Audio slideshow: The exodus of Bulgaria's Turks

In the summer of 1989, more than a quarter of a million Bulgarian Turks abandoned their homes to start a new life in Turkey.

It was the biggest migration seen in Europe since World War II - a response to years of often brutal forced assimilation of the country's largest minority.

By voting with their feet, the Bulgarian Turks inspired and galvanised the forces opposed to communism. The exodus is often cited as a factor contributing to the fall of the communist regime later in the year.

Serkan was a young boy when his family made the journey. He recalls the painful events of 1989, and the difficulties his family faced when they returned two years later.

Slideshow production by Krassimira Twigg and Paul Kerley.
Publication date 21 September 2009.


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