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Ethnicity and politics : the case of the Turkish minority of Bulgaria Makarinov, Serguey Vassilev 1992

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ETHNICITY AND POLITICS: THE CASE OF THE TURKISH MINORITY OF BULGARIA by SERGUEY VASSILEV MAKARINOV B.A., The Higher Economic Institute, Sofia, 1984 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Political Science) We accept the thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 1992 © Serguey Vassilev Makarinov, 1992 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of ?QL | T I C ^ L S C ! EhJCB The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date DE-6 (2/88) n ABSTRACT This thesis is a study of the relationship between ethnicity and politics in a democratic society. Taking Bulgaria and its Turkish minority as a test case, the thesis reflects on how the presence of ethnic minorities affects governmental and political structures, how or under what conditions minority groups benefit from their ability to influence, or to integrate into, the political system, and, vice versa, how the existing constitutional and political structures affect the minorities' political choices. The thesis reviews the cleavages pertaining to language, religion, race, origin, and culture, which serve to identify Bulgaria's major ethnic groups. Two analytical models are utilized in order to test whether the political conditions are favorable to a change in the interethnic relationship from assimilation under the authoritarian regime to integration by accommodation of the Turkish minority under the new, democratic rule. The first model -- the concept of communication and social mobilization of Karl Deutsch — is used in the evaluation of the integrative capacity of the Turkish minority to accommodate to the present political reality. The second one — the consociational model of i i i stable democratic government in plural societies of Arend Lijphart -- is utilized in the assessment of the possible outcomes resulting from the mounting ethnic pressures on Bulgaria's unitary character. The thesis arrives at the following general conclusions: first, under democratic conditions, the impact of ethnicity on Bulgaria's politics has increased; the presence of minorities has affected the parties (toward perpetuating the nationwide ideological divide), the electoral system (toward less vote fluidity), and the governmental structures (toward interethnic coalition building). Second, the constitutional framework of the country is conducive to interethnic moderation and elite coalescence; integrative behavior is rewarding for the Turkish minority, despite Bulgaria's constitutional ethnocentrism. And third, partial federal solutions in the ethnically mixed regions appear to be a conceivable option in the future. iv TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Abstract ii List of Tables v List of Figures vii Key to Abbreviations of Parties and Political Movements viii Acknowledgement ix Introduction 1 I Cleavages Affecting the Turkish Minority of Bulgaria 9 Geography 9 History 10 Demographic Data 16 II The Effect of the Turkish Minority on Political Structures 31 Effects on the Constitution 31 Effects on the Party System 34 Effects on Elite Cooperation 57 III The Effect of Democratic Rule on the Turkish Minority 63 Effects of the Constitution 63 Effects of the Governmental and Political Structures 69 Conclusion 77 Bibliography 82 V LIST OF TABLES Table 1. National Composition According to Ethnic Background (in % ) : Bulgaria 1880-1965 Table 2. Turkish population: Bulgaria, 1975 Table 3. Major Cleavages among Bulgaria's Ethnic Groups Table 4. Proportion of Bulgarian and Turkish Population in Bulgarian Cities (in %) Table 5. Educational levels of the Turkish Population: Bulgaria, 1975 Table 6. Parliamentary Elections in Bulgaria, June 1990 Table 7. Shift in Political Allegiance between October 1991 - March 1992, Bulgaria (in %) Table 8. Political Parties Votes: Opinion Polls, November 1990 - March 1992 (in %) Table 9. Elections in Bulgaria, 13 October 1991 Table 10. Percentage of Mayors Elected in Villages and Municipalities according to Party Affiliation, 13 October 1991 Table 11. Political Preferences according to Ethnicity (in % ) : Opinion Polls, July 1991 Page 16 19 24 25 27 37 40 43 50 51 53 Table 12. DPS Membership according to Ethnic Affiliation, January 1992 Table 13. Turkish Representatives in the Bulgar Parliament Table 14. Political Affiliation according to Ethnicity: Opinion Polls, July 1992 vi i LIST OF FIGURES Page Fig. 1. Physiography of Bulgaria 10 Fig. 2. The Republic of Bulgaria 20 v f i i KEY TO ABBREVIATIONS OF PARTIES AND POLITICAL MOVEMENTS BBB — Bulgarian Business Bloc BCP — Bulgarian Communist Party BDC -- Bulgarian Democratic Center BSP — Bulgarian Socialist Party BZNS — Bulgarian Agrarian Party BZNS(e) — Bulgarian Agrarian Party (united) BZNS(NP) — Bulgarian Agrarian Party (Nikola Petkov) DPS — Movement for Rights and Freedoms SDS — Union of Democratic Forces SDS (c) — Union of Democratic Forces (center) SDS(l) — Union of Democratic Forces (liberals) NODTB — National Liberation Movement of the Turks in Bulgaria ix ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I am most grateful to my thesis advisors, Jean Laponce and Diane Mauzy, who spared no efforts to guide me until the final completion of this thesis. I am especially indebted to professor Jean Laponce whose graduate seminar on comparative government and politics was of great help in conceptualizing the material related to the thesis. Special thanks are due to my wife, Vesela Makarinova, who collected and mailed to me a huge amount of empirical data and shared with me her analytical suggestions. I thank Paul Marantz and Iza Laponce for their valuable help in complementing the information necessary for the thesis. 1 INTRODUCTION Europe and the world today are undergoing dynamic changes. With the end of the Cold War, the hostilities between the East and the West have ended. New challenges, hitherto less apparent, have emerged and ethnic issues in Eastern Europe have become a chronic source of political instability in the region. Finding political solutions to ethnic tensions is, therefore, a task of prime concern both for politicians and scholars. Taking Bulgaria as a case study of the relationship between ethnicity and politics, this thesis will consider the effects of the governmental and political structures on the largest minority group in the country, the ethnic Turks, and vice versa, the increased capability of the Turkish minority to influence Bulgaria's political system. For the purposes of the thesis, the term "ethnicity" will be used in relation to the cleavages pertaining to language, origin, race, religion, and culture, which, combined in various clusters, will serve to identify Bulgaria's major ethnic groups. Ethnic cleavages have proven to be extremely difficult to manage because of their 2 ascriptive nature. They are explicit, intense, endurable, and "always an obstacle to communication" . Different situations produce different clusters of ethnic loyalties, which form the group's specific identity. In ethnically diverse societies, ethnic loyalties turn into a political force which can rival the state. Hence the salience of the issue of ethnicity in plural societies. Ethnic minorities are likely to be affected by the political system within which they are set; and conversely, the structure of government is affected by their presence. But the second effect is sometimes not as obvious as the first. Regimes are likely to vary considerably in their resistance or accommodation to ethnic pressures. Democratic governments are likely to be more affected than authoritarian regimes. In order to study the multivaried effects of ethnicity in democratic societies, the thesis will be guided by the analytical models of two students of ethnic relations, Karl Deutsch and Arend Lijphart. Their models will also be utilized in order to test whether the political conditions in Bulgaria allow for a change in the country's ethnic relationship from a policy of assimilation under the authoritarian regime to a policy of integration by allowing diversity under the new democratic rule. In his concept of -•-J.A. Laponce, Languages and Their Territories (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1987), p. 189. 3 communication and social mobilization, K. Deutsch defines nations as communities held together by intense p communication. Each community is coherent because the communication efficiency among members creates better probabilities of social ascension. The modern market industrial economy involves people in more intensive mass communications. It intensifies social mobilization and consequently, in multiethnic societies, it fosters competition among communities that can no longer ignore one another. Each group is pressing to acquire a measure of effective control over communication channels and equips itself with power and means of compulsion through political organization.J According to Deutsch, the mobilization of individuals for more intense communication easily turns one's consciousness of nationality "into a political weapon, a powerful pattern to organize men in the course of their social conflicts". The strength by which the mobilized group may affect the political system in the achievement of its goals depends on its rate of mobilization. The latter is determined by the number of those who live in the cities, who are engaged in occupations other than agriculture and ^Karl Deutsch, Nationalism and Social Communication (Cambridge: M.I.T. Press, 1966), p. 96. 3Ibid., p. 104. 4Ibid., p. 181. 4 forestry, who attend schools and are literate, and who are subject to military conscription, inter alia. According to prevalent conditions, situations emerge leading, at the extremes, to either cultural and linguistic assimilation or differentiation. Differentiation (a policy or outcome which allows the enhancement of the ethnic boundaries of the segments in a given country) occurs when the rate of assimilation is lower than the proportion of the population which is mobilized, diverse and unassimilated. If assimilation is the dominant tendency, the final result will be ethnic uniformity of the state. In this case, there will be no role for ethnicity in domestic politics. Conversely, if differentiation is the main tendency, the distinctiveness of the ethnic groups will acquire political importance, since the issues at stake will be related to the status of one's language and culture. Under democratic conditions, minorities usually acquire a larger political space to foster their group interests. In Bulgaria, the sudden transition to democratic rule involved the Turkish minority in a dynamic process of social mobilization and differentiation, which contrasted sharply with the policy of assimilation under the authoritarian regime. The analytical model of K. Deutsch would have predicted these events, particularly the overall change in 5Ibid., p. 126. 5 the social communication system, the rise in the social hierarchy and the emergence of cultural and linguistic institutions for the minority groups. Indeed, the Turkish minority of Bulgaria has been successful in setting up its own cultural institutions (such as Muslim schools, theaters, reading rooms, and cultural societies). However, as the thesis will show, the achievements of the ethnic Turks of Bulgaria have gone beyond these minimal expectations. The abrupt change to democracy has brought the Turkish minority into the political mainstream. It has been successful in entering the political arena, despite its limited numerical strength (below ten percent) and despite the constitutional restrictions on ethnic political activities. The Turkish minority party, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, has turned into a balancing factor between Bulgaria's main ideological political parties. Deutsch emphasizes that, under certain conditions, an ethnic group may choose to integrate itself into the existing political structures while preserving its identity. He uses "integration" to refer to the bringing together of different units into a larger or more cohesive whole without destroying the internal organization of these units. Hereafter, I will use integration in that sense. Integrative behavior means tolerance of disagreement in the expectation that one will enlarge one's own personality by absorbing 6 some features essentially different from those of one's group. Integration requires the ability to reallocate or recommit a large part of one's resources to new uses, without destroying the organization as a whole. Such an organization or group will treat its surroundings and its neighbors as resources of information, as well as a potential for larger patterns of behavior. The second guide, A. Lijphart, offers a consociational model of stable democratic government in divided societies. He argues that, though social homogeneity and political consensus are regarded as prerequisites for stable democracy, it may be difficult but not impossible to achieve stable democratic government in a plural society. Lijphart defines consociational democracy in terms of four characteristics, the most important of which is government by a grand coalition of the political leaders of all significant segments of the plural society. The other three basic elements are (1) the mutual veto, which serves as an additional protection of vital minority interests; (2) proportionality as the principle standard of political representation, civil service appointments, and allocation 6Ibid., p. 282. 7Ibid., p. 82. 8Ibid., p. 83. ^Arend Lijphart, Democracy in Plural Society (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1977), p. 1. 