‘Death to Turks’ scrawled on mufti building in Bulgaria
SARAJEVO - Anadolu Agency
AA PhotoUnidentified vandals scrawled “death to Turks” on the entrance of a religious affairs office in southwestern Bulgaria late on Feb. 22.
The slogan was marked on the mufti building in the city of Blagoevgrad.
Blagoevgrad mufti Aydın Muhammed described the daubing of the slogan as “outrageous,” and said the local Muslim community had experienced such attacks before, claiming that the identities of the vandals are known but the culprits remain unpunished.
“Some of the attackers of religious structures belonging to Turks and Muslims have been detained, but they were not given to any punishment because [the authorities say] the resulting damage is lower than the minimum wage in the country,” said Muhammed.
It is estimated that Turks constitute about 9 percent of Bulgaria’s more than 7-million population, of which about 1.5 million are Muslim.
In a Facebook post on Dec. 29, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov published a report titled, “To overcome the inhuman treatment and the applied oppression against Turks and Muslims,” in which he slammed the handling of the aftermath of the country’s controversial assimilation practices of the late 1980s.
Borissov, who came to power in November 2014, said “the biggest crime was the attempt to erase evidence,” adding that although Turks were given freedom they were requested in exchange to not call on those responsible for the crimes to be held accountable.
Without giving names, he hinted that Bulgaria’s main Turkish party, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (HÖH), also approved of the situation by turning a blind eye.
Borissov stressed that there would be no political amnesty for the crimes, and that justice must be sought however late.
Bulgarian communist leader Todor Zhivkov’s assimilation campaign against the Turkish minority in the Balkan country resulted in more than 300,000 people migrating to Turkey in the late 1980s.
Bulgarian Turks are the descendants of Turks in the Balkan region, which was ruled by the Ottoman Empire for nearly five centuries.