ANALYSIS 20 Mar 17

Turkey’s Hand in Bulgarian Election Angers Sofia

Observers link Ankara’s blatant interference in Bulgaria’s election to Turkey’s own upcoming constitutional referendum.

Mariya Cheresheva
BIRN
Sofiaa
Turkish Minister of Labour and Social Security Mehmet Muezzinoglu called on people to vote for the DOST coalition. Photo: Anaadolu Agency

Ahead of an early parliamentary election on March 26, Bulgaria has raised concerns that its powerful neighbour is trying to influence the result in favour of DOST, a recently formed ethnic-Turkish dominated party that some call the Turkish President’s “Trojan horse” in Bulgaria.

Ognyan Gerdjikov, the Bulgarian Prime Minister, on March 17 said Bulgaria had taken measures to counter Turkey moves to back “a certain political party” - referring indirectly to DOST - and said such interference was not “fair play”.

He said that in all elections since the transition to democracy in 1991, Turkey had attempted to influence the vote both covertly and openly.

Gerdjikov’s comments came after Turkish officials openly invited voters to cast votes for DOST, in an attempt to divert supporters from more traditional Turkish representatives in Bulgaria that are now estranged from the policies of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Experts say Ankara’s move and subsequent diplomatic tensions could be the latest attempt by Erdogan to create tension abroad and produce “foreign enemies” ahead of a crucial April 16 referendum on giving him more power. 

Subscribe to Balkan Insight Premium to read the full article.

Please login to your account below if you are already a Premium Subscriber.

Buy Premium Subscription

Our Premium Service gives you full access to all content published on BalkanInsight.com, including analyses, investigations, comments, interviews and more. Choose your subscription today and get unparalleled in-depth coverage of the Western Balkans.

Buy Premium Subscription

If you have trouble logging in or any other questions regarding you account, please contact us

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Premium Selection

epp-cannot-police-its-balkan-members-daul-says-03-28-2017
29 Mar 17

EPP Cannot ‘Police’ its Balkan Members, Daul Says

As Balkan members of the same centre-right bloc in the European Parliament feud openly with other, EPP leader Joseph Daul says the bloc cannot ‘point fingers’ but does its best to find compromises.

serbia-s-new-president-who-will-it-be--03-26-2017
28 Mar 17

Serbia’s New President: Who Will It Be?

Eleven men are competing to become Serbia’s head of state, promising higher living standards, life without fear and an end to party employment - but whether something will really change remains to be seen.