees the events of Friday as orchestrated to destabilize Bulgaria's government, which is supported by the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Movement as a junior coalition partner.

"Parties in parliament must to show responsibility, for peace in the country needs a true political commitment and opposition to ethno-religious hatred," say the liberals.

Friday some 2,000 people, many of them football fans, assembled in Plovdiv in protest against the Bulgarian Chief Mufti's office's claim to ownership of an old mosque in nearby Karlovo, which for many decades has not served as temple.

The Karlovo property claim is not the only one, the Muslim confession having made multiple such court attempts, which have worried some and even led to allegations of outside influence coming from Turkey.

The rally in Plovdiv turned violent, as protesters started pelting stones and flaming rockets into the city's Cumaya (Dzhumaya) mosque.

Then they attempted to also attack the Turkish consulate, but were dispersed by riot police, who arrested no less than 120 of them.

In their statement Saturday, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms criticized Plovdiv mayor Ivan Totev, who allowed the event, and Karlovo mayor Emil Kabaivanov, who was present at the protest.

The MRF further call on the police and all authorities in charge to work swiftly to bring perpetrators to justice and not allow further such incidents.

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Tags: Movement for Rights and Freedoms, liberal, MRF, Plovdiv, Karlovo, mosque, Ivan Totev, police, protest, protesters, turkey, ethnic Turkish


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