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June 23, 1989

Bulgaria said that 250,000 ethnic Turks have applied to emigrate to Turkey and 150,000 already have passports allowing them to leave. In Sofia, a deputy foreign minister said about 50,000 "Bulgarian Muslims" have crossed the border into Turkey in the past month. In keeping with Bulgarian practice, he refused to speak of ethnic Turks. The estimated 1 million ethnic Turks in Bulgaria, about one-ninth of the country's population, have been forced to adopt Bulgarian names since 1984 and have seen their language and religion banned.

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