Friday, February 26, 2016
Bilal Erdoğan allegedly pledges $20 million to 'Islamist' Turkish-Bulgarian party leader.
Bilal Erdoğan allegedly pledges $20 million to 'Islamist' Turkish-Bulgarian party leader. (FOT).
Bulgarian weekly Yukegh’s edition for Feb. 20-26 claimed that Mestan, who founded the Democrats for Responsibility, Freedom and Tolerance (DOST) party after his dismissal from the HÖH, was pledged by Bilal Erdoğan a monthly release of $1 million for the coming 20 months.
Mestan was dismissed from his position in the party after he voiced support for Turkey’s downing of a Russian Su-24 jet near the Syrian border in defense of its air space in late November.
According to the weekly, Mestan will receive money from the Turkish Presidency’s discretionary fund. Calling the meeting between Mestan and Erdoğan a “scandal,” the weekly also claimed that Mestan was promised 50,000 votes from Turkey for his party, DOST. Turkish Ambassador to Bulgaria Süleyman Gökçe acts as intermediary in the transaction of money to Mestan, according the Yukegh.
The Bulgarian weekly’s claim came on the heels of the declaration of Uğur Emiroğlu, a religious attaché at the Turkish Consulate General in Burgas, as “persona non grata” due to his activities interfering in Bulgaria’s internal matters, according to Bulgarian press reports.
Bulgarian Focus News Agency reported on Sunday that Bulgaria had been disturbed by Emiroğlu’s relations with the Muslim minority in the country, especially as he is accused of pressuring ethnic Turks to support Mestan. There are about 300,000 ethnic Turks living in Bulgaria.
The Sofia News Agency reported over the weekend that Emiroğlu left Bulgaria after the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry sent a complaint to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.