Bulgarian Ethnic Turkish 'Dissidents' Deny Involvement in Dogan Attack
The attack on Ahmed Dogan is a political provocation, according to Kasim Dal, the top "dissident" from the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms party, DPS.
In December 2012, Dal and Korman Ismailov, a former head of the youth organization of DPS, founded a new party – National Party Freedom and Dignity, NPSD.
Dal spoke Tuesday at a briefing in Sofia, saying his political formation strongly condemns the attack and firmly rejects any hints and claims it could be linked to it.
"We are making politics, not violence. We believe in the competence of Bulgarian authorities to do their job and oppose haphazard statements," said he.
Ethnic Turkish leader Ahmed Dogan was attacked Saturday by a man brandishing a gas pistol during the DPS Eight Annual Conference as he was delivering a speech.
At the same conference, Lyutvi Mestan was elected DPS Chairman while Dogan was made Honorary Chairman of the political formation.
Police detained the man on the spot and identified him as Oktay Enimehmedov, a 25-year-old ethnic Turkish resident of the city of Burgas, with a previous criminal record for assault and theft.
On Sunday, Sofia City Prosecutor, Nikolay Kokinov, announced Enimehmedov will be charged with grave hooliganism and making a death threat. The Sofia Regional Court ruled Monday to keep the attacker under permanent detention.
On Tuesday, Dal and Ismailov also condemned the thrashing of the attacker after he was already pushed to the ground and was held down helpless.
Ismailov joined thousands of other Bulgarians, who are demanding legal proceedings against politicians who took part in the brawl.
Dal voiced strong suspicions the delegates who were the most aggressive in the beating would lead the DPS ballots in the upcoming general election. He accused them of destroying evidence during the melee, thus impeding the investigation and the prosecutor's office.
The NPSD leader posed the question where the famous Dogan bodyguards have been and insisted on answers.
When asked which political formations they rule out as possible coalition partners, Ismailov listed the far-right, nationalist Ataka, the conservative Order, Law and Justice, RZS, and DPS.
He noted the left-wing Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, harbors concealed nationalism, and still has senior officials who have been involved in the so-called "Revival Process," a campaign of the Communist regime to change the names of Bulgarian Muslims with Christian ones.
Dal was firm politicians who are emblematic for the hardships during the painful transition of the country from Communism to democracy, such as Ahmed Dogan, must go into retirement.
Regarding DPS, he said that making Dogan Honorary Chairman and Mestan replacing him at the post would not change anything.
"They want to put some makeup and change their image, but it all boils down to one Communist State Security Agent giving the power to another. Dogan will still have the last word in everything the party does. I have nothing against Mestan, but he will be the one taming the fires," said Dal.
Both Dogan and Mestan have been exposed as Communist Security Collaborators under the respective codenames Sava and Pavel.
Dal and Ismailov broke off from DPS back in January 2011 after scandals caused by a conflict between Dal and Dogan.
After some two decades of close political and personal friendship, including with respect to the establishment of the local DPS organizations all over Bulgaria, Dal criticized Dogan publicly for the latter's involvement with the former State Security, the secret police and intelligence of the Bulgarian Communist regime.
The formal reason for his rift with Dogan was criticism of the way the long-standing leader has been running the party, which according to Dal resembles a "personal fiefdom".
After Dal was excommunicated by the DPS leadership, he was joined by Korman Ismailov, whom Dogan earlier called "one of the most promising young politicians in DPS." Ismailov left the party and became an independent Member of the Bulgarian Parliament.
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