Daily Sabah: Bulgaria Needs Turkey More Than Ever

Views on BG | December 18, 2015, Friday // 13:07
Bulgaria: Daily Sabah: Bulgaria Needs Turkey More Than Ever Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov (R), shakes hands with the Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu (L), during their official meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria 15 December 2015. Photo: EPA/BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT PRESS OFFICE

In an article published in Daily Sabah on Thursday, columnist Ilnur Cevik argues that Bulgaria needs Turkey more than ever.

Cevik's article follows the recent one-day working visit of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to Bulgaria on Tuesday.

According to him, Davutoglu's visit brought a couple of forgotten realities to light.

The visit showed that Turkey has friends who are prepared to display solidarity with the country as it is facing several crises: the worsening relations with Russia; the unprecedented migrant influx and the ongoing fight against secessionists.

This solidarity was demonstrated by the ambassadors of several Muslim countries, including Palestine, Algeria, Azerbaijan and Qatar, who welcomed Davutoglu at the airport in Sofia.

Cevik then notes that Bulgaria is torn between its historical ties with Russia and its Euro-Atlantic commitments arising from its membership to the EU and NATO.

In his words, Bulgaria's lack of progress in EU integaration is clearly visible in the capital Sofia, which resembles a Turkish city from the 1970s, with both the city and the country in the need of a serious facelift.

The author argues that Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov is struggling to bring stability to the country as people have started to express discontent with the poor management of EU funds.

Cevik identifies the ordinary Bulgarian as supporter of the EU, but also notes that the hearts and minds of some Bulgarians have remained with Russia.

According to him, due to the continuing Russian influence in Sofia, Bulgaria was not over enthusiastic to host Turkey, but the two countries managed to put differences aside and address common issues such as the refugee wave and the Turkish minority in Bulgaria.

Cevik concludes that Bulgaria is still far away from becoming an economically viable partner of the EU.

In his opinion, Bulgarians have to overcome the psychological bonds tying them to Russia and adopt the values of the EU.

The author argues that Turkey can aid Bulgaria both in embracing EU values and in maintaining the internal stability among the Turks and Muslims in Bulgaria.

Read the full article here.

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Tags: Bulgaria, turkey, Boyko Borisov, Ahmet Davutoglu, Russia, Syria, NATO, refugee wave, migrant influx, minority

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