US embassy cable - 86SOFIA3382 (original version)

ROUND-UP OF BULGARIAN TURKS (original version)

Identifier: 86SOFIA3382
Wikileaks: View 86SOFIA3382 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Sofia
Created: 1986-08-11 11:49:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PHUM PINR BU TU
Redacted: This cable was redacted by Wikileaks. [Show redacted version] [Compare redacted and unredacted version]
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 TAHSIN BURCUOGLU (PROTECT), 
COUNSELOR (AND THIRD RANKING OFFICER) AT THE TURKISH 
EMBASSY IN SOFIA, 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, BURCUOGLU MADE NO 
REFERENCE TO A SUDDEN WAVE OF ARRESTS. 
- 
3.  IN FURTHER CONVERSATION, BURCUOGLU 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). 
CONFIDENTIAL 
 
SIPDIS 
 
CONFIDENTIAL 
 
SIPDIS 
 
PAGE 02        SOFIA  03382  111320Z 
 
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, BURCUOGLU 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 VELIKO TURNOVO, 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.  THIS EMBASSY'S 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.  BIO NOTE:  BURCUOGLU APPEARS TO BE IN HIS FORTIES 
AND SPEAKS GOOD, ALTHOUGH OCCASIONALLY LABORED, ENGLISH. 
HE MENTIONED THAT, DURING A PREVIOUS TOUR OF DUTY IN 
CONFIDENTIAL 
 
SIPDIS 
 
CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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PAGE 03        SOFIA  03382  111320Z 
 
IRAN, HE WAS SENT BY HIS AMBASSADOR ("BECAUSE I SPOKE 
SOME FARSI AND AZERI TURKISH") ONTO THE GROUNDS OF THE 
US EMBASSY IN TEHRAN IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE 1979 
HOSTAGE SEIZURE.  BECAUSE HE WAS SHOUTING "DEATH TO 
AMERICA" AND "ALLAHU AKBAR,"  HE WAS ADMITTED TO THE 
EMBASSY GROUNDS AND WAS NOT HINDERED IN HIS OBSERVATIONS. 
RICKERT 
 
 
CONFIDENTIAL 
 
SIPDIS 

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