A Resolution of the meeting of the Bulgarians from Veles,
protesting against the policy of the Young Turk authorities supporting the Serbian propaganda
September 19th, 1908

Today, the 19th of September, 1908, in the afternoon, the citizens of Veles - Bulgarians - gathered at a meeting and considered:

1. The question of admitting to the commission of the association 'Unity and Progress' an equal number of members - Turks and Bulgarians from the county of Veles, remained pending.

2. The question of handing the church keys to the peasants from Starigrad, about which the Government has done nothing.

3. The question concerning the Serbian detachments' delay in laying down arms; Sava voivoda - the 'Boss' of the Serbian revolutionary organization, has not surrendered; the authorities have been misled and, instead of the voivoda, the rebel Traiko has been presented to the Turks, while Sava is still working underground, intimidating and molesting the Bulgarian people in the villages of Nezhilovo, Papradishta, Oreshe, Mokreni and elsewhere, and the whole of the 'Azot’.

4. The question about the threats addressed by the Serbian priest from Teovo to the peasants of Novo Selo; the answer of Enver Bey to this question: 'that the Serbians shall be forbidden to go to the Bulgarian villages and, if they disobey, they shall be prosecuted'.

5. The question about the church warden of the church in the village of Oreshe. Enver Bey has promised to institute a joint commission of Bulgarians and Turks to hold an inquiry. This has not been done yet.

6. The question of sending a joint commission of Turks and Bulgarians for the inquiry. Nothing has been done yet.

7. Indirect threat by Vassil (a Serbian voivoda) through Resa Effendi not to allow the Metropolitan bishop to go to the village of Oraovdol, where he was invited.

8. The key to the church in the Teovo village is still being kept by the Ser­bian rebels.

9. A policeman from the Chashkar police station demanded that a pea­sant in the Kriva Krousha village give him brandy without payment and as the peasant refused, the policeman flogged him, tied him up and dragged him to the village of Elovets.

Proceeding from the above items of the first meeting, 1 on which no action was taken, and the newly perpetrated insults and abuses, the people decided:

1. To protest against the Serbian voivodas and rebels molesting the Bulgarian village population.

2. To protest against the local policy of the government of protecting and encouraging the Serbian propaganda.

3. To appeal to the Minister of Home Affairs, to the press, to the Buro of the Union of the Constitutional Clubs and to the Young Turk Committees in the town and in Soloun.

ЦДИА, ф.  335, оп. 1, а.е. 407, л.. 90-91; the original is in Bulgarian.

1 The first meeting was held on August 15, 1908. ‘Some 1,000 people of every age and class' took part in it                                                                                    

A newspaper article in Konstitoutsionna Zarya 1 (Constitutional Dawn) entitled
'The Peculiar Attitude of the Government towards the Bulgarian Nationality'
November 26th, 1908

If this attitude were not peculiar and different in comparison with their at­titude towards the other nationalities in the Empire, we would undoubtedly not even mention the name of the Bulgarian nationality to which we belong. Our basic principle is to struggle for the rights and liberties of all nationalities, without exception, and we strive for the complete equality of all the subjects of the Ottoman Empire, irrespective of nationality and religion. From this stand­point, we shall not hesitate, in the least, to come out in defence of any nationali­ty, provided we are convinced that it is being discriminated against and is below the existing level of liberty and justice enjoyed by all other nationalities. We shall not hesitate either to turn against our own nationality, if it were given some advantages and privileges to the disadvantage of the other nationalities and if its privileged position compromised the regime of universal political and civil equality in the country.

It is of primary importance for us that the existing political system in the Empire should guarantee full political, economic and cultural equality to all nationalities, because only such a political situation can harmonize their feelings and their interests. Every deviation from this principle leads to lack of unity, national discord, and lack of harmony in the common ideals and aspirations of the people. To put a certain nationality in a priviledged position means nothing less than to support a system of political inequality - a system which creates only animosity among the different national forces, and this animosity and discord will in the end destroy the most valuable contributions which these forces are capable of making to their common homeland through their peaceful and mutual development and progress.

We have had more than one occasion to stress this idea, which is the basis of our political activity. We are against both privileges for and discrimination (due to lack of justice) against any nationality. Privileges only corrupt the na­tion which enjoys them and discrimination only embitters. As a result, such in­equality provokes only passions and strife which can compromise the common political regime and the country supporting it. Since we profess these political principles, we are convinced that no one will dare to accuse us either of chauvinism or of political separatism, when we are compelled to speak about the peculiar situation in which the Bulgarian nationality is at present placed. This can be observed everywhere daily. That the subject nationalities in the Empire have always been considered by the ruling circles to be inferior to the dominating nationality is a fact the truth of which we have never doubted. In this case, however, matters are rather different. Towards the Bulgarian nationality the official authorities and all their agents have assumed an attitude very different from the one they have towards the other nationalities, especially in Macedonia. As in the Parliamentary elections, so in all other cases where the authorities and their organs have had to interfere in their actions and needs, the Ottoman Bulgarians have been given more than enough evidence to prove that these subjects of the Empire are regarded with peculiar distrust and contempt by the higher ruling spheres. In a word, this nationality is in a position inferior to all others, and this within a system in which discrimination is felt keenly and painfully and this is all the more galling against the background of the professed constitutional political system of the country. It is unnecessary and pointless to prove anew that this is an abnormal situation. If the responsible authorities of a constitutional country allow the existence of political, ad­ministrative or whatever else kind of inequality among different nationalities, it is a sure indication of their low political and social culture. This can be afforded only by rulers who are much behind their times and what is demanded of them. This can be a 'policy' only of short-sighted statesmen who know and remember the past only to be guided by its negative lessons.

