Turkey Reportedly Recalls Consul from Bulgaria’s PlovdivDiplomacy | January 22, 2016, Friday // 00:07| views
Both DPS expelled chair Lyutvi Mestan (2-R) and Turkey's Ambassador to Bulgaria Suleyman Gokce (3-R in second row) can be seen attending the commemoration event on December 26, 2015. Photo by BGNES
Turkey is said to have recalled its consul from Plovdiv, Bulgarian daily 24 Chasa reported on Thursday citing an “informed source”.
Alper Aktas had been appointed consul of Turkey to the second largest Bulgarian city in 2014. His term of office was set to expire in summer 2016.
The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry has said they would not comment on “decisions relating to a potential termination of the consul’s appointment”, according to 24 Chasa.
The newspaper also said that Alper Aktas was set to become an aide to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, attributing the information to unnamed officials of the country’s consular office in Plovdiv.
Last month, Aktas accompanied Turkey’s Abmassador to Bulgaria Suleyman Gokce to a commemorative event attended by Lyutvi Mestan, the expelled leader of the predominantly ethnic Turk Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), the third largest political party in Bulgaria’s Parliament.
Several DPS MPs, who had sided with Mestan in his row with DPS founder and honorary chairman Ahmed Dogan, were also present at the event marking an anniversary of protests against a 1985-1989 campaign to forcibly change the names of Bulgarian ethnic Turks launched by the Communist authorities.
Earlier this month, Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov called on Gokce to abide by the Vienna Convention and to "do his best" to dispel the impression that he was trying to interfere in Bulgaria’s domestic affairs.
Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has said that he was pressured by both Erdogan and Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to intervene in support of Mestan in his conflict with Dogan.
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