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Turkey Responds to Bulgaria’s Conditional Approach January 27, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Bulgaria, EU, European Union, Turkey.
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The leading topic in terms of Turkey-EU relations is once again revolving around conditions of acquis put forth by EU members. It is Bulgaria this time threatening to block Turkey’s membership to the European Union by reason of compensation for displaced people dating back to the Ottoman Empire.

Turkey responded yesterday, January 5, that Bulgaria’s claim for compensation for displaced people might be harmful on bilateral relations. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, in a media speech said, “The friendship between Bulgaria and Turkey is for the good of the two countries. It would be much better if statements that might hurt this friendship are avoided”. Pointing out the example of Bulgaria’s compensation claim, Davutoglu also added that central issues between countries should not be put forward through the media.

Turkey’s response came after just after Bozhidar Dimitroy, a Bulgarian Cabinet Minister, stated Bulgaria may block Turkey’s EU membership unless it pays out billions of Euros to compensate the displaced people of the Ottoman Empire. “One of the three conditions of Turkey’s membership of the EU is solving the problem of the abandoned real estate of Thracian refugees” the Bulgarian Minister also said.

Davutoglu, however, put forward the case that there are also nearly 2 million Turks living in Bulgaria who also had to leave their homes and property behind while migrating to Turkey. He therefore added that the issue should be discussed in a more formal way and naturally with a rational basis.

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