Bulgarian College Heads Want Turkish Ambassador's Recall over Diploma Scandal
Bulgarian college heads are expected to demand Wednesday the recall of Turkish ambassador to Bulgaria, Ismail Aramaz over an accusatory letter signed by him in connection with the suspended recognition of Bulgarian-issued college diplomas due to forgery suspicions.
The Council of College Presidents in Bulgaria is holding a meeting Wednesday to discuss the matter.
Vanyo Mitev, Chair of the Council of College Presidents and President of the Medical University in Sofia, told the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) that the letter was quite scandalous and quite unexpected.
"The letter is dated September 28.The Turkish Ambassador issued eleven orders, instructing us what to do and what not to do," Prof. Mitev stated.
"The existence of structural and firmly established problems in the current system caused by well-organized interested groups must be recognized," Mitev cited one of the orders.
"This is madness. He wants us to admit that we are a mafia structure. This is extremely offensive and we hope that the Foreign Ministry will contact the Turkish Ambassador to ask him what he means by saying that there are "well-organized interested groups" in our system of higher education," the President of the Medical University in Sofia insisted.
He added that Education Minister Sergey Ignatov had reported the letter to Prime Minster Boyko Borisov and Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov.
"If our Foreign Ministry fails to react yet again, I am lost for words. The other ten points are pure nonsense," Mitev said.
In end-July, the Turkish University Education Council announced it was suspending the recognition of Bulgarian-issued college diplomas for an indefinite period of time.
Claiming that forgery of exam marks and college diplomas in Bulgaria had grown to organized crime proportions, Turkey recommended abstaining from applying at Bulgarian colleges.
The Turkish University Education Council refused to revoke its decision despite the Lisbon Recognition Convention ratified by the Turkish Parliament and despite the fact that the probe conducted by Bulgaria's Ministry of Education, Youth, and Science found no irregularities.
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