Turkish to become the third official language in the municipality of Gostivar in Macedonia from 2010
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
The article on this is here in French. The initiative came from a Turkish party in the municipality which proposed its adoption, which would make it the third official language after Macedonian and Albanian - this would mean all official documents and announcements would be translated into Turkish as well.
Macedonian law permits municipalities to make languages official according to their needs, and Gostivar has a Turkish minority that makes up 9.8% of the total population of 80,000. There are a total of 78,000 Turks in the country, making them the third-largest ethnic group.
Small European countries with large Turkish minorities are interesting since many have recently obtained or are progressing towards EU membership - Bulgaria, Macedonia, Northern Cyprus (if unification were to ever occur)...Kosovo also has a fairly large Turkish population and Moldova has an interesting Gagauz minority that speaks a language nearly the same as Turkish but Orthodox Christian instead of Muslim. Macedonia will likely be the next of these countries to obtain EU membership if the silly naming dispute can be resolved. One proposed name has been the Republic of Northern Macedonia.