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The Movement for Rights and Freedoms. Turk Flagman of Bulgarian Post-Totalitarian Liberalism

Associate Professor Vladimir Chukov, Ph D


    The coup within Bulgarian Communist Party leadership on 10 November 1989 conformed to the growing expectations of Bulgarian people for radical political shifts. One of the aspects of the crisis in-depth was measured by accumulated mistrust between Bulgarian majority and the local ethnic minorities on the social level.1 The functioning totalitarian political system fed up a discrepancy between rulers and governed. The difference in question had been maintained artificially by the logically motivated and century - long coexistence within Bulgarian multiethnic society. The "revival process"2 remains the gravest disgrace of the former Communist regime. Maybe this social injustice and political crime had created or to some extent influenced the background's establishment process of both framework of the national democratic political game and the features of local ethnic construction. The Bulgarian people ignored, from psychological point of view, the aggressive-destructive type of Balkan nationalism quite typical for the Serbs and other post-Yugoslav nations, by approving its nihilistic and solidarist version.3 Thus, the specific and pessimistic local nationalism stimulated the complex Bulgarian Statehood process through opting for moderate ethnic reconciliation and stoic resistance of the existing shrinking situation of all Bulgarian citizens. The Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) as political representative of the biggest ethnic group in the country, the community of Bulgarian Turks, played a very special role.

II. Democracy conceives the Movement for Rights and Freedoms

    There was a wide range of reasons that speeded up a process of identification and homogenization of Turk minority in post-totalitarian Bulgaria. Maybe immediate overcoming activities for "revival process" consequences became a major motive for community cohering. The resisting illegal Turk National Liberation Organization during the Communist period had been registrated as Movement for Rights and Freedoms on 4 January 1990 in Varna. This political subject shifted Bulgarian political map and made an impressive entry of Turk community in the local political game. The organizational obstruction of the leadership of the principal democratic organization - Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) outlined the further Turk community behaviour.4 MRF started by faltering move, but gradually succeeded to rise up to third political party level with important parliamentary presence.5

    After the first democratic parliamentary elections in 1990 MRF had to face the most significant political challenge. The Constitutional Court was referred by the ex-Communists about the illegal status of MRF regarding Article 11, paragraph 4 of the new Constitution voted in 1991.6 The extremely dramatic lawsuit, which ended in favor of MRF, discontinued the collective political persecution of the local Turks. In the same time, it demonstrated the overwhelming mistrust of the leading Bulgarian ethnos towards the minorities. It was one of the greatest victories for the newly established political subject. The Constitution prohibits political parties founded on ethnical and religious background. Inversely, the Constitutional Court formal decision rejected the accusation of Bulgarian public opinion concerning a presumptive MRF destructivism and territorial separatism. Indeed, the accumulated public doubt remained within Bulgarian majority. Thus, the newly elected MRF leadership had to gain an insight into dihotomic controversy challenge: how to defend minorities' collective rights in the country and how to incorporate itself into the 13 century during Bulgarian Statehood tradition based on the "ethnic nation" or" political nation" concept.7 MRF had to detect an appropriate matrix of combination between minorities' zeal towards reaching European standards in the field of human rights and preventing the same ethnic groups from the radical reaction of the majority forced to rebuild its State on democratic pluralistic principles. It was a very difficult option, whose characteristics are socially figured on and mathematically calculated.

    MRF strategic plans and tactical means for their realization that were refracted by the specificity of atrophied transition environment and in-group ethnic background compelled the leadership to declare Liberal ideological orientation of the political organization. So, Ahmed Dogan, the first elected leader and remained unchangeable until now, made the right political choice seeking the appropriate ideological range among the family of the biggest Bulgarian post-totalitarian political players. MRF flew the flag of ideological Liberalism for three main reasons:

