Bulgaria Ex-President Says Ankara Working to Wield Influence on Bulgarian TurksDomestic | February 8, 2016, Monday // 09:22| views
Bulgaria's President (2002-2012) Georgi Parvanov. Photo by BGNES
Representatives of "the Turkish state" are applying pressure on ethnic Turks in Bulgaria, Georgi Parvanov, former President (2002-2012) and leader of coalition ally ABV, has said.
He has told private NOVA TV broadcaster that diplomatic and consular officials are carrying out such activities particularly in the country's southern region, which is home to a vast part of the ethnic Turks, numbering hundreds of thousands in a country of 7.2 million.
In his words, Turkish officials are trying to intimidate both locals and activists with predominantly ethnic Turk DPS party, recalling the fate of hundreds of thousands who were forced to leave Bulgaria in the latter part of the 1980s, amid the events known as "the Revival Process".
Parvanov, whose ABV party advocates Bulgaria's closer ties to Russia, has made clear he has received "enough information" about the developments taking place, and has called on Prime Minister Boyko Borisov to hold a meeting of the national security council on the issue.
His words come as tensions between Russia and Turkey have been building up for months after the downing of a Russian Su-24 warplane at the Turkish-Syrian border.
They also follow a crisis within the DPS party in December, when the party's then leader Lyutvi Mestan was expelled after honorary chair Ahmed Dogan accused him of betraying national interest by siding with Turkey in the conflict.
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