Bulgarian citizens travelling from Turkey to Bulgaria in order to cast their ballots in the upcoming Bulgarian parliamentary elections on 26th March 2017 were blocked by certain political party supporters (with a majority from the ATAKA) around the Capitan Andreevo border cross point on 21st March 2017. Their way was blockaded by barricades made of vehicle tires and chains. The protesters yelled at the travellers, expressing that they didn’t welcome the Bulgarian double citizens living in another country and coming to vote for the elections. After blocking the way for four hours, the protesters dispersed, declaring that they will continue their protest tomorrow, too.
We, the Bulgarian citizens living in Turkey, have unfortunately learned about this incident instigated by Zhivkov-minded people, who tried to prevent our principle human right to vote, an act symbolising racism and discrimination. Firstly, as a Bulgarian citizen myself, I declare that we’re not sharing these people’s ideas and are not proud of their actions. To make things worse, this shameful incident is unfortunately shadowed by the fact that official authorities have not fulfilled their duty to stop such groups affiliated to certain racist political parties from these chauvinist actions which will humiliate Bulgaria with respect to the European Union. The authorities have not only condoned their actions, but also slowed down the passage from the cross point in order to prevent Bulgarian citizens from participating in the elections. We strongly condemn not only these protesters who have such otherifying attitudes which aspire to the Zhivkov era and which disregard basic human rights, but also the public officials who embraced their actions. Moreover, we consider it our civilising mission to remind them about democracy and universal human rights. Hereby we lastly express that such actions will not be able to prevent Bulgarian citizens living in Turkey from access to their right to vote and we invite all our citizens to participate in the elections.
Cultural and Solidarity Association of Balkan Emigrants in Izmir