    There is another very important reason on the pragmatic level, which pushed forward Bulgarian Turks to choose a Liberal ideological disguise. It was the sole significant ideological niche that remained unoccupied in competition with other Bulgarian political subjects. Transition political pattern imposed a very strong bipolar system that stimulated political subjects' diffusive movement from the innovative ideological center to radical and often extremist left or right wing. Post-totalitarian inertia and Balkan psychological mentality of Bulgarian society hindered or delayed the regrouping process efficiency towards gradual establishment of a monolith and influential Liberal center on the political map. The rising Liberal political parties remained minuscule and were characterized by lack of electoral weight. So, when MRF was seeking for appropriate ideological outlines its leadership did not meet a serious ideological challenge represented by a dozen Liberal organizations including those of the ex-President Jelio Jelev, the ex-defense Minister D. Ludjev or headed by former UDF deputies. All of them benefited by several thousands of supporting votes against several hundred thousands for MRF.

    Pragmatically, Bulgarian Turks adopted Liberal ideological emblem for entry the unstable centrist political area aiming to monopolize the magic bar for balancing and moderating the extremities. In the same time, Liberal doctrine seems deeply ingrained in MRF logic of structure building process and democratic behaviour. It is due to the specificity of monolith and coherent Turk ethnic group, not to some instinctive enthusiasm or ideological perfectionism. So, MRF Liberalism is not ideological, but predominantly positional or operational one. A. Dogan operates with it cleverly with the other political players so as to pass for moderate, responsible and comprehensible politician. MRF leader deals with a wide range of tactical approaches (including linguistic) for building an appropriate coalition alternatives or for guaranteeing furthers useful cooperation. On January 2001 Dogan ventured to declare himself nationalist bearing in mind the negative feelings and the public disapprobation of this political ideology in changing post-Communist Bulgaria.11 He took an account of the fact that for a Bulgarian citizen with Turkish root nationalist belonging would acquire inverse, positive sense. The nationalist ideology attachment for a Bulgarian Turk means political loyalty to Bulgarian State, which is sincerely doubted by Bulgarian majority. Professor K. Petkov, leader of the small United Block of Labor admitted that only A. Dogan may claim to be nationalist without provoking a local and international criticism.12

    As far as MRF may pivot on the largest ideological spectrum partners (Social-Liberal or Conservative (Christian)-Liberal amalgam) it may participate in any Bulgarian government. In 1991 MRF supported a right-centrist coalition with UDF, while in 1992 Bulgarian Turks restructured parliamentary majority by voting new left-centrist government with BSP. In 1994 MRF lost its "spinning-wheel" capability due to the fact that in 1994 BSP and in 1997 UDF carried the majority. Despite its long-term opposition period MRF conserved its electoral influence on the community of Bulgarian Turks. In 1997 facing the consecutive schismatic attempt Dogan stressed that "MRF became opium for its supporters." He proved his statement by presenting the decisive support of Turk community for the current President P. Styanov in competition with his Socialist opponent I. Marazov. In 1999 MRF confirmed its third place in the municipal elections. A. Dogan was proud to declare that MRF is represented in 25 regional centers from among 29 ones. Notwithstanding, the movement municipal advisers benefit from a decisive and balancing role within the above mentioned regional parliaments.

III. Split movements within MRF and Turk community

    According to the official census in 1992 there are about 1 110 000 Muslims in Bulgaria.13 800 000 declared themselves Turks.14 Due to the deterioration of the economic conditions Bulgarian Muslims (especially the Turks) massively migrated to Turkey. This process is still going on and because of the illegal forms of migration, the exact size of Bulgarian Turk community is still unknown.15

    However, after MRF establishment the Turk electoral support remains concentrated on its candidates. This kind of political behaviour is almost categorical and can be expressed by the following: in 1990 there were 540 000 votes for MRF, approximately 95% of Turk voters; in 1991 - 380 thousands, approximately 90% of Turk voters, in 1994 - 260 thousands, approximately 80% of Turk voters and in 1997 - 240 thousands, approximately 75% of Turk voters.16

