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    Sofia Takes Measures Against Ankara Meddling in Parliamentary Election

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    Bulgarian caretaker Prime Minister Ognyan Gerdzhikov said that Bulgarian authorities took measures against the possible threat of Turkey intervening in Bulgaria's election.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Bulgarian authorities took measures to counter neighbor Turkey’s possible interference in the country's parliamentary election due to take place later in March, Bulgarian caretaker Prime Minister Ognyan Gerdzhikov said on Friday.

    "There are some attempts at things that we do not like, but these things have been cleared up. Measures have been taken," Gerdzhikov said, answering a question about the possible threat of Turkey intervening in Bulgaria's election, as cited by the Independent Balkan News Agency.

    Gerdzhikov did not elaborate on what those measures were.

    On Thursday, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry stated that it was recalling the ambassador to Turkey for consultations after what it regards as Ankara's meddling in the parliamentary election due to take place on March 26.

    Earlier in March, according to media reports Turkish Minister of Labor Mehmet Muezzinoglu openly called on Bulgarians living in Turkey to vote for the pro-Turkey DOST Party, in order to make for "a better future for our [Turk’s] compatriots in Bulgaria." The acronym, which stands for "Democrats for Unity, Solidarity and Tolerance," is spelled similar to and sounds like the Turkish word for "friend."

    Amid the crisis, several Bulgarian parties called for all 35 Bulgarian polling stations in Turkey to be shut down.

    March 26 early elections follow the resignation of Prime Minister and conservative Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party leader Boyko Borissov in November 2016 after the defeat of the party's candidate in the presidential election, won by Socialist-backed Rumen Radev.


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    Ognyan Gerdzhikov, Turkey, Bulgaria
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