Bulgarian Politicians Slam Turkish 'Interference' in Election Campaign

Southeast Europe | March 6, 2017, Monday // 19:56|  views

DOST and its leader Lyutvi Mestan (pictured) are often accused by their opponents of being fifth columns of Turkey. File photo, BGNES

Right-wingers and nationalists have in Bulgaria have vented anger over remarks of Turkey's Labour Minister who urged expats to vote for DOST party in the early election on March 26.

The Reformist Bloc coalition has issued a statement to "voice a strong concern at reports of the Bulgarian News Agency that a member of the Turkish government campaigned among Bulgarian expats in Turkey in favour of a certain political force."

"We deem this to be an unacceptable interference in our country's internal affairs," the RB's position reads.

The leader of one of the biggest nationalist parties, VMRO, has also lashed out at the minister.

In a press release, Krasimir Karakachanov has also expressed outrage at a campaign video by DOST which begins with old footage of Turkey's Ambassador to Bulgaria, Süleyman Gökçe, and DOST leader Lyutvi Mestan walking together to attend a commemoration.

In Karakachanov's words, the "appearance" of the Ambassador amounts to a "violation of the Vienna convention" and a "stark provocation aimed at showing which party Turkey sides with".

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Tags: DOST, turkey, Reformist Bloc, VMRO, Suleyman Gokce


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