Bulgarian Nationalist Outraged by 'Mother Tongue' Debate
The leader of Bulgaria's ultranationalist Ataka party, Volen Siderov, is demanding that colleague MP, Hussein Hafazov, is stripped of immunity.
"The prosecutor's office is very quick to react at times; let's see what it will do now," said Siderov on Friday, speaking for media in the Parliament's hallway.
The motive for the above demand is a statement of the Member of the Parliament from the liberal, predominantly ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), Hussein Hafazov, which he made after the lawmakers, voting on texts of the new Election Code, rejected the possibility of election campaigning in native language other than Bulgarian.
In his statement the MP declared that he was going "to walk the path of Osman Kalic, Ahmed Davutoglu from the village of Iskra, the path of Nuri Adala and Ahmed Dogan."
The mention of Ahmet Davutoglu fired up a number of those present and prompted all MPs from the formerly-ruling opposition centrist Citizens for European Development of Bulgarian party (GERB) and Ataka to leave plenary hall.
In a second statement, Hafazov clarified that the mentioned Davutoglu is not the Turkish Foreign Minister, and that all names were of Bulgarian citizens who have fought for the rights of minorities; were repressed and murdered in the name of democracy.
An hour later, Siderov presented new information, which he insisted, was proof that Hafazov purposely used Davutoglu's name to stir a provocation.
"Bulgarian citizen Ahmet Davutoglu has been born in the village of Iglika in northeastern Bulgaria in 1912. Between 1942 and 1949, he was a teacher and head of the religious school in Shumen. In 1949, he moved to Turkey where he died at the age of 83. This individual has never been repressed or sent to prison; has never been intimidated over his religious beliefs. This is a lie and provocation," said Siderov.
He further stressed that another mentioned person, Osman Kalic, has been sentenced in 1946 on espionage charges and extradited to Turkey, where he had a successful political career as advisor to three Turkish presidents.
"These are Mr. Hafazov's examples – a spy and someone who was never persecuted. If he gives as example people who were part of terrorist groups or working for a foreign country, then the prosecution must react," stated the nationalist leader.
Volen Siderov recently gave up his immunity on the request of Chief Prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov.
Earlier in January, the nationalist verbally assaulted a French cultural attaché during a Sofia-Varna flight and later attacked a passenger and a police officer in a Varna airport shuttle bus, according to witnesses. He denies any wrongdoing and believes the whole incident is part of a plot against him.
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