    The above mentioned statistics prove the monolithic character of the ethnic community. At the same time, we witness several attempts for MRF split as a result of internal disputes or initiated by external factors, which are aiming to decrease MRF influence among the Turk minority in the country. Adem Kenan, former MRF deputy, provoked the first schismatic movement. In 1991 he founded Turkish Democratic Party (TDP), which remains unacknowledged by the State. His radicalism, based purely on secular Pan-Turkism, excludes other minorities and Bulgarians. The federalist State structure (Bulgarian and Turkish autonomy districts) proposed by Kenan was refused by a wide Bulgarian public opinion including the majority of Turk community. In early 1991 TDP program and charter were considered as extremist and unacceptable for the new democratic State. MRF leadership dissociated itself from the radical approaches claimed by Kenan for ethnic problem solution in the country.17

    Mehmet Hodja, another former party deputy, initiated the second significant schismatic movement derived from MRF. His Party for Democratic Changes (PDC) has to be considered as a personal revolt against the centralized ruling methods of A. Dogan. However, PDC acquired a regional profile, strictly limited to the district of Kardjali, the biggest Southeast Bulgarian town with considerable Turk presence. In the parliamentary elections in 1994, the PDC mobilized 24 000 votes that represented approximately 0,2% of the total votes and 4% of the Turk voters. This electoral failure announced its political death.18

    The next two attempts for dissipating MRF political and electoral capabilities are related to the aspirations of the biggest local political subjects - BSP and UDF. The former catapulted Nedim Gendjev, former Chief Mufti by aiding him to establish Democratic Party of Justice (DPJ). As a former cleric, his political formation seemed to utilize religious rather than ethnic slogans, emphasizing priority contact with the Arab world. Paradoxically, this was mixed with Socialist egalitarian elements, which shaped its utopian character and ultimately resulted in failure. The DPJ also remained a regionally represented party. Gendjev organized bases predominantly in Northeast Bulgaria, around the town of Shumen, ignoring the Southeast and the Southwest, also populated by Muslim and Turk communities. Logically, the DPJ shared the destiny of the preceding schismatic parties. It earned 24 000 and 27 000 in the 1994 and 1997 legislative elections, respectively, and also has been marginalized.19

    The last important split attempt has been going on up to the present political dislocation in the country. The UDF, as governing party since 1997 has been making great efforts to isolate the MRF leaders from their basic supporters by involving them in different levels of its political power. Far example, Ivan Kostov, UDF leader and current Prime Minister appointed former MRF activists Mustafa Kuchukov as deputy Defense Minister as well as Gulbie Redjeb as head of department in the Ministry of Regional Building despite the categorical disapprobation and prohibition of similar assignments in Bulgarian high level administration. Aiming to speed up the split process in MRF, UDF leadership offered a few deputy chairs to the most violent opponents to Ahmed Dogan. Mid-1997 saw the establishment of the most important duplicate formation. It adopted the name of National Movement for Rights and Freedoms (NMRF), a very opportune electoral tactic, bearing in mind the potential confusion with MRF.

    Guner Tahir, former MRF vice president and deputy, headed the newly founded party. With UDF assistance he quickly constructed a wide network almost covering the entire country. However, according to the estimations in the autumn of 1999, the anti-MRF effects once more proved mediocre because of the appeals of UDF leaders to their MRF opponents to approve their coalition during the municipal elections in 1999. Indeed, despite the loss of some several dozens of thousands of votes MRF confirmed its third electoral place within the map of Bulgarian political players. An average MRF electoral loss in percentage is lower in comparison with its principal opponents. The anti-MRF politics of UDF seem to move into instinctive hatred expressed by the thoughtless statement of Ivan Kostov that MRF is malediction for Bulgaria. In this way, Bulgarian public opinion faced the important question about sustainable Bulgarian ethnic construction implementation. This topic became one of the most important divergences between the main ideological tendencies, including the pattern proposed the liberal MRF.

