The exemplary relationship in the Balkans : Turkish-Bulgarian relations in the post-cold war era
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This study analyses the changing state of relationship between Turkey and Bulgaria after the end of the Cold War era and subsequent democratization and liberalization attempts in Bulgaria. It points out that although the bilateral relationship remained tense throughout much of the Cold War and the Bulgarian assimilation campaign of 1980s against its Turkish minority led to a crisis between Sofia and Ankara, with the overthrow of the Bulgarian leader Todor Zhivkov in late 1989, relations began to improve. Currently, the two countries cooperate in many areas, from security to economics. The thesis argues that the rapprochement between Sofia and Ankara in recent years defies the argument of ancient ethnic hatreds attributed to the Balkans. The study also claims that Sofia's rapprochement with Ankara should be evaluated in terms of its Europeanization attempts. The future state of relationship between Turkey and Bulgaria is dependent upon their relationship with the European institutions.