'But', the new rulers and statesmen might say, 'in principle, we have nothing against the equality of the nationalities and against an equal approach to them on the part of the authorities, but, as far as the Bulgarian nationality is concerned, matters are quite different. It is a power which is very dangerous for us, because it is in collusion with and inspired by Bulgaria - it can cause us great troubles and difficulties, and perhaps even something worse. And it is ob­vious that the ideals of Bulgaria do not coincide with the interests of our homeland, that we can only be worried about its future intentions, which will certainly find great support on the part of the Ottoman Bulgarians.'

We do not doubt that such were the general 'political' reasons of the ruling circles, even in the first days after the constitutional coup d'etat, but they received a particularly active practical expression a little later, namely, after the proclamation of the Bulgarian Independence and the breaking off of all treaty relations with Turkey.

It was then that the deviation of the government from 'the principle of equality' was felt, an equality against which the authorities have no objection in principle ... It is worthwhile arguing about this deviation, and not because the Turkish statesmen have any real reason to bear distrust and contempt towards the Bulgarian nationality, but because their 'political reasonings' are in this case based on a perverse evaluation of the situation, on a false and extremely wrong assessment of the conditions created by the new developments, and, because of the extraordinary regime under which the Bulgarian nationality has been placed by virtue of the above-mentioned reasonings, it is the worst possible choice of means for removing the existing, or temporary danger of future actions on the part of this nationality.

This we shall prove and support with facts next time.

В. „Конституционна заря", Солун, бр. 26 от 26.XI.1908 г.; (Newspaper Konstitoutsionna Zarya), Soloun, Nc. 26, Nov. 26th, 1908; the original is in Bulgarian.
1 A newspaper expressing the views of the left faction in the organization - the group of Yane Sandanski, after the Young Turk Revolution. At the beginning of 1909 it merged with the newspaper Edinstvo, and continued to appear under the name Narodna Volya.

An article in the newspaper Konstitoutsionna Zarya entitled
'About the Peculiar Attitude of the Government towards the Bulgarian Nationality'

November 29th, 1908

And so, the worst suspicion which the government and the state have about the Ottoman Bulgarians is that this nationality has close links with of­ficial Bulgaria, thus presenting a constant danger to the Empire, the interests of which do not coincide with the ultimate aims of the Bulgarian state. We said last time as well, that these considerations of the present Turkish statesmen have acquired a particularly great significance and weight since the Act of Turnovo with which the ruling circles in Bulgaria indeed committed a dis­honourable action against constitutional Turkey, which they slighted and gravely insulted by ignoring it superciliously and contemptuously until the last moment. The action of official Bulgaria seemed to serve as a signal for treating the Bulgarian nationality everywhere in the Empire as a treacherous and per­fidious people. Was there any sense in the Turkish rulers' attacking the Bulgarians in the Empire in this way? We find no sense in it, nor shall we be able to. To introduce a certain severity in their relations with Bulgaria, either by annulling some trade and customs agreements, or by a boycott of its goods on the Turkish market, this we would have admitted and understood, although we do not consider this to be the best way of preserving the well-understood in­terests of Turkey. To protest before the European Powers who signed the Berlin Treaty, and to insist on some compensation on the part of the violators of that Treaty - this, too, we could have understood, although we do not consider it wise and expedient from the point of view of the future interests of the Empire. To introduce, however, owing to the guilt of official Bulgaria, severity in the at­titude of the authorities towards the Ottoman Bulgarians - this is something which we cannot understand. The peculiar attitude assumed by the ruling circles towards the local Bulgarian population is quite inexplicable to us from the point of view of common sense. We cannot understand what reasons of the state have made it and still make it necessary to put the Bulgarian nationality outside the laws of the country and outside the care of its rulers. If the reasons for this strange attitude are to be found in the circumstances about which we have already spoken, and which we have mentioned above - let us be permitted to enlarge on these circumstances and to see whether they reveal any reasons for the government's strange behaviour towards the Ottoman Bulgarians, and whether these reasons justify such behaviour.

