Bulgaria's Ruling Party Leader Compares Crimea to Kurdjali

Politics | March 19, 2014, Wednesday // 17:10| Views: | Comments: 28
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Bulgaria: Bulgaria's Ruling Party Leader Compares Crimea to Kurdjali Bulgarian Socialist Party's Leader, Sergei Stanishev

We should consider a situation in which a secession referendum is held in Bulgaria's city of Kurdjali.

Sergei Stanishev, Bulgarian ruling party's leader, made these comments for Bulgaria's Trud newspaper, immediately provoking the outrage of MPs from both the ehtnic Turkish Movement of Rights and Freedoms (DPS), which is in the government, and center-right opposition GERB, Dnevnik.bg has reported.

Stanishev, who raised the "hypothesis" in relation to Monday's secession of Crimea from Ukraine and its annexation to Russia, was referring to a Southern Bulgarian city located in a region where a large ethnic Turkish minority has lived for centuries.

His remarks expectedly sparked controversy, with DPS allies warning against making ill-grounded claims.

The opposition party GERB threatened to file a complaint to the State Agency for National Security (DANS) and called on Stanishev to explain further his words.

The DPS's leader, Lyutvi Mestan, asserted that "no Bulgarian citizen has denied to unconditionally accept the Republic's territorial integrity, sovereignty and state borders".

He was adamant that nothing in Bulgaria could lead to Crimea-style referendums.

In the interview, Stanishev used the widely criticized scenario to justify his position that the situation on the peninsula must be assessed more carefully, considering their possible consequences at a regional level.

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Tags: Sergei Stanishev, Kurdjali, Crimea, Russia, Lyutvi Mestan
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» To the forumComments (28)
GrueFski - 2 Apr 2015 // 05:11:07

1. "If Turkey closes the straits for Russia, Bg and Greece should close their land border with Turkey so that Turkey's trade with the West is brought to a halt."

Well a closing of the land border with Turkey may not be allowed by international law (I really don't know if that is the case, but let us assume it is), therefore increasing the transit fees 1000 times will have the same practical effect. Bulgarian and Greek carriers in their vast majority do not transport goods to/through Turkey, unlike their Turkish counterparts. Turkish road carriers not only transport goods to Western Europe (both EU and non-EU member states), but also to Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, FYROM and Serbia.

2. Romanian authorities didn't buy Saint Dimityr Basarbovski's relics from Basarbovo monastery monks, who were/are their only rightful owners. Buying them directly from other Bulgarians or indirectly from other Bulgarians (through some Russians' mediaton, Russians being the direct vendors) has no legal value. The rightful owners remains Basarbovo monastery.
3. Exchange of cultural heritage objects between Bulgaria and Romania has no relevance to Bulgaria's relations to other countries, to third-party countries. The fact that Bulgaria and Romania/Greece might proceed to such an action constitutes N O obligation for Bulgaria to do such a thing with FYROM, Serbia, Turkey or any other country.
Also such an exchange should be made on a one-object-for-one-object basis, obviously only in case Bulgaria stands to win, otherwise a "wholesale" exchange can be made, the total of x objects from Bulgaria in exchange for the total of y objects from the other country, provided the latter concurs, agrees.

Forbes - 20 March 2015 - 1 Apr 2015 // 20:26:21

The U.S. made a big deal about the rights of ethnic minorities there known as the Tatars, which account for around 10% of the population. Of the 4% total that said they did not endorse Russia’s annexation, the vast majority — 55% — said that they feel that way because they believe it should have been allowed by Kiev in accordance with international law. Another 24% said the referendum vote was “held under pressure”, which means political or military threats to vote and vote in favor.The GfK survey also asked if the Ukrainian media have given Crimea a fair assessment. Only 1% said that the Ukrainian media “provides entirely truthful information” and only 4% said it was “more often truthful than deceitful.”

Forbes - 20 March 2015 - 1 Apr 2015 // 20:24:56

In June 2014, a Gallup poll with the Broadcasting Board of Governors asked Crimeans if the results in the March 16, 2014 referendum to secede reflected the views of the people. A total of 82.8% of Crimeans said yes. When broken down by ethnicity, 93.6% of ethnic Russians said they believed the vote to secede was legitimate, while 68.4% of Ukrainians felt so. Moreover, when asked if joining Russia will ultimately make life better for them and their family, 73.9% said yes while 5.5% said no.
In February 2015, a poll by German polling firm GfK revealed that attitudes have not changed. When asked “Do you endorse Russia’s annexation of Crimea?”, a total of 82% of the respondents answered “yes, definitely,” and another 11% answered “yes, for the most part.” Only 2% said they didn’t know, and another 2% said no. Three percent did not specify their position.

