Revival Process

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The Revival Process, also known as the Process of Rebirth (Bulgarian: Възродителен процес - Vǎzroditelen proces) was the official name of the forceful assimilation of Bulgaria's Turkish minority (900,000 people or 10% of the population) to assimilate by changing their Turkish names to Bulgarian names. It was enacted between 1985 and 1989 under the communist government of Todor Zhivkov. Those who refused were exiled to Turkey.[1][2]

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 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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  1. ^ The Policies of the Bulgarian Communist Party towards Jews, Roma, Pomaks and Turks (1944-89) (Bulgarian). By Ulrich Büchsenschütz. International Center for Minority Studies and Intercultural Relations, 2000. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  2. ^ These Events Need to be Discussed in the History Textbooks (Bulgarian). Dr. Mihail Ivanov (Interview). Mediapool. 22 march 2009. Retrieved 26 May 2012.

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