Erdogan Snubbed Talks with Bulgaria's Ethnic Turkish Leader - Report
Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, canceled at the last minute a planned meeting with the leader of the Bulgarian ethnic Turkish party, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, Ahmed Dogan.
The news was reported Wednesday by the Bulgarian daily "Dnevnki," citing own sources inside the party.
Erdogan's staff called the DPS headquarters soon after the Turkish PM's arrival in Sofia on Monday to notify them talks will not be held.
DPS officially denied such meeting has ever been planned, but until Monday afternoon some from the party's leadership insisted the two leaders will get together.
It remains unclear why Erdogan found time to meet with Dogan's ex Deputy, Kasim Dal, but scraped talks with the DPS leader, "Dnevnik" writes.
Dal says he received the invite unexpectedly and at the last minute. The two discussed mainly the issue with the Chief Mufti, Nedim Gendzhev, who was reinstated at the post by the Supreme Administrative Court, stirring outrage among the Muslim community in Bulgaria. Dal met the Turkish PM in his capacity as Chair of the Bulgaria-Turkey Friendship Committee at the Parliament and the meeting has not been coordinated with DPS headquarters.
The ethnic Turkish leadership say Erdogan's protocol decided it was not appropriate for their PM to meet with a party leader, but others see a serious political statement in the scraped talks, because Dogan is not only in opposition, but is investigated over conflict of interest allegations.
Political experts even forecast a more extreme scenario where Dal would replace Dogan as party leader and this is why he was not only received by the Turkish PM, but continues to travel around Bulgaria and meet local party supporters.
Dal has stated numerous times he has no intentions of ousting Dogan and splitting the Movement.
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