7 of public funds; and (3) a high degree of autonomy for each segment to run their own internal affairs. ^ Lijphart argues that consociational democracy entails the cooperation of segmental leaders in spite of the deep cleavages separating the segments. The leaders must have a basic willingness to cooperate with the leaders of other segments in a spirit of moderation and compromise. At the same time, they must retain the support and loyalty of their own followers. -1- Other conditions, which may be favorable to the maintenance of stable government, are the small size of the country involved; overarching loyalties enhancing cohesion for the entire society; segmental isolation; a prior tradition of elite accommodation; and the presence of 1 9 crosscutting cleavages. In this thesis I will argue that, though not all of the above conditions exist in Bulgaria, the readiness of the Turkish minority to cooperate is turning into a positive political force. In democratic plural societies, as Lijphart would predict, the necessity for elite cooperation increases and, if successful, enhances interethnic moderation. I would propose that in the case of Bulgaria, interethnic coalescence will involve the Turkish minority and the ±uIbid., p. 25. 1:LIbid., p. 53. 12Ibid., p. 54. 8 dominant ethnic Bulgarians into a political bargain that may well result in the partial federalization of the state. The study is divided into three chapters. The first will outline the major demographic, social, economic, religious, linguistic, and racial cleavages characterizing Bulgaria's ethnic relations and the Turkish group in particular; the second will consider the impact of the Turkish minority on the government and the political parties. Ethnic pressures on the constitution will also be considered. Finally, the third chapter will discuss the effect of Bulgaria's democratic rule on the Turkish minority. 9 Chapter I CLEAVAGES AFFECTING THE TURKISH MINORITY OF BULGARIA Geography Bulgaria is a small country in the southeastern part of Europe, occupying 110,994 square km of the Balkan Peninsula (See Fig. 1). The Stara Planina mountain ranges divide the country into two roughly parallel zones. The northern part — the Danube Plain — borders on the Danube River. To the south is the Thracian Plain which stretches to the Black See to the east and the Rhodope Mountains to the south. The Turkish community, which forms an enclosed minority in the northeast and a border group on the Turkish and Greek frontiers in the southeast, is divided by the Stara Planina mountain. The two groups occupy peripheral areas and are relatively isolated from Bulgaria's capital city of Sofia in the west. Furthermore, the geographical proximity of the border group to Turkey facilitates exodus to the kin country and serves as a potential basis for irredenta. 10 O S O G O V S K A — WATERSHED DIVIDING THE BLACK SEA DRAINAGE BASIN(N) AND THE AEGEAN DRAINAGE BASINS) Fig. 1. Physiography of Bulgaria. Source: L.A.D. Dellin, ed., Bulgaria (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1957), p. 33. (I have added to the map the diagonal lines that indicate the major areas of concentration of the Turkish population). History The Turkish minority of Bulgaria is a remnant from the period of the Ottoman empire and comprises the largest body of Turks outside Turkey. Beginning in the fourteenth century, settlers of Turkic origin were continuously introduced into Bulgarian lands. The Bulgarians, for their part, have inhabited their present home land for an uninterrupted period of more than thirteen centuries. They emerged as an ethnically differentiated group in the latter half of the seventh century by the merger of Turkic speakin Bulgarian tribes with the local Slavic population. The former were eventually assimilated; by the ninth century they were no longer distinguished from the Slavs. J The Ottoman rule in Bulgaria, which lasted almost five centuries, bequeathed a lasting tradition of segmental isolation along religious lines. The religious, and later some ethnic communities, including the Bulgarians, were constituted into millets. The millets were given extraterritorial jurisdiction over religious and cultural affairs. This compartmentalization along ethnic-religious lines crosscut with a system of social stratification which allowed for, and in fact encouraged, economic communication across ethnic borders. After Bulgaria's emancipation in 1878, the Turks who remained in the country formed a millet-like Muslim community. They were placed simultaneously under the jurisdiction of the Bulgarian administration and the Muslim 1JL.A.D. Dellin, ed., Bulgaria (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1957), p. 2. 12 spiritual leader in Istanbul, the Ottoman capital city. This protection, which was based on religious affiliation, became less dependable after the abolition of the caliphate and sultanate institutions in Turkey in the 1920s. It eventually disappeared with the advent of communism in Bulgaria after 1944. At the same time, a Turkish national consciousness began to emerge in the early 1920s under the mobilizing effects of modernization but Islam remained an essential feature of ethnic distinctiveness and group coherence. Under the communist regime, the Turkish minority had no communal status and became subject to intense assimilation. The Muslim elite were soon reduced to government servants and were unable to a maintain strong leadership position among the Turks. At the same time, the government encouraged the rise of a communist Turkish elite and favored a policy of allowing Turks to enter the dominant Bulgarian group by simply renouncing one's Turkish origin. Turks were involved as party secretaries of primary organizations, local trade union leaders, and secretaries of youth league cells. Many of them headed cooperative farms, industrial enterprises, and labor collectives.^4 In 1976, in the district of Kurdzhali, the Turks, who were about 85 percent of the population in the region, constituted half of the communist 14iShukri Tahirov, Bulgarskite turtsi po putiya na sotsializma [The Bulgarian Turks on the Road to Socialism] (Sofia, 1979), p. 177. 13 party members and held 70 percent of the posts in the Communist Party, the Agrarian Party, and the Young Communist League.1^ The majority of Turks, however, refused assimilation and resorted to mass emigration, civil disobedience, and sporadic violence. In 1985, Turks, Pomaks (Bulgarian speaking Muslims of Slavic origin), and Gypsies were forced to change their names into Slavic-Bulgarian forms and to abandon their Muslim rites. The Turkish minority opposed the policy of assimilation and resorted to organized resistance by launching the same year a National Liberation Movement of the Turks in Bulgaria (NODTB). Ethnic tensions rose; hundreds of Turks and Pomaks were detained in prisons and concentration camps; a number of killings and disappearances of ethnic Turks were reported. Turkey, as well as human rights organizations, raised international attention to the violation of minority rights in Bulgaria. In August 1989, the NATO heads of state and government, in a joint declaration, called "for the strict observance of the fundamental rights of all Bulgarian citizens of Turkish origin" . Eventually, the Bulgarian government became more isolated diplomatically and its international prestige fell. In May 1989, the Bulgarian Turks organized sit-ins, 5Ibid., p. 179. ^Department of State Bulletin (October 1989), p. 43. 14 hunger strikes, and protest meetings. They called for non-violent struggle for democracy and for the protection of their human rights. The growing protests forced the government to open the borders and to allow emigration to Turkey. By the end of the year, 320,000 Turks had left the country, which caused serious economic disturbances and social tension. The Turkish minority campaign for human rights was backed by Bulgarian-led humanitarian organizations, but was either opposed or not supported by the official Turkish elites (both party and ecclesiastical). As a result, the issue of human rights cut across ethnic boundaries, overlapped with nation-wide socioeconomic divisions, and accelerated the political process of isolating the government from the majority of the Turkish and Bulgarian population. In November 1989, when a purge in the top leadership of the ruling Communist Party signaled the beginning of a democratic change, the Turks supported overwhelmingly the radical, anti-communist, prodemocracy tendency and eventually catalyzed the demise of the authoritarian system. In retrospect, a similar pooling of ethnic support for political change occurred in 1944, when 90 percent of the Turks voted for the communist-led Fatherland Front coalition in the expectation of recognition of their communal rights. When democratic changes began to occur in Bulgaria, in 15 November 198 9, the Turkish minority already had an established political movement headed by an urban, differentiated elite striving to advance the interests of the Turkish community under the emerging post-totalitarian political system. For the first time in their history, the Turks of Bulgaria initiated, in fact, an ethnically-based political party (although the party was open to other ethnic groups) — the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS). The DPS won the elections in all Turkish-dominated areas and is presently the third-largest parliamentary caucus. In October 1991, the DPS entered a governing coalition but did not participate in the cabinet. In fact, despite their notable size, Turks have never held ministerial positions in any Bulgarian government so far. On the other hand, the swift political uplifting of the Turkish group contrasts with the status of the second-largest minority in the country, the Gypsies. Contrary to the Turks, their settlements are scattered throughout the country, which decreases their chances of equally benefiting from the electoral system of proportional representation. The Gypsy organizations have been denied the status of political parties, thereby making them ineligible to present their own candidates for the elections. 16 Demographic Data The Turkish population comprises the largest minority group in Bulgaria (See Table 1). Estimates of ethnic composition, dating from 1980, indicate that 85.8 percent of the population was Bulgarian, 9.1 percent Turkish, 2.5 percent Macedonian, and 2.6 percent Gypsy. According to a CIA update for 1990, 85.3 percent of the population are Bulgarians, 8.5 percent Turks, 2.6 percent Gypsies, 2.5 percent Macedonians, and 1.1 percent Armenians, Russians and Table 1. National Composition According to Ethnic Background (in % ) : Bulgaria 1880-1965. 1880 1905 1920 1946 1965 Total Bulgarians Macedonians Turks Greek Gypsies Jews Armenians Other 100.0 72.3 -19.4 5.2 2.4 0.5 0.2 -100.0 77.1 -14.2 1.8 2.4 0.9 0.4 3.2 100.0 83.3 -10.7 0.9 2.0 0.9 0.2 2.0 100.0 84.0 2.4 9.6 0.1 2.4 0.6 0.3 0.6 100.0 87.9 0.1 9.5 0.1 1.8 0.1 0.2 0.3 Source: Tsentralno statistichesko upravlenie [Central Statistical Administration], Prebroyavane na naselenieto v NRB na 1.XII.1965 [The census held in the People's Republic of Bulgaria on 1 December 1965], Kniga II [Book II] (Sofia, 1966), p. 133. •••'Walker Connor, The National Question in Marxist-Leninist Theory and Strategy (Princeton: Princeton University Press: 1984), p. 209. 17 other.10 Since 1976, however, there have not been official data on Bulgaria's Turks. Estimates vary from 800,000 to 1,200,000. ^ Data also vary according to whether the Macedonians to the southwest of the country are counted as Bulgarians or as a separate group; also the Pomaks — Slavic converts to Islam -- are usually counted in the Bulgarian group, though most tend to identify with the Muslim Turks. The likely proportion of Turks compared to the total population may be put at 9-10 percent. This figure has not dramatically changed since the 1912-13 Balkan wars. The relative numerical strength of the Turkish group has been stable due to two opposite demographic trends: their high growth rates (2 percent yearly compared to 0.12 percent for the whole population in 19852^); and the chronic waves of emigration to Turkey. The Turks, however, have benefited from an absolute numerical increase compared to the other minority groups in the country (See Table 1). The Turkish minority is heavily settled in two areas, either intermixed with ethnic Bulgarians, Tatars, Circassians, Gypsies, and Pomaks, or living in separate communities. In 1975, approximately 290,000 Turks inhabited the Eastern Rhodope Mountains and the Maritsa River basin 1°Current News, Special Edition, American Forces Information Services, 1845(May 1990), p. 51. ^•^European Affairs (June/July 1991), p. 36. 2 0The World Today (October 198 9), p. 167. 18 along the border with Turkey and Greece, and the southeastern areas of Burgas. Another 385,000 lived in the northeastern third of the country in the Ludogorsko Plateau, Dobrudzha, and along the Danube River. The remaining 84,000 were settled in smaller numbers in other regions. In the district of Sofia -- the capital city — there were only 1789 citizens of Turkish origin (See Table 2). Presently, their highest concentration is in the region of Kurdzhali where they comprise 80-90 percent of the whole population.21 They constitute 55-60 percent of the population in the regions of Shumen, Razgrad, Turgovishte, and the adjacent areas (See Fig 2.). The entire question of the Turkish minority is beclouded by issues of language, religion, and culture in relation to the other ethnic groups. Most Pomaks, whose number is between 200,000 and 300,000 (2.2 to 3.3 percent of the total population), speak only Slavic Bulgarian but are Muslims. The religious cleavage in their case cuts deeper than the linguistic one. As a result, most affiliate themselves with the Turks. Some of them are intermixed with the Turkish population in the northeastern part of the country, but the majority live in separate village communities in the Western Rhodopes. On the other hand, the Gagauzi — a Turkic group that speaks Turkish -- belong to zlStefan Troebst, "Nationale Minderheiten" [National Minorities], in Bulgarien [Bulgaria] (Goettingen: Vardenhoek & Ruprecht, 1990), p. 478. 