In the first place, the links with Bulgaria. They have existed, they exist and will continue to exist. The form that these relations have hitherto taken, and the form which they will take in the future will depend on the situation in which the Ottoman Bulgarians find themselves. During the rule of the absolute monarchy, these people came to believe that Turkish rule was incorrigible and that they would be able to live as people and citizens, only when they broke away from the direct power of absolutism. Thus there sprang up the idea of autonomy for Macedonia, which was the ideal of the Macedonian-Adrianople Organization. Part of this organization - we cannot conceal it and there is no reason for con­cealing it - permitted in its practices many deviations from the struggle for this ideal. Owing to a lack of consciousness of the necessity of an independent struggle in a political and cultural direction, legal and illegal workers in the nationalist camp consciously or out of short-sightedness played into the hands of the irresponsible ruling circles in Bulgaria, and even involved a part of the Organization, which, with a series of actions and campaigns, tried to open the way for aims and aspirations which were foreign to the mass of the people. Such workers, most of them living in Bulgaria with rather uncertain means of livelihood, caused, as is well known, disorders in the whole Organization and split it into camps bitterly opposed to each other. This is a fact which cannot be denied and there is no reason for denying it. This fact, however, does not in the least mean that the Macedonian masses as well, were inspired by the 'ideas' of those who passed for their chance leaders. Their guilt lies only in their failure to drive away the armed invasions from outside and, secondly, that since those in­vasions came from a kindred country, they did not seem as black and terrible to them as the Turkish regime, all the more so since the population itself was not able to grasp the essence of the aspirations of the irresponsible factors in Bulgaria. In short, the vast majority of Ottoman Bulgarians have never been in­spired by foreign ideas, and if sometimes insignificant parts of them were led astray by foreign agents and provocateurs, this was always the result of their own weakness, on the one hand, and of the indescribable cruelty of the Turkish regime, on the other. The common sense of a given nation, however helpless it may be, can never be muddled to such an extent as to make that nation stop thinking about its immediate needs and become a tool for foreign interests and ideals. In spite of all the justification which despotism has given for the creation of anti-government feelings, the Bulgarian people in the Empire have always been moderate and modest and have been ready to be content with favours which could benefit no one outside the Empire. If that was the case during the former despotic regime, it is quite clear how much more elevated and wise will be the attitude of this nationality under the conditions of a constitutional political system, granted and established not by some external factors, but by the Turks themselves. Is there any sense in destroying this attitude because of the coup d'etat by Bulgarian tsarism? The Act of Turnovo can have nothing in common with the Macedonian Bulgarians, and no responsibility for it can or should fall on them. If the Turkish statesmen had tried to understand the psy­chology of the Bulgarians in the Empire, they would have been able to perceive their deep dissatisfaction with what is going on in Bulgaria. How was it that these statesmen were unimpressed by the fact that some Bulgarians who, until yesterday, were rabid chauvinists, took part as speakers at the numerous nation-wide protest meeting against Bulgaria and Austro-Hungary? This is a significant fact, even if it is merely a sign of the duplicity of the agents of the Bulgarian nationalism and chauvinism. The founders of constitutional Turkey should have paid very serious attention to this fact and given it the most correct and wise psychological assessment. No great wisdom was required to notice that the constitutional coup d'etat in this country had given birth to a feeling of faith in the state, a feeling of hope in its good intentions. Only this feeling, which had gripped the whole people could have made even the most rabid chauvinists speak against the country which they had adored but a day before It was necessary, however, for the Turkish chauvinists to do the same It was necessary that they, too, should protest against Bulgaria, but without identifying the Ottoman Bulgarians with it. Then, there would be no room for hypocrisy and chauvinism! ...

There is, however, no justification for the strange attitude of the govern­ment towards the Bulgarian nationality. What is more, this attitude will do more harm to Turkey than to Bulgaria, because there is no genius in the world who can convince us that a more severe punishment could be devised for Bulgarian tsarism than the granting and guaranteeing of all rights and liberties to the Ottoman Bulgarians ...

В. „Конституционна заря", Солун, бр. 26 от 26.XI.1908 г.; (Newspaper Konstitoutsionna Zarya), Soloun, No. 27 November 29th, 1908; the original is in Bulgarian.


Telegrams sent from the Bulgarian communes in Macedonia to the Chairman of the Ottoman Parliament,
concerning the closed Bulgarian churches and schools

January 15th, 1909 

Today, Jan. 15th, the citizens of Prilep gathered at a meeting, and taking into account:

1) The numerous and systematic abuses of power in connection with the electoral law with the aim of infringing the rights of the Bulgarian population.

2) Harassment by the Greek armed detachments in the region of Morihovo and their feverish activities to incite the Bulgarian patriarchists to fresh disturbances.

3) The action of the Serbian armed detachments in the North-East and North-Western parts of the district, designed to provoke fear in the Bulgarian villages which they conquered by terror during the former regime.

4) The open resistance of the Serbian supporters who, incited by the Serbian detachments, do not allow the Bulgarian church commune to take actual possession of the monasteries of Zurze and Slepche, which were awarded to it by a court decision.

5) The illegal coversion of the convent of the Hilendar Monastery into a Serbian chapel.

6) That the Bulgarian majority in the village of Vrubyani are not allowed their turn to hold services in the village church, which is in the possession of the Serbianized minority.

7) The occupation of the Bulgarian school in the village of Beshista by the Greek teacher, with the support of the Turkish onbashi, Kourtish, from Bitolya district, against the will of the village.

8) The complete indifference of the local authorities towards the various arbitrary proceedings and infringements of the law committed by its agents, in spite of repeated complaints on the part of the population, and their partiality in the new controversies over national problems aimed at creating an atmosphere of mutual animosity.


