The Macedonian-Greek Conflict

The age long conflict between the Greeks and the Macedonians

The Macedonian-Greek conflict is a very complex issue. Lots of books have been written about
Macedonia but many of them simply serve to !ustify the aspirations propaganda and the
partition of Macedonia of "#"$ by the neighboring countries such as Greece. These sources are
therefore biased. The Greek pages about Macedonia rely strictly on their very own Greek
propaganda sources which naturally makes them biased. %n order to find the real truth about
Macedonia one has to rely on the independent and neutral sources when looking into history.
This page is such case which browses historical independent and neutral facts to show the truth
about Macedonia against the century-old Greek propaganda.
Macedonia seceded from &ugoslavia and became a sovereign state by a popular referendum
held in 'eptember "##" when the ma!ority of voters chose independence. Greece immediately
demanded from the international community not to recogni(e the country under its name
Greece alleges that)
". The Macedonians should not be recogni(ed as Macedonians because the Macedonians
have been of Greek nationality since *+++ ,C.
*. Those Macedonians whose language belongs to the 'lavic family of languages must not
call themselves Macedonians because -+++ years ago the Macedonians spoke Greek and still
speak nothing but Greek.
$. Macedonia has no right to call itself by this name because Macedonia has always been and
still is a region of Greece.
The people of Macedonia affirm that)
". The ancient Macedonians were a distinct .uropean people conscious and proud of their
nationality their customs their language and their name. The same applies to the modern
Macedonians today.
*. The ancient Macedonians regarded the ancient Greeks as neighbors not as kinsmen. The
Greeks treated the Macedonians as foreigners /0barbarians01 whose native language was
Macedonian not Greek.
$. Macedonia was never a region of Greece. 2n the contrary ancient Greece was sub!ected
to Macedonia. %n "#"$ modern Greece and her ,alkan allies partitioned Macedonia. %f today a
portion of Macedonia belongs to Greece it is by virtue of an illegal partition of the whole and
occupation of a part of Macedonia.
These assertions will be shown to be true in the eyes of history proving the absurdity of Greek
allegations against the people of Macedonia.
34C%.4T M3C.524%3 345 G6..C.
%n the course of the second pre-Christian millennium the ancient Greeks descended in several
migratory waves from the interior of the ,alkans to Greece. 'ome passed across the plain of
Thessaly on their way south while others went south through .pirus. More recent scholars point
to 3sia Minor as the original Greek homeland. There is no evidence that the ancient Greeks ever
settled prehistoric Macedonia. 3rcheological evidence shows that ancient Macedonia lay beyond
the cultural and ethnic borders of the ,ron(e 3ge Mycenaean Greek Civili(ation which ends at
the border of northern Thessaly /"-++ - ""++ ,C1. The prehistoric Macedonians show a
remarkable continuation of existing material culture.
3ncient Macedonia was home to many tribes. The ancient Macedonian tribes emerged from the
,rygians or 7hrygians. 'ome of the ,rygians left Macedonia and migrated to 3sia Minor where
they changed their name to 7hrygians and established a powerful 7hrygian kingdom /8erodotus1.
9hen the Macedonian army under 3lexander the Great will enter 7hrygia centuries later 7hilotas
spoke of the connections between the 7hrygians and the Macedonians by calling the
Macedonians 07hrygians0 /Curtius1.
Greek migrants settled few coastal areas of Macedonia Thrace and %llyria after they exhausted
the possibilities of settlement in 3sia Minor %taly :rance 'pain and 'cythia /;kraine and
6ussia1. 8owever they did not consider Macedonia especially attractive for permanent
settlement. 4either did the Macedonians welcome them as open-heartedly as did the %talians and
'cythians. ,y the middle of the fourth century ,C the Greek settlers were expelled from
Macedonia and their cities including 3ristotle<s native 'tragira ra(ed to the ground by the
Macedonian king 7hilip %% /$=+-$$=1. 3ristotle died in exile in Greece.
The ancient Macedonians regarded the Greeks as potentially dangerous neighbors never as
kinsmen. The Greeks stereotyped the Macedonians as 0barbarians0 and treated them in the
same bigoted manner in which they treated all non-Greeks. 8erodotus the :ather of 8istory
relates how the Macedonian king 3lexander %/-#>--?- ,C1 a 7hilhellene /that is 0a friend of the
Greeks0 and logically a non-Greek1 wanted to take a part in the 2lympic games. The Greek
athletes protested saying they would not run with a barbarian. 8istorian Thucydidis also calls the
Macedonians barbarians and so did Thracymachus who called 3rchelaus a barbarian who
enslaved Greeks. 5emosthenes the great 3thenian statesman and orator spoke of 7hilip %% as)
0... not only no Greek nor related to the Greeks but not even a barbarian from any place that can
be named with honors but a pestilent knave from Macedonia whence it was never yet possible
to buy a decent slave.0 @Third 7hilippic $"A
The Macedonian 0barbarian0 defeated Greece at the battle of Chaeronea in 3ugust $$> ,C and
appointed himself 0Commander of the Greeks0. This battle had established Macedonian
hegemony over Greece and this date is commonly taken as the end of Greek history and the
beginning of the Macedonian era. Greece did not regain its independence until ">*B 35.
