Bulgarian Nationalists Move to Ban Turkish from Rallies
A heated debate took place in the Bulgarian Parliament Wednesday on legislative amendments proposals for rallies and protests to be carried out only in the Bulgarian language.
The proposal was tabled by four MPs from nationalist Ataka party, who argued that use of any language other than the official one in Bulgaria is divisive.
This was vehemently opposed by MPs from liberal Movement of Rights and Freedoms, which is largely supported by Bulgaria's sizeable Turkish minority.
As things stand, Bulgaria's Law on Rallies and Public Assemblies does not limit languages to be used at such events, but the electoral legislation specifies that election campaigns should be carried out only in Bulgarian, which is the sole official language in Bulgaria.
The Movement for Rights and Freedoms has repeatedly made proposals to alter that regulation and allow for Turkish and other languages to be used in election campaigns, to serve the needs of local communities.
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