Bulgarian Radio Host Blames Nationalist for Brawl on Air
The fist fight that broke Sunday during the popular political talk show Nedelya 150 of the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR, which is aired live, is a disgrace for Bulgarian politics.
The statement was made Monday by the host of Nedelya 150, Velichko Konakchiev, who spoke in an interview for the TV channel Nova Televizia.
On Sunday, Konakchiev was forced to interrupt the show after the leader of the Bulgarian far-right, nationalist Ataka party, Volen Siderov and Korman Ismailov, Member of Parliament, who was recently expelled from the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, for his opposition to the leader Ahmed Dogan, started a physical fight while on air.
Siderov denies reports about the fight.
Konakchiev explained the Nationalist refused to let Ismailov speak, kept pounding him with questions, without waiting for answers, turning more and more aggressive and finally starting the fight.
"We had a hard time separating them. I have no idea to what extend Bulgarian politicians plan, make scenarios, and direct such incidents with the goal of political gains, but the results are outrageous and a shame for Bulgarian politics," Konakchiev said.
The Chair of SEM (Council for Electronic Media), the body that monitors media in Bulgaria, Georgi Lozanov, said the incident in the radio studio was a violation of freedom of speech.
"The media has no quilt at all for what happened. It was a victim in this case. I want to remind people, particularly MPs, they must protect freedom of speech. There is no freedom of speech if they gave up speech and resorted to fists. If Siderov triggered the fight, he must apologize to BNR," Lozanov said.
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