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The Bulgars, a Central Asian Turkic tribe, merged with the local Slavic inhabitants in the late 7th century to form the first Bulgarian state. In succeeding centuries, Bulgaria struggled with the Byzantine Empire to assert its place in the Balkans, but by the end of the 14th century the country was overrun by the Ottoman Turks. Northern Bulgaria attained autonomy in 1878 and all of Bulgaria became independent from the Ottoman Empire in 1908. Having fought on the losing side in both World Wars, Bulgaria fell within the Soviet sphere of influence and became a People's Republic in 1946. Communist domination ended in 1990, when Bulgaria held its first multiparty election since World War II and began the contentious process of moving toward political democracy and a market economy while combating inflation, unemployment, corruption, and crime. The country joined NATO in 2004 and the EU in 2007.


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Military

Military branches
Bulgarian Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Naval Forces, Bulgarian Air Forces (Bulgarski Voennovazdyshni Sily, BVVS) (2011)

Military service age and obligation
18-27 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription ended in January 2008; service obligation 6-9 months (2010)

Manpower available for military service
Males age 16-49 1,637,470
Females age 16-49 1,621,352 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service
Males age 16-49 1,320,955
Females age 16-49 1,337,616 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
Male 33,444
Female 32,075 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures World Ranking: 56
2.6% of GDP (2005 est.)


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  Bulgaria (Sofia):


  GPS points from Bulgaria (Sofia)

Manolitsch Oblast Burgas

Yar Dere Oblast Kurdzhali

Starija-iswor Oblast Pazardzhik

Stara Rieka Oblast Sliven

Sivri Kaya Oblast Khaskovo

Laplagea Oblast Dobrich

Yanach Dere Burgas

Nos Sveti Dimitr Oblast Burgas




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