Bulgaria Exodus 1989
In the winter of 1984-85 Bulgaria's large Turkish community was forced to change their Islamic names, a ban on speaking Turkish in public was introduced, mosques were closed or destroyed, the wearing of traditional Turkish clothes was forbidden.
A few days later the Communist leader Todor Zhivkov announced that the "Islamised Bulgarians" can go to Turkey. More than 300.000 left within weeks, causing Europe's largest single exodus after the end of WWII.
Dr. Georgi Simidchiev was a young scientist in the capital Sofia. In the summer of 1989 he was caught up in bigger events, away from his desk.