%n $$? ,C 7hilip<s son 3lexander campaigned toward the 5anube to secure Macedonia<s
northern frontier. 2n rumors of his death a revolt broke out in Greece with the support of leading
3thenians. 3lexander marched south covering *-+ miles in two weeks. 9hen the revolt continued
he sacked Thebes killing =+++ people and enslaving the survivors. 2nly the temples and the
house of the poet 7indar were spared.
The 3ncient Macedonian Language
The Macedonians spoke their own native language which was unrecogni(able by the Greeks.
The very label barbarian literally means a person who does not speak Greek. Though 3lexander
spoke also Greek loved 8omer and respected his tutor 3ristotle there is much evidence that he
hated the Greeks of his day !ust like his father 7hilip %%. 7hilip had ra(ed to the ground the Greek
cities on Macedonian territory /including all $* Greek cities in Chalcidice1 and enslaved their
inhabitants. 3lexander the Great thoroughly destroyed Thebes. 8is 3sian empire has not once
been described as 0Greek0 but is correctly called Macedonian for he won it with an army of
$?+++ Macedonians and only B=++ Greeks and similar numbers of Thracians and %llyrians who
were all forced to fight with their Macedonian overlords. The overwhelming number of Greeks
however ?++++ in total /Curtius1 had however distinguished themselves on the side of the
7ersians and fought fiercely till the end against the Macedonians. :or instance at the battle of
Granicus there were *++++ Greeks out of which the Macedonians killed ">+++ and the *+++
survivors were sent in chains to Macedonia /3rrian Curtius1. 3rrian specifically speaks of the 0old
racial rivalry0 between Macedonians and Greeks that characteri(ed this battle. 3t the battle of
%ssus there were $++++ Greeks on the side of the 7ersians to fight 3lexander and their
survivors also fought at Gaugamela along with the 3lbanians and the 7ersians against the
The Cuestion of the use of the ancient Macedonian language was raised by 3lexander himself
during the trial of 7hilotas one of his generals accused of treason. This is what 3lexander has
said to 7hilotas)
0The Macedonians are about to pass !udgement upon youD % wish to know weather you will use
their native tongue in addressing them.0 7hilotas replied) 0,esides the Macedonians there are
many present who % think will more easily understand what % shell say if % use the same language
which you have employed.0 Than said the king) 05o you not see how 7hilotas loathes even the
language of his fatherlandE :or he alone disdains to learn it. ,ut let him by all means speak in
whatever way he desires provided that you remember that he holds out customs in as much
abhorrence as our language0 /Curtius1.
The trial of 7hilotas took place in 3sia before a multiethnic public which has understood Greek as
it was then a common language like .nglish today. ,ut 3lexander spoke Macedonian with his
Macedonians /the language he accuses 7hilotas of loathing1 and used Greek in addressing the
west 3sians. Like Carthagenian %llyrian and Thracian ancient Macedonian was not recorded in
writing. 8owever on the bases of about a hundred glosses Macedonian words noted and
explained by Greek writers some place names from Macedonia and a few names of individuals
most scholars believe that ancient Macedonian was a separate %ndo-.uropean language.
.vidence from phonology indicates that the ancient Macedonian language was distinct from
ancient Greek.
T8. 62M34 2CC;73T%24
,oth Macedonia and Greece were annexed by the 6omans after the battle of 7ydna in "=> ,C. %t
is significant that the Greeks again fought against the Macedonians during the Macedonian 9ars
on the side of the 6omans. The Macedonians were asked to evacuate from the whole of Greece
and withdrew to Macedonia by the 6omans and the Greek fought against the Macedonian army
and its king 7hilip F until their final defeat /7olybius Livy1. 3fter the end of the Macedonian
kingdom Latin was the official language in 6oman Macedonia from "=> ,C until the demise of
6oman rule at the end of the sixth century 35.
'L3F '.TTL.M.4T' %4 M3C.524%3 G6..C. T863C. 345 %LL&6%3
%n the sixth century the 'lavs penetrated %llyria Thrace Macedonia and Greece. The 'lavs
settled lands as far as 7eloponnesus and the 3egean islands and some of the 'lavic tribes in
Greece remained unconCuered for centuries. 5uring the following centuries the 'lavs mixed with
the original Macedonians Greeks Thracians and %llyrians and thus laid the foundations to the
modern nations of the ,alkans and their modern languages.
Today<s modern Macedonian language has both ancient Macedonian and 'lavic background.
8ow much modern Macedonian is based upon ancient Macedonian is impossible to say since we
do not have many ancient Macedonian words that have survived except about "?+ glosses. &et
ancient Macedonian words are still present in modern Macedonian. 3lexander<s infantry
peshatairoi literally means 0armed walking men0 in modern Macedonian /peshatari1. 8ammond
says that the ancient Macedonians called their commander tchelniku which again means in
modern Macedonian 0somebody who leads0 /chelniku1. The Macedonian prodromoi were the
openers in the battles of 3lexander the Great. Today in modern Macedonian this means
0somebody who penetrates0 /prodir1 etc. Many ancient Macedonian names are still present
among today<s Macedonians and many ancient Macedonian customs have the ancients have
described have survived as well among today<s Macedonians. The memory of 7hilip %% and
3lexander the Great echoes in the Macedonian folklore.
