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"Although the largest Roma migration wave to the Bulgarian lands seems to have occurred in the 13th and 14th centuries, many Roma arrived with the Ottoman troops, accompanying army craftsmen and complementary military units." Ottoman tax records first mention Romani in the Nikopol region, where 3.5% of the registered households were Romani.Under Mehmed II’s reign, all Romani — Christian and Muslim — paid a poll-tax that was otherwise imposed only on non-Muslims.
It is possible that the number of Romani does not decrease along with the rest of Bulgaria's population and, according to some estimates, their number may have risen to 600,000 They are not concentrated in specific regions, but are rather spread throughout the country in similar frequencies, not constituting a majority in any Bulgarian province or municipality. ), an exonym that some Romani resent and others embrace.
Bulgarian ethnologists Elena Marushiakova and Veselin Popov assert that no direct evidence indicates when precisely the Romani first appeared in Bulgaria.
While they mention that other Bulgarian and international scholars have associated the 1387 Charter of Rila term Agoupovi Kleti with the Romani, they hold that the term refers to seasonal lodgings for mountain herdsmen.
) in Bulgaria constitute one of the country's largest ethnic minorities.
The Romani are the third or second largest ethnic group, depending on the data.