Results of North Macedonia census face backlash from Turkish political parties
‘It is impossible to accept these results,’ says Turkish Democratic Party
Turkish political parties in North Macedonia on Friday criticized the results of last September's census, which were announced Thursday.
Turkish Democratic Party (TDP) said the results were not accepted in very clear and precise language.
“The results are a complete discrepancy and carry the elements of political operation,” it said in a statement. “The fact that there is an increase in the Turkish population in 31 municipalities, the proportion of Turks in six municipalities is over 20%, and the presence of a 7% increase in the last decimals according to the results of the 2002 census does not mean that we will ignore this political operation,” it said.
“It is impossible to accept these results, which are far from reality, both by our party and by our people,” it added.
The statement said the increase of the total Turkish population by 5,484 in 19 years meant the rejection of all statistical data, as well as the non-disclosure of the ethnicity data of 132,260 people made the whole process suspicious.
"The State Statistical Agency must urgently and as soon as possible disclose the data of these people," it said.
“In addition, it is also necessary to explain which municipalities our 12,482 descendants living abroad reside in our country.
“This activity will not go beyond being a political operation unless the doubts over the counting process are resolved with clear and official data," the statement emphasized.
‘Neither successful nor European’ census
The census was "neither successful nor European," the Turkish National Unity Movement (TMBH) said in a separate statement.
The census was described as an operation with post-communist characteristics. "Our confidence in the government and institutions of North Macedonia has been completely shaken," it said.
It underscored that the results described by the data that was received by the TMBH from the field do not coincide in a serious sense, so it is clear that “manipulation has been carried out.”
It is unacceptable that the number of Turks has increased by only 5,000 in 19 years, according to the population growth data released by the State Statistical Agency every year, the population of Turks should increase by 2.4% every year, it stressed.
Underlining that the party does not recognize or accept the results, instead it said it completely rejects what the census pointed out.
‘Good faith for official use of Turkish language’
In a statement by the Turkish Action Party (THP), it said Turkish citizens increased by more than 20% in the municipalities of Karbintsi, Konche and Vasilevo, which allows the Turkish language to be used as an official one in local governments under the Law on the Use of Languages.
The THP called on those municipalities to comply with legal obligations without delay.
It said the party expects “good faith for the official use of Turkish language” in communities, where the Turkish population significantly rose.
The country finally conducted a census last September after many delays.
The official results of the national headcount show the population has shrunk 9.2% in two decades since the last census, local media outlets reported
The population stands at 1,836,713, which is 185,834 people less than the number recorded in 2002.
The results show that of the resident population, 58.44% are ethnic Macedonians and 24.3% are ethnic Albanians.
Of the rest, 3.86% are ethnic Turks, 2.53% Roma, 1.3% Serbs, 0.87% Bosnians and 0.47% are Vlachs.
Taking into account the non-residential population, the ratio between Macedonians and Albanians has shifted.
Macedonians comprise 54.21% of all citizens while Albanians make up 29.5%.