1) To protest strongly to Parliament against the various arbitrary proceedings and infringements of the law.                                

2) To demand of Parliament: a) the adoption of speedy and effective measures to paralyze the activities of the Serbian and Greek robber bands; b) a just solution of the church and school question; c) an end to the present policy of fanning national animosities.                                            

3) The meeting authorized the bureau to telegraph this resolution to the Chairman of the Ottoman Parliament and to send copies to Mr. P. Dorev and Abdulah Azmi Efendi, M.P. for Kutahya, and to publish it in the press.

From the Bureau of the Meeting


The Bulgarian citizens of the district of Bitolya gathered at a meeting, of more than 8,000, after listening to the speeches of the speakers and taking into account:

1) That the Constitution has established equality and fraternity among Ottoman citizens.

2) That on July 11th freedom of conscience and religion was proclaimed.

3) That in the villages on Dihovo, Klabouchishta, Novatsi and Sredno Egri, where the majority of the population is Bulgarian, the latter declared its desire to join the Exarchate 5 months ago and has led a legal struggle for its sacred right to religious freedom ever since.

4) That in spite of this declaration and struggle, the churches and the schools in Klabouchishta, Novatsi and Sredno Egri remain closed and in Dihovo, the Bulgarian Patriarchists comprising 15 households as against 50 Exarchist households are using the church and the school for themselves, while the great majority, with two houses and a school at the disposal of the com­mune, are compelled to educate their children in a private house and have no admission to their graveyard.

5) That the prosperity and progress of the country require peace, justice and truth,

We Decided:

To beseech the Parliament in Constantinople most earnestly to take up and inquire carefully into the particulars of the church question and to satisfy the desire of our people as soon as possible, by settling this question in the spirit of the Constitution - equality and fraternity, by giving the people the right to be the masters of the churches which they themselves have built and maintained.

From the Bureau of the Meeting

The church which was used by both Bulgarians and Graecomanes in the Stari Varosh quarter burnt down a long time ago during a fire. When we later felt the need to have separate houses of prayer for the Bulgarians and the Graecomanes, we decided by mutual agreement that the site of the old church should be given to the Graecomanes, while the lower floor of the school situated in the church yard should be given to the Bulgarians for religious pur­poses, and one room on the upper floor of the school should serve as school for the Graecomanes, and the other rooms - for the Bulgarian school. Five years ago, however, the government closed the school and more than 1,000 pupils were compelled to continue their education in dark and damp places, where they are still studying today. The inquiry commission which came specially for this purpose, without taking into account the ratio between Graecomanes and Bulgarians, and estimating the value of the church at one thousand liras, decided that the Graecomanes should pay the Bulgarians 300 liras and that the latter should declare that they had no claims to the church building. We, the Bulgarians, not being satisfied with this decision, protested but the appropriate authorities paid no attention to our protests against the injustice of this deci­sion, which does not correspond to the respective sizes of the population. For this reason we beg you, on behalf of the entire population, to give the church entirely to the Graecomanes, and to open the school and give it to our com­mune, together with the vacant quadrangular area around it; and we also beg you to return all the vakif lands which were confiscated from us.

From the Bulgarian Church Commune


In the villages under my jurisdiction in the ecclesiastical region of Kostour, vilayet of Bitolya, in the village of Nestram 300 of a total of 440 houses, in Gorentsi 200 out of 350 Christian houses, in the Koumanichevo 75 out of 80 houses, in Starichene 52 out of 60 houses, in Osnicheni 45 out of 50 houses, and in Zhelovo 200 out of 250 houses are under the spiritual jurisdic­tion of the Bulgarian Exarchate and, in spite of this, even today their churches and schools, built by the peasants themselves, remain in the hands of the Graecomane minority, something which is contrary to the principles of equality and justice. The peasants in the above-mentioned villages were on several oc­casions ready to rise up and forcibly seize their churches and schools from the handful of the Graecomanes, even at the risk of their own lives, but up till now I have restrained them with advice and promises that this problem will be dis­cussed in Parliament. But now when we see that in Kostour, Bilishte and some other villages Graecomane agents and some mercenary Graecomanes who, during the time of the absolute monarchy, served as government spies, are giving money and arms to the Greek population, on the one hand, and when, on the other, we listen to their daily threatenings and boastings that, when March comes, the Bulgarians will have much to see - these circumstances have put the population under my spiritual authority in a state of uncertainty, therefore I implore you most humbly that the church and school question be settled in Parliament, and that an end be put to the rebellious plans and inten­tions of the Greeks.     

Chairman of the Bulgarian Church Commune in

Kostour: Ilarion

Village of Embore (district of Kailyare)
Jan. 16th, 1909

The Church of St Constantine and St Hellen, which for 25 years had been in the hands of the Bulgarians of the village of Embore, with 200 households of Bulgarian Exarchists and 20 Patriarchist households, was forcedly seized from the Bulgarians by the Greek bishop of Lerin and the governor of Lerin 8 years ago and was handed over to the 20 Graecomane households.

