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Bulgaria;

is a country in Southeast Europe. Bulgaria borders five other countries: Romania to the north (mostly along the Danube), Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia to the west, and Greece and Turkey to the south. The Black Sea defines the extent of the country to the east.

(Bulgarca: Bılgariya), Balkanlar'da yer alan ülke. Batıda Sırbistan ve Makedonya, doğuda Karadeniz, kuzeyde Romanya, güneyde Yunanistan güneydoğuda Türkiye ile çevrilidir.

With a territory of 110,994 square kilometers (42,855 sq mi), Bulgaria ranks as the 16th-largest country in Europe. Several mountainous areas define the landscape, most notably the Stara Planina (Balkan) and Rodopi mountain ranges, as well as the Rila range, which includes the highest peak in the Balkan region, Musala. In contrast, the Danubian plain in the north and the Upper Thracian Plain in the south represent Bulgaria's lowest and most fertile regions. The 378-kilometer (235 mi) Black Sea coastline covers the entire eastern bound of the country. Bulgaria's capital city and largest settlement is Sofia.[7] The emergence of a unified Bulgarian ethnicity and state dates back to the 7th century AD. All Bulgarian political entities that subsequently emerged preserved the traditions (in ethnic name, language and alphabet) of the First Bulgarian Empire (681–1018), which at times covered most of the Balkans and eventually became a cultural hub for the Slavs in the Middle Ages.[8] With the decline of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185–1396/1422), Bulgarian territories came under Ottoman rule for nearly five centuries. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 led to the establishment of a Third Bulgarian state as a principality in 1878, which gained its full sovereignty in 1908.[9] In 1945, after World War II, it became a communist state[10] and was a part of the Eastern Bloc until the political changes in Eastern Europe in 1989/1990, when the Communist Party allowed multi-party elections and Bulgaria undertook a transition to democracy and free-market capitalism with mixed results. Bulgaria functions as a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic. A member of the European Union, NATO, the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and a founding state of the OSCE and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, it has a high Human Development Index of 0.743, ranking 58th in the world in 2010

History


Prehistoric cultures in the Bulgarian lands include the Neolithic Hamangia culture and Vin?a culture (6th to 3rd millennia BC), the eneolithic Varna culture (5th millennium BC; see also Varna Necropolis), and the Bronze Age Ezero culture. The Karanovo chronology serves as a gauge for the prehistory of the wider Balkans region. The Thracians, one of the three primary ancestral groups of modern Bulgarians, lived separated in various tribes until King Teres united most of them around 500 BC in the Odrysian kingdom. They were eventually subjugated by Alexander the Great and later by the Roman Empire. After migrating from their original homeland, the easternmost South Slavs settled on the territory of modern Bulgaria during the 6th century and assimilated the Hellenized or Romanised Thracians. Eventually the Bulgars élite incorporated all of them into the First Bulgarian Empire.[12] By the 9th century, Bulgars and Slavs were mutually assimilated

First Bulgarian Empire Main article: First Bulgarian Empire Asparukh, heir of Old Great Bulgaria's khan Kubrat, migrated with several Bulgar tribes to the lower courses of the rivers Danube, Dniester and Dniepr (known as Ongal) after his father's state was subjugated by the Khazars. He conquered Moesia and Scythia Minor (Dobrudzha) from the Byzantine Empire, expanding his new kingdom further into the Balkan Peninsula.[14] A peace treaty with Byzantium in 681 and the establishment of the Bulgarian capital of Pliska south of the Danube mark the beginning of the First Bulgarian Empire, an state established by the Bulgars, uniting with the local seven South Slavic tribes. Succeeding rulers strengthened the Bulgarian state—Tervel (700/701–718/721), stabilized the borders and established Bulgaria as a major military power by defeating a 26,000-strong Arab army during the Second Arab Siege of Constantinople, thereby eliminating the threat of a full-scale Arab invasion of Eastern and Central Europe.

