The Great Migration Event (from Bulgaria to Turkey)

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A survey of migrations from Bulgaria to Turkey displays that these migrations date back to more than 100 years ago. There have been three important factors behind these migrations: The first is the peculiarities of the political regimes in both countries. The second is the intense communist propaganda carried out in  Bulgaria, especially considering the significant cultural differences between the Bulgar and Turkish people. The last is the practices of the communist regime in Bulgaria, which acted on an agenda of their own ethnic policies and thus supported ethnic strife and migrations to Turkey in order to alter the ethnic structure of the country.[1]

The forced migration of the Turks was started by the Bulgarian government in January 1989. Initially, Turks left Bulgaria individually and in small groups and arrived in Turkey via Austria and Yugoslavia. In May 1989, Turks were brought by trains in massive numbers and left on the border. This surge of migration wave took place between May 26 and August 21 of 1989 and a total of 313,894 people arrived in Turkey.[2]

Similarly, some other groups arrived in Turkey as tourists and were later given the status  of immigrants. Various studies on this phenomenon quote different  numbers as the number of immigrants arriving in 1989. According to Vasileva, between May and September 10 of 1989, 369,839 Turks left Bulgaria and arrived in Turkey.[3]

At that time there was unemployment problem in Turkey, because of this reason the government of Turkey had to take some precautions. And they have decided to implemet the existing visa aggrement. With this decision the government wanted to do this migration ordently. Internation pressure was not so effective to Bulgarian, that is why Turkish government wanted to take concrete steps. This decision has been enacted on 22th August 1989 up 02:00am.[4] Ministry of Foreign Office has made a statement about this situation and they said that Turkey’s goodwill has been abused and Bulgarian government has deported Turks because they did not accept to assimilazition. Bulgarian governmet has been criticized.[5]


[1] Vasileva. 1992; 348

[2] State Planning Organization(DPT), 1990

[3] Vasileva, 1992; 351

[4] Milliyet(journal), 21 August 1989; 9

[5] Milliyet, 22 june 1989

Cevap Yaz

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