Ahmed Dogan, of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), was giving a speech on Saturday when an unknown assailant rushed the stage and pointed a gun at his head. The assailant pulled the trigger twice, but no bullet was fired. Instead, Dogan swatted the assailant’s hand away while security rushed the stage to neutralize the threat. Dogan is reportedly unharmed. The entire scene occurred in a matter of seconds and is available to watch on YouTube.
Whether or not the gun was actually loaded or capable of killing Dogan is debatable. Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov believes “most likely the gun misfired.” Some sources claim that the gun was a “gas pistol,” which is traditionally used in self-defense and is considered non-lethal, but can cause severe injuries at close range. The attacker is believed to be Oktai Enimehmedov, a 25-year-old Bulgarian native of Turkish descent. At the time of his capture, he was carrying two knives as well as the gas pistol. The misfiring gun is currently fueling rumors that the attack was staged.
Dogan and the MRF are both highly controversial in Bulgarian politics. They represent the Turkish and Muslim minority in the country, who are not looked upon favorably by the rest of the country, despite President Rosen Plevneliev’s statement: “Bulgarian society is traditionally known for its tolerance, mutual acceptance and respect between different ethnic groups and religions.” Oddly, this was the day the 58-year-old Dogan was stepping down as head of the party he founded back in 1990. Lyutvi Mestan, his expected successor, said said “the true reason for the assault was the language of hatred and confrontation.”
There are many questions still unanswered. Why would a man of Turkish descent assault a political leader that supposedly represents him? Why on the day of his resignation? Do you think that this assailant actually tried to kill or injure Dogan or could this be a ploy by the MRF to make them look like victims?