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European Parliament to Debate on the Ban of Turkish Newscast in Bulgaria January 27, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Bulgaria, Turkey, Turkish minority of Bularia.
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Since the recent weeks, Bulgarian public discussions were mostly dominated by the proposed ban of news broadcasts in Turkish language. On December 15 2009, Bulgarian PM declared that he backed the referendum move by the nationalist party, ATAKA, to ban only 10-minute news broadcasts in Turkish language. The announcement had been reacted by different parties both in national and international realm.

Last week (17th of December), Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the third largest group in the European Parliament (the Alliance of Liberals and democrats for Europe-ALDE), made a press expression regarding the issue. By stressing that the Bulgarian government must see sense, he said that;

“Supporting Ataka’s request for a national referendum on a matter of minority rights is inevitably going to favor the linguistic majority. This initiative risks putting Bulgaria at odds with fundamental European and international legal and political obligations governing the protection and respect for minorities and minority languages,” he stated. Closure of this news program will inflame tensions within Bulgarian society and discredit the country’s reputation in the international community as well as breaching the EU Treaty principle of non-discrimination on grounds of ethnicity and language.”

Following a formal request from the ALDE group, it was agreed that the subject would be added to the European Parliament’s plenary agenda in January 2010.

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