Europe

Erdogan calls for fair, transparent elections in Bulgaria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticized what he described as "pressure" on ethnic Turks in Bulgaria ahead of elections in the country.

Addressing representatives of Balkans' migrant groups on Thursday, Erdogan said he hoped for "fair and transparent" parliamentary elections there on Sunday.

Erdogan's comments come days after Bulgarian nationalists blocked three border checkpoints for several hours to prevent Bulgarian citizens living permanently in Turkey from crossing over to vote.

Tension between Bulgaria and Turkey are running high in recent days over alleged support by Turkey to a pro-Ankara party.

Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry summoned Turkey's ambassador and recalled its ambassador from Ankara for consultations last week.

Bulgaria criticized Turkey, saying its officials were interfering in Bulgaria's internal affairs by calling on people to vote for a particular party.