Fact Check: Bulgarian Politician Does NOT Plan To Dismantle The Historical Bulgarian Monument Of Shipka

проверка на факти

  • от: Lead Stories автор
Fact Check: Bulgarian Politician Does NOT Plan To Dismantle The Historical Bulgarian Monument Of Shipka No Such Words

Did a Bulgarian politician who leads a party representing Bulgaria's ethnic Turkish minority say he would dismantle a monument dedicated to the country's liberation from Ottoman Turkish rule? No, that's not true: There is no evidence to support a claim that the leader of Bulgaria's Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) Delyan Peevski said he wanted to dismantle the Shipka monument or that he had anything to do with the state-sanctioned removal of a Soviet Army monument earlier this year.

The claim appeared in a video on TikTok (archived here) published by @stoynov70 on December 15, 2023, with a caption translated into English from Bulgarian by Lead Stories staff that reads:

Peevski, DPS

We dismantled the Soviet Army monument! Soon, we'll do the same with the Shipka's monument, as it's a thorn in my side.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-12-20 at 8.00.28.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Dec 20 07:23:28 2023 UTC)

The leader of the Bulgarian Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), a party that represents the ethnic Turks in Bulgaria as well as other minorities, did not make such a provocative statement, nor did he say that the Shipka monument is a "thorn in my side." On the official website of the party, as well as on the official Facebook page (archived here) of the DPS, there are no such words or statements from their leader.

No evidence, official information, or media reports from reliable news sites support the claim. A search (archived here) for a combination of the words "Шипка" and "Пеевски" performed by Lead Stories on December 20, 2023, using Google News' index of thousands of credible news sites, did not return any results.

The Shipka monument symbolizes the Bulgarian spirit, strength, and dignity and symbolizes Bulgaria's liberation from Ottoman Turkish rule. Such a statement would provoke a strong reaction among the Bulgarian society.

According to an article (archived here) from December 15, 2023, from Bulgarian media outlet Actualno, the leader of the DPS was the only politician who remained silent during the dismantling of the monument to the Soviet Army in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Furthermore, the decision to remove the monument to the Soviet army in Sofia is not related to Peevski or his party and it was taken in March 2023 by the Sofia Municipal Council. According to an article (archived here) on the website of the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) published on March 9, 2023, the decision was made with the majority of the parties "GERB-SDS," "Democratic Bulgaria" and "Patriots for Sofia," and they "assign the regional governor to use their powers for the relocation of the monument."

In a press release on the website of the Regional Administration of Sofia dated December 12, 2023, (archived here) it is reported that steps are being taken to remove the monument to the Soviet Army after an expert assessment established that the monument in its current state is dangerous for citizens.

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