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DIPLOMACY >Bulgarian police forcefully taking bribes from Turks at border: EP Turkey rapporteur

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Bulgarian border security officials have been forcing Turks living in Europe to give bribes while travelling by land through oppression, the European Parliament’s Turkey rapporteur Kati Piri said in a report submitted to the European Commission on Sept. 4. 

In the report, Piri said Bulgarian officials at the border were forcing Turks driving from Europe to Turkey to give bribes, otherwise they would ticket them for no reason, make them wash their vehicles for disinfection, or make them wait long hours in queues for almost 14 hours under the sun.  

Kari submitted the report together with her colleague Kathleen Van Brempt, a Belgian social-democratic politician who currently serves as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP).

The Turkey rapporteur will also submit the report to the Sofia government, which will take over the rotation of the presidency of the Council of the European Union from Estonia in January 2018, according to BBC Turkish. 

Piri said the European Commission should get its hands on this problem seriously as Bulgaria has not been able to prevent corruption at its border for many years now. She said the rights of Turks, who are citizens of different European countries, were being violated by another European country. 

Tekin Ateş, a citizen of the Netherlands but of Turkish origin, is one to have shared the problems he has been going through on his way to Turkey through Bulgaria with Piri. In a statement also aired on a Dutch TV channel, Ateş claimed that apart from bribes, Turkish-origin nationals were made to buy exit stamps sold for higher costs as places selling cheaper stamps were “deliberately” closed.  

Piri also called on from her social media account Turks going through similar problems on their way to Turkey to share their experiences with authorities.

September/05/2017

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