19 Table 2. Turkish population: Bulgaria, 1975. Districts Total Turks % (of Turks) Bulgaria Blagoevgrad Burgas Varna V. Turnovo Vidin Vratsa Gabrovo Kurdzhali Kyustendil Lovech Mihailovgrad Pazardzhik Pernik Pleven Plovdiv Razgrad Ruse Silistra Sliven Sofia Smolyan Stara Zagora Tolbuhin^ Turgovishte Haskovo Shumen Yambol 8,727,771 322,947 420,268 431,024 349,108 178,215 311,190 175,933 287,099 198,876 216,844 235,449 314,006 174,624 358,972 719,119 204,126 293,073 176,428 237,386 1,066,299 162,499 390,207 250,398 178,656 293,029 253,437 207,124 730,728 2,131 42,687 22,575 6,343 239 234 6,046 202,456 81 3,303 149 4,221 73 1,848 11,355 103,157 30,663 41,291 15,216 1,789 299 11,555 40,509 58,787 34,882 87,963 259 8.37 0.66 10.16 5.24 1.82 0.13 0.08 3.44 70.52 0.04 1.52 0.06 1.34 0.04 0.51 1.58 50.53 10.46 23.40 6.41 0.17 0.14 2.96 16.18 32.90 11.90 34.71 0.12 Note: a: now Dobrich. Source: Tsentralno statistichesko upravlenie, Statisticheski Godishnik za 1975g. [Statistical Yearbook for 1976] (Sofia, 1976), p. 209. the Christian Orthodox faith, as the overwhelming majority of ethnic Bulgarians do. The Gagauzi tend to identify with the Bulgarians. Most of them live in separate villages Fig. 2. The Republic of Bulgaria. Source: Robert J. Mclntyre, Bulgaria: Politics, Economics and Society (London: Pinter, 1988), p. xxii. primarily in the area of Varna and are not more than a few thousand in number. Other ethnic groups, not exceeding 10,000 in number, such as the Tatars and the Circassians, were settled in Bulgaria by the Ottoman government in the 18 60s. They are Muslims and most now live in Dobrudzha near the frontier 21 with Rumania. They speak Turkish and easily associate themselves with the Turkish group. The Gypsies, currently estimated to number between 5-9 percent of the Bulgarian population, speak many Romany languages. The majority of them live in compact and strictly segregated ghettos scattered in cities and villages throughout the country. The Gypsies belong to either one or the other religion, with about 75 percent being Muslim and the rest Christian Orthodox. ^ A small number of the Muslim Gypsies speak only Turkish and identify themselves with the Turks. Others speak Rumanian dialects and there are those whose mother tongue is Bulgarian.^J These usually affiliate themselves with the relevant language group. The affiliation according to language is, therefore, more important than religion or race. In contrast to the Pomaks, not all Muslim Gypsies automatically identify themselves with the Turkish group. Ethnic Bulgarians, who dominate numerically (See Table 1, p. 14), identify themselves according to their Bulgarian language, Slavic origin, and Christian religion. Generally, they are inclusive of other ethnic groups, should the latter wish to be assimilated. Language, eventually, determines the affiliation to their group. Ethnic Bulgarians are, however, deeply divided along ideological lines. There are more than Georgieff, p. 278. 24 chasa [24 Hours] Newspaper (30 July 1992), p. 2. 22 a hundred political parties in the country, but two of them are supported by 50-60 percent of all Bulgarians. To the right of the political spectrum is the Union of Democratic Forces (SDS) — an alliance of some twenty parties, which is anti-communist and favors monetary management of the economy. To the far right are a number of small republican, clerical, and monarchist parties with strong nationalist appeals. To the left of the spectrum is the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) — the former communists, who advocate a greater degree of social equality and stronger state control of the economy. To the extreme left are three small communist parties, whose ideology is Marxism-Leninism. The political center, to which the Turkish minority party (DPS) belongs, is occupied by some 45-50 parties. In the center, the parties which broke away from the SDS are united in a Bulgarian Democratic Center (BDC) and attract the support of nearly two percent of the Bulgarians^ . The two largest parties, the SDS and the BSP, balance each other's influence, although the former enjoys slightly higher support. The main ideological division among ethnic Bulgarians roughly follows the center-periphery cleavage. The majority of the rural population supports the BSP, while the cities tend to follow the SDS. Bulgarians are also divided on the issue of Bulgaria's ethnic relations. The SDS has shown some 2A24 chasa (21 July, 1992), p. 1. 23 tolerance for the demands of the Turkish population and has been able to co-govern the country with the help of the DPS (the SDS has become a ruling party due to the support of the DPS). On the other hand, the BSP has launched a campaign to abolish the DPS and has gained the support of the ethnic Bulgarians in the Turkish-populated districts. Religion, language, race, origin and culture cross-cut and overlap in such a way that they do not always have the same effect on the various ethnic groups (See Table 3). Bulgarians and Turks are separated by differing ethnic complementarities pertaining to language, religion, origin and culture. Each group is distinct from the other by its own habits and communication facilities. The ethnic boundaries between Turks and Bulgarians are stable, which reduces the mutual fears of assimilation. Each group may, without destroying its identity, absorb essentially different features from the other one. As Deutsch would say, treating each other as resources of information rather than as alien surroundings, is favorable to integrative behavior and cooperation. A recent sociological survey has found out that ethnic Bulgarians in the Turkish-populated areas believe that there are positive features in the character of the Muslims. Likewise, the ethnic Turks have, in the main, a positive opinion of the national character of the Bulgarians. The survey concludes that the two ethnic groups are psychologically compatible due to a centuries-long 24 Table 3. Major Cleavages among Bulgaria's Ethnic Groups. Ethnic Groups3 Bulgarians Turks Pomaks Gypsies Turks Pomaks Gypsies Gagauzi ^language ^religion ^national origin ^religion *language *race *geogr. origin *religion *language ^national origin ^language *race *geogr. origin ^religion ^language ^religion *national origin13 *language *race *geogr. origin ^religion ^religion *language *national origin ^religion ^language *race ^national origin Note: a: The table does not include all of Bulgaria's minority groups, such as Tatars, Circassians, Jews, Armenians, etc., whose number is relatively small; b: the Gagauzi trace their origin to the former Ottoman empire. tradition of mutual tolerance and cultural interaction. ~* This interaction is more obvious in the impact of Turkish culture on the ethnic Bulgarians. Bulgarians have absorbed lexical and morphological influences incoming from the Turkish language, as well as elements of the Turkish cuisine Duma [Word] Newspaper (2 February 1992), p. 3. 25 Table 4. Proportion of Bulgarian and Turkish Population in Bulgarian Cities (in % ) . Year Total Bulgarian Turkish 1887 100.0 68.3 16.6 1905 100.0 72.9 11.1 1920 100.0 80.4 8.1 1946 100.0 89.9 5.9 1965 100.0 95.7 3.2 Source: Prebroyavane na naselenieto v NRB na 1.XII.1965, p. 105. and folklore dance and music. The majority of Bulgaria's Turks live in villages. In 1965 their proportion of total city population declined to 3.2 percent compared to 16.6 percent in 1887 (See Table 4); and 83.3 percent of the Turks and 50 percent of the Bulgarians lived in villages, compared to 85.4 percent and 74.6 percent respectively, in 1946. According to the census in 1975, about 29 percent of the Turks were cooperative farmers, compared to an average of 6.7 percent for all Bulgarian citizens. On the other hand, only 4.9 percent of the Turks, mostly in the areas of their major settlement, were recruited as civil servants, compared to the average of 26.7 percent for the whole country. At the same time, the proportion of Turkish workers was shown to be practically the same as for the total population (64.4 and 64.2 percent respectively 6 ) . But the data were not precise. The 1975 26Troebst, p. 479. 26 census counted the farmers whose cooperatives had been dependent upon some sort of industrial production as workers. ' Given the predominantly rural character of Turkish settlement, it may be expected that the figures present a rather distorted picture. In fact, according to the same census, the number of Turks employed in the industrial sector and the building industry was 18.1 percent and in the agricultural sector 56.1 percent. ° The differences in the education levels according to ethnicity are also noticeable. In 1965, it was observed that the illiteracy in the province of Kurdzhali, where the Turks were in the majority, was 21 percent compared to 9.47 percent for the whole country. This also means that many Turks speak only Turkish or have a vague knowledge of the Bulgarian language. Table 5 illustrates that the education level of the Turkish minority, in 1975, lags behind the average educational levels for the whole population. While the proportion of Bulgarian citizens without education was 14.23 percent, it amounted to 29.89 percent for the Turkish group. For Turkish women the figure was 34.6 percent compared to 17.03 percent for the whole female population. Only 0.2 percent of the Turks had higher education compared to 4.07 percent for the whole population, i.e., 23.5 times z'Yusein Memishev, Zadruzhno v sotsialisticheskoto stroitelstvo na rodinata [Together in the Socialist Construction of the Motherland] (Sofia, 1984), p. 168. Ibid., p. 169. 27 Table 5. Educational levels of the Turkish Population: Bulgaria, 1975. 1975 Total Men Women Turks Elementary 33.95 16.96 16.99 Education Junior High 30.88 17.18 13.70 School High School 2.68 1.77 0.91 Gymnasium High School 2.01 1.24 0.76 Vocational Partial Higher 0.38 0.25 0.13 Education Higher 0.21 0.16 0.04 Education Without 29.89 12.68 17.22 Education Total 100.00 50.24 49.76 (605,749) Nationwide Elementary 26.69 12.60 14.07 Education Junior High 34.18 18.97 15.21 School High School 10.36 4.71 5.64 Gymnasium High School 8.84 4.52 4.32 Vocational Partial Higher 1.63 0.68 0.95 Education Higher 4.07 2.56 1.51 Education Without 14.23 5.66 8.56 Education Total 100.00 49.73 50.27 (7,658,498) Source: Statisticheski godishnik za 1976g., p. 144. 28 less than proportionality would require. All Bulgarian citizens are subject to universal military conscription. However, conscripts who are not fit for military service or who belong to minorities, mainly the Turkish and the Gypsy, are usually drafted into labor military units. Although not armed, they are subject to military training. Access to top military posts is still highly restrictive for the Turkish group. Presently, the officers of Turkish origin in the Bulgarian army are below one hundred. ^ On balance, the data show that the Turkish minority of Bulgaria has had less opportunities for social mobilization that the ethnic Bulgarians. The Turks are underrepresented in educational attainment by 23 times, in the city population by 30 times, and in the civil service by 5 times. They are overrepresented in the farming sector and underrepresented among workers. The data reveal that the Turkish minority and the numerically dominant ethnic Bulgarians are hierarchically ranked in the social and cultural spheres. Under democratic rule, however, the Turkish group has formed a recognized national elite and a political party, despite the constitutional prohibition of political activities "on ethnic, religious, or racial grounds". The possession of a recognized, differentiated elite, organized in an 24 chasa (8 January 1992), p. 3. 29 ethnically-based party, is a favorable condition for social mobilization and rank change of the group. The Turkish group has grown in strength; it has acquired power and the means to pressure more effectively for control over the state. In spite of elements of ranking and exclusion, the relationship between the Turkish minority and the ethnic Bulgarians will become more competitive in the future. The effect of ethnicity on politics will increase along with the necessity to control and structure Bulgaria"s ethnic relations in a way that will lead to consociational solutions. The pattern of change in rank of the Turkish group will depend on the existing traditions of state governance and political structures, as well as on the ability of the elites of the rising group and the dominant group to be mutually tolerant and to coalesce. Integration by accommodation should be conducive to consociational solutions in the future. Indeed, some incipient manifestations of the conditions for consociationalism are already at work, such as emerging overarching loyalties, strengthening ethnic boundaries, crosscutting cleavages as a result of the social mobilization and rise in rank of the Turkish group, willingness to compromise, capacity for elite accommodation and interethnic coalition building. Ethnic boundaries, however, do not coincide with territorial divisions. As Lijphart notes, the real problem occurs when the segments 30 are geographically intermingled. Such a situation limits the choice to less far-reaching forms of autonomy. " A universal application of the principle of federalism would be impractical. Other, moderate alternatives for segmental isolation may then appear more conceivable for the Turkish minority. A measure of personal autonomy-^ , similar to the millet-system, or a partial federalization in the Turkish-populated regions seem to constitute realistic alternatives for the solution of Bulgaria's ethnic problems. 