Iliana Malinova Iotova is a Bulgarian politician, 5th Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria, has received the award "Knight of the Year 2023" from the "Order of the Knights Templar of the Temple of Jerusalem - Grand Priory of Bulgaria", announced the leader of the organization Rumen Ralchev. The organization presents itself as autonomous and independent, and its goals are to observe the chivalrous and charitable traditions of the ancient Knights Templar.

In her "Supreme Council" there is the leader of the teachers' union Yanka Takeva, who is a "great officer for youth programs", as well as the archaeologist prof. Nikolay Ovcharov. The astrologer Svetlana Tilkova - Alena is also a member of the order.

Ralchev told the Bulgarian National Radio that the award was given to Yotova because of her work with NGOs.

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"My personal observation, meeting at events of different types of organizations, at which I meet very often Mrs. Yotova, who takes an extremely active position and gives an example of how a statesman should respect and work with civil society organizations, which are a huge reserve for reconciliation of society," says Ralchev.

The Order awards such an award every year before Christmas. In 2015, another vice president - Margarita Popova - received it, and among the other women to whom it was awarded were Stefka Kostadinova, Maya Manolova and Yordanka Fandakova.

There are three Templars and about 60 Freemasons in parliament.

In front of the national radio, Ralchev said that the so-called. secret societies in Bulgaria are obvious because they are registered as civil society organizations according to the requirements of the law. He points out that three Templars and about 60 Freemasons are in the current parliament, and there are several people in the Council of Ministers, but they are not at ministerial level.

"After the democratic changes in 1989, almost all such movements and orders of the world entered the country. The Templars numbered about 500 men, making us the largest Templar Order in Europe and second in the world. The Order is registered as a civil organization and has branches in almost all regional cities. Our work is related to expanding the dialogue between Christian churches and transferring bridges to other faiths in order to reduce tensions on religious grounds, if any, "says Ralchev. He summarizes that in Bulgaria there are 6 Grand Masonic lodges and 7-8 thousand active Masons.

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Iliana Iotova

Knights Templar