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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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Transportation

Airports World Ranking: 28
202 (2012)

Airports - with paved runways
Total 124
Over 3,047 m 2
2,438 to 3,047 m 17
1,524 to 2,437 m 15
Under 914 m 90 (2012)

Airports - with unpaved runways
Total 78
914 to 1,523 m 6
Under 914 m 72 (2012)

Heliports
2 (2012)

Pipelines
Gas 2,844 km; oil 346 km; refined products 156 km (2010)

Railways World Ranking: 40
Total 4,151 km
Standard gauge
4,071 km 1.435-m gauge (2,831 km electrified)
Narrow gauge 80 km 0.760-m gauge (2009)

Roadways World Ranking: 89
Total 40,231 km
Paved
39,587 km (includes 418 km of expressways)
Unpaved 644 km (2008)

Waterways World Ranking: 84
470 km (2009)

Merchant marine World Ranking: 93
Total 22
By type
Bulk carrier 9, cargo 8, liquefied gas 2, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 2
Foreign-owned 14 (Germany 12, Russia 2)
Registered in other countries
30 (Belize 1, Comoros 4, Georgia 1, Malta 8, Moldova 1, Panama 6, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 9) (2010)

Ports and terminals
Burgas, Varna


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  Bulgaria (Sofia):


  GPS points from Bulgaria (Sofia)

Dushva Oblast Gabrovo

Khotnitsa Oblast Veliko Turnovo

Vurbovo Oblast Smolyan

Bjela-cerkova Oblast Veliko Turnovo

Rabevo Oblast Lovech

Godetsch Oblast Sofiya

Iztok Ward Oblast Sofiya-grad

Niska Polyana Oblast Sliven




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