With two studies out of the way, both Western-based, it seems without question that the vast majority of Crimeans do not feel they were duped into voting for annexation, and that life with Russia will be better for them and their families than life with Ukraine. A year ago this week, 83% of Crimeans went to the polling stations and almost 97% expressed support for reunification with their former Soviet parent. The majority of people living on the peninsula are ethnic Russians.

Forbes - 20 March 2015 - 1 Apr 2015 // 20:22:19

One Year After Russia Annexed Crimea, Locals Prefer Moscow To Kiev
Comment Now Follow Comments

The U.S and European Union may want to save Crimeans from themselves. But the Crimeans are happy right where they are.

One year after the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula in the Black Sea, poll after poll shows that the locals there — be they Ukrainians, ethnic Russians or Tatars are mostly all in agreement: life with Russia is better than life with Ukraine.

Little has changed over the last 12 months. Despite huge efforts on the part of Kiev, Brussels, Washington and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the bulk of humanity living on the Black Sea peninsula believe the referendum to secede from Ukraine was legit. At some point, the West will have to recognize Crimea’s right to self rule. Unless we are all to believe that the locals polled by Gallup and GfK were done so with FSB bogey men standing by with guns in their hands.

GrueFski - 31 Mar 2015 // 13:35:55

1. Even the almighty and the all-democratic US considered building a wall to prevent illegal immigration from Mexico, even though US economy needs cheap labour like the one from Mexico, for fear that the country's population might become Hispanic (plurality- or majoritywise) and ethno-demographically hijack/implode the country. No more bragging about democracy when you're about to become a minority in your own country (actually it's the native Indians' country).
2. Romania's ethnic/national minorities policy is not that good as it pretends: no territorial-ethnic autonomy allowed so far, despite it having existed during communist Romania (!) and existing in Moldova, no recognition of the Aromanian and Megleno-Vlach (wrongly called "Megleno-Romanian") minorities despite existing requests by some of those minorities' members, discrimination against (at least) some of the ethnic minorities (especially Roma), censuses' ethnic results falsification and so on.
In Bulgaria there are no ethnic/national minorities (just like in France and Greece), only ethnic communities. If someone is not content with that go complain to the French and ask them to reconsider their policy on ethnic minorities (or complain about the French at the EU).

GrueFski - 24 Mar 2015 // 21:27:22

No 1 Bg priority: get rid of the Roma (regardless of Muslim or Christian - most of the Christian Roma in Bg are those vlaski cigani, being native Romanian speakers they can be object to Romanian breakaway propaganda (which has already been tried on at least the last 2 Bulgaian censuses: Romanians from Romanian part of Dobruja arrived in Dobrich and Silistra regions, and even in Varna region (which was never a part of Romania), trying to convince those Romanian-speaking Roma to ask for the creation of a Romanian minority, when Bg Constitution (just like the French and Greek ones) doesn't allow national/ethnic minorities, only ethnic communities. In fact some of those Roma, maybe most of them, have developed a distinct Rudarian national conscience (rudari is what they call themselves; Romanians also call themselves rudari). After the minority creation, request for ethnic rights, complaints that their ethnic rights are not implemented by Bulgarians, briefly, sabotage of Bulgarian statehood both at home and in the EU (anti-Bg propaganda: not "respecting" ethnic minorities' rights, pro-Russianism). When the number of Rudars gets really big and therefore dangerous, territorial separatism, asking for Romania to help them escape Bg discrimination, oppression, suppression.
No 2 priority: Do no allow FYROM into EU

Krali Marko - 29 Mar 2014 // 17:06:43

I see that nobody even referred to the history of Crimea. Crimea has historically been Russian until 1954 when the Moscow apparatchiks decided, for whatever reason, to annex Crimea to Ukraine. Does anybody even know about the Crimean war 1851-1854. Russian soldiers spilled their blood for Crimea. Russia was protecting the rights of the orthodox Christians in the region against Ottoman, French and British aggression. Russia deserves to claim the land as theirs. If it wasn't for Tsarist Russia, we Bulgarians would of been vassals of the Ottomonas for quite a while. The western powers didn't care about us. Why are we trying to suck up to them so much. They don't care about our economic prosperity....to be continued

Peter o - 21 Mar 2014 // 09:01:23

Optimistic, comments are made based on what we have seen and experience as people who have visited and have lived in Bulgaria. The question is how come Bulgaria remained the baby of EU, it has refused to grow up. Even if I owned a house, how would I spend 340 leva(170) euro salary???.....Electricity and water bills, heating, pay my transport to work, after paying all of these, what is left for me to live??? ZERO!! Are people not working so they could live? We are not even talking about the fact that people are afraid to take hot bath. Why is the standard of living in Croatia, a new EU member better than that of Bulgaria? Let's us be candid when we write comments about Bulgaria. Bulgaria simply have no good government, politicians are a joke.