30Lijphart, p. 45. •^By "personal autonomy" I understand the right of a community within a state "to regulate its own affairs, not on a territorial basis, as in federalism, but on a personal basis. All the members of a given minority, irrespective of their place of domicile, thus come under the authority of their own administration or government". J. Laponce, The Protection of Minorities (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1960), p. 84. 31 Chapter II THE EFFECT OF THE TURKISH MINORITY ON POLITICAL STRUCTURES Effects on the Constitution The factual recognition of the Turkish minority party in Bulgaria has created uncertainty and ambiguity as to the legitimacy of its constitution in general and the tradition of political unitarism in particular. According to the constitution, adopted in July 1991, Bulgaria is a unitary republic with a unicameral parliament and local self-government. The formation of autonomous territorial units, larger than local self-government units, is explicitly prohibited. The creation of political parties based on ethnicity, race, or religion is proscribed. The constitution forbids restriction of rights on grounds of race, ethnicity, sex, origin, education, political affiliation, status, or property. The constitution also prescribes that the traditional 32 religion in the republic is Christian Orthodox and that the official language of the country is Bulgarian. Citizens whose mother tongue is other than Bulgarian, have the right to study and make use of their language. A separate law regulates the occasions in which only the official language can be used. The Turkish minority party -- the Movement of Rights and Freedoms (DPS) -- opposed the adoption of the constitution, and its deputies boycotted the parliament in protest for nearly four months. Despite the explicit unitary character of the Bulgarian constitution, the DPS has, since its inception, promoted consociational solutions and communal distinctiveness along ethnic lines. It has expressed disagreement with the ban on ethnic political activities and has demanded equal recognition for all of Bulgaria's "ethnic and cultural-religious communities", for their languages, religions, and cultures, as well as equal access to positions in the legislature, state administration, army, and police. The DPS has also advanced the idea of Bulgaria as the "Switzerland of the Balkans", implicitly suggesting a system of cantonal self-governance. As a matter of fact, for a short period in its history between July 1878 and April 1879, Bulgaria was governed J/:Konstitutsiya na Republika Bulgaria [Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria], Durzhaven vestnik [Official Gazette], 56(13 July 1991), pp. 1-16. 33 under the terms of an ambassadorial conference of the great powers in Istanbul, which favored conditions conducive to ethno-religious autonomy. Christians and Muslims were to be grouped in distinct cantons and minorities had to be represented in the councils. The cantons were to be grouped in larger territorial units governed by a representative of the majority religion but appointed by the powers. ^ But these terms were short-lived and vehemently opposed by the Bulgarians. The DPS represents, therefore, a political force which departs radically from the traditional mainstream of Bulgaria's politics and constitutional order. Prior to the October 1991 elections, there had been attempts to ban the DPS as being unconstitutional. These efforts had been led by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) — the former Bulgarian Communist Party — whose parliamentarians lodged a formal request with the Constitutional Court to examine the legality of the DPS. In April 1992, the majority of court members present at the proceedings (six out of eleven) voted that the DPS was an unconstitutional organization. But since a verdict required an absolute majority of all twelve court members, this was not sufficient. However, while putting aside the controversial issue of the ethnic character of the DPS, the court unanimously found that the DPS had not violated the JJStanley G. Evans, A Short History of Bulgaria (London: Lawrence & Wishart Ltd., 1960), p.128. 34 constitution in its actions as a political party and that its deputies had been legally elected. 4 Due to this somewhat ambiguous decision, the DPS has, in fact, been recognized as an ethnic political force. Effects on the Party System One effect of ethnicity on politics is related to the emergence of ethnically-based parties. It may affect certain elements of the political system by influencing the behavior of voters, parties and governments, in particular the fluidity of the electorate, the number of parties, the performance of the traditional ideological cleavages, and the prospects for elite coalition. But it may also affect the political structure of the country as a whole by challenging the legitimacy of its constitutional basis and enhancing deeper segmental divisions. In Bulgaria, the presence of the Turkish minority and its party, the DPS, affect both the elements and the structure of the political system. The coming into being, on 4 January 1990, of a Turkish minority party is a unique phenomenon in Bulgaria's political history. Moreover, the DPS emerged and gained RFE/RL Research Report (3 July 1992), p. 6. 35 recognition despite a long-standing tradition of discouraging and disallowing the formation of ethnic political expressions in the country. Between 1878-1944, the rise of Turkish nationalism took the form of emigration to the motherland and of demands to cushion the intrusion of government on village and community life. In 1929, a national congress of the Turkish minority demanded that their communal affairs be directly supervised by the king, i.e., elite counselling at the highest possible levels and maximum segmental isolation at the lower levels. But their concerns never took the shape of a strong political will. This passivity was probably due to the millet-like system of Muslim self-governance which gave the Turks a sense of security; and to the historical fact that Turkish nationalism had been only weakly developed under the Ottoman empire, among other reasons. Likewise, between 1944-89 (the years of the communist regime) it was only after the violent attempt to enforce assimilation in the mid-1980s that the ethnic Turks resorted to political, though illegal, means of group protection. But none of their organizations went beyond demands for respect of religious rites and cultural traditions. However, ahead of these organizations (such as the National Liberation Movement of the Turks in Bulgaria and the Democratic League for the Defense of Human Rights, among others) were some urban intellectuals who refused to be assimilated, distanced 36 themselves from those loyal to the government, and accepted a measure of sacrifice for the group by taking the risk of being prosecuted and detained for their activities. They eventually created the urban base for social mobilization and differentiation of the Turkish minority. Initially, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms emerged as a human rights organization with no political aspirations. During a period of interregnum in the country, after November 1989, a round table of the political organizations, formal and informal, decided that non-party organizations could also participate in the June 1990 elections. Meanwhile, the prodemocracy alliance, the Union of Democratic Forces (SDS), rejected a DPS proposal to join the union. Conversely, the then largest Gypsy organization, the Democratic Union of Gypsies - ROMA, participated in the elections on the party list of the SDS. The DPS participated in the elections separately and won 6 percent of all parliamentary seats (See Table 6). As a result, the Turkish minority acquired political visibility and distinctiveness unparalleled by any other ethnic group in the country. Consequently, the de facto recognition of the DPS facilitated its registration for the October 1991 general elections, despite the constitutional ban on ethnic political activities. But the Gypsies' ROMA was denied political party status and banned from further participation in the elections. The Gypsies have so far remained 37 Table 6. Parliamentary Elections in Bulgaria, June 1990. Seats Percentage Proportional Constituency Total of Vote Representation Seats (in %) BSPa 47.15 97 114 52.75 SDS 37.84 75 69 36.00 BZNSb 8.03 16 0 4.00 DPS 6.03 12 11 5.75 Other 0.95 0 6 1.50 Total 200 200 100.00 Note: a: Bulgarian Socialist Party; b: Bulgarian Agrarian Party. Source: Keesing's Record of World Events, p. 37544. politically weak and underrepresented. This failure can be attributed to the fact that, contrary to the Turkish group, they are divided along political, social, and cultural lines. Among the ten or so Gypsy organizations set up in Bulgaria after November 1989, there are radically diverging ideologies. For instance, the ROMA has consistently supported the right-wing SDS, while the Movement for Gypsy National Unity has declared its support for the former communist party (BSP). Moreover, the Gypsies are divided into two religious groups, Muslims and Christians. Also, they speak more than fifty different Romany dialects, and are composed of different groups divided by tribal loyalties linked to traditional professions, language spoken, or way 38 of life. 5 The comparison with the Gypsy community emphasizes the importance of group coherence, typical of the Turkish minority, for reallocating resources and gaining influence over central political structures. Competition in a non-ethnic party system tends to make the parties converge. " Because in such a system there is more than one issue axis, the parties have different opportunities to mitigate their ideological edge in their quest for voters' support. There is thus a graduated relationship between the ability for vote transfers and the party distance, which makes the system fluid and competition centripetal. Conversely, when ethnic parties emerge, the ethnic axis preempts other issues and supporters vote according to their ascriptive affiliations; there is no need for moderation since uncommitted voters cannot be found on the other side of the ethnic boundary. Mobilization is therefore easier because of its ascriptive character. Moreover, moderation across ethnic lines may be "rewarded" with the formation of a competing ingroup party. The party system is, therefore, more rigid in terms of vote transfers and the character of the interethnic competition is centrifugal. JOLuan Troxel, "Bulgaria's Gypsies: Numerically Strong, Politically Weak", RFE/RL Research Report (6 March 1992), p.61. ^"Donald Horowitz, Ethnic Groups in Conflict (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985), p. 347. 39 The above description refers to Bulgaria's party system as well. Initially, the ideological distance between the two largest nationwide parties, the prodemocratic, anti-communist SDS and the left-wing BSP, was so great that none could seriously influence the followers of the other. But gradually, offshoots from the two poles moved to the vacant political center/ weak and less organized, they divided their energies between mobilizing known supporters and appealing for uncommitted votes. But when the Movement for Rights and Freedoms came into being, it easily mobilized its ethnic vote, became the third-largest party (although much smaller than the two main parties), and occupied the leading position at the center. At the same time, when the BSP and the SDS tried to weaken the center, their efforts affected only the Bulgarian parties. As a result, the pattern of the political system became of a mixed type, with two nationwide parties at the poles and an ethnically-based party at the center. The attempts of other parties (most allied in the Bulgarian Democratic Center) to build up a strong nationwide political center have failed. So far, they have succeeded in gaining the support of less than two percent of the national vote. The DPS leaders have decided that their organization will be a center-left political party. 7 They favor the ^'Prava i Svobodi [Rights and Freedoms] Newspaper] 26(26 July 1992), p.4. 