Major Dissenter Slams Dogan, Exposes Rift in Bulgaria's Ethnic Turkish Party DPS

Politics » DOMESTIC | January 12, 2011, Wednesday // 19:05
Bulgaria: Major Dissenter Slams Dogan, Exposes Rift in Bulgaria's Ethnic Turkish Party DPS Kasim Dal (left) with DPS leader Ahmed Dogan (right) at a party forum in 2009. Photo by BGNES

Kasim Dal, one of the major figures in Bulgaria's ethnic Turkish party DPS (Movement for Rights and Freedoms), has resigned from the leadership of the formation slamming the party founder and leader Ahmed Dogan.

After reports and rumors about internal rift in the DPS between Dogan and Dal, on Wednesday, the party formally confirmed that Kasim Dal has resigned as a member of the Central Operational Bureau of the formation.

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. This fact led many, including a detailed article in a major Bulgarian weekly, The Capital, to declare that Ahmed Dogan lost Turkey's backing for some reason.

Kamen Kostadinov, the spokesperson of the Bulgarian ethnic Turkish party announced that he was surprised by Dal's decisions to leave.

"I considered the rumors that he has been undermining the party for months to be untrue. I did not think that his self-esteem from the fact that he is no longer a deputy chair could sway him into such a decision but I appear to have been wrong," Kostandinov said Wednesday apparently referring to the leadership reshuffle in the DPS that happened at the beginning of 2010 when Dogan remain the leader but replaced all but one of his deputies including Dal.

"There has been rumor that Dal was visiting the party structures speaking about how he will create a parallel party, seeking dissenters. Until today I thought these were just empty rumors but it turns that I was not right. I am no longer certain that these rumors are untrue," Kostadinov said.

Dal was long deemed to be one of DPS leader Dogan's confidantes and closest aides. After the reshuffle of the leadership in early 2010, Dal and the other former deputies chairs of DPS kept their seats in the Central Operational Bureau of the party.

Upon leaving the Bureau, Dal issued a statement to the structures of party stating that it is in a "collapse" and "isolation" and blaming the situation on leader Ahmed Dogan.

"I must be understood correctly – I have never had ambitions for the leadership spot in the party but my main accusation is against the party chair keeping in mind his actions and mostly his inaction in the past year," Dal says blaming Dogan for showing up only occasionally at the party headquarters and being totally absent from the Parliament.

"Sincerity makes us admit the worst consequence from the actions of our leader – the disappearance of the "DPS Cause" which has yielded place to the personal causes for becoming rich quickly without regard for anything and anybody," the dissenter has declared.

"The example that we got from the person with the highest rank in the party to use power and people like napkins is the worst thing that could have happened to the party but as is evidence from some declassified files of the former State Security (DS), this has been his creed since 1974," Dal states referring to the past of Ahmed Dogan as an agent of the DS, the security apparatus of the Bulgarian communist regime.

"We are all slowly becoming "male secretaries", Dal complains apparently alluding to the fate of Ahmed Emin, one of Dogan's aides and former head of his political cabinet, who in the fall of 2008 was found dead under mysterious circumstances official described as a suicide.

In his statement, Dal insists on summoning the Central Council of the party in order to discuss all of its problems.

The Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), a controversial party vastly dominated by its founder and leader Ahmed Dogan, was in power as part of the ruling coalitions in Bulgaria in 2001-2005 and 2005-2009, and once before – in 1992-1994.

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Tags: Ahmed Dogan, DPS, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, Kasim Dal, Kamen Kostandinov, ethnic Turkish
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