Iliana Yotova: The Language, Alphabet and Faith Have United and Will Continue to Unite Our People

2017-05-22 11:41:00

The language, alphabet and faith have united and will continue to unite our people. A small book written by a monk did something great – it raised the self-awareness of a whole people; so as to preserve it and take it to the present day. This is what Iliana Yotova said in the Bulgarian exarchate in Istanbul. The Vice-president is visiting the city on the occasion of marking 24 May – the day of the Bulgarian education and culture and of the Slavic script. She met more than 200 representatives of the Bulgarian community in Turkey, including students from the Bulgarian Sunday school in Istanbul.

In her address to our compatriots, the Vice-president said: “24 May is the day that united us as a people which is aware of and justifiably takes pride in its language, alphabet and culture. On this day we see our place in history together with the previous and coming generations.”

“The creation of the Bulgarian state in 681 left its mark on the development of the ancient peoples for centuries ahead and outlined the contours of the world map. However, apart from the physical dimensions, the Bulgarian state conquered other, even more important territories – those of spirituality, knowledge and culture,” Iliana Yotova further said.

The Vice-president emphasized that we have assumed the responsibility towards the legacy left by the leaders of the Bulgarian National Revival. “Gathered at this place with a special atmosphere, we are aware that we are heirs of heroic times. We must preserve the Bulgarian culture and identity,” Iliana Yotova added.

The Vice-president met the leadership of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church Foundation and attended the presentation of a catalogue “The roots in time – the Bulgarian exarchate and the Bulgarian community in Tsarigrad in the past and today.”

Iliana Yotova recalled the deed of Stefan Bogoridi, Dr. Ivan Bogorov, Georgi S. Rakovski, Petko R. Slaveykov, Ilarion Makariopolski, Neofit Bozveli,  whose goal was to ensure the independence of the Bulgarian church and the Bulgarian education. She also recalled the history of the foundation of the Bulgarian exarchate and the election of the first Bulgarian exarch Antim I. “It is a great honor to me to be at this beautiful place – the Bulgarian exarchate, which has preserved the faith and the national spirit throughout the years, to hear the toll of the bell-relic, molded in 1872 on the occasion of the foundation,” the Vice-president said. The building also treasures the firman of Sultan Abdul Aziz, whereby he recognized the Bulgarians as a separate nationality and granted the Bulgarian church an independent status and recognized the Bulgarian exarch as its spiritual head.      



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