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Abstract


THE IDENTITY STRUGGLE OF POMAK TURKS & SECRET DECISIONS OF THE BULGARIAN COMMUNIST PARTY (1948-1984)
In today, Pomak Turks living inside the boundaries of Bulgaria, Greece and Macedonia are descendants of Kuman-Kipchak Turks. They live in the areas referred as the Rhodopes, Pirin and Vardar Macedonia. Although there is not certain information on the population of Pomak Turks, the number of Pomaks Turks living in Bulgaria is 268.971 according to the data in 1989. This number varies due to different approaches of Bulgarian governments as well as unhealthy information regarding migrations to Turkey and birth and death rates. Pomak Turks in Bulgaria have been subjected to oppression and persecution as a result of the invasion of the Balkans by Russian armies at the Russian-Turkish War of 1877-78 and they were forced to Christianize during the Balkan Wars of 1912-13.The same policies towards Pomak Turks continued during the World War II and the following Cold War period, and this time, they encountered a process of creating “a socialist society with one nation” by the Bulgarian Communist Party. In this study, the oppressions suffered by the Pomak Turks in Bulgaria have been addressed. It was researched based on the archive documents that what kind of policies Bulgaria, even though ruled under different political regimes, implemented in order to assimilate Muslim Turkish minority and what kind of decisions the Bulgarian Communist Party made.

Keywords
Pomak Turks, Bulgaria, Assimilation, the Bulgarian Communist Party, Identity.



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