IV. Bulgarian Ethnic Model

    The appropriate underlying principle of clarifying of national ethnic puzzle or logic of confessional harmony remains one of the fields of contradiction between BSP, UDF and MRF. How Bulgarian State would guarantee ethnic coexistence depends, to some extent on the speed of economic development and the social welfare implementation aimed by all social subjects in the country. MRF and especially A. Dogan made very serious attempts to theorize the way in which the minorities may be involved in the different levels of the State administration. Using his philosophical knowledge and research capabilities MRF leader pushed forward a theoretical drafting of this matter after the massive NATO strikes in Kosovo. As a whole, the war in neighbor Yugoslav region speeded the process of theorization or elaborating an appropriate vision regarding sustainable Bulgarian ethnic configuration. It seems that the military option imposed by foreign (NATO) intervention in immediate proximity to Bulgarian borders compelled the main political subjects to make proposals in this matter. BSP and MRF initiated several national workshops and international conferences aiming to develop and to expose the theoretical concepts. Later, the ruling UDF also created "minority relations" department in its headquarter. So, we saw three approaches about the ethnic problems' solution in Bulgaria. The outlined difference emerges strictly on practical level responding to the question of how the 13% Muslim minority community has to be involved in the hierarchic power of the State administration:

  1. On 6 May 2001 UDF leader Ivan Kostov stressed the necessity of "new ethnic model". Its basic principle is "the ethnic identity is not privilege and the members of each ethnic group are equal in competition for State administration posts."20 Predominantly, UDF conceptual framework may be assessed as demagogic because of the absolute leading role of Bulgarian ethnos during the 13-century history of the local State building process. Besides, Plamen Ivanov, regional governor of district of Kirdjali and the principle anti-MRF ideological constructor was appointed as person in charge of "minority" field within newly elected UDF governing staff. Thus, UDF approach means no minority representatives' involvement in the power outside UDF elite, because of minorities' insufficient political abilities.21

  2. BSP approach remains influenced by Communist ideological inheritance in this field. Indeed, they condemn the so-called "revival process", but the Turks and the Gypsies involvement in the power is limited by conjectural electoral circumstances. BSP tactics consists of a permanent flirt with MRF leadership just for seducing its elite by proposing minor positions and levels in the State administration vacancies. The coalition BSP-MRF government headed by Professor L. Berov is a sample of haughty behaviour of BSP towards MRF. The Socialists did not accept ethnic Turk as member of the government despite a decisive MRF support for it. So, BSP approach means limiting the involvement of minority representatives in the power, only for sake of gaining MRF' votes in the parliament.22

  3. MRF elaborated the most detailed and convincing approach towards gradual involvement of the minorities in the power. Since 1990 A. Dogan as well as other activists like L. Mestan, O. Oktay, etc…developed various ways for fair proportional representation of minorities in the power. They claim that only a worthy participation in power may ensure a peaceful matrix of Bulgarian ethnic construction. An inverse or delayed formula may lead to extraordinary situation stimulated by neighboring Macedonia's internal radicalization. U. Lutvi, member of MRF leadership shares the idea that Macedonian war works in favor of MRF in Bulgaria and outlines MRF role of guarantee of the peaceful political transition in the country.23 So, the liberal purposes for ethnic pattern may be summarized as follows:

  1. Stepping towards State governance decentralization through pushing forward the administrative reform. It means increasing the competencies of the mayoralties, especially in the financial and material resources field. It would be very useful for work efficiency of the MRF mayors and municipalities dominated by MRF majority. Decentralization means more MRF effective participation in the local governance.

  2. Imposing a positive investment climate in the so-called "mixed regions". MRF endeavors in this field, but as an opposition party since 1994 its capabilities remain quite limited. Indeed, the unemployment level in those districts is higher (approximately double) in comparison with labor market in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, etc…

