Turkish blackmail regarding Armenian Genocide recognition does not intimidate Bulgarian city authorities
Turkish blackmail regarding Armenian Genocide recognition does not intimidate Bulgarian city authorities –
ARMENPRESS – Municipalities of Burgas, Haskovo and Svilengrad will not receive EU funding, which is carried out within the framework of cross-border cooperation between Bulgaria and Turkey. The reason of this is Turkey’s position regarding the stance of these cities on the Armenian Genocide recognition. As “Armenpress” reports, this was announced by bTV television. However, authorities of these cities are convinced of the rightness of their actions, not allowing anyone to interfere in their internal affairs.
Prohibition of funding comes from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, which prohibits work with cities, which recognize the Armenian Genocide. Since Bulgarian cities could not find Turkish counterparts to carry out joint projects with EU funding, they will lose several million Euros. The most important initiatives are related to the environment, to the prevention of natural disasters.
Mayor of the Turkish city of Edirne Recep Gyurkan, who had previously collaborated with Haskovo, noted that the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s decision is final.”We worked very well with Haskovo previously, but now there is the Foreign Ministry’s ban. The reason of the ban is the Haskovo City Council’s last year’s decision, which named a city park in commemoration of the Armenian Genocide”, said Gyurkan.
Relations with Burgas and Svilengrad worsened when the Bulgarian cities adopted declarations condemning the Armenian Genocide. In an interview with bTV, Gyurkan advised to stand back from the decision for cooperation with Turkey.
“No one can interfere as to how we name our streets or parks”, said Haskovo city Mayor Dobri Belivanov.
Given the fact that funding from the EU is carried out only in case of availability of a partner in neighboring countries, it is likely that the Bulgarian cities will in fact lose the money provided by the European Union.
Recently, Turkish-Bulgarian relations have deteriorated. Bulgaria declared a Turk diplomat of the Consulate General of Turkey a ‘persona non grata’. “A government representative said that the Turkish diplomat engaged in activities in the country which violate the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Moreover, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov recently said that Ankara must decide whether they want to keep in place its ambassador in Sofia.