It has been 30 years since the communist regime, which had been in power in Bulgaria for 45 years, launched an assimilation campaign against Turks and other Muslims in the country.
Eski It has been 30 years since the forced migration in Bulgaria, sparked by the assimilation campaign of the communist regime in power in 1944-1989, to Turks and other Muslims in the country.
The Communist Party of Bulgaria (BKP), which overthrew the government in 1944 with the support of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), tried to assimilate Turks and other Muslims in the country during the last years of its 45-year term in power.
To create a one-nation state, the communists imposed a ban on worship and changed the names of Turks and Muslims. The end of 1985 replaced the names of 310 thousand people as a result of ”Bulgarianization ” attempts.
Twenty-four people were killed in the Resistance of Muslims against the assimilation campaign in the country.
The resistance, which began around the city of Gibraltar, spread throughout the country. TodorJivkov, the head of the communist regime that was overthrown in 1989, opened the borders with Turkey when he failed to achieve his goal. About 360 thousand Turks migrated to Turkey.
A 1991 lawsuit against the assimilation campaign expired. Jivkov, Interior Minister DimitarStoyanov, Foreign Minister PatarMladenov, and Politburo member Pachokubadinski are no longer alive.
The AA correspondent compiled the reasons for forced migration from Bulgaria and the traces left over the past 30 years in the light of information obtained from the presidency of Turkish and relative communities abroad (YTB).
What is forced migration out of Bulgaria?
Forced migration out of Bulgaria came at the end of the process of assimilation and repression by the communist regime in that country against the Turkish minority living in Bulgaria between 1984-1989.
The 1989 migration to Turkey was one of the significant human tragedies of the continent, not only in terms of the history of the Bulgarian Turks but also in terms of the history of Europe in the post-World War II period.
What were the reasons that drove the Turks to emigrate?
Turks were forced to change names, and fines were cut for those who spoke Turkish. The Turks were prevented from performing their religious duties, and the use of elements belonging to Turkish culture was prohibited. The Turks, who resisted these practices and claimed their national identity, were sent to Belene, known as torture island.
How did the migration process happen?
The Turks were forced to emigrate on 29 May 1989 by statements from communist leader Jivkov. From the beginning of the process, Turkey, which was by the side of its descendant, opened its doors to the Bulgarian Turks.
June-July-August 1989 period intensified migration traffic in one year resulted in 345,960 people coming to Turkey. In the second half of 1990, about 360 thousand descendants came to Turkey with the migration movement.
Who is Baby Türkan?
Baby Türkan was in his mother’s lap on December 26, 1984, when Turkish people gathered in Killi District of Kardzhali Province, Bulgaria, to protest the name change.
Baby Turkan, who was killed at the age of 18 months as a result of a random shooting by Bulgarian law enforcement officers on the crowd, has become a symbol of the Resistance of Bulgarian Turks.
Baby Türkan is commemorated at the head of his tomb in Bulgaria every year on December 26. There are also monuments in various provinces of Turkey in memory of the martyred baby.
30th Anniversary Activities of Forced Migration of YTB
On the 30th anniversary of the migration from Bulgaria, the YTB organized commemorative programs and symposia in Kocaeli, Bursa, and Istanbul.
Last month’s loyalty program, hosted by the YTB, was one of the highlights of these activities for the diplomat and writer Osman Kılıç, one of the opinion leaders of the Bulgarian Turks who completed their 100th year in the 30th year of migration.
On 6-7 December, YTB will organize an international symposium titled “Forced Migration of Turks from Bulgaria in 1989: perceptions of migrants after 30 years” in partnership with the Center for Balkan and Black Sea Studies (BALKAR), which is part of Istanbul Yıldız Technical University.
Bulgarian-Turkish-English languaged website, which offers migration content, has also been launched in its 30th year.- The regime led by the then communist dictator TodorJivkov forced the Turks to change names
– Fines were cut for Turkish speakers, Turks were prevented from performing their religious duties
– As a result of the assimilation campaign, 360 thousand Turks had to emigrate to Turkey
– Baby Türkan, who was killed in his mother’s lap in 1984 when she was just 18 months old, became a symbol of the Resistance of the Bulgarian Turks.