  3. Implementation of an updated legislative program for improved collective rights and freedoms protection measured by the existing European standards. After the ratification of the Framework Convention for protection of National minorities MRF claimed speeding up the legislative process by voting the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages. An antidiscriminative law within appropriate Bulgarian framework gets into dynamic and ambitious MRF legislative program. The reason for MRF's proposing the law in question is the low level of adaptability or the atrophied sociability of the minority group in their competition with the leading Bulgarian ethnos in the labor market. So, this kind of law will represent State protective function and corresponding care for special group of its citizens aiming to build a just and prosperous society. MRF concept is based on the presumption that the law under consideration really represents the equal starting point for all Bulgarian citizens, regardless of their ethnic belonging and religious confession. Indeed, an antidiscriminative law would be a precedent for post-Communist and especially for Bulgarian Statehood and ethnic experience since Asparuh founded Bulgaria in 681.24

V. The Rising Royalty. New Liberal Challenge for MRF

    In 2001 MRF has to face a new political challenge that rose in the person of Simeon Second, former Bulgarian monarch.25 He declared himself ready to participate in post-totalitarian political life of the country and to help Bulgarian people to find new deserving place in the family of European nations. Simeon Second Political Movement attracts a wide range of dishonored social groups that suffered from the grim economic conditions in Bulgaria. As a whole, National Movement Simeon Second (NMS II) became to some extent electoral and ideological MRF opponent. Its ideas and propaganda penetrated in the neutral, centrist area by winning the so-called "protesting vote" of Bulgarian citizens. So, NMS II eroded to some extent the electoral support for MRF. Maybe it does not comprise the Turk community as monolith electoral corpus, which is instinctively connected with MRF ideals. Certainly, the "elective erosion" is applied to the disintegrated and heterogeneous Roma ethnic group, which is represented in Bulgarian society approximately by 10 political parties. The electoral pressure of the new centrist political player made MRF leadership to undertake clever steps towards real ethnic non-capsulation of the party. As the Liberal NMS II appears as to be the future winner of 17 June 2001 elections, MRF pre-oriented its electoral policy towards openness and collaboration with electoral groups that did not represent its traditional target objects. Maybe after 10 years of its establishment MRF indeed tried to concentrate its attention on all minority communities in the country. By the way, MRF claims to be defender of Bulgarian minorities, but in general this political organization remains essentially supported by the Turks.

    Roma community became an alternative electoral tank for schematic compensation for the decreasing support of the Turk community. Some analysts stated that the process of "gypsization" is going on within MRF.26 By the way, we once witness the political flexibility of A. Dogan, who took into consideration the extraordinary circumstances of elections 2001 provoked by the radical mobilization of NMS II supporters. Undoubtedly, the royal formation became the main political player and its participation would certainly recalculate the appropriate figures for the 4% electoral threshold. All that caused the break down of a supposed coalition partnership with any Bulgarian centrist or liberal party. So, the insignificant positional support of Bulgarians (it is calculated not more than 10 thousands votes) has to be replaced by Roma votes. MRF negotiated a coalition partnership with Euroroma aiming to neutralize a certain loss of Bulgarian votes and a supposed loss of Turkish votes by feeding up MRF political presence through the immense electoral potential of Bulgarian Gypsies. MRF leader runs a risk by collaborating with the political party in question because of the unpredictable behaviour of Gypsies as a whole and the criminal past of Euroroma leader, Tzevetelin Kanchev.

    So, for the first time A. Dogan stressed the necessity of "ethnic vote" mobilization aiming only to become parliamentary presented political party. Therefore, conjectural negotiations and political compromises are still going on. A. Dogan contacted Dr. Nedim Gendjev for coalition partnership and proposed further cohesion between the two political organizations, which represent Turk community in Bulgaria. A similar step has been implemented a year ago towards Democratic Party of Changes, headed by Mokades Nalbant, successor of Mehmed Hodja. In general, A. Dogan tried and succeeded to unify whole Turk minority on political level, except NMRF of G.Tahir, who is still hesitating about his political plans and aspirations within the Conservative coalition of United Democratic Forces, leaded by UDF. All pre-electoral activities in question may be characterized as tactical steps for involving the local Turk community in the legislative power. In the same time, MRF ethnic capsulation may be perceived as an ideological regress and deviation from the Liberal principles of social openness and ethnic dissolving in Bulgarian society. It seems that NMS II created political obstacles that have to face not only the main political subjects, but MRF too. Unfortunately, NMS II rearranged and restructured the well-known political spectrum and it pushed away its opponents towards the positional ideological extremities by marginalizing and instinctively radicalizing their behaviour and means of political program implementation. If BSP and UDF acquired the qualification of "extremists", undoubtedly MRF became ethnic party. Thus, MRF has been forced to return to its roots.

