In talks in Ankara on June 13, Turkish prime minister Binali Yıldırım thanked his Bulgarian counterpart Boiko Borissov for his country’s strong support during the 2016 attempted coup in Turkey.
Borissov arrived in the Turkish capital earlier, for talks with Yıldırım that were to be followed later by a meeting with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
At his meeting with Erdoğan, Borissov would be accompanied by Vezhdi Rashidov, head of the Bulgarian National Assembly’s culture and media committee. The talks were scheduled to last for an hour.
On the agenda during Borissov’s visit are migration and refugee issues, terrorist threats to the Balkans from Daesh – the terrorist and organised crime group that calls itself the “Islamic State” and relations between Ankara and the EU.
Yıldırım told Borissov that “you are a guarantor that prevents extreme nationalistic events”.
“We will preserve our borders, work actively for the prosperity of our region. At the meetings we held, we managed to look at our neighbourhood relations,” Yildirim said after the talks with Borissov.
Referring to the attempted coup against the Erdoğan regime in July 2016, Yildirim accused Europe of silence and thanked Borissov for Bulgaria’s sympathy.
He noted that there had been a referendum in Turkey in April where it was decided to change the country’s state structure.
“Your support is important to us,” Yildirim said.
He said that citizens of Bulgarian origin live in Turkey and that there are citizens with Turkish roots in Bulgaria, and this was a basis for closer relations.
Yildirim noted that in 2018, Bulgaria would hold the rotating presidency of the EU.
“The Presidency is important for Turkey’s European perspective. We look forward to your support, we have a common task in the control of refugee flows, on border protection. Bulgaria plays an important role in regional security,” Yildirim said.
(Photos: Office of the prime minister of Turkey)