Questions on Genocide Issue Force Cancellation of Press Conference

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev

ANKARA (The New Anatolian)–A joint press conference by Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan was cancelled in order to prevent deputies from the ATAKA party from asking the two premiers questions about the Armenian Genocide.
Before the Press Conference began ATAKA chairman Volen Siderov and five deputies of the party visited the press conference hall and informed the organizers that they would be asking Erdogan about the Armenian Genocide of 1915 as well as about assets belonging to Bulgarians who migrated from Thrace.
Stanishev said he was also going to inquire as to the reasoning behind recent police disruptions of his party’s demonstrations.
Earlier this month, a group from the Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB) party in the Sofia City Council tabled a report with proposals to recognize and denounce the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire in 1915-1922.
The motives of the draft document states that 10 countries, 35 US states, many municipal councils in Europe, a number of European capitals, and the European Parliament had acknowledged the existence of the Armenian Genocide.
"We suggest that Bulgaria’s capital join the cities and countries which have denounced the genocide", the draft declares.
DSB also wants to declare April 24 Day of Remembering the Armenian Holocaust Victims. "Many of the more than a million Armenian expatriates found their new home in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian people only gained from their and their descendants’ presence in its country", the party led by former MP Ivan Kostov states.
The Bulgarian Parliament already rejected the motions made by the Ataka and the VMRO parties to recognize the Armenian genocide. The main opposition to them came from the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms, which is a junior partner in the governing three-way coalition.
The motion was supported by the only Member of Parliament from Sofia, Mayor Boyko Borisov’s GERB party Lachezar Ivanov. GERB has a majority in the Sofia City Council.

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