1989 expulsion of Turks from Bulgaria

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In 1984, as part of a policy of Bulgarisation, all Bulgarian nationals who were ethnically Turkish were forced to exchange their names for Bulgarian names amid much official intimidation, some violence and loss of life (Muslim Bulgarians had been forced to change their names in 1972). In early 1989, in some areas with large ethnic Turkish populations there were severe clashes with twelve fatalities. Shortly after that, when the border with Turkey was opened, over 300,000 people left Bulgaria for Turkey in the late spring and the summer of 1989.

The migration of the Bulgarian Turks to Republic of Turkey constituted the biggest mass migration in Europe since the Second World War.

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