In reference to media reports about the celebration of Bulgaria’s National Day, March 3, in Edirne, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to state that it had not endorsed the speech of the Consul General, Vasil Valchev, and the cancellation of the performance of the dance ensemble.
We wish to recall that our Embassy in Ankara hosted a reception on March 1, which was attended by top-level representatives of the host country, led by Deputy Prime Minister Fikri Işık.
At the Consulate General in Istanbul, almost 600 guests honored the celebrations of Bulgaria’s National Day, which ended in a big horo (circle dance).
The MFA has demanded an explanation from Consul General Vasil Valchev, who supported his decision as follows:
‘In memory of the Turkish soldiers who perished on March 1 in Operation Olive Branch, on March 3 and 4 the Republic of Turkey canceled all cultural events, and the mosques were conducting mourning services; therefore, in accordance with diplomatic protocol, I decided to call for a minute of silence and to cancel the cultural program. As far as the battles on Mount Shipka were concerned, I called upon the attendees to pay tribute to the memory of our fallen fellow nationals.’
All facts of the case will be clarified in the coming days in close communication with Mr. Valchev.