40 Table 7. Shift in Political Allegiance between October 1991 - March 1992, Bulgaria (in % ) . Parties October 1991 March 1992 DPS SDS BSP BBBa BZNS(e)b Other DPS 100 83 7 6 4 SDS 100 68 - 6 - 28 BSP 100 69 7 - 24 BZNS(e) 100 - 5 13 10 39 33 Note: a: Bulgarian Business Bloc; b: Bulgarian Agrarian Party (united) Source: Bulgarian Economic Outlook 16(20 April 1992), p. 6. transition to market economy as a basis for the promotion of political and social democracy, but disavow the laissez-faire state, which they see as a means of unjust exploitation. The DPS looks forward to a government capable of promoting private initiatives and protecting the socially disadvantaged citizens. It views democratic rule as the only guarantee for the equality and freedoms of all Bulgarian citizens. At the same time, the DPS sees in the strict observation of the individual human rights and the rights and freedoms of the minority groups in the country a reliable guarantee for Bulgaria's sovereignty, territorial integrity and national security. The central placing of the DPS on economic issues affects the political system in a variety of ways. If we take a look at Table 7, we shall see that there has not been 41 any visible vote transfers between the SDS and the BSP. The positioning of the DPS at the center makes moderation between the two poles almost unnecessary, since they do not have to compete for the Turkish vote. The presence of the DPS tends, therefore, to perpetuate the ideological cleavage and to maintain the centrifugal competition between the two nationwide parties. The presence of the DPS, as the elections have shown, reduces the chances of either the SDS or the BSP gaining an absolute majority in the Bulgarian parliament and, hence, establishing majority rule. The competing Bulgarian parties will have to strive hard in order to compensate for the 5 to 6 percent of the voters who automatically support the DPS as a result of ethnic voting. In order to gain absolute majority in the next elections, the SDS would have to increase its mandate by 22 percent and the BSP by 43 percent (See Table 8). Under these circumstances, the DPS has assumed the role of a balancing factor in a not very competitive (in the sense of shifting votes) political party system. By occupying the political center, it maintains the ideological distance between the SDS and the BSP. It may then choose between the two of them and play a disproportionately important role in the country's policy-making. Since the October 1991 elections, the DPS has chosen the SDS as its partner in a loose coalition of convenience, but the 42 political preferences of the DPS in the future will depend on the trade-offs with the other partners as well. The Bulgarian Business Bloc (BBB) deserves a special mention, since the opinion polls show that about 8 percent of the Bulgarians will support it. However, having in mind the relative instability of the nationwide parties, it is too early to predict the future role of the BBB. In fact, as a recent survey of Gallup International has indicated, the BBB support has fallen in July 1992 below 3 percent, while the BZNS(e) has increased its supporters to nearly 5 percent. ° Table 8 shows also that, though the DPS enjoys an extremely stable ethnic electorate, about a third of the Turks do not support the movement. This intragroup cleavage may be attributed to several factors. First, before November 1989, many ethnic Turks participated in the local administration and in the two official political parties in the country, the BCP and the Agrarian Party (BZNS). They formed the elite of the Turkish population but were subject, and eventually surrendered, to assimilation. Conversely, the DPS was set up by former dissidents and political prisoners who were anti-communist and who refused to be assimilated. There is, therefore, an intraethnic ideological divide, which sets clear cut boundaries on the ethnic support for the DPS. 24 chasa (21 July 1992), p.l. 43 Table 8. Political Parties Votes: Opinion Polls, November 1990 - March 1992 (in % ) . Political Parties SDS BSP DPS BZNS(e) BZNS (NP)a SDS(l) b SDS (C) c Otherd Did not/will not vote Don't know Total November 19 91 41 35 5 4 3 3 3 2 4 -100 March 31 26 5 2 3 1992 not known not known 12 6 11 100 Chanc 1991: in % not not re between •1992 Points -10 -9 0 -2 0 . known : known + 10 +2 + 11 Note: a: Bulgarian Agrarian Party (Nikola Petkov); b: Union of Democratic Forces (liberals); c: Union of Democratic Forces (center); d: these are mainly two parties: the centrist Bulgarian Business Bloc (8 percent) and the right-wing Kingdom of Bulgaria Confederation (3 percent). Source: Bulgarian Economic Outlook 16(20 April 1992), p. 6. Second, also before November 1989, the Muslim ecclesiastics, who were largely dependent on the state and its secret services, did not participate in the Turkish protests against the violation of ethnic rights in the late 1980s. After 1989, their popularity decreased but they preserved their positions in the Muslim hierarchy and managed to maintain a certain influence over the Turkish population. The DPS, however, challenged their authority and upon its insistence the Directorate for the Religious 44 Denominations took a decision, in the beginning of 1992, to appoint a new Muslim leadership. But the chief mufti protested and refused to accept the dismissal. His protest was supported by an assembly of 500 out of 650 imams in the country. They declared the decision of the Directorate incompatible with the constitutional principal of separation of the religions from the state. The Muslim clergy are now divided into two competing groups, the one supporting the DPS, and the other the ousted religious leadership. The above cleavages impede to a certain degree the coherence of the Turkish group and prohibit maximal communal support for the DPS. Also, they blur the ethnic edge in the DPS policies because intragroup cross-pressures tend to encourage moderate attitudes. Other reasons, contributing to the lack of full support from the group, may be attributed to the constant flow of Turkish emigrants to Turkey (about 35,000 for 1992), as well as to the impediments for social mobilization, indicated in chapter I. Nevertheless, the influence of the DPS on Bulgaria's politics so far is very high. But the advantage resulting from the pooling of ethnic votes may backfire soon and foster a process of party proliferation causing the tripartite configuration to dissolve into a multiparty system. Tables 7 and 8 (pp. 40 and 43) show that in only six months, the popularity of the SDS and the BSP had noticeably fallen by 10 and 9 percent respectively; the SDS had lost 32 percent and the BSP 31 percent of their voters, most of whom 45 would support other parties. The mushrooming of parties and the decline in strength of the biggest nationwide political formations may devalue the bipolar ideological cleavage and move the political system into a more competitive one, despite the presence of an ethnic party. Coalition-building will become more difficult but more necessary. The DPS may then be integrated into the multiparty system as one of the many parties whose political influence would not exceed its numerical strength. Its ethnic distinctiveness may then assume less significance for the other parties, since it will be no more possible for a single party to balance the whole political system. Presently, however, the effects of ethnicity on politics seem to run in the opposite direction. Initially, the rise of ethnic tensions followed the revival of the ethnic rights of the Turkish minority. Indeed, for a short span of time, after November 1989, the rights of the ethnic Turks were partially restored. On December 29, 1989, the reformed communist government published a resolution "condemning all actions which curtail the right to a free choice of name, to freedom of religion, and also the right of everyone — while formally recognizing and using the Bulgarian language as official language -- to speak other languages in their day-to-day communication and to observe their customs".^9 In March 1990, after ^^Keesing's Record of World Events 1(January 1990), p. 37192. 46 considerable prodding by the opposition, the government passed laws providing for freedom of religion and the freedom to choose one's name. Under the new legislature, however, Turkish citizens whose Muslim names had been changed to Slavic ones, had to appeal to the court in order to change them back. The new laws, however, dealt only with name-changing and religion, and did not legalize the use of the Turkish language in schools, newspapers, or radio broadcasts; nor did they provide for reopening the Turkish cemeteries closed during the assimilation campaign, or allow for ritual circumcision outside of hospitals. In March 1991, the first democratically elected parliament took the decision to introduce the teaching of Turkish in the Bulgarian schools starting from following school year. It was to be studied two hours weekly as a voluntary subject from third to eighth grade in addition to the regular curriculum. An "experiment" was to be held in 2 0 classes, in order to test the soundness of this solution. The Turkish community, however, viewed the decision to postpone the study of Turkish until the experiment was held as a moratorium upon their language rights. The decision also contained a measure of uncertainty for the Turks as it delegated the right to a final decision on the study of one's language to the local administration. Moreover, in implementing the parliamentary decision, the Ministry of 47 Education stated that the salaries of the teachers of Turkish would be paid "within... the means allotted for salaries in the corresponding municipalities"4 . Sharing limited funds may become a potential source of tension between Bulgarian and Turkish teachers. The revival of ethnic rights, however, was overshadowed by discontent and suspicion on behalf of ethnic Bulgarians. In the beginning of 1990, leaders of the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP) and administration in the Turkish populated areas opposed the BCP policy of restoring minority rights. An overwhelming proportion of the Bulgarian population in these regions also opposed the government decision to restore Muslim-Turkish names. In January 1990, thousands of Bulgarian nationalists, encouraged by local BCP functionaries, who were determined to hold on to power in the predominantly Turkish regions, demonstrated in Sofia against the Turks for more than a week. Despite government denials, there were fears that the Turks would be given their own autonomous republic — a step that some Bulgarians feared would lead to their country's dismemberment. Local leaders from the regions where the Bulgarians were in the minority have reportedly helped form and finance committees for "national unity" and "defense of the national interests" to oppose autonomy or separatist moves. Quoted in Prava i Svobodi 26(6 September 1991), p. 1. 48 Political parties and organizations such as the Bulgarian National Radical Party, the Bulgarian National Democratic Party, the Bulgarian Business Bloc, the Bulgarian Constitutional Forum, the Fatherland Party, the Bulgarian Socialist Party, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms of the Bulgarians under Turkish Administration, and the Thracian associations, among others, expressed different levels of anti-Turkish sentiments. The maximal nationalist program, advocated by the first two of the above parties and the Bulgarian organizations in the Turkish-populated districts, among others, is grouped around such key issues as banning the DPS; banning the study of Turkish in Bulgarian schools; making Bulgarian names obligatory for all Bulgarian citizens, chosen from a fixed name-list; restrictions for Turks on holding government positions; and the signing of a Bulgarian - Turkish agreement for resettlement of all Bulgaria's Turks to Turkey. A lot of Bulgarians were also concerned that Bulgaria would be transformed into a multinational state with at least two official languages --Bulgarian and Turkish. They were afraid that the Turkish language would dominate in the mixed regions where the Turks held most of the retail trade. They also feared that national security would be threatened by pan-Turkish aspirations. Prava i Svobodi 39(13 December 1991), p. 4. 49 The political grouping which has taken nationalistic stances is, however, disunited because of a deep ideological cleavage. Most of the parties involved cannot cooperate with the influential BSP because they are anti-communist. But they cannot cooperate with the ideologically closer SDS either, which is non-nationalistic. In this case the issue of ethnicity is divisive and impedes party collaboration. Nationalism has a strong appeal at local levels in regions with compact Turkish populations. Ideological differences among the ethnic Bulgarians there give way to the perceived threat from the more numerous and better organized Turkish group. The different strength of ethnic voting among Bulgarians according to regions was evident during the October 1991 elections in the number of votes cast for the SDS (more open to the demands of the Turkish minority) and the BSP (appealing for vigilance against Turkish separatism). As a rule, in areas with a sizable Muslim-Turkish population, the majority of the ethnic Bulgarians supported the BSP, while the SDS lagged far behind its rival (See Table 9). Conversely, in most regions with an insignificant Turkish population, the two nationwide parties were either roughly balanced or the SDS won the majority of votes. The major ideological divide here overlaps with differential preferences according to city or village population; the former are more supportive of the SDS, while the latter 50 Table 9. Elections in Bulgaria, 13 October 1991. Electoral % of Votes SDS BSP DPS Othera Region Processed (%) (%) (%) (%) Blagoevgradb Burgas Varna Veliko Turnovo Vidin Vratsa Gabrovo Dobrichc Kurdzhalic Kyustendil Lovech Mihailovgrad Pazardzhik Pernik Pleven Plovdiv City Plovdiv Razgradc Ruse Silistrac Sliven Smolyan53 Sofia City-1 Sofia City-2 Sofia City-3 Sofia Stara Zagora Turgovishtec Haskovoc Shumenc Yambol 83.58 36.76 68.69 82.97 61.57 58.47 92.95 61.56 62.59 68.05 81.94 80.39 97.69 79.17 88.22 81.78 58.94 32.02 73.51 72.37 84.12 80.44 100.00 100.00 93.60 78.65 85.49 59.93 98.38 77.12 73.05 44.89 33.96 43.96 30.41 31.90 31.03 44.89 25.16 6.58 41.34 36.62 35.46 35.40 41.80 33.76 52.49 32.82 9.47 34.52 15.23 31.35 30.84 51.19 54.33 51.17 39.69 35.53 11.92 23.63 17.98 32.19 26.56 30.58 26.46 34.53 47.24 42.63 27.40 31.81 20.22 34.82 34.19 42.65 36.65 33.14 39.09 24.84 35.33 28.26 27.96 34.69 39.52 30.27 30.41 26.22 28.14 32.32 36.65 37.39 38.86 37.83 40.43 8.01 5.00 2.15 2.47 0.01 0.02 2.19 14.18 59.16 0.06 3.39 0.01 6.19 0.03 2.19 0.94 5.78 35.25 6.73 24.64 5.79 11.97 0.13 0.34 0.24 0.27 3.41 19.45 8.84 14.38 4.13 11.29 12.67 15.25 16.82 13.26 14.58 13.86 15.19 4.80 11.82 14.43 12.18 13.21 11.04 15.41 11.64 15.56 9.91 19.51 12.50 13.56 20.60 9.91 9.91 8.55 12.86 16.27 11.15 16.76 14.06 16.48 Note: a: Percentage of votes cast for the two Agrarian Parties — BZNS(united) and BZNS(Nikola Petkov), and the two SDS off-shoots — SDS (center) and SDS(liberals); b: Regions with compact Pomak populations which support the DPS; c: Regions with compact Turkish populations. Source: Demokratsiya [Democracy] Newspaper (15 October 1991), p. 1. 