EUROPE > Raid on Turk-Bulgarian bashed


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EPA photo

EPA photo

“Turkey attaches great importance to its relations with neighbor, friend and ally Bulgaria, and is willing to support these relations with concrete cooperation projects in a way that would contribute to the welfare and well-being of the peoples of the two countries.”

Doğan was addressing delegates of his Movement for Rights and Freedoms (HÖH) party when a tall man dress in black leapt onto the stage, rushed to his podium and pointed the non-lethal weapon at his head, video footage showed. Visibly stunned, Doğan flung the attacker’s arm away before a shot could be fired. The man tried to point the gun once again but it “seems to have misfired,” according to Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov. Both men fell to the ground in the ensuing scuffle. A handful of conference delegates rushed to the stage and kicked the assailant. Television footage showed the young man’s bloodied face as police dragged him away.

The suspect was later identified as a 25-year-old ethnic Turk from the eastern city of Burgas, who already had a police record for drugs, robberies and hooliganism, according to Agence France-Presse. The man was carrying two knives as well as the gas pistol, police chief Valery Yordanov said. Experts who later examined the gun confirmed that it was non-lethal. The three bullets loaded in it could not have threatened Doğan’s life if properly fired, Yordanov said, adding that the man would likely face a charge of grave hooliganism rather than attempted manslaughter.

In Sofia, hours after the attack, Doğan announced his resignation, which had been widely expected regardless of the attack. “This time my decision is categorical!” he said, proposing that his deputy, Lyutvi Mestan, replace him as head of the HÖH party.

Politics behind murder?

Meanwhile, Mestan called on the authorities to find out the “political personality” behind the murder attempt, speaking to Bulgarian National Radio yesterday. If the authorities do not reveal these people, they will be responsible for the attack, said Mestan, adding her opinion that the attack was part of an attempt to demonize the HÖH.

Doğan prided himself on his role in maintaining Bulgaria’s peace while ethnic conflicts raged across the country’s Balkan neighbors in the 1990s. The Turkish minority, which was subjected to assimilation policies, won key rights under his leadership including free religious expression, political representation in Parliament, Turkish classes in schools and Turkish-language news broadcasts on state television.


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cezer "çapulcu" skonore

1/20/2013 7:21:35 PM

From the beginning, I was suspicious about the genuineness of the attempt. It looked like the assailant is staging a play. The assailant could have shot Mr. Dogan earlier when he was walking to the podium, if it was his real purpose.


1/20/2013 4:48:36 PM

Strange event. His mental state and capacity should be checked. I want to believe that Bulgaria has come a long way from the days of ethnic cleansings and strife.

What If

1/20/2013 2:03:50 PM

I'm sure it had something to do with the Ataka party - whom despise Turks in Bulgaria. The Ataka party had stated in the past to give Kirdzhali to Turkey because of the fact that it was full of Turks and that they didn't belong in Bulgaria. Its a typical nazi regime whom believe that they are better than everyone else.

mila karaooglu

1/20/2013 1:46:35 PM

The suspect was a Turkish-Bulgarian Muslim. So much for the assault on the Turkish minority, it assaulted itself.


1/20/2013 2:16:03 AM

Lucky escape for Ahmet Dogan as well as for Bulgaria, since it would stir up the country and would have set inner dynamics into play such that things would change for good. As for the Turkish government, they strongly have to condemn this act and need to side with their Turkish brothers in Bulgaria. The Turkish MIT has to find the persons behind this pawn and defuse them in such a way that they can never harm the Turkish community as well as it's leaders.

Eric Martin

1/20/2013 1:10:10 AM

Why are there turks living in Bulgaria?

dim souk

1/20/2013 12:47:29 AM

@ Kerem atan .The man is from turkish minority with heavy criminal records. Maybe is a passion crime and not political !!!

Petar Kanev

1/19/2013 11:25:20 PM

The attacker was identified as 25-year old Oktay Enimehmedov from Burgas, so much about your hypothesis, Mr. Atan. The gun (a non-lethal gas one) was not loaded - it simply lacked a magazine. Most Bulgarians are convinced this is a fake attempt, aimed at whipping the MRF electorate together. And, of course, convincing Turks abroad that their brethren in Bulgaria are mistreated.

Turiddu Giuliano

1/19/2013 8:39:48 PM

The attacker is Oktay Enimehmedov a 25 year old man who is of Turkish ethnicity. This detail is already on the net since a few minutes after the attack.

Engin Atik

1/19/2013 8:12:04 PM

He did not have to get that close if his aim was to kill the speaker. His aim seems to generate this picture to be published in the media. Apparently he had no plans for escaping after the assassination as the video showed. This seems like an effort in the direction of ethnic and sectarian polarization. It is too early to tell what political aim it serves.
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