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Brief history

Brief history

Youth Movement for Rights and Freedoms (Youth MRF) has always been a youth wing, from the time of it...

Youth Movement for Rights and Freedoms (Youth MRF) has always been a youth wing, from the time of its establishment until today, an integral part of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF).

Youth have constantly been a driving force during the emergence and development of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms. During the last years of the totalitarian regime, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms was established as an illegal organization of young people: Ahmed Dogan (then at the age of 32) and his fellow companies.

As early as 1990, while building the structures of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms in the country, were set up the first MRF student units in the academic centers: Varna, Sofia, Shumen, Plovdiv, Kardjali, etc. Those organizations emerged spontaneously as an expression of the striving young people had for pluralism and democracy and to gain a platform where they could present their new aspirations for meetings, discussions, youth entertainments, Turkish language courses and so on. For many years these student organizations existed and operated independently, without any centralized structure, helping a lot of young people to learn more about the MRF ideas and to engage in the organizational life of the MRF’s local structures.

At the end of 1997 and early 1998 the idea of ​​creating a unified youth organization of the MRF with a centralized management occurred and was approved. Then a group of young enthusiasts working and cooperating with the MRF headquarters, had the mission to travel around the country in order to unite the existing at that time youth and student units, as well as to establish the new ones where suitable conditions existed. The implementation of this task led to conducting in Shumen, in August 1998, the First (Constituent) National Conference of the Youth Movement for Rights and Freedoms, which established the Union of Academic and Youth Organizations in the MRF (UAYO in the MRF). A Statute was adopted and a central bureau of the Union of Academic and Youth Organizations in the MRF chaired by Mustafa Karadaya was elected.

A period of active work on deployment and strengthening the structures of the SYOU in the country followed. With the assistance of the German foundation for liberal politics “Friedrich Naumann”, dozens of seminars were conducted across the country that contributed to the political and organizational maturity of the young members and supporters of the MRF and prepared them for active participation in the Local elections ‘1999. And the results didn’t delay: in the places where there were well organized and functioning youth structures during the Local elections, the MRF won convincingly (Djebel, Tsar Kaloyan, Ruen, etc.).

As a result of the active organizational work, the geographical and numerical representation of SYOU was constantly increasing and that led to the conduct of the Second National Conference of the youth organization of the MRF in April 2000, in Sofia. That Conference unanimously decided to rename the SYOU into Youth Movement for Rights and Freedoms (YMRF), which united youth structures of the MRF built on a territorial principle. It was reported that with over 24,000 members and structures in 70 percent of the country, Youth MRF had become the largest youth political organization in Bulgaria. A new Statute and a Program Declaration were accepted and a new central management was coined – Central Executive Committee (CEC) of Youth MRF, consisting of 5 people. Mustafa Karadaya was elected as a chairman of YMRF. In the same year, the YMRF was accepted as a candidate member of the European Liberal Youth (LYMEC) and became a co-founder and a full member of the Balkan Youth Liberal Network (ISEEL).

In cooperation with the Foundation “Friedrich Naumann” and the Political Science Centre, led by Emil Koshlukov, two cycles of seminars were conducted in all regional centers of the country, which, along with familiarizing young people with the liberal ideas and principles, as well as helping conducting trainings in organization and implementation of the campaign in view of the upcoming Parliamentary elections ‘2001. Simultaneously an active campaign was running on building and strengthening the structures of Youth MRF in the country in order to support and optimize the participation of the MRF in parliamentary elections and to fulfill one of the main missions of Youth MRF set by the President of the MRF Ahmed Dogan: to overcome the phenomenon of “encapsulation of the MRF structures” and support the members in terms of training preparation for a future participation in government.

Parliamentary Elections’ 2001 were a great success for the Movement for Rights and Freedoms. A large part of the credit for this success has Youth MRF who actively participated and presented themselves with dignity in the elections of nominated candidates in the lists of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms. There are 3 members of Youth MRF among the 21 members of Parliament elected from the list of the MRF. Later a coalition majority between the National Movement for Stability and Prosperity and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms was formed, and as a result was elected a Council of Ministers in which the MRF, for the first time in its history, had ministers. Then began a mass influx of young professionals of the MRF and members of Youth MRF into the organs and structures of government, where they presented worthily themselves and the party as well in this responsible historic moment. Currently, over 90 percent of the representatives of the MRF in the state administration are at youth age.

In May 2003 in Sofia was held the Third National Conference of YMRF, when were adopted significant amendments to the Statute (extension of the Central Executive Committee with the participation of representatives from the country, building the so-called Centers for Youth Initiatives (YIC) in all municipalities, a new Program Declaration, etc.), and a new Chairman of Youth Movement for Rights and Freedoms was elected: Saliha Emin.

Since that time, along with continuing the development and strengthening the structures of YMRF, the main focus had been put on the creation of legal-organizational opportunities for developing the initiative and enterprise of young people through the creation of Centers for Youth Initiatives (YIC), where to deploy active work on programs and projects to make full utilization of financial resources provided by the EU funds and by the unlimited opportunities of the so-called “Third sector”, as well.

In 2004 Youth MRF was accepted as a full member of the European Liberal Youth-LYMEC. At the end of 2005 Youth MRF became a full member of the largest International Youth Liberal party-IFLRY, while determined to be one of the main youth liberal factors not only in Bulgaria but also internationally. In 2006 the Chairman Korman Ismailov was elected. Both he and the entire management of YMRF pursued the following difficult task – the youth of the MRF to be more active participants in political life of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, and in the overall policy – public life of the country, as well.

In 2009 Djeyhan Ibryamov was elected as a President of the Youth MRF, who completely renewed the Central Executive Committee. Under his leadership, the youth organization must again demonstrate the heights of positions achieved through the years, and strengthen its important role in the development of the MRF.

In 2010 Youth MRF became a full member of the National Youth Forum. On September 10, 2017, Youth MRF terminated its membership in the forum due to disagreement with the policy led by the leadership and adoption of the VMRO youth organization as a full member.

On the 17th of November 2012 the VI-th National Conference took place in Sofia. The vast majority casted their vote on Ilhan Kyuchyuk to be the next chair of the youth organization. He expressed his confidence that the members of the Youth MRF are highly educated, competent and qualified. He was determined that the youth will guarantee the success vision of the MRF party.

On the 2nd of April, 2016 The VII-th National Conference of Youth MRF took place in Sofia, where Ilhan Kyuchyuk was re-elected president of Youth MRF with full majority of the votes.

Today the Youth Movement for Rights and Freedoms (Youth MRF) consists of more than 23 000 members, with structures built throughout the country.

On the 21st of November 2020, the VIII-th National Conference of the Youth MRF was held, during which Sezgin Mehmed was unanimously elected as the chairman of the organization. The theme of the conference was "Youth MRF - The Future Today!", held entirely online with the participation of 357 delegates. This was the first political conference in Bulgaria, which was held completely digitally, in order to comply with social distance and the recommendations given by the WHO in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.