From the beginning of the 18th century only Bulgarians were mentioned in Macedonia from foreign travelers, which means that they gradually absorbed the sparse Serbian ethnic community there. According to Jovan Cvijic this mixture of Bulgarians and Serbs formed an amorphous Slavic mass, without clear ethnic consciousness which after the rise of nationalism during the 19th century began to adopt en masse a Bulgarian national identity.
A number of government policies are considered to be examples of Bulgarisation, including the attempt of the former communist leadership in the 1980s to assimilate a Turkish population of Bulgaria. During the Communist period of Bulgarian history, the Turkish minority (mainly across Bulgaria's east) of the country were forced to change their names from Turkish or Arabic to Bulgarian in 1984, during Todor Zhivkov's rule. Back then, as well as nowadays, the supporters of this policy refer to it as the "Revival Process", while critics call it "the so-called Vǎzroditelen process". Turkish culture and language as well as Islamic beliefs were also suppressed. The argument was that the Turkish population of Bulgaria were allegedly Bulgarians forced to convert to Islam during the Ottoman rule. This project met forceful resistance in the form of large-scale protests, international pressure and cases of terrorism. After the end of Communist rule, people were free to revert to previous names or adopt the names they wished, Arabic/Turkish or other. Some people continued using both names.
- As far as I know, Evliya and Hadji Kalfa are the last foreign travellers to mention Serbs along with the other nationalities in 'Greater Macedonia'. Later on, that is to say, from the beginning of the 18th century, there is mention only of Bulgarians, a fact which show sthat the Bulgarians — through the steady descent of farmers and labourers — formed the largest Slav group and gradually absorbed the sparse Serbian element. Α. Ε. Vacalopoulos, History of Macedonia 1354-1833. Translated by Peter Megann. (Institute for Balkan studies, Θεσσαλονικη, 1973), pp. 265-266.
- Briefing: Bulgaria’s Muslims: From Communist assimilation to tentative recognition Archived 19 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine, Islamic Human Rights Commission
- Legal Problems Arising of Using Both the Turkish and Bulgarian Name
- Cultural assimilation
- Islam in Bulgaria
- Freedom of religion in Bulgaria
- Human rights in Bulgaria
- Turks in Bulgaria
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