The modern Macedonian language was systemi(ed in the middle of the ninth century by '' Cyril
and Methodius the two Macedonian brothers from the largest Macedonian city of 'alonica. This
language has functioned as the principal literary liturgical and colloCuial language of Macedonia
ever since. This period of the Macedonian history set the foundations for the development of the
modern Macedonian nation and in the centuries after the coming of the 'lavs the Macedonians
continue to exist in ,y(antine sources as nation. Macedonia resisted the settlement attacks by
the 3rmenian and 'yrian dynasties who held power in 4ew 6ome /,y(antium1 and by the
nomadic ,ulgarians. :rom "+"- to "*+- Macedonia was part of the multi-cultural ,y(antine
.mpire. %n the next two centuries the Macedonians fought foreign invaders adventurers and
bandits who failed to dominate their land apart from the 'erbs and the ,ulgarians who briefly
held it. %n the fifteenth century the 2ttoman Turks succeeded in conCuering all of Macedonia
Greece and the rest of the ,alkans and enforced their ?++-year old rule.
M3C.524%3 %4 T8. G%G C.4T;6&
Greek 'erbian and ,ulgarian %ndependence
%n ">*B the .uropean powers intervened on behalf of the Greek rebels and forced the Turks to
grant them independence. The same powers established the first modern Greek state chose
7rince 2tto of ,avaria to be the 0Hing of the 8ellenes0 and sent him to 3thens. 'erbia freed
herself also from the Turkish rule while 6ussia declared war on Turkey to help ,ulgaria gain its
'an 'tefano and ,erlin Conferences
The war between 6ussia and Turkey ended on March $ ">B> with the peace settlement of 'an
'tefano. The Turks had to agree to the formation of the new ,ulgarian state to also include all of
Macedonia but the city of 'alonika. 6ussia was hoping that greater ,ulgaria with Macedonia
would give her the strategic exit on the 3egean 'ea but she encountered fierce resistance from
3ustria-8ungary and .ngland that saw their interests on the ,alkans endangered. 2n Iuly "$
">B> with the ,erlin Conference they forced 6ussia to give up her dream and the 'an 'tefano
agreement was revised. Macedonia was returned to the 2ttoman .mpire. :rom this moment
Macedonia became a battleground where the interests not only of the ,alkan states but also of
the Great 7owers collide.
The Macedonian and Greek 2rthodox Churches
The 2hrid 3rchiepiscopy was founded as a separate church in ##? to care for the religious needs
of the 2rthodox Macedonians. 8owever under the influence of the Greek 2rthodox church the
Turkish sultan abolished the Macedonian church in "B=B. The Greek 2rthodox church was now
able to enforce its religious teachings in Greek as the only 2rthodox church to exist in the
,alkans. Greece hoped to spread her influence and propaganda through the newly opened
Greek schools with a goal to 8elleni(e the population of Macedonia. ,ut as their influence grew
bigger so did the resistance of the Macedonians. 2n March B ">?" the residents of .nid!e-
Fardar /today in Greece1 signed a petition for replacement of the teachings in Greek with
Macedonian. %n ">?# in Hukush was formed the resistance movement against the 8elleni(ation
that Cuickly spread to Foden /.dessa1 Hostur /Hastoria1 Lerin /:lorina1 and the rest of southern
,alkan and 4eutral 'tatistics on the 7opulation of Macedonia
3dding to the Greek influence the ,ulgarians opened their schools in Macedonia in ">B" and
the 'erbs followed shortly after. This is the beginning of the so-called 0Macedonian Juestion0.
The new independent ,alkan states used those schools to propagate how the Macedonians do
not exist and how Macedonia was populated only by Greeks ,ulgarians and 'erbs.
.thnographers historians and writers begun writing books in favor of this or that propaganda.
Many of them did not even visit Macedonia while those who did already had a written scenario.
Their presence there was only a simple formality. The Turkish statistics made the picture more
confusing as the Turks registered the people based on religion not on ethnic background. Table
" gives an excellent proof of those ,alkan speculations surrounding Macedonia)
balkan views
Macedonian 'lavs
Turks and others
Table ". Greek ,ulgarian and 'erbian 'tatistics of Macedonia<s population
%t is more than obvious that all the views coming from the Macedonia<s neighbors which sharply
contradict eachother are biased. They all claim their people in Macedonia to !ustify their well-
planned aspirations. %t is important to note that both the ,ulgarian and 'erbian views agree that
the Greeks in Macedonia represent only a small minority of "+K. The Greek ethnographer
4ikolaides on the other hand claims three times bigger number than his colleagues in ,elgrade
and 'ofia. 8owever the most important about 4ikolaides is that he recogni(es the Macedonian
'lavs as a separate nation separate from the ,ulgarians and the 'erbs to be part of population
of Macedonia. 3nd although he tries hard to lower the numbers of those Macedonian 'lavs he
still comes up with a convincing proof of their existence.
