Bulgarian President Joins FM's Objection to Erdogan 'Thrace' Statement
Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev has said he supports Bulgaria's Foreign Affairs Ministry's statement objecting to a controversial statement Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan linking Bulgarian territories to Turkish national interests.
"The Presidential Institution has fully synchronized itself with the position of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding Turkish PM Erdogan's statement about the scope of the region of Thrace," said Plevneliev in Plovdiv Thursday.
The Bulgarian foreign office has stated that the message voiced by Turkey's PM is unconstructive and fails to contribute to good neighborly relations.
During a visit to Turkish Thrace Wednesday, Erdogan said that Thrace includes Thessaloniki and Xanti (Greece), Deliorman and Kardzhali (Bulgaria), Skopje and Vardar (Macedonia) and Pristina (Kosovo), among other places.
"Thrace is a witness of our history. This region is representative of our entire history," stated thet Turkish PM.
Greece has also reacted sharpy to Erdogan's statement.
While Thrace is a historical region, parts of which now lie in Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, the Turkish PM's statement was interpreted as signalling an illicit expansion of the idea of Turkish Thrace.
The regions of Deliorman (Ludogorie in northeast Bulgaria), and Skopje, Vardar and Pristina (Western Balkans) have very little to do with the historic Thrace since centuries before the Ottoman invasion of the Balkan peninsula in the 14th century.
However, at present they are all home to significant Muslim communities, parts of them Turkish-speaking.
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