Krum (802–814),[16] doubled the country's territory, killed emperor Nicephorus I in the Battle of Pliska,[17] and introduced the first written code of law, valid for both Slavs and Bulgars. Boris I the Baptist (852–889) abolished Tengriism, replacing it with Eastern Orthodox Christianity in 864,[18] and introduced the Cyrillic alphabet, developed at the literary schools of Preslav and Ohrid.[19] The Cyrillic alphabet, along with Old Bulgarian language, fostered the intellectual written language (lingua franca) for Eastern Europe, known as Church Slavonic. Emperor Simeon I the Great's rule (893–927) saw the largest territorial expansion of Bulgaria in its history.[20] Simeon managed to gain a military supremacy over the Byzantine Empire, demonstrated by the Battle of Anchialos (917), one of the bloodiest battles in the Middle ages[21] as well as one of his most decisive victories. His reign also saw Bulgaria develop a rich, unique Christian Slavonic culture, which became an example for other Slavonic peoples in Eastern Europe and also fostered the continued existence of the Bulgarian nation despite forces that threatened to tear it apart. After Simeon's death, Bulgaria declined during the mid-10th century, weakened by wars with Croatians, Magyars, Pechenegs and Serbs, and the spread of the Bogomil heresy.[22][23] This resulted in consecutive Rus' and Byzantine invasions, which ended with the seizure of the capital Preslav by the Byzantine army.[24] Under Samuil, Bulgaria somewhat recovered from these attacks and even managed to conquer Serbia, Bosnia[25] and Duklja,[26] but this ended in 1014, when Byzantine Emperor Basil II ("the Bulgar-Slayer") defeated its armies at Klyuch.[27] Having crushed the Bulgarians, Basil II blinded as many as 15,000 prisoners taken in the battle, before releasing them.[13] Samuil died shortly after the battle, on 15 October 1014,[27] and by 1018 the Byzantine Empire fully conquered the First Bulgarian Empire, putting it to an end.

Byzantine rule and Second Bulgarian Empire

Basil II managed to prevent rebellions by retaining the local rule of the Bulgarian nobility, who were incorporated into Byzantine aristocracy as archons or strategoi,[28] guaranteeing the indivisibility of Bulgaria in its former geographic borders and recognising the autocephaly of the Bulgarian Archbishopric of Ohrid.[29] After his death Byzantine domestic policies changed, which led to a series of unsuccessful rebellions, the largest being led by Peter II Delyan. However, it was not until 1185 when Asen dynasty nobles Ivan Asen I and Peter IV organized a major uprising and succeeded in reestablishing the Bulgarian state, marking the beginning of the Second Bulgarian Empire. The Bulgarian Empire under Tsar Ivan Asen II The Asen dynasty set up its capital in Veliko Tarnovo. Kaloyan, the third of the Asen monarchs, extended his dominions to Belgrade, Nish and Skopie; he acknowledged the spiritual supremacy of the Pope, and received a royal crown from a papal legate.[12] Cultural and economic growth persisted under Ivan Asen II (1218–1241), who extended Bulgaria's control over Albania, Epirus, Macedonia and Thrace.[30] The achievements of the Tarnovo artistic school as well as the first coins to be minted by a Bulgarian ruler were only a few signs of the empire's welfare at that time

Geography

Bulgaria lies between latitudes 41° and 45° N, and longitudes 22° and 29° E. Geographically and in terms of climate, Bulgaria features notable diversity, with the landscape ranging from the Alpine snow-capped peaks in Rila, Pirin and the Balkan Mountains to the mild and sunny Black Sea coast; from the typically continental Danubian Plain (ancient Moesia) in the north to the strong Mediterranean climatic influence in the valleys of Macedonia and in the lowlands in the southernmost parts of Thrace.

Economy

Bulgaria has an industrialized, open free-market economy, with a large, moderately advanced private sector and a number of strategic state-owned enterprises. The World Bank classifies it as an "upper-middle-income economy".[95] Bulgaria has experienced rapid economic growth in recent years, even though its income level remains one of the lowest within the EU. According to Eurostat data, Bulgarian PPS GDP per capita stood at 44 per cent of the EU average in 2009.[96] The Bulgarian lev is the country's national currency. The lev is pegged to the euro at a rate of 1.95583 leva for 1 euro.[97] In 2010, GDP (PPP) was estimated at $96.778 billion, with a per capita value of $12,851.[3] The services sector accounts for 63.7% of the GDP, followed by the industry with 30.3% and agriculture with 6%. Major industries include iron, copper, bismuth and coal extraction, electronics, chemicals, machinery, steel and refined petroleum fuel production, vehicle components, firearms and construction materials. The total labor force amounts to 3.4 million people.[98] Since a hyperinflation crisis in 1996/1997, inflation and unemployment rates have fallen to 7.2% and 6.3%, respectively, in 2008. Corruption in the public administration and a weak judiciary have also hampered Bulgaria's economic development.[99]

Tourism

In 2008 Bulgaria was visited by a total of 8,900,000 people, with Greeks, Romanians and Germans accounting for more than 40% of all visitors.[119] Significant numbers of British, Russian, Dutch, Serbian, Polish and Danish tourists also visit Bulgaria. In 2010, Lonely Planet ranked it among its top 10 travel destinations for 2011.[120] Main destinations include the capital Sofia, coastal resorts Albena, Sozopol, Nesebar, Golden Sands and Sunny Beach and winter resorts such as Pamporovo, Chepelare, Borovetz and Bansko. The rural tourist destinations of Arbanasi and Bozhentsi offer well-preserved ethnographic traditions. Other popular attractions include the 10th-century Rila Monastery and the 19th-century Euxinograd château.

