New Authoritarian Slide in Turkey 'Could Threaten Bulgaria'- Ex PresidentOpinions | July 17, 2016, Sunday // 11:06| views
Bulgaria's former President (2002-2012) Georgi Parvanov. File photo, BGNES
The possibility of "an ever more authoritarian regime' in Turkey is the big threat Bulgaria could be facing, former President (2002-2012) Georgi Parvanov has said.
In an interview private national NOVA TV station, Parvanov, widely seen as a potential candidate for president this autumn, he has warned the political situation in neighboring Turkey is deteriorating and has called on Europe to help Turkey in the observation of democratic values.
"We are interested in a stable Turkey as our neighbor, instead of having a country there that is a source of tensions," he has argued.
His comments follow a foiled coup d'etat in Turkey that has resulted in the beginning of purges of the army and the judiciary, with authorities blaming a "parallel structure", a clear reference to allies of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah G?len.
"I share the view that this coup [was] strange, but cannot say anything else," Parvanov has added.
"The march of Erdogan from Marmaris to Istanbul strikingly reminds of the return of Napoleon to Paris. These things look a bit exaggerated."
Erdogan was in the southwestern resort of Marmaris at the time of the coup, and swiftly departed for Istanbul where he was greeted by a multitude that had been called on to support the democratically elected government.
Parvanov has also called into question the move to dismiss thousands of judges hours after the coup. "How do you explain the dismissal of 2700 magistrates? On what grounds? They don't know who the organizer is, but already know as many as 2700 judges are a hindrance to the state."
The former head of state is known for his close ties to Russia. He is currently the leader of ABV party, a left-wing organization that splintered off the biggest opposition BSP (at the time it was in the cabinet in 2014).
ABV itself was part of Bulgaria's current minority coalition cabinet, but withdrew earlier this year.