Turkey Calls for Calm as Bulgaria Threatens Veto
Days after Sofia threatened to block Ankara's application to join the European Union, Turkey's foreign minister has urged the Bulgarian government to avoid statements that could hurt bilateral relations.
“The friendship between Bulgaria and Turkey is for the good of the two countries. It would be much better if statements that might hurt this freindship are avoided,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Tuesday, taking up a journalistic question.
The call comes shortly after Bozhidar Dimitrov, Bulgarian cabinet minister without portfolio who runs the country's Agency for Bulgarians Abroad, said Sofia may block Turkey's application to join the European Union unless it pays out billions of euros in compensation for displaced people, in a case dating back to the days of the Ottoman Empire.
Bozhidar Dimitrov pressed the claim in remarks to the Bulgarian newspaper, 24 Hours, on Sunday (3 January). An official in the Bulgarian government's press office, Veselin Ninov, told EUobserver on Monday that Dimitrov's statement reflects government policy and that the dispute is being handled by a Bulgarian-Turkish intergovernmental working group. The information was cited on Tuesday by a number of Turkish newspapers, including Sabah, Zaman and Radical.
Talking to journalists on Tuesday, Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu pointed out that important issues between the two countries, such as this one, should not be commented through the media.
In his words the relations between Ankara and Sofia are a model of excellence for the region, while their cooperation is of mutual interest and sets an example on the Balkans.
Sofia has not approached officially Ankara with regards to these claims, Ahmet Davutoglu said.
Bulgaria and Turkey concluded a deal in 1925 in which they agreed the value of the lost land and property, but the compensation has never been paid. In 1983 the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry claimed that the assets left behind by the expelled Bulgarians were worth USD 10 B.
Minister Bozhidar Dimitrov however says that considering the years of foot-dragging Sofia is within its rights to demand at least twice as much money.
- » Reuters: Russia Says Trump Invited Putin to U.S. During Phone Call
- » Erdogan and Merkel Discussed Syria in a Telephone Conversation
- » Presidents of Three Countries Will Meet in May
- » President Radev in Moscow in May, then Putin Comes to Bulgaria
- » PM Boyko Borisov Welcomed Denis Zvizdic in Sofia
- » Greece, Macedonia See Progress at Name Change Talks
I don't care about the money, Turkey should not be allowed to even get an application in the first place. Turks are so incompatible with Europeans, the idea of allowing a non-European country to join the EU is so preposterous.
Besides that, Turkey should get the f out of Europe and Eastern Thrace territory should be returned to Bulgaria.