ON THE PLIGHT OF THE TURKISH MUSLIM MINORITY IN BULGARIA
The Eighteenth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, (Session of Islamic Fraternity and Solidarity), held in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 6-9 Sha'ban,1409H (13-16 March, 1989),
Having considered the item entitled "The Plight of the Turkish Muslim Minority in Bulgaria";
Recalling Resolutions 30/16-P and 42/17-P on the same question; the first report of the OIC Contact Group mandated to examine the conditions of the Muslim Minority in Bulgaria; the relevant section of the Final Communique of the Fifth Islamic Summit, as well as the resolutions adopted by the OIC regarding the situation of the Muslim Minorities living in non-Muslim countries;
Noting with appreciation the invaluable support extended by the Islamic world for the rightful cause of the Turkish and other Muslim Minorities in Bulgaria as well as the commendable efforts of the OIC Contact Group;
Stressing the inalienable right of ethnic and religious minorities in non-Muslim countries to exercise and profess their own religion, to enjoy their own culture, to speak and receive education in their own language and to preserve and develop their ethnic, religious and cultural identity;
Regretting the continued repression of the Turkish Muslim Minority in spite of the process of dialogue initiated through the Turkish-Bulgarian Protocol of 23 February 1988 which has not brought about any improvements whatsoever in the conditions of this besieged minority;
Taking special note of the follow-up report submitted by the OIC Contact Group wherein it is stated inter alia;
- That since the submission of their last report on the plight of the Turkish Muslim minority in Bulgaria, the situation has not improved in any manner;
- That, therefore, their recommendations, contained in their report submitted to the Seventeenth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers held at Amman, be pursued and followed by the Member States vigorously to bring pressure on the Bulgarian authorities to allow the Muslims living there to enjoy the minimum basic human rights guaranteed under the Bulgarian Constitution;
- That Muslims living there should be allowed free pursuit of their religious, social and cultural rights in accordance with the accepted international norms and guarantees as enshrined in Human Rights Charter and the Bulgarian Constitution;
- That Members of the O.I.C., who have deep economic relations with the Bulgarian State, should review and revise the depth of such relations if the Bulgarian authorities failed to show positive change in their attitude to fulfil their moral and legal obligations towards Muslim minorities;
- That joint and concerted effort by Member States of the O.I.C. is required to free the Muslim population in Bulgaria from oppression;
1. Expresses its full support for the rights of Turkish and other Muslim minorities in Bulgaria and heartfelt sympathy with their legitimate objective of securing respect for their religious, ethnic and cultural identity.
2. Deplores the continuing repression and all inhuman practices aiming to eradicate Islam and Turkish ethnicity in Bulgaria.
3. Requests the Bulgarian Government to restore the minority, religious, ethnic and cultural rights of Muslims, and to lift all bans and restrictions on Islamic practices, and on all manifestations of their identity, in compliance with its obligations under the Turkish-Bulgarian agreements and international instruments.
4. Appeals to the Bulgarian Government to settle promptly all existing and future cases of family reunification, to authorize Muslim Turks to emigrate, if they so wish, to the country of their choice.
5. Invites the Bulgarian Government to put an end to the anti-Islamic campaign of slander in the Bulgarian press
6. Urges Bulgaria to accord the international press and visiting delegations full and unimpeded access to the predominantly Muslim areas.
7. Calls upon all Islamic countries to sustain and enhance their invaluable support for the rightful cause of the Turkish and other Muslim Minorities and to take appropriate measures for inducing the Bulgarian Government to put an end to the sufferings of Muslims.
8. Decides to mandate the OIC Contact Group to continue to monitor on a permanent basis the situation of the Turkish and other Muslim Minorities in Bulgaria and to report to future Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.
9. Requests the Secretary-General of the OIC to report to the Nineteenth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers on the implementation of this resolution.
10. Decides to remain seized with the question of the Turkish and other Muslim Minorities in Bulgaria until it is satisfactorily resolved.