51 Table 10. Percentage of Mayors Elected in Villages and Municipalities according to Party Affiliation, 13 October 1991. Villages Municipalities BSP 50.9 44.7 SDS 13.2 37.3 DPS 15.6 10.6 BZNS(e) 11.1 2.4 BZNS(NP) 5.0 2.4 Source: Duma (30 October 1991), p. 1. prefer the BSP. Table 10 shows that the more urbanized the population is, the higher the support for the SDS. On the other hand, the support for DPS in the cities is 1-2 percent and 19 percent in the villages ; but this cleavage reflects ethnic voting as the majority of Turks live in villages. According to a survey conducted in January 1990, 80 percent of the ethnic Bulgarians were against the BCP decision to restore Turkish names. However, 90 percent of them stated that they were not against the decision in principle but against the undemocratic way by which it was taken; 60 percent said the Turks would then ask for more concessions; 40 percent of the secondary school students and 90 percent of the university students were against the decision; and 20 percent of the respondents, mainly Prava i Svobodi 18(19 July 19 91), p. 7. intellectuals, were in favor of the decision4 ,• about 50 percent of the Bulgarians were categorically against the study of the Turkish language in the state schools in July 1991. Another survey carried out in February 1992, showed, however, that the feelings of suspicion and insecurity of ethnic Bulgarians might calm down. Fifty-four percent of them believed that Bulgaria should improve its relations with Turkey, even although two years before they had strong reservations about this4 . Despite overwhelming evidence of ethnic polarization, the political segmentation along Turkish-Bulgarian lines does not seem to run extremely deep. In fact, ethnic conflict in Bulgaria has never been violent on a large scale. The data in Table 11 show that the nationwide parties preserve their broadly-based multiethnic character, which is typical of moderate levels of ethnic tension. Some interethnic vote crossover indeed takes place and may enhance political moderation and centripetal competition for votes across ethnic borders. The opinion polls, held in July 1991, show that the Turkish support for the DPS has fallen J"Sotsiologichesko prouchvane: Politicheskite partii i dvizheniya v stranata po vreme na etnicheskata kriza (4-11 yanuari 1990g." [Sociological Survey: The Political Parties and Movements during the Ethnic Crisis (4-11 January 1990)] in Suvremenni Sotsialni Teorii [Contemporary Social Theories] Quarterly 2-3(1990), p. 117. 44Prava i Svobodi 18(19 July 19 91), p. 7. Bulgarian Economic Outlook 19(May 1992), p. 7. Table 11. Political Preferences according to Ethnicity (in % ) : Opinion Polls, July 1991. SDS BSP DPS BZNS Gypsies 28 25 5 0 Turks 13 9 65 4 Bulgarians 28 25 0a 18 Note: a: the number of Bulgarians in the DPS is about 7,500 persons, i.e., well bellow 1 percent of the total Bulgarian population. Source; Prava i Svobodi 18(19 July 1991), p. 7. from 83 to 63 percent in the period after the June 1990 elections; 35 percent of the Turks said they would prefer SDS, BSP, or BZNS in the future. The Gypsies, who are 75 percent Muslims, would support the SDS or the BSP (combined 53 percent), and 5 percent of them would vote for the DPS. The DPS, on the other hand, has declared itself non-exclusive and has made the broader issues of protection of individual human rights and the rights of ethnic communities a guiding principle of its policies. Although the DPS has shown some aggregative tendency toward inclusion based on ascriptiveness, notably the Muslim Pomaks and Gypsies, non-Muslim groups are also present in the movement. The constitutional restriction on the activities of ethnic and religious political formations in the country 54 Table 12. DPS Membership according to Ethnic Affiliation, January 1992. Ethnicity Number Percentage Turks3 81,560 - 82,400 87.2 Bulgarians 7,440 - 7,600 8.0 Other 4,000 - 5,000 4.8 Note: a: Pomaks are presumably included in this group. In a number of cases they have identified their strong Muslim affiliation with Turkishness and have expressed willingness to study Turkish language at schools. Source: Prava i Svobodi 2(10 January 1992), p. 1. moderates the ethnocentric character of the DPS. While capturing an overwhelmingly Turkish electorate, the movement has tried to focus on the broader issues of individual human rights and the rights of the ethnic and religious communities. In appealing to the specific interests of ethnic Bulgarians and other minority groups, the DPS has exhibited an ability to cut across ethnic lines in its political activity. Table 12 illustrates the ethnic composition of the DPS. The Turks are the dominant group in the movement, but the Bulgarians constitute 8 percent and the other ethnic groups 4.8 percent of the DPS membership. This composition makes it possible for the DPS to extend its organization over territories with practically no Turkish population (such as the regions of Vratsa, Mihailovgrad, 55 Vidin, Kyustendil, and Pernik to the west of the country). But the support for the movement in these areas is almost zero percent. At the same time, 6 of the 31 members of the central council of the DPS are Bulgarians (19.3 percent). In the October 1991 elections, the DPS participated with 140 MP candidates, 36 of whom were Bulgarians ° (25.7 percent). Four of them were elected MPs (17.4 percent of the DPS deputies). The corollary, however, is that the DPS has preserved its ethnic profile. Internally, it spans the major groups of Turks, Pomaks, Gypsies and Bulgarians; but externally, it still reflects ethnic polarization. Ethnic Turks are the core group of the movement and provide it with a stable electorate which is typical of the minority parties. The political context here is more significant than the literal meaning of multiethnic membership. The electors' behavior shows that ethnic Bulgarians do not give their support for the DPS (See Table 7, p. 40) and vote ethnically wherever the DPS is strong. Likewise, the DPS relies, for the time being, mostly on the vote of Turks and Pomaks. Also, the religious cleavage within the Gypsy communities, their more scattered pattern of settlement around cities, as well as growing fears of Turkish domination, among other reasons, prevents the Gypsies from joining the DPS in great numbers. Prava i Svobodi 27(20 September 1 9 9 1 ) , p . 1 . 56 On the contrary, they have initiated their own ethnic political organizations -- a cumulative tendency evoked by the political success of the DPS. However, the DPS has put a lot of efforts to gain the support of the Gypsies. Turkish businessmen have helped them in the elaboration of a Romany alphabet, the issuing of a newspaper, and the organization of cultural festivities.47 The uncertainty and ambiguity in relation to the ethnic characteristics of the DPS is also seen in its publication "Prava i Svobodi" [Rights and Freedoms]. Officially, it is registered as one newspaper, but its two versions, one in Turkish and the other in Bulgarian, are edited by separate boards and their content is different. After 24 July, 1992, even the cover page has been different. The editorial divide follows the linguistic cleavage, and so does the content. While the Bulgarian version maintains a nationwide profile, the Turkish version is specifically oriented to the core supporters of the movement. The reason for this dualism may be a desire to maintain a facade of legitimacy since the constitution prescribes that parties ought not to be organized around ethnic interests. On balance, the issue of ethnicity, the political mobilization of the Turkish minority in particular, affects the party preferences of ethnic Bulgarians. In most cities 4 72 4 chasa (26 July 1992), p. 2. 57 and areas with a dominant Bulgarian population, the ideological cleavage among the Bulgarian group is stronger than the ethnic sentiment. However, in areas with a dominant Turkish population, the ethnic divide blurs the ideological concerns. In the former case, the SDS enjoys broader support from ethnic Bulgarians. In the latter case, however, the old political formation, the BSP, which has stronger nationalistic appeal, mobilizes the Bulgarians around ethnic issues. Therefore, the Turkish-based DPS tends to enhance interethnic polarization and the ideological cleavage dividing the dominant group. Currently, the political system is likely to become more rigid in terms of vote transfers both across and within ethnic boundaries. Effects on Elite Cooperation Once ethnic borders coincide with party preferences, the importance of elite cooperation increases in proportion to the lack of vote fluidity. Elite cooperation may then take a coalescent or competitive direction, depending on the concrete situation. If elites choose to cooperate, interethnic moderation is the expected result, despite the fact that ethnic segmentation may deepen. Though it is too early to judge, it seems that coalescent behavior may become a feasible alternative in Bulgaria's politics. 58 After the October 1991 elections, the DPS won 23 (9.6 percent) out of 240 seats in the parliament (See Table 7, p. 40) and formed a governing coalition with the SDS, but did not attain ministerial posts. However, some observers concluded that "for the first time since 1878, an incredible political configuration emerged, where a minority decides on the problems of the nation in the parliament"4". Indeed, despite disagreements, the SDS-DPS coalition performed quite effectively in accelerating democratic reform in the country. At least 19 MPs of the DPS participated as deputy-heads of parliamentary commissions and in the elaboration of draft-proposals on a number of political, economic, and social matters. Ethnic issues were also a matter of prime concern for the coalition and the DPS in particular. On 22 November, the government decided that Turks, Gypsies, Jews, and Armenians would be eligible to study their mother tongue four hours weekly from third to eighth grade as a voluntary subject within the regular curricula. It was later agreed that the study of Turkish would start from the second grade of the elementary school. But the potential for tension also arose because in the regions with mixed population the study of Turkish was in some cases at the expense of other school subjects, such as history, mathematics, and Bulgarian 24 chasa (25 November 1991), p. 3. 59 language.^ The cooperation between the SDS and the DPS is, however, no more than a coalition of convenience. During the January 1992 presidential elections, the ethnic problems in the country became a major, if not the main, issue. According to the constitution, the president and the vice president are elected as a team. There are no restrictions on the number of candidates for the presidency. As a result, twenty-two teams were officially registered to compete in the elections. Almost all of them other than the SDS-supported candidate, Zhelyu Zhelev, took a strongly nationalist, anti-Turkish line, comparable to the BSP's increasing nationalistic stance. " The Turks, therefore, cast their vote for Zhelev. In the regions of Kurdzhali and Razgrad (with dominant Turkish populations), where the support for the SDS is minor and most Bulgarians vote ethnically, he won in the second round the highest percentage of support (72 and 54 percent, respectively, compared to the average of 52.8 percent for the whole country). In fact, in these regions the election took the form of a bloc voting, with 99 percent of the Turks supporting the SDS favorite. Conversely, the BSP-supported candidate won only 14 and 25 percent in the two regions, **Duma (18 February 1992), p. 2. ^^Rada Nikolaev, "The Bulgarian Presidential Elections" in RFE/RL Research Report (7 February 1992), p. 15. 60 compared to the country's average of 47.1 percent. The bloc voting was decisive for the election of the SDS candidate. The difference in the votes, by which Zhelev won the final victory (5.6 percent), is equal to the number of the DPS electorate. The effect of the SDS-DPS cooperation on the voters' preferences is somewhat controversial; the February 1992 opinion polls showed that 44 percent of the ethnic Bulgarians thought Turks should bear Bulgarian names. However large their number, it is much smaller than the 74 percent who favored the idea in 1990. On the other hand, opinion polls in April 1992 showed that 32 percent of the Bulgarians, 44 percent of the Gypsies, and 84 percent of the Turks were in favor of the SDS-DPS cooperation. However, the majority of Bulgarians, 53.8 percent, and 44 percent of the Gypsies were against it.52 Respectively, 14.2 and 12 percent of them had no opinion on the issue. It is clear, however, that the DPS is more prepared to engage in coalescent behavior than are the majority of Bulgarian parties, which may be due partly to the insecurity related to the constitutional ban on ethnic parties, among other reasons. In October 1991, the DPS gave its votes in one of the electoral regions for the candidate of the Liberal Party (LP). In the face of the BSP-led campaign to Bulgarian Economic Outlook 13(30 March 1992), p. 9. Bulgarian Economic Outlook 19(May 1992), p. 7. 