Background. The Bulgars, a Central Asian Turkic tribe, merged with the local Slavic inhabitants in the late 7th century to form the first Bulgarian state. In succeeding centuries, Bulgaria struggled with the Byzantine Empire to assert its place in the Balkans, but by the end of the 14th century, the country was overrun by the Ottoman Turks.
Bulgaria regained its independence in 1878. However, having fought on the losing side in both World Wars,...
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