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Bulgaria. Bulgarian History and Ethnic Divisions. General Geography. Population: 7, 707, 500 Capital: Sofia Life Expect.: 68 yrs. Growth rate: -1.14% Religions: 85% Orthodox., 13% Muslim, 2% Others. Ethnic Makeup: 85% Bulgarian, 9% Turkish, 6% Roma,Macedonian, Russian, Armenian, Others.

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Bulgaria l.jpg

Bulgaria

Bulgarian History and Ethnic Divisions



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Population: 7, 707, 500

Capital: Sofia

Life Expect.: 68 yrs.

Growth rate: -1.14%

Religions: 85% Orthodox., 13% Muslim, 2% Others

Ethnic Makeup: 85% Bulgarian, 9% Turkish, 6% Roma,Macedonian, Russian, Armenian, Others.

Independence (modern): 1908

Geographical/Demographic Data


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Brief History

  • Bulgaria is hundreds of years old

  • Recognized as state in 681 A.D.

  • Made up of Slavic and Central Asian peoples

  • “Bulgar” means one of mixed nationality in Old Turkic language


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Brief History (cont.)

  • 1453 – Ottoman Turks rule country, better part of Balkans

  • Next 425 years under control of Ottoman Empire



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Brief History (cont.)

  • Late 19th Century rebellion against Ottomans

  • Fight and win independence, 1908

  • Gain and then lose territory in Macedonia and Thrace through the Treaty of San Stefano and the Treaty of Berlin


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Brief History (cont.)

  • Bad Decisions:

    • Leaders sided with losers in WWI and WWII

    • Greatly weakened economy

    • Becomes satellite state of USSR, becomes Communist

    • Only Warsaw pact member that was Slavic and Orthodox, more support for USSR


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Brief History (cont.)

  • Ruled by Communist leaders up until 1991

  • 1991 – People elect Democratic leader

  • Under democracy:

  • Still high unemployment, environmental problems from Communist leadership (command econ., industrial emphasis)


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Ethnicity

  • Bulgarians/Orthodox vs. Turks/Muslims?

  • Review of ethnic history and cleansing within Bulgaria

  • Current situations


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Ethnicity

  • 4th - 10th centuries

    • Independence tolerated under Byzantine Empire

    • 15th century – Ottoman Rule




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Ethnicity

  • Many Bulgarians flourish under highly organized Ottoman Empire rule

  • People in rural areas remembered the “old ways” and retained a sense of national Bulgarian pride





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Still Ottoman (Turkish) control in 1901, yet a section is unowned

Shows anarchy within state, Bulgaria is beginning to slip from Ottoman grasp

Ethnicity


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Ethnicity unowned

  • Mid – 17th century

  • Ottoman Empire slowly declines

  • Power shift within Empire – goes from central, organized and benevolent to regional control over many areas

  • Regional dictators much less kind than central powers


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Ethnicity unowned

  • Increased hatred for Turks among Bulgarians

  • Nationalistic feelings aroused by poor treatment

  • Kurdzhaliistvo – anarchy spreads throughout many parts of Bulgaria

  • Peasants flee to neighboring countries (Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, etc.)


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Ethnicity unowned

  • 1878 – Bulgarians in nearby countries and within Bulgaria try to overthrow of Ottoman rulers

  • Revolts unorganized – crushed

  • More than 30,000 Bulgarians killed


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Ethnicity unowned

  • Slaughter draws attention of int’l community

  • Russian declares war on Ottoman Empire

  • Russia wins, frees Bulgaria from Ottoman rule

  • 1908 official date of independence


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Ethnic Cleansing unowned

  • Statement by Edmund Burke, British Vice Consul in Plovdiv at roughly turn of 19th century:

    • “The Russian gov’t allows the Christians to take the law into their own hand and to visit the Turkish Community at large with present and indiscrim-inate bloodshed, rapine and pilage…the evil state of things now prevailing is of an incomparably more widespread, harsh, and barbarous type that which it is manifestl intended as a set off.”


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Ethnic Hatred unowned

  • Overcompensation visited upon Turks?

  • Bulgaria now defines border in terms of religion and language

  • Turks treated as outsiders

  • Pomaks – these are Bulgarian-speaking Muslims who are treated less harshly than Turks, yet are still discriminated against


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Ethnic Hatred unowned

  • Oppression and cleansing of Turks lasted many years

  • Attempt to rid country of stupid and backward (feeling of many Bulgarian and Greek people) remnants of Ottoman Empire

  • Bulgaria becomes a Soviet Communist satellite state in 1945


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Ethnic Hatred unowned

  • 1986 – Todor Zhivkov, last Communist leader, passes law stating that all Turks within Bulgaria must change names to Bulgarian sounding names

  • Many refused – chased to Turkey, possessions confiscated, some even killed

  • One famous of these relocated people was…


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Ethnic Hatred unowned

  • Naim Suleymanoglu aka: ”Pocket Hercules”

    • Trained as Bulgarian lifter, was a Turk, so left in 1987

    • Turkey paid $1mil. in order for him to lift for them

    • Gold medals in ’88, ’92 and ’96 Olympic Games


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Ethnic Drain? unowned


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“Regime Change” unowned

  • 1991 – Bulgarians elect Democratic leader

  • New ethnic ideals?

    • Not really. Many nationalists still in the country.

    • Attempted compensation for Bulgarian Turks results in huge protests, violence

    • Positive: Bulg. Turks now have their own political party, gaining power in Parliament and voting


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Current Situation unowned

  • Bulgarian Turks

    • Have ~40% unemployment

    • Mostly have middle-low class jobs

    • Tend to live more in rural areas, not as many in the cities but have presence in some cities

    • Scattered throughout country


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Current Situation unowned

  • Stability, no outward aggressions

  • Affects of siding with U.S. in Iraq war?

  • Long term stability? E.U. – 2007 (possible), NATO - 2004 memberships

  • Only time will tell…


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