Turkish PM 'Asked Bulgaria's Borisov to Side with Expelled DPS Leader'

Politics » DIPLOMACY | December 26, 2015, Saturday // 22:54
Bulgaria: Turkish PM 'Asked Bulgaria's Borisov to Side with Expelled DPS Leader' Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. File photo, BGNES

Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has asked Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov to side with Lyutvi Mestan after the latter was expelled as leader of predominantly ethnic Turk DPS party, the Bulgarian National Television has said, citing its own sources from the cabinet.

BNT's report comes days after DPS removed Mestan as party leader following criticism from honorary chairman Ahmed Dogan over Mestan's statement of last month with which the party declared support for Turkey in its dispute with Russia over the downed Su-24 fighter bomber.

According to the public TV station, Davutoglu called Borisov on the phone on Wednesday, with the latter accepting "after substantial diplomatic pressure." (Mestan wasn't expelled as of the time of the reported conversation; the extraordinary DPS meeting that removed him took place on the day after.)

Borisov is quoted as saying he chooses Bulgaria "over Mestan and Dogan" warning that DPS's internal problems should not fall hostage to Bulgaria-Turkey relations, nor should Bulgaria suffer from the Russia-Turkey dispute.

Earlier this week, Dogan has claimed Mestan's actions had betrayed national interest, pushing DPS closer to Turkey.

The BNT also argues Borisov accused Ankara of "ignoring Bulgaria's interest" by seeking to work with Russia on Turkish Stream last year.

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Tags: Boyko Borisov, DPS, Lyutvi Mestan, Ahmed Dogan, Russia, turkey
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