The village of Paleor has about 80 Exarchist households and 30 Graecomane households; the latter have the right to conduct their services 3 times a month in the only village church, while the Exarchists are allowed to do so only twice a month. This is a gross injustice towards the Bulgarians.

The population of the villages of Doroutovo and Asankyoy, being Bulgarians, wanted to hear their own Bulgarian language in the churches and schools, but the governor of Kailyare would not allow them to.

Chairman of the Commune: Papa Georgi

Village of G. Koufalovo (district of Soloun)
In the name of justice, we beg that our church be opened, which to this day is kept locked by the government, and we are deprived of our house of prayer, although we have been Exarchists since 1903.
On behalf of the whole Bulgarian population, numbering 180 households.
The mayor's seal: Georgi Kostandin
Village of Daoudbal (district of Soloun)

We beg you, on behalf of 18 families of Bulgarian Exarchists, to allow us to obtain that part of the village school which is due to us, and to permit us to conduct services in the church, in turn with the 17 families of Patriarchists, to whom the government has given sole use of the church, built with the money of the whole population of the village.

On behalf of the Bulgarian population of the village of Daoudbal

Village of Saruchevo (district of Soloun)

On behalf of 10 families of Bulgarian Exarchists, we beg to be given that part of the village school which is due to us, and to be permitted to conduct services in turn in the village church, which was built with the money of the whole population of the village, and which the government has handed over entirely to 13 Patriarchist families.

On behalf of the Bulgarians of the village of Saruchevo

Mayor: Dime Georgi

Village of Chohalari (district of Soloun)

We beg you, on behalf of 15 families of Bulgarian Exarchists, to allow us to obtain that part of the village school due to us, and to permit us to conduct services in turn in the church which was built with the money of all the villagers, and which was handed over, under the old regime, to 19 families of Patriarchists.

On behalf of the Bulgarians in Chohalari Alexo Traikov


The church of St. Peter and the Holy Trinity, built during the time of Ahmed Pasha — vali of Bitolya, with the efforts and the donations of the Exarchist population of Kroushovo and its neighbourhood, and for the building of which the Bulgarians themselves obtained the necessary permission, granted on the name of the Bulgarian church warden, has been closed for the last 15 years after being used for a very short period, owing to the instigations and slanders of the Greeks, and is in danger of collapse.

That the above-mentioned church belongs to the Bulgarians can be very easily ascertained by any inquiry commission. For this reason, we beg you on behalf of the whole population, to open the church and to hand it over to us, as its lawful owners.

The Deputy of the Metropolitan in Kroushovo
Members: Priest Bogdan, Priest Lev, Nikola
Yossifov, Gl. Dimitrov, Stavre Sekoulov,
Mito Krustov

The Government, ignoring our rights, as the majority, to the disputed church of St. George in Resen, handed it over to the Greeks. Since this is an usurpation of our rights, we request a just settlement of this question.

From the Bulgarian Constitutional Club

Village of Prosechen (district of Drama)

Our village, consisting of 156 Bulgarian and 152 Graecomane houses, has only one church. The Graecomanes, taking advantage of the arbitrary proceedings of the old regime, misappropriated the church and today still con­sider it to be their property. As the time of robberies has now passed, we beg you to take the most just measures for settlement of this question, thus con­tributing to the prosperity of our state.

Mayor: Atanas Manol   Member: Penko Vancho   Member: Angel

Village of Gorentsi (district of Zuhna)

Our village has 80 Bulgarian houses and 60 Graecomane houses; also two churches and one school. The Graecomanes, taking advantage of the arbitrary proceedings of the old regime, usurped the church and the school and still have possession of them. As the time of arbitrary actions has now passed, we beg you to investigate this question and to take the most just decision as becomes a constitutional administration.

Mayor: Atanas    Member: Atanas   Member: Krusto


Village of Egri-dere (district of Zuhna)

Our village consisting of 105 Bulgarian and 55 Graecomane houses has only one school and one church. The Graecomanes, enjoying the favour of the officials under the despotic regime, infringed the law and appropriated the church and the school, which even now they consider their property. As the time of the arbitrary actions has now passed, we beg you to take measures for the settlement of this question, as becomes a constitutional government.

Sealed with the village seal

Village of Karloukovo (district of Zuhna)

Our village consisting of 150 Bulgarian and 45 Graecomane houses has only one school and one church. The Graecomanes, enjoying the favour of the officials under the despotic regime, broke the law and appropriated the school and the church. As the time of robbery has now passed, we beg you to take the most just measures for the settlement of this question, as becomes a con­stitutional government.

Sealed with 6 village seals


In Strumitsa, there are two churches which, although built with the help of the whole local Christian population, are now in the hands of the Greeks. Under the despotic regime, when there was a complete absence of rights we made several attempts to have at least one of these returned to us and, in spite of the Decree of the Ministry of Justice and Religions of December 12th, 1324 (1908), sent to the Exarchate, which ordered the handing over to the Bulgarians of the site near the ruins of the old Metropolitan building, which had been bought by them for 350 Turkish liras for the purpose of building a church there ~ this decree was never put into action. Thus, while the Greeks have three churches, the Bulgarians are totally deprived of a house of prayer. Is this right?