This is the time when many .uropean slavists ethnographers and historians are also attracted
to visit Macedonia and conduct their own investigations. Therefore to find the unbiased
population numbers in Macedonia we have to rely on neutral and independent statistics)
neutral views
5r. H. 2streich
H. Gersin
3ndrew 6ousos
Macedonian 'lavs
Turks and others
Table *. %ndependent and 4eutral .uropean 'tatistics of Macedonia<s 7opulation
3lthough the Macedonians are referred as 0Macedonian 'lavs0 the main point of the statistics is
the fact that they are recogni(ed as distinct nation with cultural and historical right over their
country Macedonia in which they are overwhelming ma!ority. The reluctance to refer to them for
what they are /simply as Macedonians1 is explained by the overemphasi(ing of the contemporary
Greek vs. 'lavic /'erb and ,ulgarian1 rivalry over Macedonia in which the westerners desired to
make the note that the Macedonians were more 0'lavs0 then 0Greeks0 - thus resulting in the use
of the term 0Macedonian 'lavs0 to distinguish them from all but still indicate their closer relation to
their northern then southern neighbors as interestingly was the case with the ancient
Macedonians and their closer relations with the Thracians and %llyrians then with the ancient
&et the term 0Macedonian 'lavs0 is erroneous since the Macedonians although conscious of
their ancient Macedonian roots and 'lav admixture did not specifically call themselves
0Macedonians 'lavs0 but Macedonians as the documents over the last *?++ years show. The
same 0Macedonian 'lavs0 mistake was again repeated by some western media as the 3lbanian
terrorists attacked Macedonia in March of *++" and again it was done deliberately. This
deliberate bias is again there unfortunately because of the political situation and the western
media<s inclination towards the goals of the 3lbanian terrorism for 0Greater 3lbania0. 3s at the
beginning of the *+th century the Macedonians showed their outrage at the beginning of the *"st
century of this racial insult and publicly instead that their nationality be respected. 4ot only the
Macedonians all over the world vigorously accused the western media for racial bias but also did
various western independent and non-government organi(ations. That referring to the
Macedonians as 0Macedonian 'lavs0 was a mistake was publicly acknowledged by ,,C which
apologi(ed and withdrew its reporter 7aul 9ood precisely for his bias reporting and since
continued to rightfully refer to the Macedonians for what they have always been - Macedonians.
:rom the two above tables one can easily notice that the number of Greeks in Macedonia
according to the neutral authors also aligns with the numbers given by the 'erb and ,ulgarian
authors. This is a proof that the Greeks before the partition of Macedonia were indeed a small
minority only "+K from the total population. This fact certainly does not give them the copyright
of the name Macedonia. 5r. 2streich Gersin and 6oussos are only a few of the many neutral
authors to prove the groundless speculations of the ,alkan counties. They proved that
Macedonia belongs to a separate nation which proves that the ,ulgarians and the 'erbs have
than simply substituted the numbers of the Macedonians for theirs. 3nother 3ustrian Harl 8ron
explained why that is un!ustified)
03ccording to my own studies on the 'erb-,ulgarian conflict % came to the conclusion that the
Macedonians looking at their history and language are a separate nation which means they are
not 'erbs nor ,ulgarians but the descendants of those 'lavs who populated the ,alkan
peninsula long before the 'erb and ,ulgarian invasions and who later did not mix with any of
those other two nations...0 and)
0... the Macedonian language according to its own laws in the development of the voices and its
own grammatical rules forms one separate language0.
There were even Greek and ,ulgarian writers to support what Harl 8ron has written. 2ne such
example is the ,ulgarian slavist and ethnographer 7. 5raganov who in his studies of ">>B-">#-
and "#+$ proved the existence of the Macedonians and the Macedonian language as a distinct
language. 8ere is what 8enry ,railsford had said about the Macedonians in 0Macedonia) its
6aces and their :uture0.
03re the Macedonians 'erbs or ,ulgarsE The Cuestion is constantly asked and dogmatically
answered in ,elgrade and 'ofia. ,ut the lesson of history is obviously that there is no answer at
all. They are not 'erbs for their blood can hardly be purely 'lavonic... 2n the other hand they
can hardly be ,ulgarians... They are very probably very much what they were before either a
,ulgarian or a 'erbian .mpire existed - a 'lav people derived from various stocks who invaded
the peninsula at different periods.0
3t the time of the emergence of the so-called Macedonian Cuestion and the aspirations of the
Macedonian neighbors for occupation of the country the famous Macedonian G!orgi 7ulevski
wrote in ">B?)
07eople who originate from one and the same race speak the same language live together in
harmony and have the same customs songs and mentality constitute a nation and the place
where they live is their homeland. %n this way the Macedonians are a nation and their homeland
is Macedonia0 and
0% am not ,ulgarian nor Greek nor T(int(ar % am pure Macedonian as were 7hilip and 3lexander
the Macedonian and 3ristotle 7hilosopher0
7ulevski was right back in ">B?. 8e was conscious and aware that the Macedonians were a
distinct nation a fact that the documents of the last *? centuries clearly show.
Macedonian ;prisings
The Macedonians will first start an organi(ed resistance in the G%G century to free their land from
the ?++ year old Turkish yoke. The uprisings in Hresna and 6a(log /">B> - ">B#1 although
unsuccessful gained sympathies of many intellectuals in .urope. 3mong them was 9...
Gladstone who wrote)
0... 4ext to the 2ttoman government nothing can be more deplorable and blameworthy than
!ealousies between Greek and 'lav and plans by the states already existing for appropriating
other territory. 9hy not Macedonia for the Macedonians as well as ,ulgaria for the ,ulgarians
and 'erbia for the 'erbians.0
Gladstone was three times elected 7rime Minister of .ngland /">=> -">B-D ">>+ - ">>? and ">#$
- ">#-1. 8e supported the Macedonian nation in its Cuest for freedom. 7erhaps Macedonia would
have gained its independence had this man been once again elected 7rime Minister during the
big %linden ;prising on 3ugust * "#+$. Left without any support the uprising was crushed by the
Turks followed by the massacre on the innocent Macedonian population.
T8. 736T%T%24 2: M3C.524%3 345 %T' C24'.J;.4C.'
