Bulgaria's Ethnic Turks to Go Radical If Envoy Scandal Leads to Lustration

Politics » DOMESTIC | December 21, 2010, Tuesday // 09:56| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Bulgaria's Ethnic Turks to Go Radical If Envoy Scandal Leads to Lustration The Deputy Chair of Bulgaria's ethnic Turkish party DPS, Lyutvi Mestan. Photo by BGNES

If the scandal with the files of Bulgaria's former agents-turned-Ambassadors leads to a proposal for lustration, the ethnic Turkish party DPS will answer with a radical idea, directed at the former Communist State Security.

The statement was made by the Deputy Chair of DPS, Lyutvi Mestan in an interview for the Bulgarian National Television on Tuesday and it aimed at explaining the words of his colleague, Kamen Kostadinov, who said on Monday that the party leader, Ahmed Dogan, "is ready to quit politics if the country embarks on a direction of full lustration of the agents of the former Communist State Security."

Mestan did not confirm whether Dogan was really ready to quit politics if that happened. In his opinion, Dogan has not officially made such a statement and it was all media interpretation.

However, the Deputy Chair of DPS explained that if lustration is discussed, then his party would set the question about lustration with regards to the "producers", or the people from the former State Security who used to recruit agents at the time and are now trying to play the roles of strict judges, in Metsan's words.

He added that the goal of this idea is to achieve justice "in order to prevent the so-called minions of the communist regime to hide behind the backs of certain affected people, and to prevent the result of one lustration act turning into celebration of the former State Security."

Metsan refused to name specific people that he envisions but claimed it could become impossible to avoid it in the future.

"I will not name anybody personally. I leave it to whoever finds himself in my words. But is political discussions extend to the idea of lustration, then we would inevitably have to be specific," he said.

The Deputy Chair of DPS has explained that no one should have worries about his party because it is a political power with an absolutely clear position on the need for revealing the whole truth about the totalitarian regime.

He noted that DPS wanted the opening of the files in 1992. The party also supported the efforts of Bulgaria's PM in 1997, Ivan Kostov, in this direction. In 2006, DPS was among the creators of the law on files, which is still valid.

"This law should continue its action, play its part and reveal the big truths about the mechanisms, under which the totalitarian state acted, and about its ugliest form – the Revival Process," Mestan said.

On a question why does the DPS party leader, Ahmed Dogan, remains publicly silent, the Deputy Chair said that Dogan is talking only when he has something significant to say.

"He is not a politician who would enter each and every political discussion. He started a party that has enough members, who could do that. I am sure that when the public interest requires it, Digan will not save his position," Mestan said.

For years on end Bulgaria's politicians have been inching towards a further opening of the files, producing only unsatisfactory and politically compromised results.

A partial opening of the files under an anti-communist government in 1997 first gave over 25,000 Bulgarians access to their own dossiers, and led to the naming of around 150 state security collaborators (a parliamentary commission identified several MPs, ministers and candidates for public office as former agents).

However, in 2002 new legislation on access to information gave the power to declassify files to the successor bodies of the communist-era intelligence services. As a result, little progress was made in the direction of declassification.

More effective solutions were sought in the years afterwards and culminated in the establishment of the Files Commission in April 2007 as part of Bulgaria's long overdue efforts to finally face up to its totalitarian past and disclose who did what for the secret police under communism.

The list that the commission has prepared so far features Socialist President Georgi Parvanov, former MPs, former constitutional judges, supreme magistrates, investigators, members of parliament, prominent and well-known former and current Bulgarian journalists.

The files of the former Committee for State Security are a thorny issue in Bulgaria, especially when it comes to the past of high-ranking officials.

Bulgaria's communist-era security service is believed to have remained potent after the fall of communism with the ex-operatives closely linked to the political and business establishment.

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Tags: DPS, ethnic Turkish party, Lyutvi Mestan, Kamen Kostadinov, Ahmed Dogan, Ambassadors, agents, Communist State Security, lustration
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