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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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Bulgarian History and Ethnic Divisions

geographical demographic data
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
brief history
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
brief history cont
Brief History (cont.)
  • 1453 – Ottoman Turks rule country, better part of Balkans
  • Next 425 years under control of Ottoman Empire
brief history cont7
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
brief history cont8
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
brief history cont9
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)
  • Bulgarians/Orthodox vs. Turks/Muslims?
  • Review of ethnic history and cleansing within Bulgaria
  • Current situations
  • 4th - 10th centuries
    • Independence tolerated under Byzantine Empire
    • 15th century – Ottoman Rule
  • 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
Still Ottoman (Turkish) control in 1901, yet a section is unowned

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

  • 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
  • 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.)
  • 1878 – Bulgarians in nearby countries and within Bulgaria try to overthrow of Ottoman rulers
  • Revolts unorganized – crushed
  • More than 30,000 Bulgarians killed
  • 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
ethnic cleansing
Ethnic Cleansing
  • 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.”
ethnic hatred
Ethnic Hatred
  • 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
ethnic hatred25
Ethnic Hatred
  • 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
ethnic hatred26
Ethnic Hatred
  • 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…
ethnic hatred27
Ethnic Hatred
  • 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
regime change
“Regime Change”
  • 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
current situation
Current Situation
  • 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
current situation31
Current Situation
  • 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…