61 abolish the movement, the DPS leaders negotiated with the nationwide LP and eventually agreed to a possible transfer of members, should the movement be outlawed. The DPS has also exhibited a large measure of tolerance and wisdom in promoting its goals through the SDS-DPS coalition. It did not put any political conditions to its partnership and the coalition came into being unusually fast. Neither did the DPS seek governmental offices. However, the demands for equality of opportunities in all spheres of life, including political ones, are inalienably part of the party's program. On balance, it is too early to tell whether the incipient forms of interethnic elite cooperation between the Bulgarian and the Turkish groups may moderate the ethnic divide, or to determine the direction in which the Bulgarian political and governmental structures may evolve in the future. For the time being, the interaction between the ethnic-based DPS and the nationwide SDS is mostly a matter a convenience. Ethnic distinctiveness, visibility, and polarization will continue to permeate Bulgaria's political reality and affect its structures. Under democratic conditions, the Turkish minority has been able to mobilize successfully its resources for effective impact on governmental and political institutions. The rise of the Turkish group has increasingly affected certain elements of Bulgaria's political system, notably the electoral system (toward less vote fluidity), 62 the party system (toward perpetuating the nationwide ideological divide), and the governmental structures (toward interethnic coalition-building). The new opportunities for social mobilization of the Turkish minority, based on a recognized and non-assimilated elite, have been matched by a general willingness of the ethnic Turks to integrate themselves into Bulgaria's society, but to retain their identity. The emergence of a Turkish minority party, a unique event in the country's political history, has changed the traditional relationship between ethnic Turks and Bulgarians, hitherto based on patterns of segregation or assimilation set by the dominant group. Moderation and cooperation seem to be salient elements in the DPS strategy which favors integration by elite accommodation. Should the DPS preserve its political influence, considerably higher than its numerical strength, the presence of a politically organized Turkish minority will become a factor for the departure from the ethnocentric character of the state and for its transformation into some form of consociational democracy. But the likelihood of this transformation will also depend on the strategies of the dominant group, which sets the norms, as well on the "flexibility" and "learning capacity" of Bulgaria's democracy to reciprocate the integrative behavior of its minorities. 63 Chapter III THE EFFECT OF DEMOCRATIC RULE ON THE TURKISH MINORITY Effects of the Constitution Under democratic conditions, minorities usually acquire larger political space to foster their interests as a group. Consequently, as shown in the previous chapter, their mobilization affects the political system of the state. But the reverse is also true: minorities are strongly affected by the constitutional and political framework within which they are situated. Democracies promote a variety of possible actions and outcomes. A minority group may face dilemmas as to how best to maximize its interests. In the extreme case, it may opt for separation; interethnic relations will be in the main centrifugal, and the tendency will be toward disintegration of the existing constitutional and political order. But the group may also turn to less extreme forms of differentiation. The minority may choose integration 64 strategies as an option from which it hopes to benefit most. In this case, it may seek elite accommodation and interethnic moderation instead of competition and isolation. As already noted, the Turkish minority of Bulgaria is likely to make this kind of choice. The constitutional and political reality of the country will then play a considerable role in shaping up the political preferences of the ethnic Turks. In this section I will focus on the 1991 constitution in order to determine its impact on, and the extent to which it protects, the interests of the Turkish minority. The Bulgarian constitution is based on the principle of recognition of the individual rights and freedoms of every citizen. It makes no mention of national minorities and does not recognize collective rights based on ethnicity. An antidiscriminatory clause (Article 6.1) proscribes restrictions of rights on grounds of race, ethnic affiliation, or religion. Article 13.3 declares Christian Orthodoxy the traditional religion in the republic, but its discriminatory bias is offset by Article 13.2, which states that the religious institutions are separated from the state. Thus, nominally, the freedom of conscience and worship is equally guaranteed for all Bulgarian citizens. Article 13.3, however, connotes a prejudice that non-Christians may be seen as aliens. The protection of linguistic minority rights in the 65 constitution is limited to the most elementary guarantees. Article 36.2 stipulates that citizens whose mother tongue is other than Bulgarian, may study and use their own language. This right is preconditioned by an obligation for all Bulgarian citizens to study and use Bulgarian. The latter is the sole official language of the state (Article 3). The constitution, however, leaves a number of linguistic rights unrecognized, such as the right to teach and be taught in one's mother tongue, the right to be understood, and the right to use one's tongue in the public services. In contrast, the 1879 Constitution of the Bulgarian Principality recognized Turkish as an official language in relations with the Ottoman government and in the relations between private persons and the administration. Currently, the Turkish minority has focused its efforts on the implementation of the already prescribed rights, such as the right to study its mother tongue. But it did not ask for restitution of the 424 private schools nationalized in 1946. Turks are aware that if their private schools are returned, they may be left on their own in the educational domain. Failure to secure appropriate funding for the normal functioning of these schools may lead to a decline in the educational standards of the group and to its self-segregation. Furthermore, perfection in the Bulgarian language in the national schools is still considered by the Turkish elite essential for the achievement of higher social 66 and political status. The Bulgarian constitution does not recognize the existence of national minorities in the country. Ethnic minorities are referred to as "citizens whose mother tongue is other than Bulgarian". But minorities are explicitly denied the right to political distinctiveness; ethnic parties are unconstitutional (Article 11.4). Moreover, Article 44.2 proscribes organizations whose activity may be directed against the territorial integrity of the country and the unity of the nation. Thus, policies advocating ethnic segmentation along territorial lines are a breach of law. Cultural segmentation, however, is left virtually outside the law and constitutes an alternative. The Movement for Rights and Freedoms can, therefore, promote with impunity demands pertaining to the personal rights of the Turkish minority. In 1991, it launched a mass campaign of civil disobedience related to the delay of the study of Turkish language at schools. Classes in nearly 300 junior schools were boycotted for almost three months. But nobody filed an official complaint against the DPS for fueling ethnic tension. The requirement for the political parties to be broadly-based strongly influences the DPS. The DPS has become more inclusive of other ethnic groups (See Table 12. p. 54). Its ethnic appeal has been moderated, and its policies have become more open to non-ethnic issues. In its 67 political platform, the DPS has declared that one of its goals is to safeguard "the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and national security of the country". And its leaders have stated that the DPS belongs to the center-left of the political spectrum, therefore targeting all those who share such ideological preferences. On balance, the constitution proscribes ethnic separatism and favors integrative behavior of minority groups. Cultural segmentation is possible, which shows that under the present legislature some form of personal autonomy for the Turkish minority may be a conceivable alternative. But the ethnic Turks are more interested in reshaping the unitary structure of the republic along federal lines. To this impasse the answer lies probably in a compromise, which would exclude the nationwide application of the principle of federalism, but would partially enhance it at the local levels where the Turks are in the minority. Bulgaria's judicial system is also likely to reward the integrative behavior of the Turkish group. It represents a four-tier hierarchy of municipal courts, district and military courts, courts of appeal, and the Supreme Court of Cassation and the Supreme Administrative Court. They are independent from the government and party politics. The judges are provided with the same legal immunity as parliamentarians. Moreover, they cannot be removed from their posts once they have served for three years; this 68 means that they are in fact appointed for life, a safeguard, which usually favors minorities who are politically weaker than their opponents. The 1991 constitution created a Constitutional Court, which is without precedent in Bulgaria's legal tradition. It consists of twelve judges, one-third of whom are elected by the parliament, one-third by the two supreme courts, and the rest are appointed by the president. Their mandate is for nine years and they are not eligible for another period. The Constitutional Court is of crucial importance for the minorities' political activities as it is empowered to rescind legislation it considers unconstitutional. It may outlaw any party which is ethnically-based and whose aims contradict the constitution. The court can only initiate investigation if at least twenty percent of the deputies submit a complaint. Therefore, because of its numerical weakness, the DPS will have to engage in elite cooperation in order to be able to benefit from the decisions of the court. This observation holds true for another innovation in the judicial system -- the Supreme Judicial Council set up in order to supervise the operations of the judiciary. It makes decisions on the appointment and replacement of judges. The council's decisions cannot be overruled by the president, who may return them once for reconsideration. The council has 25 members, eleven of whom are appointed by the 69 parliament, another eleven by the main judicial bodies, and the remaining three, the chairpersons of the supreme courts and the prosecutor-general, are ex officio members. Their mandate is for five years and they cannot be appointed for another consecutive term. In late March 1992, a parliamentary decision adopted by the SDS and DPS replaced more than half of the council members. ^ The newly composed council quickly began to promote changes, and during March and April alone it removed forty-three judges, investigators, and prosecutors on grounds of incompetence. According to the constitution, these could not have been removed from their post once three months had elapsed since the first meeting of the council.54 Again, the DPS benefited from its cooperation with the broadly-based SDS by virtually securing for itself an ethnically unprejudiced judiciary. Effects of the Governmental and Political Structures Bulgaria's state structure is determined by the constitution as unitary with local self-governance. Autonomous territorial formations are not allowed (Article 0JKiell Engelbrekt, "Toward the Rule of Law" in RFE/RL Research Report 27(3 July 1992), p. 6. 54Ibid., p. 6. 70 2.1). The territory of the republic is divided into municipalities (obshtini) and districts (oblasti). The Municipalities are self-governing juridical persons run by councils, which are elected by the population. On top of these are nine districts -- administrative territorial units whose governors are appointed by the government. They implement the state policy at the regional level and supervise the decisions of the organs of local self-governance . The state administration is therefore highly centralized with a measure of self-governance at the local level. It does not allow for territorial segmentation along ethnic lines. However, the Turks live in bloc communities and their participation in the local governments is proportional to their relative numerical strength. Where the Turks are in the majority, they easily control the local administration. For example, as a result of the October 1992 elections, 17.3 percent of the village mayors and 10.6 percent of the municipality mayors are DPS representatives.55 Also, beneficial for the ethnic Turks is the stipulation in the constitution that the self-governing municipalities may associate with one another for the solution of common problems (Article 137.1). Therefore, the present system of local self-governance Duma (30 October 1991), pp. 1-2. 