Widespread corruption is a major socioeconomic issue; it ranked as the most corrupt country in the European Union for 2018.
The name Bulgaria is derived from the Bulgars, a tribe of Turkic origin that founded the country.
This prevented Byzantine attempts at Hellenisation and created fertile ground for further revolt.
In 1185 Asen dynasty nobles Ivan Asen I and Peter IV organized a major uprising and succeeded in re-establishing the Bulgarian state.
They convened the Constantinople Conference in 1876, but their decisions were rejected by the Ottomans.
This allowed the Russian Empire to seek a military solution without risking confrontation with other Great Powers, as had happened in the Crimean War.
Up to 30,000 Bulgarians were killed as Ottoman authorities put down the rebellion.
The massacres prompted the Great Powers to take action.
A successful Bulgarian revolt in 1185 established a Second Bulgarian Empire, which reached its apex under Ivan Asen II (1218–1241).
After numerous exhausting wars and feudal strife, the Second Bulgarian Empire disintegrated in 1396 and its territories fell under Ottoman rule for nearly five centuries.
Sozopol was the last Bulgarian settlement to fall, in 1453.
As Ottoman power began to wane, Habsburg Austria and Russia saw Bulgarian Christians as potential allies.
In 1946 Bulgaria became a one-party socialist state and part of the Soviet-led Eastern Bloc.