2n 2ctober > "#"* the :irst ,alkan 9ar begun. Montenegro 'erbia ,ulgaria and Greece
attacked the .uropean positions of the 2ttoman .mpire. More than "+++++ Macedonians also
took active part and contributed in driving the Turks out of Macedonia. Turkey capitulated soon
but Macedonia did not free itself. The victorious ,alkan kingdoms convened in ,ucharest in
3ugust "#"$ to divide the spoils. The partition of Macedonia is best illustrated with the following

Macedonia within Turkey before "#"* and its partition in "#"$ among Greece 'erbia ,ulgaria
and 3lbania
Greece was awarded3egean Macedonia and renamed it to 04orthern Greece0D ,ulgaria annexed
7irin Macedonia and abolished the Macedonian name and 'erbia took over Fardar Macedonia
and renamed it to 0'outhern 'erbia0.The same year 4. 7asich of 'erbia and .. Feni(elos of
Greece agreed on the newly formed Greek-'erbian /later &ugoslavian1 border so that there
would be 0only 'erbs to the 4orth and only Greeks to the 'outh0 and no 0Macedonians0 on either
side. Thus the politics to assimilate the Macedonians of 3egean Macedonia had already begun.
The Greek 3trocities in 3egean Macedonia
". 2n Iune *" ** and *$ "#"$ the Greek army completely burned to the ground the city of
Hukush /today Hilkis1 known for its resistance against 8ellenism in the G%G century and the
birthplace of Gotse 5elchev.
*. ,etween Iune *# and *? $# villages in the Hukush area were also burned down.
$. 2n Iune *$ and *- the city of 'erres /today 'errai1 was set on fire where -+++ houses
perished. %n the 'erres gymnasium the Greeks murdered about *++ people.
-. 5uring these days the larger portion of 'trumica was also destroyed by the Greek army.
?. ,etween Iune *$ and $+ many villages in the 5rama and 'erres districts were burned
=. :rom Iune *B to Iuly = all Macedonian Cuarts of 'alonika were set on fire.
The Carnegie Commission composed of members from ;'3 Germany 6ussia :rance 3ustria
and .ngland witnessed the Greek atrocities when visited 3egean Macedonia. Their final
conclusion was that the Greek army has burned to the ground "B+ villages with over "B+++
'ince "#"$ official Greece has been trying to banish native Macedonian names of villages
towns cities rivers and lakes in 3egean Macedonia. :or example the little stream which issues
from Mount 2lympus and flows into the 3egean 'ea is labeled Mavroneri /0black water01 on the
maps made by Greek cartographers after "#"$. 8owever the same river appears as Crna 6eka
a native Macedonian name meaning 0black river0 on the maps made before "#"$. Hukush has
been dropped for Hilkis and 'erres for 'erai together with at least $++ other places all over
:orced Change of the .thnic 'tructure of 3egean Macedonia
The presence of the Macedonians in 3egean Macedonia could not allow Greece to claim that
land to be Greek and only Greek. 'ince it was proven that they resisted the 8elleni(ation Greece
decided to drive them out of Macedonia. Greece made agreements with ,ulgaria /signed
"+L*BL"#1 and Turkey /"L$+L*$ in Lausanne1 for exchange of population. This provided for the
Macedonians of 3egean to leave for ,ulgaria while the Greeks in ,ulgaria and Turkey settled in
the 3egean part of Macedonia. These measures changed the ethnic character of the 3egean
Macedonia. 3ccording to the 0Great Greek .ncyclopedia0 there were "**">-# newcomers
against >++++ 0slavophones0. The 0.thnic Map of Greek Macedonia 'howing the 6atio ,etween
Farious .thnic .lements in "#"* and "#*=0 claims there were ""#+++ 0bulgarisants0 in "#"*
and BB+++ in "#*=. The Greek ethnic map of 3egean Macedonia was submitted to the League of
the nations by the Greek government. The League of the 4ations had not visited 3egean
Macedonia and did not participate at all in conducting this statistics. Greece here refers to the
Macedonians as 0bulgarisants0 which means 0those who pretend to be ,ulgarians0 and obviously
non-,ulgarians. 8owever Greece uses many other names in falsifying the identity of the
Macedonians. 'lavophones 'lav Macedonians Makedoslavs 'lav Greeks and ,ulgarisants
are only some of the names that prove Greece<s unpreparess in this mean falsification of the
Macedonian people and language. There are also other Greek sources that contradict the
previous numbers of the Macedonians in Greece. The 3thenian newspaper 0Message d< 3ten0
wrote on :ebruary "? "#"$ that the number of 0,ulgar-echarhists0 was "##?#+ contradicting
with those ""#+++ of the 0.thnic Map of Greek Macedonia0.
