Bulgarian Town Defies Turks, Recognizes Genocide

YEREVAN (Armenpress)-Despite strong opposition from its Turkish members, the Council of Communities of the Bulgarian city of Varna overwhelmingly voted Wednesday to adopt a special decision recognizing the Armenian Genocide.
The decision was backed by 27 members of the council, the other 9, all ethnic Turks, abstained from the vote.
Varna, along with Rusen, Burgas, and Plovdiv, has recognized the Armenian Genocide despite strong opposition from the country’s large Turkish minority. The four Bulgarian cities have a collective population of 1 million people.
Bulgaria’s parliament in January rejected four proposals by opposition lawmakers to officially recognize the Ottoman massacre of Armenia’s during World War I as genocide.
The proposals, tabled separately by the Ataka party, the Bulgarian People’s Union and Union of Democratic Forces were rejected by the Socialist-led ruling coalition, which includes a Turkish minority party, called the Movement for Rights and Freedoms.
Bulgaria has, on several occasions, refused to pass a genocide resolution for fear of sparking a diplomatic row with neighboring Turkey. The Balkan state of 7.6 million people has an 800,000-strong Turkish minority population and is also home to over 10,000 descendants of Armenian refugees who fled the killings.
A resolution on the Genocide adopted in February by the city of Burgas triggered the freeze of any commercial relations by the neighboring Turkish region of Edirne (Andrinople), and the European trans-boundary program.

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