Turks Asks Bulgaria to Allow Inspections

Associated Press

Foreign Minister Vahit Halefoglu on Tuesday requested that Bulgaria allow foreign and Turkish diplomats and journalists access to areas of Bulgaria where ethnic Turks are allegedly suffering oppression.

In a meeting at the Foreign Ministry with Bulgarian Ambassador Arguir Konstantinov, Halefoglu also expressed a desire for negotiations that might include the immigration of Bulgarian Turks into Turkey, an official statement said.

It said Konstantinov denied reports that Bulgarian Turks were being forced to change their names, saying Turks were adopting Slavic names voluntarily.

Turkish and foreign press reports have claimed that members of the Turkish minority resisting name changes are being killed. They put the death toll between 40 to 800.

The Bulgarian Turks constitute the country's largest minority at an estimated population of 1 million, 10% of the total.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World