By Steven Otfinoski
Examines the folks, faith, lifestyle, politics, tradition, background, and geography of Bulgaria, emphasizing its transition from a communist to a unfastened state.
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Extra info for Bulgaria (Nations in Transition)
Courtesy Library of Congress) h 24 ■ BULGARIA sponsors of terrorism. The United States had other reasons to suspect Bulgaria of assisting terrorists. Bulgaria did little to hide the fact that throughout the 1980s, it was supplying arms and military equipment to 36 nations around the world, many of them developing nations with active terrorist organizations. Then in 1984 Zhivkov began what would be the most damaging campaign of his long regime. Fearing that the high birthrate of Bulgaria’s ethnic Turkish population would turn Bulgarians into a minority within their own country, he initiated a drastic policy of forced assimilation.
1977), p. 460. 3 THE DEEPENING QUAGMIRE (1989 TO PRESENT) h Interestingly, the mass demonstration that rocked the seemingly unshakable Communist government of Bulgaria was not set off by economics or politics but environmental issues. In one sense, it was fitting. In 40 years, the Communist regime had transformed the natural beauty of Bulgaria into an environmental nightmare with recklessly unregulated industry and rampant pollution. In October 1989 an international conference on the environment convened in Sofia.
Fearing that the high birthrate of Bulgaria’s ethnic Turkish population would turn Bulgarians into a minority within their own country, he initiated a drastic policy of forced assimilation. Turks who had been living peacefully in Bulgaria for centuries were told they would have to take Bulgarian names and could not speak Turkish in public. Rather than give up their ethnic identity, many Turks emigrated and returned to Turkey. Hundreds of others were forcibly expelled from Bulgaria, arrested and imprisoned, or even killed by Zhivkov’s secret police.