71 does not disadvantage the Turkish minority. On the other hand, though the latter favors some form of territorial segmentation along ethnic borders, looking for wider territorial solutions may be difficult. In many regions with compact Turkish populations, the ethnic Bulgarians form a sizable minority. Also, the Gypsies, who are dispersed in 160 cities and 3,000 villages throughout the country56, can hardly benefit from horizontal solutions. They would prefer regulation based on personal autonomy. Conversely, the Turks do not seem to be simply interested in a personal autonomy, under which they would draw fewer benefits than from the present state. This cross-cutting of ethnic preferences may moderate the potential interest of the Turkish group in a federal solution on a nationwide scale. It may be inferred, however, that the Turkish group would opt to maximize the advantages gained at the local levels by advancing some form of quasi-federal segmentation regulating the relations between the ethnic groups where the Turks are in the majority or wherever the Turks are a large minority. There are no reserved offices for Turks or other minority groups in the present governmental structures, either at the central level or in places where the minorities form compact communities. Before 1944, the Turks were politically active and they held some top positions in Troxel, p.59. 72 the government. Under the communist administration, Turks were usually represented by one person in the central bodies of the political parties and organizations. But multicommunal executives have never been customary in Bulgaria; and the language of debate has always been Bulgarian. However, under democratic conditions, and where the minorities are numerically and politically strong, the general tendency is toward multicommunalism and proportional representation of the minorities and the dominant group in the government. ° Though this tendency has not yet materialized in Bulgaria, it is clear that by joining the governmental coalition with the SDS, the DPS exerts direct influence on the policies of the present executive. The coalition emerged as a result of the unconditional support of the DPS for the policy of the SDS. The tendency is toward more frequent consultations and exchange of opinions between the two partners, including some formal recognition of their alliance on a reciprocal basis. The electoral system of the country, which is based on direct universal suffrage, is protective of the Turkish ^'Zachary Twin, "The faith of Islam in the Balkans" in Pedro Romet, ed., Religion and Nationalism in Soviet and East European Politics (Durham: Duke University Press, 1989), p. 398. ^°Laponce, J.A., The Protection of Minorities (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1960), p. 103. 73 Table 13. Turkish Representatives in the Bulgarian Parliament. Year Number of Turkish Total Number of Representatives Seats 1923 10 246 1945 3 246 1946 7 246 1953 10 400 1976 15 400 1990 23 400 1991 23 240 Source: Pencho Kubadinski, Izborite za Narodno Subranie i zadachite na Otechestveniya Front [The Elections for National Assembly and the Tasks of the Fatherland Front] (Sofia, 1976), p. 27; Memishev, p. 20, The Economist (19 October 1991), p. 59. minority. The proportional representation system corresponds with the interests of the ethnic Turks at the local levels where they are in the majority. This system is beneficial to them at the national level, so long as the DPS can muster the four percent of votes needed to get seats in the parliament (the minimum threshold required for parliamentary representation affects negatively the small nationwide parties). Under these conditions, the DPS and the big national parties will be overrepresented in the central legislature. In the 1991 elections, for example, the DPS won 9.6 percent of the seats in the parliament (See Table 13) with six percent of the voters. The dominant Bulgarian group has also played a role in 74 shaping up the political behavior of the Turkish minority. Under the authoritarian system, the Turks were subject to a process of assimilation. Therefore, the DPS emerged mostly as a human rights organization in order to safeguard the rights of the Turkish community. The assimilation campaigns may also explain why the Turks have formed a single party capable of securing effective political protection for the group. Later, in 1990, the SDS declined a proposal from the DPS to join the prodemocracy alliance. As a result, the DPS performed independently and acquired a political distinctiveness unprecedented for any minority group in the country. The Turkish minority and the DPS in particular, are also affected by the ability (although limited) of the nationwide parties, notably the SDS, the BZNS(e), and the BSP, to compete for Turkish votes. Opinion polls, conducted in July 1992, show that 26 percent and 4 percent of the Turks respectively support the SDS and the BSP (See Table 14). Meanwhile, the BZNS(e), with Turkish help, has already passed the four-percent threshold and may challenge the tripartite configuration in the next parliamentary elections. The data reveal that the communal support for the DPS has recently dropped to 54 percent of all Turkish voters. This fact is important, since the DPS will be able to maintain its political position if it can maintain a fairly 75 Table 14. Political Affiliation according to Ethnicity: Opinion Polls, July 1992. Ethnic Group Bulgarians Turks Gypsies SDS 35 26 26 BSP 29 4 47 DPS 54 8 Note: The data are given only for the three parliamentarian parties. Source: BBSS Gallup International Opinion Polls in 24 chasa (21 July 1992), p. 1. high level of bloc voting that keeps it above the four-percent threshold. Moreover, should the broadly-based parties decide to promote ethnic Turks in top government jobs before the DPS has succeeded in doing so, the Turkish minority will be less motivated to give its votes to the DPS. In order to maintain its influence, the DPS may have to become more inclusive of other ethnic groups. It may have to broaden its political program and to reach out across ethnic boundaries. Therefore, the political party configuration is such that it nudges the DPS, and the Turkish group as a whole, toward integration and elite accommodation. Eventually, it may acquire some of the characteristics typical of the nationwide parties. On balance, it may be inferred that Bulgaria's 76 governmental and political structures reward the integrative behavior of the Turkish minority. The system of proportional representation favors small minorities when bloc voting pushes them over the minimum required for representation. Presently, the DPS plays, at the national level, a distinctive political role, in which its influence is considerably greater than the limited numerical strength of the movement would seem to indicate. However restrictive on ethnic political activities the constitutional framework may be, it seems beneficial for the Turkish minority to opt for a gradual change through tolerant elite cooperation rather than through centrifugal competition. Despite the pressures on the DPS to become a multiethnic party, or at least to establish a broadly-based political platform, the Bulgarian judiciary has given a loose interpretation of the ban on ethnic political parties. In fact, the Constitutional Court has ruled that the DPS had acted in accordance with the constitution. If so, the demands of the DPS for cantonal protection of "the cultural-religious communities" in the country may not necessarily be viewed as unconstitutional. 77 CONCLUSION The present case study has shown that, in democratic systems, the effect of ethnicity on politics can be considerable. This effect is evident in the behavior of political parties, electors, and governments. It is less evident (though noticeable) at the level of the constitutional framework. Conversely, governmental and political structures strongly affect ethnic minorities. Both are highly interdependent and may influence each other differently according to the prevailing conditions. The "flexibility" and the "learning capacity" of the ethnic groups and the political system for broader patterns of communication are of particular importance for the character of this relationship. The model presented by Deutsch has been useful in explaining some of the consequences resulting from the social mobilization of Bulgaria's Turkish minority, particularly its emerging cultural and educational institutions. The ethnic Turks have also shown a remarkable capacity for a swift accommodation to the new political reality. They have been efficient in moving toward an integration into Bulgaria's society while preserving their 78 separate identity. This strategy aimed at a rise in the social hierarchy and at increased control over governmental and political structures at the center and in the areas where the Turks are in the majority. However, the Turks have achieved more than what Deutsch's model would have led us to predict; they have become a balancing factor between the two largest nationwide parties and have assumed responsibility (in view of their role in the parliament and as a coalition partner) for the political stability of the country. The advent of democratization has brought the Turkish minority into the mainstream of Bulgaria's politics. The ethnic Turks have been successful in producing a legitimate non-assimilated elite able to attain social and political uplifting for the group. The Turkish minority party, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), has gained prestige and recognition despite the constitutional ban on ethnic political activities. The DPS has put forward demands for proportionality in the major social and political spheres and for equality for "all cultural-rpoeligious communities" in the country. The thesis has shown that the Turkish minority party has had a considerable effect on the country's party system. Cooperation between the two main parties has become more difficult because of the central placing of the DPS. Also, by helping to prevent either of the two parties from obtaining the majority of seats, the DPS contributes to the 79 splintering of the party system. On the other hand, the nationwide parties affect the Turkish minority party. Limited though it may be, the ability of the main parties to compete for voters across ethnic boundaries moderates the ethnic distinctiveness of the DPS and drives it toward broadly-based activities and greater inclusion of other ethnic groups. Conversely, should the anti-Turkish sentiments mount again, it may be expected that the ethnic support for the Turkish minority party would considerably increase and affect its nature in the opposite direction. Should the moderate policies of the DPS have the effect of reducing the reason for the ethnic Turks to vote for it, the DPS would have to look for supporters beyond the Turkish vote or to reenforce the party's ethnic character if radical politicians take over its leadership. It is too early to measure precisely the depth of ethnic influence on the country's political structures. But the issue of ethnicity permeates the political system. The Turkish minority has been successful in acquiring political salience through its party. Other minority groups, notably the Gypsies, are looking forward to advancing their political roles as well. The increase in importance of the issue of ethnicity may put the unitary principle of governance in question. But, in Bulgaria, the existing political mechanisms are favorable to interethnic moderation and integration by 80 accommodation to the competing ethnic interests. So far, the interethnic cooperation at the center has been effective. This is less true at the local levels where ethnic tension is simmering. The Turks want, as a minimum, recognition of their cultural identity, free performance of religious rites, and the use of the Turkish language in the public relations. The Bulgarians see these demands as signs that they may be put at a disadvantage in the Turkish areas. The political program of the DPS puts into question the traditional unitary principle of state governance, since it calls for the segmentation of Bulgaria's ethnic groups along cantonal principles. It may be suggested that the extent to which the DPS will be able to promote these goals will depend on the emergence of stable coalition patterns of elite cooperation and on the readiness of the political parties to reach compromises across ethnic lines, both at the center and locally. Integrative behavior and tolerance for disagreement seem beneficial at the moment for the DPS and the Turkish group as a whole. Evidently, the facilitating conditions for the application of Lijphart's model of consociational democracy are not entirely present in Bulgaria. The limited numerical strength of the ethnic Turks and the fact that their community is geographically separated and that they are intermixed with ethnic Bulgarians may be, according to Lijphart, an impediment to consociationalism. Nevertheless, 81 a measure of local consociational segmentation between Turks and Bulgarians appears to offer a more stable, and probably inevitable, future solution. Consociationalism would prevent group comparisons, moderate interethnic competition, and enhance elite cooperation at the local level, where these are most needed. In fact, some of the conditions conducive to consociational governance are already in the making, such as incipient elite cooperation, increasing segmental isolation, and the presence of crosscutting cleavages and overarching loyalties. The alleged centuries-long tradition of mutual tolerance and cultural interaction between Turks and Bulgarians — a sign of their capacity to absorb external influences without much fear of losing their identity — may serve to enhance these conditions. If this holds true, the presence of the Turkish minority may then affect Bulgaria's political system positively. Should the ethnic Turks continue to follow their moderate leadership, their integrative behavior will bring about durable solutions to Bulgaria's ethnic problems. 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