8ow many Macedonians remained in GreeceE
9hen the ,ulgarian and 'erbian views are added the confusion gets only bigger. 3ccording to
the ,ulgarian 6umenov in "#*> there were total of *+=-$? 0,ulgarians0 while the 'erb ,ora
Milo!evich claimed *?++++ 0'lavs0 in 3egean Macedonia. ,elgrade<s 07olitika0 in its ="=- issue
of Iune *- "#*? gave three times greater numbers for the Macedonians in Greece than official
0The Greek government must not complain that we are pointing to the fact that the Macedonian
population of 9est Macedonia - *?++++ - $+++++ - is the most unfortunate national and
linguistic minority in the world not only because their personal safety in endangered but also
because they have no church nor school in their own language and they had them during the
Turkish rule.0
The speculations with the real number of Macedonians is obvious again. Their true number
remains disputable in the ,alkan documents same as it was the case before the partition of
"#"*. ;nfortunately the Greek government would not allow anybody including neutral observers
to conduct statistical studies. :orced to leave the Macedonians emigrated in large numbers to
3ustralia Canada and the ;'3. 3s a result there are about $+++++ Macedonians that presently
live in 3ustralia. %n the city of Toronto Canada there are about "+++++. The present Macedonian
colonies in these counties are represented mostly by the descendants of those 3egean
Macedonians who settled there in the "#*+<s.
3ccording to the 0.thnic Map of Greek Macedonia 'howing the 6atio ,etween Farious .thnic
.lements in "#"* and "#*=0 only -*+++ left their homes. %f we take the statistical tables of the
,alkan and neutral sources above by "#"$ in the whole of Macedonia lived around "*?++++
Macedonians. %n the 3egean part /?"K1 which Greece took after "#"$ half of the Macedonian
nation remained under Greek rule - that would be =*?+++ people. %f up to "#*= -*+++ out of
these =*?+++ left in the Greek part of Macedonian thereafter remained ?>$+++ Macedonians.
6ecognition of the Macedonian Language by Greece
3fter 9orld 9ar % and under the international law Greece signed the agreement to provide
education in the languages of the minorities that remained in its borders. 3s a result 'akerlarou
7ress in 3thens printed a primer in the Macedonian language called 03becedar0 in "#*-. %t was
intended for the Macedonian children in the soon to be opened new schools and it was a clear
recognition of the existence of the Macedonians in Greece. The Greek government however
later changed its position and the primer never reached the schools.
The Macedonian Language :orbidden in Greece
The .nglishmen ,. 8ild who traveled through 3egean Macedonia in "#*> has recorded that the
Greeks are chasing not only the alive Macedonians to whom they sometimes refer to as
0bulgarophones0 and sometimes as 0slavophones0 but also the graves of dead Macedonians by
destroying all non-Greek signs on the crosses. The use of the Macedonian language was
forbidden and punishable when dictator Metaxis gained power in Greece. ,etween "#$= and
"#-+ some ?*?+ Macedonians were persecuted for speaking their native language. The official
order of the 4ational Garde in 4ered /7olipotamos1)
03ll residents from two to fifty years of age are forbidden to use any other language but Greek. %
direct special attention to the youth. 3nyone to break this law will be punished.0
,ut as the facts point out the Macedonians were not wiped out from 3egean Macedonia in spite
of the many assimilation attempts by the Greek government. 2ne such fact is the ethnic map of
.urope in The Times 3tlas of 9orld 8istory where the Macedonians presented as separate
nationality cover the territory of complete Macedonia including 3egean Macedonia in Greece.
8ere is another map part of a larger ,alkan map and made by German ethnographers first
published after 9orld 9ar % which proves that the ethnic Macedonians are the ma!ority in 3egean
Macedonia while the Greeks consist only a small minority.
The Macedonians on this map /Ma(edonier in German and presented in green with stripes1
populate the largest area of 3egean Macedonia including the cities of Hostur /Hastoria1 Lerin
/:lorina1 Foden /.dessa1 ,er /Feroia1 and 'alonika /Thessaloniki1 the largest Macedonian city.
This map is yet another clear proof that the Macedonians do exist as large minority in Greece. %t
is also very important to note that southernmost river in Macedonia which many ethnographers
consider to be Macedonia<s border with Greece is labeled on this map with the native
Macedonian name 9istrit(a /,istrica1. 8owever Greek maps that date after the partition of
Macedonia have changed this name with the Greek 3liakmon. 3nother examples on wiping off
the native Macedonian names from this map would also be the second largest city in 3egean
Macedonia 'erres which Greece changed to 'errai later the river Mesta which was changed to
4estos or the lake ,eschik which today appears as Folvi.
The C%3 .thnic Map of ,alkans and Macedonia is yet another proof that the ethnic Macedonians
today represent a big national minority in northern Greece or 3egean Macedonia. 3ccording to
this C%3 source the Macedonians live in all parts of Macedonia) today<s 6epublic of Macedonia
7irin Macedonia in ,ulgaria and 3egean Macedonia in Greece.
Macedonians 2ppressed in Greece
:ollowing are several documents regarding the oppression of the Macedonians in 3egean
Macedonia before the 9orld 9ar %%. They appeared in 06i(ospastis0 a newspaper published by
the Greek Communist 7arty /HH.1.
3pril "? "#$-
'erres /'errai1. The town sCuare was covered with leaflets with revolutionary proclamations
calling upon the soldiers to straggle for a solution to their problems and against the beastly reign
of terror. 2fficers imprisoned the soldiers who read the leaflets... The most barbarous methods
were used against us Macedonians soldiers of the =th 8eavy 3rtillery 6egiment. The ma!ority of
us are illiterate we do not know Greek and therefore we freCuently do not understand their
orders. The officers tried to teach us to read and write but their efforts were abandoned too soon
and were performed so improperly than none of us learned anything.
