Bulgarian majority and Turkish minority relations have remained peaceful in the post Communist era despite a significant potential for civil strife. These antagonisms were a product of Bulgaria’s historical political development.The most recent episode of forced assimilation policies under the Communist regime was a critical grievance contributing to the democratic transition in 1989. Unlike in neighboring Yugoslavia, communal ethnic conflict did not escalate to violence with political liberalization and the emergence of democratic political competition. A critical factor in the political formula for maintaining interethnic peace in Bulgaria has been Turkey’s comparatively constrained behavior as a “motherland state” with regard to the Turkish Diaspora in Bulgaria.

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