The head of Bulgaria's Democrats for Responsibility, Solidarity and Tolerance Party (DOST Party), Lütfi Ahmet Mestan, has urged the Bulgarian government to provide minority status to Turkish-Bulgarians, illiciting a reaction from a government official.
Stating that the ethnic national understanding of Bulgaria only serves assimilation policies against Turkish-Bulgarians and other Muslims in the country, Mestan said the DOST Party is against all kinds of separatist movements."As an ethnic Turk, I want to be respected, I do not want anything more than Bulgaria demands for its cognates that live in Albania, Ukraine and Hungary," Mestan said, indicating that the notion of a Bulgaria that consists of only one ethnicity cannot be argued in the country, although there can be more than one ethnicity within a country.
He further added that he had to speak in Bulgarian during his election campaign, which he said violated his right to speak in his mother tongue. He also said that his children could not receive Turkish lessons and native language classes are still optional in the country.
In response to Mestan's demands to get minority status, the Bulgarin deputy prime minister and defense minister, Krasimir Karakachanov said such statements are provocative and called for the prosecutor's office to take action against it.
"Mestan has been involved in politics for a long time now. If in all this time he read the Bulgarian constitution, he would have seen that Bulgaria does not provide [rights to] collective minorities but only provides personal rights," Karakachanov said.
Bulgaria is home to a 700,000-strong Muslim population, most of them ethnically Turkish, while at least 200,000 Turkish-Bulgarians with passports live in Turkey. The two groups make up more than 10 percent of the population.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.