Iune = "#$-
Foden /.dessa1. 8ere in Foden and in our whole district in the heart of Macedonia here where
we Macedonians do not know any other language but our own Macedonian various agents of the
Greek capitalism fore us to speak Greek. ConseCuently they threaten us constantly with
expulsion to ,ulgaria they call us Homita!is expropriate our fields which we have drenched with
our sweet !ust to produce a piece of bread. %n addition they deprive us of the freedom which our
fathers won after many years of struggle in which they gave their lives for the liberation of
Macedonia. 9e live under the yoke of Greek capitalism literally as slaves. %n the elementary
schools the young children who speak their own language are beaten every day. 7articularly
here in Foden the henchman and fascist Georgiadis beats the children if they speak their
Macedonian tongue.
Iune > "#$-
Lerin /:lorina1. %t has been some time now that the whole bourgeois press launched a campaign
against the Macedonian people. %t represents a part of the fascist and military measures which
the Government of Tsaldaris carries out in its orientation towards an increasingly brutal
oppression of the people<s masses in Macedonia. The Chief of the 'ecurity :orces here
Haramaunas whenever he meets us on the streets threatens us with the words) 0&ou are
,ulgarians and if by any chance % discover any sort of organi(ed movement % will beat you
without mercy and than % will deport you.0 9e Macedonians should rise with greater courage and
by means of increased activities should re!ect this campaign because it brings us an even more
brutal oppression starvation misery and war.
M3C.524%3 345 G6..C. 3:T.6 926L5 936 %%
The end of 9orld 9ar %% brought both !oy and sadness to the Macedonian people. Ioy because
the Macedonians were finally recogni(ed as a distinct people with their own nationality language
and culture in &ugoslavia. The 6epublic of Macedonia was not anymore 0'outhern 'erbia0 but an
integral part of federal &ugoslavia. The possible unification of all three parts of Macedonia failed
however as Great ,ritain intervened and blocked that idea afraid that the Macedonian unification
will endanger her interests on the ,alkan peninsula.
The Greek Civil 9ar
5uring the Greek Civil 9ar that followed 9orld 9ar %% the Macedonians of 3egean Macedonia
fought on the side of the Greek Communist 7arty /HH.1 who promised them their rights after the
war. 3fter two years of HH.<s success in the civil war the ;nited 'tates decided to side up
against them afraid that Greece would become another communist country. 9ith the military
support that came from the ;nited 'tates and Great ,ritain the communists lost the war and the
Macedonians once again did not get their human rights.
The &ugoslav - Greek 6elations
%n the years following the war &ugoslavia urged Greece many times to recogni(e the Macedonian
minority in 3egean Macedonia. The Greek paper 0.lefteros Tipos0 wrote that in 'eptember of
"#>= the 7rime-Minister 7apandreu in the talks with &ugoslav presidency member 'tane 5olanc
has agreed to recogni(e the Macedonian language as one of the official languages in &ugoslavia.
3s a result of those talks on March "= "#>> the Greek 7rime-Minister 7apandreu and the
:oreign 3ffairs< Harolos 7apulias even agreed to recogni(e the Macedonian language in Greece.
8owever the bankers affair 0Hoskotas0 emerged the 73'2H government fell and the
documents were never signed. Greece continued to refer to the Macedonians as 0'lavophones0
who speak an idiom.
T8. M3C.524%34 - G6..H 6.L3T%24'
9hen the 6epublic of Macedonia seceded from &ugoslavia and became independent in "##"
Greece urged the world not to recogni(e Macedonia under that name because Macedonia<s
Constitution 0threatens the security and integrity of Greece0. 9hat Greece is referring to is the
3rticle -# of the Constitution of the 6epublic of Macedonia which states)
0The 6epublic of Macedonia cares for the statue and rights of those persons belonging to the
Macedonian people in neighboring countries as well as Macedonian ex-parties assists their
cultural development and promotes links with them.0
3thens sees 3rticle -# to be a direct threat for the security of Greece because Macedonia cares
for the people in Greece who consider themselves MacedoniansE 8ow can a country of two
million be a danger to Greece<s ten millionE :urthermore Greece has also similar article in her
Constitution as any other country in the world to care for her minorities in the neighboring
countries. 'hould 3lbania ,ulgaria and Turkey urge the world not to recogni(e Greece because
of her Constitution to care for her minorities in these neighboring countriesE 9hat Greece is
doing is against the international law. Greece demands that Macedonia change its Constitution
because there are 0no Macedonian people0 in Greece but this will be proven to be a lie once
again when 8uman 6ights 9atch L 8elsinki visited 3egean Macedonia in "##-.
Fiolation of the 8uman 6ights of the Macedonians in Greece
The >+-page human rights violation report on Greece entitled 05enying .thnic %dentity -
Macedonians of Greece0 was published in May "##-. 3fter visiting 3egean Macedonia The
8uman 6ights 9atchL8elsinki concluded)
03lthough ethnic Macedonians in northern Greece make up large minority with their own
language and culture their internationally recogni(ed human rights and even their existence are
vigorously denied by the Greek government. :ree expression is restrictedD several Macedonians
have been persecuted and convicted for their peaceful expression of their views. Moreover
ethnic Macedonians are discriminated against by the government<s failure to permit the teaching
of the Macedonian language. 3nd ethnic Macedonians particularly rights activists are harassed
by the government - followed and threatened by the security forces - and sub!ected to economic
and social pressure resulting from this harassment. 3ll of these actions have led to a marked
climate of fear in which a large number of ethnic Macedonians are reluctant to assert their
Macedonian identity or to express their views openly. ;ltimately the government is pursuing
every avenue to deny the Macedonians of Greece their ethnic identity.0
The 8elsinki 9atch has therefore proven that there is nothing wrong with the Constitution of the
6epublic of Macedonia. The Macedonians indeed exist in Greece as a large minority and
therefore Macedonia has the full right to care for them. 8elsinki 9atch found the Greek
government guilty for oppressing the Macedonian minority and demanded they be given their
basic human rights to which they are entitled to. 3nother human rights organi(ation 3mnesty
%nternational also urged the Greek government to respect the human rights of the ethnic
Macedonians. The .uropean ;nion has furthermore recogni(ed the Macedonian language as
one of the languages spoken within the .; borders. The 6epublic of Macedonia is not a member
of the .uropean ;nion but 3egean Macedonia in Greece is within those borders.
