Turkey urges Bulgaria not to restrict political rights of minorities
ANKARATurkey urged Bulgaria on March 9 not to restrict political rights of minorities and to comply with the “rule-based” European system, in reference to a recent law legislated by the Bulgarian parliament that restricts the number of ballot boxes to be established in Turkey to 35.
“The Republic of Turkey is among the founders of the ‘rule-based’ European system referred to in the press release of the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs dated March 7, 2017. It is rather revealing on the other hand, that this reference to the system of rules comes from a country which has passed a special law to limit the number of ballot boxes to be established in Turkey to 35 in order to deprive Bulgarian citizens of Turkish origin living in Turkey of using their right to vote, which is one of their most basic political rights,” Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hüseyin Müftüoğlu said in a statement on March 9.
“We call upon the Republic of Bulgaria to abandon such practices which are intended to restrict the political rights of minorities in the country and are fundamentally contrary to the European rule-based system,” he added.
Müftüoğlu stated that allegations such as the financial incentive purported in the press release of the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry did not comply with the facts, adding that Turkey does not interfere in the internal affairs of any state.
“As it has been the case so far, the Republic of Turkey will continue to provide the most ideal conditions for all Bulgarian citizens in its territory to vote in the upcoming elections in Bulgaria,” he said.