VI. Conclusion

    MRF celebrated its 10-th anniversary last year. A. Dogan and his collaborators declared themselves proud of MRF political heritage, which is measured by the significant size of the political influence within Bulgarian society. Despite MRF may step back the third place in the coming electoral competitions, certainly the political party of Bulgarian Turks acquired enough potentialities for monopolizing the symbolic and the real representation of all minorities in the country. MRF became irreversible component of Bulgarian democratic decor. We may summarize MRF importance on both social and political levels as fellows:

  1. MRF started as political subject of the biggest Bulgarian ethnic minority - the Turks. After 11 years of parliamentary activities and controversy political biography it succeeded to gain the other minorities' instinctive predisposition. Two other Muslim groups (Gypsies and Pomaks) are seeking to some extent MRF political "guardianship".

  2. The Liberal doctrine remains superficial, not well understood and plays the role of ideological cover for the perspicacious and ambitious MRF leadership. There is an evident discrepancy between the leftist electoral leanings and sympathies of the low status Turkish community from social point of view and the Liberal ideological choice of MRF leadership from political point of view. Therefore, we may characterize MRF Liberalism as positional, conditional (of compromise) and functions as tool for ideological disguise. It seems that Bulgarian Liberalism is a beautiful ideological "domino" exhibited by local political players who are aiming to mystify their real social contents (MRF) or their real sneaking ambitions (NMS II).

  3. MRF is not only the real innovator of Bulgarian ethnic model, but also the guarantee of the peaceful political transition of the country. Some of the main political actors underestimate the case of MRF' elimination from the local parliamentary life. They claim the replacement of A. Dogan and his collaborators by alternative representatives of the Turkish minority. In practice, it is not possible because MRF became "an original brick" in the wall of Bulgarian ethnic mosaic. The shift of the original version may lead to the undesirable development of the internal ethnic relationship.


  1. Aminov, A., Turkish and Other Muslim Minorities of Bulgaria, London, Hursh&Co, 1997.
  2. Andreeva, R., Nation and Nationalism in Bulgarian History, Sofia, Lik, 1998.
  3. Brunner, G., Nationality Problems and Minority Conflicts in Eastern Europe, Gutersloh:Bertelsmann Foundation Publishers, 1996.
  4. Bulgarian Electoral Statistics, Bulgarian Association for Democratic Elections, Sofia, 1994.
  5. Bulgarian Electoral Statistics, Bulgarian Association for Democratic Elections, Sofia, 1997.
  6. ISIM Newsletter, International Institute for Study of Islam in the Modern World, Leiden.
  7. Jeliazkova, A., B., Aleksiev and J. Nazarska, The Muslim Communities in the Balkans and in Bulgaria, Sofia, 1997.
  8. Kanev, K., Legislation and Politics Towards the Ethnic and Religious Minorities in Bulgaria, in: -Communities and Identities in Bulgaria, Sofia, 1998.
  9. Kovacs, P., A Comparative Typology of Ethnic Relations in Central and Eastern Europe, Open Society Institute, Budapest, 1998.
  10. Martiniello, M., L'ethnicite dans les sciences sociales contemporaines, Paris, P.U.F., 1995.
  11. Movement for Rights and Freedoms, 4-th National Conference, January 29-30, 2000.
  12. Mutafchieva, V., and A., Jeliazkova, Turkey between the East and the West, Sofia, Open Society, 1998.
  13. Parvanov, G., Bulgarian Ethnic Model. From Integration of Ethnic Communities towards National Efforts - In: The National Idea and Ethnic Relationship from 20-th up to 21 Century, Bulgarian Model, Sofia, 2000.
  14. Poutignat, P., et J., Streiff-Renart, Theories de l'ethnicite, Paris, P.U.F., 1995.
  15. Rupeshinge, K., Ethnicity and Power in the Contemporary World, Tokyo, United Nation University Press, 1996.
  16. Sega, Newspaper, Sofia.
  17. Simsir, B., The Turks of Bulgaria and the Immigration Question. -In: The Turkish Presence in Bulgaria, Ankara, Turk Tarih Kumuru, 1986.
  18. Stoyanov, V., Turkish Population in Bulgaria Between the Poles of the Ethnic Politics, Sofia, Lik, 1998.
  19. Thompson, R.H., Theories of Ethnicity, New York, Greenwood Press, 1989.
  20. Trud, Newspaper, Sofia.
  21. Turkish Democratic Party, Program and Charter, 1991.
  22. 24 hours, Newspaper, Sofia.
  23. Vassileva, D., Bulgarian Turkish Emigration and Return, International Migration Review, V. 26, N 2, 1993.
  24. Union of Democratic Forces, 14-the National Conference, April 14-15, 2001.

