A Bulgarian town prohibits wearing of the burka for the first time -- with a planned expansion of the legislation to other towns.
The city of Pazardzhik with some 70,000 inhabitants took the lead to be the very first city in Bulgaria to ban clothing that covers the face. It is very similar to the ban being pushed by the nationalist Patriotic Front (PF) in Parliament in Sofia, reports, Kronen Zeitung.
Maybe the the poorest EU country, Bulgaria's population includes 10% ethnic Turks, whose roots go back to the time of the Ottoman Empire. Burkas aren't actually worn in the Turkish territories, but recently have started appearing in Roma settlements in the southern region.
Within Turkey, since Erdogen has come to power, head coverings have become increasingly the norm, following the religious trends of the entire Middle East. The Turkish ban on headscarves was lifted in 2013. Since then, in what was once a fairly secular Middle Eastern country, social pressure has lead to a drastically increased number of women in headscarves.
This mirrors the general trend in Turkey to a much more radical Islamic stance. Erdogen is, after all, the one to say that, "The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers". Not the words of a secular leader or a close ally of the West. In fact, we've suggested it might be a good idea for Europe to consider building a wall on the border with Turkey, and making them pay for it.
Faced with the influx of Islamic migrants, Bulgaria is only one in the line of Western countries asserting Western values through the ban of the Burka. Latvia also this week started to draft similar legislation for a national ban on the burka, perhaps to discourage migrants from trying to stay in their country, as much as asserting their Western values.