Bulgarisation

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Bulgarisation (also known as Bulgarianisation; Bulgarian: българизация or побългаряване) is the spread of Bulgarian culture within various areas in the Balkans.

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 minority living in Bulgaria.

Turks[edit]

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.[1]

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.[2]

In 2003 the Islamic Human Rights Commission claimed that religious discrimination remained a major problem, but this has not been noted by other human rights organizations.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]