1.Aminov, A., Turkish and Other Muslim Communities in Bulgaria, London, Hursh & Co, 1997, p. 34.Back

2."Revival process" is called the forced administrative shift of the local Muslims' names from Turk-Arabic into Slavic ones. It was implemented by the ex-Communist regime of T. Jivkov. Bulgarian historians consider that the "revival process" lasted from 1984 to 1989.Back

3.Chukov, Vl., Bulgarian Islamic Partization, paper presented at the international conference Civil Society in Central Asia, 6-8 June, 2000, Bishkek, Kyrghystan.Back

4.The Movement for Rights and Freedoms, 4-th National Conference, 29-30, January 2000, Sofia, p. 37.Back

5.After Union of Democratic Forces and Bulgarian Socialist Party.Back

6.Kanev, K., The Legislation and the Politics Towards the Ethnic and Religious Minorities in Bulgaria, in: - Communities and Identities in Bulgaria, Sofia, 1998, p. 99.Back

7.Stoyanov, V., Turkish Population in Bulgaria Between the Poles of the Ethnic Politics, Lik, Sofia, 1998, p. 174.Back

8.Dogan, A., Report on 4-th National Conference of MRF, January 29-30, 2000, p. 9.Back


10.Ibid…p. 7-8.Back

11.Trud, Newspaper, Sofia, 21 January 2001.Back

12.Interview with Kr. Petkov, Trud, Newspaper, Sofia, 21 January 2001.Back

13.The results of the last census in 2001 are not given yet.Back

14.300 000 are Gypsies, 4 500 are Tartares and others.Back

15.Vassileva, B., Bulgarian Turkish Emigration and Return, International Migration Review, v. 26, N2, 1993, pp. 23 - 41.Back

16.Bulgarian Electoral Statistics, Bulgarian Association for Democratic Elections, Sofia, 1997, p. 39.Back

17.See Program and Charter of Turkish Democratic Party, 1991.Back

18.Bulgarian Electoral Statistics,….1994, p. 23.Back


20.24 hours, Newspaper, Sofia, 6 May 2001.Back

21.UDF 14-th National Conference, April 14-15, 2001, p. 9.Back

22.Parvanov, G., Bulgarian Ethnic Model from Integration of Ethnic Community Towards National Efforts - In: The National Idea and the Ethnic Relationship from 20-th up to 21 Century, Bulgarian Model, Sofia, 2000, p. 3-9.Back

23.Movement for Rights and Freedoms, 15 May 2001.Back

24.Mestan, L., Paper presented at the Workshop Ethnic Politics, Sofia, 2001, p. 8-21.Back

25.He was in exile since 1946 when illegal referendum, which was manipulated by the Soviet army, abolished the monarchy in Bulgaria.Back

26.Sega, Newspaper, Sofia, 14 May 2001.Back