Health

Bulgaria has a universal, mostly state-funded healthcare system. The National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) pays a gradually increasing portion of the costs of primary healthcare. Employees and employers pay an increasing, mandatory percentage of salaries, with the goal of gradually reducing state support of health care. Between 2002 and 2004, health-care expenditures in the national budget increased from 3.8% to 4.3%, with the NHIF accounting for more than 60% of annual expenditures.[150] In 2010, the healthcare budget amounts to 4.2% of GDP, or about 1.3 billion euro.[151] Bulgaria has 181 doctors per 100,000 people, which is above the EU average.[152] Some of Bulgaria's largest medical facilities are the Pirogov Hospital and the Military Medical Academy of Sofia. Life expectancy is 73.4 years, which is below the European union average

Culture

Traditional Bulgarian culture contains mainly Thracian, Slavic and Bulgar heritage, along with Greek, Roman, Ottoman and Celtic influences.[156] Thracian artifacts include numerous tombs and golden treasures. The country's territory includes parts of the Roman provinces of Moesia, Thrace and Macedonia, and many of the archaeological discoveries date back to Roman times, while ancient Bulgars have also left traces of their heritage in music and in early architecture. Both the First and the Second Bulgarian empires functioned as the hub of Slavic culture during much of the Middle Ages, exerting considerable literary and cultural influence over the Eastern Orthodox Slavic world by means of the Preslav and Ohrid Literary Schools. The Cyrillic alphabet, used as a writing system to many languages in Eastern Europe and Asia, originated in the former around the 9th century AD

World Heritage Sites Main article: UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bulgaria Bulgaria has nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Madara Rider, the Thracian tombs in Sveshtari and Kazanlak, the Boyana Church, the Rila Monastery, the Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo, Pirin National Park, Sreburna Nature Reserve and the ancient city of Nesebar.

Art, music and literature The country has a long-standing musical tradition, traceable back to the early Middle Ages. Yoan Kukuzel (c. 1280–1360) became one of the earliest known composers of Medieval Europe. National folk music has a distinctive sound and uses a wide range of traditional instruments, such as gudulka (???????), gaida bagpipe, kaval and tupan . The State Television Female Vocal Choir is the most famous performing folk ensemble, and received a Grammy Award in 1990.[161] Bulgarian classical music is represented by composers such as Emanuil Manolov, Pancho Vladigerov, Marin Goleminov and Georgi Atanasov, opera singers Ghena Dimitrova, Boris Hristov and Raina Kabaivanska, and pianists Alexis Weissenberg and Vesselin Stanev.

Bulgaria has a rich religious visual arts heritage, especially in frescoes, murals and icons, many of them produced by the medieval Tarnovo Artistic School.[162] One of the earliest pieces of Slavic literature were created in Medieval Bulgaria, such as The Didactic Gospel by Constantine of Preslav and An Account of Letters by Chernorizets Hrabar, both written c. 893. Notable Bulgarian authors include late Romantic Ivan Vazov, Symbolists Pencho Slaveykov and Peyo Yavorov, Expressionist Geo Milev, science fiction writer Pavel Vezhinov, novelist Dimitar Dimov and postmodernist Alek Popov, best known for his novel Mission London and its successful movie adaptation.[163] German-language writer Elias Canetti was the only Bulgarian to win the Nobel Prize (Literature, 1981)

Sports


Bulgaria performs well in sports such as volleyball, wrestling, weight-lifting, canoeing, rowing, shooting sports, gymnastics, chess, and recently, sumo wrestling and tennis. The country fields one of the leading men's volleyball teams in Europe and in the world, ranked 6th in the world according to the 2010 FIVB rankings,[173] while the women's volleyball team finished second in European League 2010.[174][175] Football has become by far the most popular sport in the country. Dimitar Berbatov, who plays for Manchester United, is one of the most famous Bulgarian football players of the 21st century, while Hristo Stoichkov, twice winner of the European Golden Shoe, is the most successful Bulgarian player of all time.[176][177] Prominent domestic football clubs include PFC CSKA Sofia[178][179] and PFC Levski Sofia. Bulgaria's best performance at World Cup finals came in 1994, with a 4th place. Bulgaria participates both in the Summer and Winter Olympics, and its first Olympic appearance dates back to the first modern Olympic games in 1896, represented by Swiss gymnast Charles Champaud. Since then the country has appeared in most Summer Olympiads, and by 2010 had won a total of 218 medals: 52 gold, 86 silver, and 80 bronze, which puts it at 24th place in the all-time ranking.