We appeal to the feelings of justice of all the members of Parliament that they satisfy the lawful demands of the Bulgarians, who are deprived of a house of prayer.

On behalf of the Bulgarian population in Strumitsa

Treasurer: Pandeli

Village of Vurtok (district of Gostivar)

The village of Vurtok, inhabited solely by Bulgarians, has a Bulgarian school. During the last census of the population, 15 houses had declared themselves to be Serbianized and, although hitherto all religious rites for the population have been conducted by Bulgarian priests and the holy service was held exclusively in Bulgarian, two months ago the government permitted the opening of a Serbian school in our village and at the same time decreed that the holy service in the church be conducted turn and turn about. Since there are no Serbs in our village, we asked the government to annul its decision, but our request was not complied with. We beg you therefore to give orders for the closing of the Serbian school and to rescind the decree about taking turns in church.

On behalf of the Bulgarian population in the village of Vurtok: Priest Arkadi

Village of Lounovo (district of Gostivar)

Twenty years ago, with the necessary permission and help of the Holy Exarchate, a Bulgarian school was built in the village of Lounovo. Ten years later, the Serbs appeared, and for 4 consecutive years hired a private house to use as a school. At their request, we agreed to give them one of the rooms in our school for this purpose. We learned recently that they had sent a request to the government insisting on being given half of the school, which, so they claimed, belonged to them. Since their claims are entirely groundless, we beg you to give orders for the school to remain our sole property, as it has been un­til now.

On behalf of the Bulgarian population of Lounovo:

Priest Ango

Village of Debreni (district of Gostivar)

Since there is no church in our village of Debreni, we approached the local authorities with the request to be allowed to build a small chapel near the graveyard and our request was granted. But after we had built the chapel and had begun to lay the tiles on its roof, and had spent about 80 liras, the Turkish population destroyed part of the chapel. We complained to the local authorities about this, but, instead of punishing the offenders, they forbade the builders to work there and our chapel remained unfinished. We beg you to allow us to finish our chapel, because we have nowhere to conduct our religious rites.
On behalf of the Bulgarian population of the village of Debreni: Priest Vassili
Village of Mavrovo (district of Gostivar)

The village of Mavrovo consists of 150 houses, of which 90-100 are Bulgarian. Four years ago, during the last census of the population, this number was diminished to 40 houses, because, on the one hand, many Bulgarians called themselves Serbs in order to be able to visit Constantinople, where the admittance of Bulgarians was forbidden by a special order; and, on the other, because of threats by the Serbian armed detachments, and also because those who went to work in Serbia were compelled there to call themselves Serbs.

There are two churches in our village - one of them is worth 1000 and the other - 100 Turkish liras. The government, apart from giving orders for the large church to be given exclusively to the Serbs, also gave orders for the Serbs to hold their services in the small church as well, for two weeks in succession, and the Bulgarians - only one. Because this is a gross injustice towards the Bulgarian population, we beg you to send the necessary orders and have one of the two churches given to us for the observance of our religious rites.

On behalf of the Bulgarian population of the village of Mavrovo: Priest Traiko


Twenty-one years ago the church, the school, and the garden, with all their outbuildings, etc., belonging to the whole Christian population of the town of Doiran, were handed over, without any special permission, to the Greek church commune, representing only 150 Graecomane households. And the un­fortunate Bulgarian population, numbering more than 400 households, is com­pelled to conduct its religious rites in a dilapidated house serving as a chapel. After the declaration and the guarantee of human rights: equality, fraternity and justice for all, and relying on the stipulations of the Constitution, we beg the respected Parliament to order the return of that part of the above-mentioned usurped property which is due to us according to the law.

On behalf of the Bulgarian population in Doiran:

Mayor Mito

Village of Valandovo (district of Doiran)

The despotic government ordered the church and the school in our village, built by our forefathers, to be handed over to the Graecomanes, while the Bulgarian population, consisting of more than 50 households, was deprived of the right to conduct its religious rites. Because, with the proclamation of the Constitution, we were granted liberty and justice, we beg the respected govern­ment to restore our rights over the said church and school.

On behalf of the population:

Mayor Kolyo

Village of Fourka (district of Doiran)

Our village of Fourka has 78 houses, of which 60 are Bulgarian and only 18 are Graecomane. Five years ago the officials of the despotic regime gave our village church and the school to the Graecomanes. So, for five years, we have been deprived of the right to conduct our religious rites, and, for five years, our children have not crossed the threshold of the school. Does the Constitution permit such an injustice? Because the church and the school were left to us by our forefathers and are our property, we beg the respected Parliament to restore our rights. On behalf of the whole population of the village of Fourka:

Mayor Hristo


By means of force and threats, Serbian armed detachments managed to seize the Bulgarian churches in the villages of Vir, Slatina, Kozitsa, Prout, Pagoul, Dolentsi and Lazarovets during the former regime, and they are still in their hands even now. Because, with the proclamation of liberty, full freedom was given to the population of these villages, as well as to every citizen in the country, to return to his original religious authority, we beg that the churches be returned to their lawful owners - the Bulgarians, and that measures be taken for the protection of the population against the attacks and the encroachments of the Serbian detachments.
From the Bulgarian Constitutional Club

