In late 1984 the Bulgarian communist regime unleashed a brutal assimilation campaign against the Turkish minority in the country. Euphemistically labeled “Revival Process”, the campaign was ideologically justified by the goal to build a “homogeneous socialist nation” and by the false claim about an allegedly common “ethnic Bulgarian root” of the whole population, including the Turks. Pursued ruthlessly in a period of four years, those policies led ultimately to a deadlock and to the gradual international isolation of the regime. The first open protests of the Turkish community in May 1989 were repressed violently at the cost of human losses. Thereafter, the Communist Party decided to get rid of as many Bulgarian Turks as possible by orchestrating a nationalistic euphoria which incited the exodus of more than 320 000 of them to neighboring Turkey. The political and economic impact of those events contributed in decisive way to the collapse of the totalitarian system in the country.
Wishing to commemorate the perpetrated ethnic repression and to foster the debate, CAS organized a Round Table dedicated to this fault line in recent Bulgarian history. The discussion was held on 18 January 2019 and gathered nearly 30 scholars. The book collects eleven selected presentations from the conference.