Sofia recalls envoy in Ankara over Turkey’s interference in Bulgarian elections

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Neynski (L) presented his diplomatic credentials to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2015.

Bulgarian Ambassador to Turkey Nadejda Neynski was reportedly recalled to Sofia for consultations over Turkey’s interference in Bulgaria’s upcoming election.

According to local media, Bulgaria decided to recall its ambassador to Turkey after the Turkish ambassador in Sofia, Süleyman Gökçe, was summoned by the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry on March 6 over reports that Turkish officials called on Bulgarian-Turks in Bulgaria to vote for Lyutvi Mestan’s DOST party.

Bulgarian media also reported that Ambassador Gökçe appeared in a campaign video for DOST.

A statement from the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry on Friday did not include any reason for recalling Neynski to Sofia; however, Bulgarian government officials expressed concern over Turkey’s “meddling in Bulgaria’s elections” by encouraging Bulgarian-Turks in Turkey – about 60,000 people – to vote for DOST in the March 26 elections and defined this as a “direct intervention in Bulgaria’s domestic politics.”

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