Large turnout in Plovdiv for protest against Muslim court claims on property

More than 1000 people from all over Bulgaria, most of them from football clubs, took part in a February 7 2014 protest in Plovdiv against claims lodged in court on municipal property by the office of the Chief Mufti, spiritual leader of Bulgaria’s Muslims.

The claims were lodged on the basis of changes to the Religious Denominations Act.

The amendments to the law extended rights to all recognised religious groups in Bulgaria to lodge such claims, a matter that has caused controversy in towns such as Karlovo where the Chief Mufti’s office lodged claims to a historic mosque building and adjoining real estate.

Emotion in Karlovo has been generated around the fact of the town’s place as the birthplace of Vassil Levski, a Bulgarian national hero for his struggle against Ottoman rule, which cost him his life.

Local media said that during the protest, the court building in Bulgaria’s second city was “besieged” by the protesters while traffic in one of Plovdiv’s main boulevards was blocked and traffic police had to seal off two other roads in the city.

protest plovdiv

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