Bulgarian Nationalists Boycott Turkish Defense Minister Visit
Bulgaria's far-right, nationalist Ataka party staged a protest rally Friday against the visit of Turkish Defense Minister, Ismet Yilmaz, to Sofia.
The Turkish Minister, however, was met with honors by his Bulgarian counterpart, Anyu Angelov and three companies – from the land force, the air force and the navy. "The relations between Bulgaria and Turkey are an example of good partnership between neighbors and allies in NATO," said Angelov during his meeting with Yilmaz. The two discussed matters of cooperation in the defense sector.
They also laid wreaths at the Unknown Soldier monument.
Meanwhile, Ataka leaders and followers were seen in the vicinity of the monument, holding signs such as "We cannot be brothers in arms with those who massacred Bulgarians for five centuries," "Turkey Owes Us USD 10 B for Properties in Thrace," and "Boyko, Don't Lead Us to War with Erdogan."
The rally was attended by Ataka leader, Volen Siderov, and Ataka Members of the Parliament, Pavel Shopov, Desisilav Choukolov, and Ventsislav Lakov.
Siderov complained of the strong police presence, saying it was a disgrace and a violation of the rights of the MPs. He reminded that every time a Turkish official is visiting Bulgaria his party was the only one to voice the truth that Turkey is indebted to Bulgaria.
"We represent the position of hundreds of thousands of Bulgarians who voted for us. There is no difference between the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, and the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS. Both work not for Bulgarian, but for Turkish interests," the nationalist leader concluded.
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