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Bansko is a town in Bulgaria.

Armenian-Bulgarians Celebrate the Liberation of Bansko with a Monument

Sofia, Bulgaria - October, 2017

A monument was built in the town of Bansko to commemorate the liberation of the town from Ottoman rule on October 5, 1912. The town is celebrating the 105th anniversary of its freedom.

The site was created with the help of the Armenian community of Bulgaria. It’s called “Hachkar”, which means “Stone Cross” in Armenian. The memorial has the following quote from the famous Bulgarian poet and freedom fighter Peyo Yavorov: “Brothers, throw down your fezes. From today, you are free Bulgarians."

The people of Armenia and Bulgaria are both Orthodox Christians and both suffered during the Ottoman rule. Dubbed “The Turkish Slavery,” Ottoman subjugation cost the lives of countless Orthodox Christians, including 1.5 million Armenians during the genocide of 1915 to 1917 and 15,000 to 30,000 Bulgarians during the month of the April Uprising.

Bulgaria has a sizable Armenian population that financed multiple similar memorials, many of which include quotes from Yavorov, who was a strong supporter both of the Bulgarian Armenians and the liberation of their country from Ottoman rule.

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