Ruling GERB Courts Bulgaria's Ethnic Turks
The ruling, center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, is set to open an office in Istanbul or Bursa in neighboring Turkey, months before the 2013 general election.
The Bulgarian Standard daily writes Friday that through the office GERB will be gathering members among Turkish expats from Bulgaria.
For this reason, Deputy Prime Minister, and Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, and GERB Member of the Parliament, Tsveta Karayancheva, are planning a trip to Turkey, it emerged after their meeting with members of the Turkish expat organization "Bulturk."
The Bulgarian Dnevnik daily also writes about the meeting, noting that Bulgarians, living for years in Turkey, have made it known during the talks that part of their diaspora is withdrawing the years-long support for the ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, and are now backing GERB.
The GERB press center further informs that Bulgarians from the regions of Kardzhali, Razgrad, Targovishte, Silistra and Shumen, which have a large Muslim population, also attended the meeting.
The participants are quoted saying that DPS are seeking and showing interest in Bulgarian Muslims only in the wake of elections, while some of the GERB MPs, like Karayancheva, frequently visit their regions to see firsthand how they can help.
According to them, until now, both in Bulgaria and in Turkey, people have simply and only being frightened by DPS and no one had done anything for them.
"Bulturk" have issued the invitation to Tsvetanov and Karayancheva to visit Turkey.
"In the past, there was the reigning impression that only DPS could lead the politics and the contacts between Bulgaria and Turkey. When we won the last elections, GERB, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, and I personally made improving relations with Turkey our priority. This way we showed Bulgarian Muslims that they can trust us," Tsvetanov said after the meeting.
Topics such as the expats properties inherited in Bulgaria, voting rights, and joint Bulgarian-Turkish farming projects have also been included in the agenda.
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