Information on the date the Bulgarian authorities required all names to be Bulgarian and on whether this requirement still exists today [BGR19828.E]

Information on the above-mentioned subject is contained in Response to Information Request BGR16517.E of 26 February 1994 and in the DIRB Question and Answer Series papers entitled Bulgaria: The Impact of Reform of May 1991, pages 10 to 12, and Bulgaria After Zhivkov of February 1990, pages 6 to 9. These documents are available at Regional Documentation Centres.

In addition, please find attached an excerpt from a Minority Rights Group report providing detailed information on the attempt by Bulgarian authorities under the Communist regime to force ethnic Pomaks, Turks and Gypsies to change their names, a policy which primarily prevailed from the 1970s to December 1989 (Minority Rights Group Oct. 1989, 7-22).

For further information on this topic, please refer to the attached documents.

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Amnesty International. April 1986. "Bulgaria: Imprisonment of Ethnic Turks: Human Rights Abuses During the Forced Assimilation of the Ethnic Turkish Minority." (AI Index: EUR/15/03/86). London: Amnesty International, pp. 2-13.

Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (LCHR). July 1994.

Critique: Review of the Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1993. New York: LCHR, p. 33.

Minority Rights Group. October 1989. No. 82. Minorities in the Balkans. London: Minority Rights Group, pp. 7-22.

News from Helsinki Watch [New York]. August 1990. "News from Bulgaria: Deep Tensions Continue in Turkish Provinces, Despite Some Human Rights Improvements," pp. 2-7.