Optimistic - 20 Mar 2014 // 21:22:13

John you make good points.

Politicans are good and bad like most people, would you prefer to have The Patriarch running the country as he is a good man?

Pesnsions need to be increased a lot, this would require higher taxation or more debt or both, would you agree to these?

Reading a lot of posts people are so negative about the country and I guess this means we are negative about each other which is not goood.

I am far from perfect so I don't expect great things from other people or politicans, but we have a responsibility to contribute what we can to make our communities as good and as friendly and as positive as we can.

I guess I will get a lot of negative crap from this, it is what I expect from the forum, but our lives and behaviour should be more positive.

Behemoth - 20 Mar 2014 // 16:15:19

John Doe,

"Then please enlighten me, if Bulgaria has such a good system, why are the Pensions at 200 lv. Why is the education system in pieces. Why is the trust in the current government so low? Why is law and order such a joke.
--> because Bulgaria is not a Democracy"

There are plenty of idiots like Optimistic who think that having average pensions of 200lv. is "a good system" and "Bulgaria is envied by the rest of the world." In Bulgaria these idiots make the biggest part of the electorate. They are very busy to protect the "human rights" of the "Bulgarian minorities" in Uzbekistan (or was it Uganda) and monitoring the "free referendum (at gunpoint)" in some part of the Soviet Union, when they are not busy clubbing foreigners or Bulgarians who are not looking "sufficiently Bulgarian" - but they are not at all busy in working, creating jobs, improving the living conditions, infrastructure, health or educational system in their own country. because everything in this Idiocracy is so nice and so perfect that the rest of the world cannot sleep at night because of envy. A nation of bootlickers, boozers, mutra, prostitutes and chalga singers. What do you expect???


St Dimityr Basarbovski - 20 Mar 2014 // 15:38:53

This is what happens when siding with Russia: you get American "scientists", either corrupted with money by Slavic Macedonian government, or out of sheer anti-Russism publishing things like that:

"Macedonian folk song in a Bulgarian urban context : songs and singing in Blagoevgrad, Southwest Bulgaria
Peters, Karen Ann."

There are no Macedonians there: both the ethnic self-identification of the Slavs there as well as the linguistical features of the Slavic dialects spoken by them make them Bulgarian. According to this "logic" if there is 1 Pirot or Vranja Serb who still declares himself as Bulgarian that makes those dialects Bulgarian. If the minority and the lack of logic rule then let them rule in all cases (Pirot and Vranja dialects are transitional to Bulgarian and Macedonian). If 1 Skopje Macedonian Slavs declares himself Serb then both the Skopje dialect and the Slavic Macedonian standard language become Serb dialects and so on.

St Dimityr Basarbovski - 20 Mar 2014 // 15:16:37

The alternative is for Bg to be allowed by the West to kill 8000 of them, just like the Serbs were allowed by the UN troops to kill 8000 Muslims in Srebrenica
Bulgaria should not be discriminated against Croatia and Serbia.

St Dimityr Basarbovski - 20 Mar 2014 // 15:14:19

The percentage of Krajina Serbs who have never returned to Croatia after the Croatian-Serb war of the 90s should be applied in Bg's case, meaning the same percentage of Turks and Roma with Turkish self-identification should be stripped of Bg citizenship and expelled to Turkey. The rest of them and the Romas with Romanian and Roma ethnic self-identification should be stripped of Bg citizenship and moved to the no-man lands between Bg-Ro and Bg-Turkey border. They should stay there until they starve or Romania and Turkey take them in and give them their citizenships.

Warfou - 20 Mar 2014 // 14:53:52

Turkey seems not be a problem for Bulgaria anymore. I would rather think of 300.000 Russians having their summer appartments on the Black Sea. What if they ask Russia to "protect" them?

St Dimityr Basarbovski - 20 Mar 2014 // 12:02:31

Although I don't recommend siding with pro-Serb Russia this time

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