Bulgaria's Ethnic Turkish Party DPS Expels Dissenter

Politics » DOMESTIC | February 18, 2011, Friday // 16:49| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Bulgaria's Ethnic Turkish Party DPS Expels Dissenter Kasim Dal was expelled from the DPS, the party where he was the second most important man. Photo by BGNES

The Central Operational Bureau of the Bulgarian ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms, (DPS), has expelled from the party Kasim Dal, a former key figure in the formation.

Dal's expulsion was expected as in the past few weeks he started openly criticizing DPS's iconic founder and leader Ahmed Dogan, and demanding his resignation.

According to Dal, the leader of Bulgaria's ethnic Turkish party DPS Ahmed Dogan is "the most successful project" of the former communist security service (DS).

Dal is Dogan's former right hand, and was instrumental in creating the local party structures of DPS all across Bulgaria.

On Firday, however, he was expelled from the party by an almost unanimous vote. Only MP Korman Ismailov and three representatives of the organization of DPS in Turkey voted in Dal's favor.

Earlier on Friday, Dal told reporters before the meeting he wasn't counting on any support and his DPS membership and adherence were over. He added he was informed the DPS regional and youth leaders have been summoned earlier Friday and have already "signed what they had to sign."

The DPS leadership already labeled his actions as slander and tarnishing the DPS image and expelled him from the party's parliamentary group.

Dogan, who just days ago was cleared on conflict of interest charges for allegedly pocketing BGN 1.5 M as a consultant of four large-scale hydroelectricity projects, broke his years-long tradition to be late for all meetings and has arrived 40 minutes in advance on Friday.

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 in January 2011, 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.

Dal's expulsion came after five hours of debates during which Dal himself restated his theses from his statement in January.

He did declare that he had no intention of trying to break up the DPS party, and that he was happy with having partially achieved his goal – to generate debate about what is going on inside the party.

Earlier on Friday, Dal told reporters before the meeting he wasn't counting on any support and his DPS membership and adherence were over. He added he was informed the DPS regional and youth leaders have been summoned earlier Friday and have already "signed what they had to sign."

There had been reports of a rift in the DPS party between Dogan and Dal for months in 2010, especially after 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.

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 that – 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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