BULGARIAN COMMUNIST PARTY AND THE ASSIMILATION POLICY TOWARDS THE TURKS IN BULGARIA

Abstract

Author(s): Nuri Ali TAH?R

Bulgarian Turks are still the largest Turkish minority in the Balkans. Despite gradually facing an oppression from the Bulgarian authorities and being subject of toughest assimilation policy Bulgarian Turks managed to keep their presence in the country. In 1989 forced expulsion of Turks from Bulgaria was a direct result of assimilationist policies implemented by the Bulgarian Communist Party. This article examines restrictive policies of the Bulgarian Government and their discriminating character which aimed preventing the creation of an independent Turkish culture in Bulgaria. The alphabet revolution in Turkey and the adoption of new letters by the Bulgarian Turks was another process which was not approved by the Bulgarian side in order to cut the connection between Turkey and the Turks in Bulgaria. The adoption of communism in Bulgaria was more harsh in regions were Turks were living since they were the land owners who had to face the confiscation of lands. Bulgarian side decided gradually to decrease the rights of the Turkish minority by ignoring its commitments under the treaties and agreements signed with the Ottoman Empire and Turkey.

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