Ethnic Turks in Bulgaria Need New Rightist Party

Bulturk

Ethnic Turks in Bulgaria Need New Rightist Party – Bulturk

novinite.com, July 6, 2013 Bulgaria’s ethnic Turkish citizens need a new political party alternative to the liberal Movement for Rights and Freedoms This is the opinion of Rafet Uluturk, chair of Bulturk, one of the leading organizations of the Turkish-Bulgarian diaspora in Turkey. According to Uluturk, who spoke for Bulgaria’s Focus Information Agency, this new party must be rightist. “Whenever the Bulgarian Socialist Party wins elections, its traditional partner is the Movement for Rights and Freedoms,” said he. “But when a rightist political party must form a cabinet, Bulgaria’s ethnic Turks remain not represented in the government,” added Uluturk. Bulgaria’s current cabinet led by PM Plamen Oresharski was elected May 29 with the votes of the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms. Founded as a party in early 1990, the ALDE-affiliated Movement is traditionally seen as Bulgaria’s “ethnic Turkish” party. Even though Bulgaria’s Constitution forbids the creation of political parties on the principle of ethnicity, many of the Movement’s voters come from Bulgaria’s large ethnic Turkish minority. The party has been represented in each Bulgarian parliament since its creation. However, it has been plagued by chronic allegations of ties to murky business structures, and criticized about the authoritarian rule of longtime leader Ahmed Dogan who has chaired the party since the start in 1990 until giving up early 2013. Late 2012, former MRF vice-chair Kasim Dal and other disillusioned MRF members created the Freedom and Dignity People’s Party. Freedom and Dignity, in coalition with the liberal Movement for National Stability and Prosperity, however did not make it past the 4% hurdle at May 12 snap elections. In recent years, there has been the perception that Ahmed Dogan and the Movement have lost favor with authorities in Turkey. Turkish media have widely reported on the creation of Freedom and Dignity, while Dal and other representatives of the party have been multiple times welcomed by Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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