Turks in Bulgaria split to two
Before the early parliamentarian elections to be held on March 26 in Bulgaria, election campaigns have started causing tension between the two Turkish political parties there.
For the 240-seat parliament, 4,732 candidates from 13 political parties and nine coalitions will compete. In a total of 31 constituencies, there will be about 12,600 voting stations. Outside Bulgaria, there will be 400 voting centers. In Turkey, there will be 35 voting stations.
Two Turkish parties are participating in the elections; The Movement of Rights and Freedoms (HÖH), which has joined coalition governments in the past, and a coalition formed by two partiers, named “the DOST Union” coalition. Eight of the 38 deputies of HÖH have transferred to the “DOST Union.”
Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Istanbul units are supporting this union, with aid pouring to Bulgaria. AKP deputies, mayors, and muftis are visiting Turkish villages and towns; in their speeches they are emphasizing on Islam.
In his parliamentary group speech on Tuesday, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu pointed out that Erdinç İsmail Hayrullah, who is a Bulgarian citizen of Turkish origin, from HÖH, was banned from entry to Turkey by the Foreign Ministry. “Why are you angry at Germany? You are worse.
There cannot be double standards in politics. They are separating the Turks in Bulgaria. They have set up the DOST Party against HÖH,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Meanwhile, police have seized 400 aid packages made up of grains and food that the DOST Party was to distribute to the people in Kardzhali (Kırcaali) in southern Bulgaria. DOST, on the other hand, claimed the police was tolerating their rival HÖH’s distributing donations to people with HÖH emblems on them.
Labor Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu has visited the election office of the DOST Union coalition in Istanbul’s Pendik district.
Bulgaria’s population is 7 million; 1 million of whom are Turks/Muslims.
Overcoming tourism crisis
One of the leading tour operators in Europe, the head of the executive committee of Bentour, Kadir Uğur wrote a letter to Tourism Minister Nabi Avcı. In his five-page letter, Uğur is suggesting to launch a huge promotion and advertisement campaign. Some 400 Turkish tourism agencies have come together in Essen on Feb. 25 and have discussed several ideas on how Turkey would overcome this crisis.
They have suggested that when wedding parties are held in Turkey, at least the amount of the Value Added Tax (VAT) should be refunded to the wedding holders. Uğur said he believed that this could be an incentive for those planning to organize their wedding parties in Turkey. Also a promotion from Turkish Airlines (THY) or a gift package would also contribute to the initiative.