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Cablegate: Round-Up of Bulgarian Turks

R 111149Z AUG 86
FM AMEMBASSY SOFIA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5906
INFO AMEMBASSY ANKARA
DIA WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SOFIA 03382

SIPDIS

E.O. 12356: OADR
TAGS: PHUM PINR BU TU
SUBJECT: ROUND-UP OF BULGARIAN TURKS

REF: (A) SOFIA 3356, (B) SOFIA 3170

1. C - ENTIRE TEXT.

2. EMBOFF CALLED AUGUST 8 ON XXXXXXXXXXXX, TO SEEK CONFIRMATION OF AND
ADDITIONAL DETAILS ON A REPORTED RECENT ROUND-UP AND
ARREST OF ETHNIC-TURKISH BULGARIANS (REF A). WITHOUT
REFERENCE TO REF A REPORT, EMBOFF STEERED DISCUSSION OF
OTHER TOPICS (SEPTELS) AROUND TO WHETHER THERE HAVE BEEN
SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS IN RECENT WEEKS REGARDING
BULGARIAN TURKS. IN HIS RESPONSE, XXXXXXXXXXXX MADE NO
REFERENCE TO A SUDDEN WAVE OF ARRESTS.
-
3. IN FURTHER CONVERSATION, XXXXXXXXXXXX DID REFER TO
BULGARIAN TURKS RECENTLY RELEASED FROM BELENE ISLAND
PRISON AND THEN EXILED TO KYUSTENDIL AND VRATSA
(EVIDENTLY THE CASES ALSO MENTIONED BY SOURCE OF REF A).
HE SAID THAT NO SPECIFIC TERM OF YEARS FOR SUCH EXILE
HAD BEEN STATED. IN ENSUING DISCUSSION OF WHETHER BULGARIA
WAS PURSUING A POLICY OF RESETTLING SIGNIFICANT NUMBERS
OF ETHNIC TURKS, XXXXXXXXXXXX INDICATED HIS BELIEF THAT
SUCH FORCED RESETTLEMENTS ON A LIMITED SCALE HAD BEEN
CARRIED OUT SINCE EVEN BEFORE THE BEGINNING OF THE
1984-85 NAME-CHANGING CAMPAIGN. HE SAID THAT ON A 1985
TRIP TO XXXXXXXXXXXX, HE WAS TOLD BY ETHNIC TURKISH
CONTACTS THAT TWO HUNDRED FAMILIES (PROBABLY 800-1000
PEOPLE) HAD BEEN UPROOTED FROM THE TURKISH QUARTER OF
THAT CITY AND RESETTLED ELSEWHERE. HE HAD BEEN SHOWN
THE VACANT HOUSES OF SOME OF THE FAMILIES INVOLVED.
HE ALSO REFERRED TO A MORE RECENT CASE OF A YOUNG ETHNIC
TURK WHO, ALONG WITH OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS, WAS FORCIBLY
RESETTLED FROM THE PLOVDIV AREA AFTER ATTEMPTING TO
CONTACT THE TURKISH CONSULATE IN PLOVDIV.

4. COMMENT. XXXXXXXXXXXX DIRECT CONTACT WITH
ETHNIC TURKS WORKING INVOLUNTARILY OUTSIDE THEIR PLACE
OF ORIGIN REMAINS LIMITED TO TWO CASES (REF B). THUS
ALTHOUGH A POLICY OF RESETTLING ETHNIC TURKS, ESPECIALLY
"TROUBLE-MAKERS," IS PLAUSIBLE AND WAS INDEED
THREATENED IN A 1985 INTERVIEW GIVEN BY BULGARIAN
ACADEMY OF SCIENCES CHAIRMAN ANGEL BALEVSKI, WE CANNOT
YET CONFIRM THAT SUCH A POLICY HAS BEEN IMPLEMENTED
IN MORE THAN POSSIBLY ISOLATED CASES. A CURRENT SERIES
OF TRIPS BY EMBOFFS TO "NON-TURKISH" REGIONS OF
BULGARIA MAY PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES TO INQUIRE WHETHER
ANY MOVEMENT OF ETHNIC TURKS HAS OCCURRED.

5. XXXXXXXXXXXX

XXXXXXXXXXXX

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