The Greek .mbargo
Greece slapped a trade embargo on Macedonia because of the refusal of the Macedonian
7resident Gligorov to rename the country nation and language and change the constitution.The
embargo had devastating impact on Macedonia<s economy. Macedonia was cut-off from the port
of 'alonika and became landlocked because of the ;4 embargo on &ugoslavia to the north and
the Greek embargo to the south. Greece said it will remove the embargo only if Macedonia
satisfies her demands. This blackmail was not acceptable to the 6epublic of Macedonia which
considered the embargo illegal. 3t the same time Greece withdrew from the Greek - Macedonian
talks monitored by the ;4 as a mediator and blocked any acceptance of Macedonia in the
international institutions by using its power to veto new members.
The claims put forward by Greece that the ancient Macedonians were Greeks that their native
language was Greek and that Macedonia had always been a region of Greece are all false. The
historical truth is that Greece was inhabited by ancient Greeks Macedonia by ancient
Macedonians. Today it is the modern Greeks and the modern Macedonians to occupy those
lands. %t is a total absurdity to hear the Greeks of today to claim they are the Macedonians the
Greek Macedonians the only and true Macedonians. 8ow can they be 0the only and true
Macedonians0 when today<s Greek population of 3egean Macedonia immigrated there !ust >+
years ago !oining that small Greek minority of "+KE 8ow can they overlook the atrocities they
committed on the people who than as centuries before proudly called themselves MacedoniansE
9hat about the statistics and maps made by neutral and independent ethnographers slavists
and writers to prove the existence of the Macedonian nationE 3nd finally what about the ethnic
Macedonians whose discrimination by the official Greek government was witnessed by the
independent 8uman 6ights 9atch L 8elsinki and 3mnesty %nternational in "##-E
The existence of the Macedonian nation and the ethnic Macedonian minority in Greece can not
be Cuestioned. There is however a great deal of irony surrounding the issue. %n spite of the truth
about Macedonia and the Macedonians many 9estern countries have not yet recogni(ed the
6epublic of Macedonia under its constitutional name but under the reference 0:ormer &ugoslav
6epublic of Macedonia0. This includes the ;nited 'tates which after the recognition did not send
an ambassador to 'kop!e for more than a year. %nterestingly enough this 0free(e0 coincides with
the visit of the most powerful representatives of the Greek-3merican lobby to 7resident Clinton in
the 9hite 8ouse behind closed doors and in the presence of Clinton<s adviser George
'tefanopoulos who himself is a Greek-3merican.
8ow it is possible that the 9estern countries have chosen to follow 0democratic0 Greece where
lies prevail over the truthE The .uropean Court found the Greek embargo illegal and put Greece
on trial but did nothing to stop it while it was so harmful to the Macedonian economy. They never
cared about the rights of the Macedonians in Greece while the Macedonians of the 3egean are
still facing daily oppression and persecution. :inally they still play that game for the Macedonia<s
name the way Greece wants them to. &es this is yet anotherproof that interests are stronger
than the truth. Greece is a member of the .uropean ;nion 43T2 an important ally that occupies
a very strategic position. 2n the other hand all other countries that do not belong to those
organi(ations have recogni(ed Macedonia under its constitutional name. 6ussia and China are
among those countries. The Cuestion now is if the 9est is willing to risk losing Greece for the
small landlocked MacedoniaE ,ut by standing silent on the issue they are taking an active role in
Greece<s politics.
&et on every atlas /like 4ational Geographic1 encyclopedia /like ,ritannica1 newspaper /like
4ew &ork Times1 and TF media /like C441 Macedonia is referred simply as Macedonia. .ven
the ;' 'ecretary of 'tate 9arren Christopher and 5efense 'ecretary 9illiam 7erry speak of
Macedonians and refer to Macedonia as Macedonia. Matthew 4imit( the ;' mediator in the
Greek - Macedonian talks has said that 0the country has an Constitutional name - 6epublic of
Macedonia0 and that besides the opposing of Greece Macedonia was admitted at ;4 under the
reference 0former &ugoslav 6epublic of Macedonia0 but that is 0only a reference and not name0.
The truth about Macedonia slowly but surely is coming to the top working towards a final end to
the century-old shadow of Greek lies and propaganda. That is until the change of the ,alkan
policies and interests might push it all back to where it started. ,ut regardless of everything the
Macedonians continue to exits on every part of divided Macedonia - the 6epublic of Macedonia
and the Macedonian parts which are today held by Greece and ,ulgaria. They have survived as
Macedonians for almost $+++ years and nobody by renaming them will change the fact that they
are and will remain Macedonians.