Of the 198 houses in our little town 190 are Bulgarian, 7 are Serbian and only one is Graecomane. Apart from these, there are about 21 families of Wallachian settlers. The government of the former despotic regime seized our church by force and gave it to the Patriarchists, although it was built by us Bulgarians, and was also used by the population of the neighbouring villages of Rashtane, Serbyani and Osoi, which have about 120 houses altogether. With the taking of the church, 310 families were deprived of the possibility of praying to God. The despotic government paid no attention to any of our complaints against this gross injustice. But now with the proclamation of the Constitution which is the sole guarantee of the prosperity of all the nationalities bearing the name of Ottomans, and with the opening of Parliament which intends to put an end to the intolerable situation of all the oppressed people, the eyes of everyone are turned to that holy institution, the Parliament, which will legalize justice, thus opening the way to the prosperity of this country which has suffered so much.

On behalf of the population of the Varosh quarter (Kichevo): Mayors: G. Yakimov and P. Apostolov


It can be proved with historical data that the Monastery of St Nahum, situated on the Northern shore of the lake of Ohrid, is a sacred shrine of the Bulgarian population, which also inhabits the district of Ohrid. During the old despotic regime, there were only a few people left to manage the Monastery, and these had gone under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate. Because the Constitution gives us the possibility of seeking to regain the rights which we lost during the despotic regime, we appeal to the feelings of justice of the People's Representatives, asking that orders be given for the return of the Monastery, usurped by the Greeks, to the Bulgarians, whose lawful property it is.

On behalf of the whole Bulgarian population in the town of Ohrid: Mayor Dimitri

Demir Hissar

Having had no freedom of religion and education during the despotic regime, on the proclamation of the Constitution and the triumph of freedom, the Bulgarian element broke away from the Patriarchate, and there awoke within it a feeling of religious independence. We beg that the church and the school which were bequeathed to us by our grandparents and great-grandparents be returned to us, because we are the majority. Explanations by post.

On behalf of 127 Bulgarian households in the village of Souyak, district of Demir Hissar:

Iliya Konstantinov

Demir Hissar
Since, under the despotic regime, liberty of conscience and religion was wholly suppressed, and when, with the proclamation of the Constitution, everyone grew aware of the freedom of conducting the religious rites, we, the Bulgarians, split from the Patriarchate. In addition to our written request to you, in which we requested the return of the church and the school to us, because they are the property of the village and were built by our grandparents and great-grandparents, and because we are a majority, we implore that they be returned to us.
On behalf of 30 houses of the Bulgarian population
in Doini Varosh in Demir Hissar: S. Todorov
On behalf of 30 houses of the Bulgarian population
in the village of Keharyot: Teodosi
On behalf of 190 houses of the Bulgarian population
in the village of Barakli: Mitre Paskalev
On behalf of 100 houses of the Bulgarian population
in the village of Koumli: Ivan
On behalf of 190 houses of the Bulgarian population
in the village of Latarevo: A. Georgiev
On behalf of 190 houses of the Bulgarian population
in the village of Spatevo (Demir Hissar district): Mito Stamatov

Although there are 350 households of Bulgarian Exarchists and only 300 Graecomane households in our town, the town church and school are in the hands of the Graecomanes who seized them 30 years ago, and the Bulgarians are excluded from the town church and school. Although we, the tormented Bulgarian population, have made many representations to the proper authorities, and, the last time (4 months ago), we even wrote to the Great Vizir himself, none of our requests have been granted. As it is the purpose of Parlia­ment to guarantee the rights of the citizens, we expect a speedy and just settle­ment of the question.

Mayor of Gorna Mahala: Gone
Mayor of Novata Mahala: Delyo
Mayor of Starata Mahala: Georgi
Village of Mouin (district of Gevgeli)

In spite of the fact that there are 50 households of Bulgarian Exarchists and only 20 Graecomane households, the village church and school have been in the hands of the Graecomanes for 30 years, and we, the Bulgarians, have been deprived of a house of prayer and a school. Although we, the tormented Bulgarian population, have made many representations to the proper authorities, our requests have not been granted. As it is the purpose of Parliament to guarantee the rights of the citizens, we expect a speedy and just settlement of this question.

On behalf of the Bulgarian population in the village of Mouin:

Mayor Ivan Kamchev

Village of Negortsi (district of Gevgeli)

In spite of the fact that there are in the village 79 households of Bulgarian Exarchists and only 39 households of Graecomane-Patriarchists, the village church and school, although village property, have been seized by the Graecomanes and we are forbidden to use them. Although we, the tormented Bulgarian population, have made many representations to the proper authorities, our requests have not been granted. We expect a speedy and just settlement of the question by Parliament, whose task it is to guarantee the rights of the citizens.

