Bulgarian Ethnic Turkish Dissenters to Start New Political Party

Politics » DOMESTIC | August 20, 2012, Monday // 17:19
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Ethnic Turkish Dissenters to Start New Political Party Korman Ismailov (pictured), a former head of the youth organization of the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms, is to set up a new party together with key DPS ex functionary Kasim Dal. Photo by BGNES

Kasim Dal, the formerly closest aide to Bulgarian ethnic Turkish leader Ahmed Dogan, and an independent MP, Korman Ismailov, are starting a new political party.

This was announced Monday by Korman Ismailov himself, in a move that has been widely anticipated for months.

Both Dal and Ismailov broke off from Bulgaria's ethnic Turkish party DPS (Movement for Rights and Freedoms) 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 has criticized Dogan publicly for the latter's involvement with the former DS, or 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, a former head of the youth organization of the DPS party, who left the party and became an independent Member of the Bulgarian Parliament.

"The actions and principles that we will be basing our future political actions are to pursue good and clear goals with good means," Ismailov told the Bulgarian National Radio on Monday.

He added that their new political party "will not be a duplicate of the DPS".

"We will do anything possible to get out of this track. We will avoid all those things that led to feudalization, concentration of power, and totalitarian rule (in DPS). This will be a platform for people's participation regardless of the ethnic and religious origin. Our goal is to cover the entire country even though our strongest support comes from the regions that know well Kasim Dal and me," Ismailov explained.

Even though Dal is known to have good relations with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, his ally Ismailov did go on to criticize the current Borisov Cabinet for its economic policy because of its overreliance on infrastructure construction.

Ismailov said in September, he and Dal are to bring together an initiative committee that will organize an assembly to found the new political party.

"The party will be funded entirely in the way stipulated by the law. We will rely mostly on members' contributions but we hope for good results in the next elections in order to be able to quality for a state subsidy," he pointed out.

There have been indications that the new political formation to be founded by Dal and Ismailov may have closer relations with the Turkish government in Ankara than the DPS party. In October 2010, during a visit in Sofia, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan refused to meet with the DPS party leader Ahmed Dogan meeting instead with Kasim Dal, a DPS MP and former deputy chair of the party, who also chairs the group for friendship with Turkey in the Bulgarian Parliament.

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Tags: Kasim Dal, Korman Ismailov, DPS, ethnic Turkish, ethnic Turks, Ahmed Dogan, political party, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, turkey, Turkish Prime Minister

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