On behalf of the whole Bulgarian population in the village of Negortsi:

Mayor Risto Georgiev

Village of Sehovo (district of Gevgeli)

Our village church, built by our grandparents and great-grandparents and intended to serve as a house of prayer for the whole village, as well as our village school, have for the last 32 years been appropriated by 13 households of Graecomane-Patriarchists, and we, the Bulgarians, although we are 137 households, or 685 people, are deprived of a house of prayer and of school premises where we can educate our children. Although we have made many representations nothing has come of any of them. We, the Bulgarians, who have been always underprivileged, rely on Parliament, which is authorized to protect the liberty and the rights of the people, and we are humbly expecting a just settlement of the question.

On behalf of the Bulgarian population in the village of Sehovo: Mayor Dedev

Village of Kara-Soule (district of Gevgeli)

Our village consists of 50 Bulgarian houses. We have used the church turn and turn about with the Graecomanes ever since the time of the despotic regime, but the school is entirely in the hands of the Graecomanes, although the Patriarchate did not give a brass farthing for the building of the church and the school; they were built with the money from the population and the vakif property. We beg, on behalf of the entire Bulgarian population, and in the name of justice and equality, that taking into consideration the ratio between the pop­ulations, the use of the village church should be according to that ratio, and that the school should be given entirely into the hands of the Bulgarians.

Mayor: Koli Markov

Village of Davidovo (district of Gevgeli)

There are 18 Bulgarian and 12 Graecomane houses in our village. The church and the school are entirely in the hands of the Graecomanes. Because they were built jointly by the whole population of the village, we beg you to hand over to us those parts of them which are due to us.

On behalf of the Bulgarian population in the farm of Davidovo:

Mayor: Georgi Petrev

Village of Bogdantsi (district of Gevgeli)

The village school, and the church, used as a house of prayer by our grandparents and great-grandparents, were seized 32 years ago by the Graecomanes, who have only 130 houses out of the total of 350 houses in the village, and we are forbidden to listen to the service in the church or to educate our children at the school. After making several requests which have not been granted, the wronged population is relying on Parliament which is authorized to defend the laws and the rights of citizens, and is humbly expecting its just orders.

On behalf of the Bulgarian population in the village of Bogdantsi:

Mayor Kostantin


Thirty-four years ago, some of the Bulgarians, hoping to save themselves from the tyranny of the Greek bishop and relying on the consuls of the Great Powers for protection, became Papists, but then, perceiving that they would have no benefit from this, they again acknowledged the supremacy of the Exarchate. The Catholic bishop managed, through bribes, to draw 20 families over to his side. These families seized our church and vakifs, which had been bequeathed to us by our fathers and grandfathers. In the hope that we would be able to get our church back, we made representations to the local governor and the vilayet authorities for six years, but unfortunately, our requests were not granted. The despairing population broke into St George's church by force on February 9th, 1886, and informed the vali and the Sublime Porte about this by telegram. Two days after this incident, at the instigation of the Catholic bishop, 20 Bulgarian notables were taken under guard to Soloun, where without being examined, and after spending about 40 days in prison, they were released. To put an end to such unfortunate incidents, the Sublime Porte decided to give the said church to the Bulgarians, who are the majority. The local governor, however, instead of giving the church to the Bulgarians accor­ding to that order, left it again in the hands of the Catholics. Then the unfor­tunate Bulgarian population turned to the court and with numerous Turkish witnesses proved that the churches of St George and the Virgin Mary, together with the vakifs, belong to the Orthodox Bulgarians. Although the case was won by the Bulgarians, the judgement was reversed at the instigation of the Catholic bishop and although the documents were sent as long ago as in 1887, no deci­sion was taken concerning this case. Today the churches of our forefathers and the school are in the hands of 30 Catholic households who have only 35 children in school, whereas we, the Orthodox Bulgarians with 1450 houses are compelled to conduct services in dark cells, and more than 1000 children are studying in dark and damp premises. In the name of equality and fraternity, we beg you to take the usurped properties from the hands of the few mercenary elements of foreigners, and, believing that our request will be granted, we cry out: 'Long live Justice! Long live Liberty! Long live the Members of Parliament!'

We are eagerly expecting justice from the representatives of the people.

On behalf of the Bulgarian population in the town of Koukoush:

The Bulgarian Church Commune

Village of Mekesh (district of Syar)

The whole Christian population of our village is of Bulgarian nationality and has spoken Bulgarian from time immemorial. In spite of this, however, until the proclamation of the Constitution it was compelled to use the services of Greek priests and teachers in its church and school. After the Constitution was proclaimed, the whole population, inspired by a desire to preserve its native language, and deeply convinced that it should pray and study in Bulgarian, decided unanimously to acknowledge the spiritual jurisdiction of the Bulgarian Exarchate and, for this purpose, asked the chairman of the Bulgarian church commune in Syar to send us a priest and a teacher of Bulgarian nationality. All this was officially announced to the myutesarif of Syar. The church commune of Syar sent us a Bulgarian teacher and a priest, who were welcomed with joy and rapture by the entire population. But, on December 18th last year, the Greek bishop of Syar, without being invited, came to our village, and having deceived and won over five peasants, opened the church by force and con­ducted a service there in the presence of only those five peasants. Then he took the keys of the church and the school, gave them to the five Graecomanes, and went to the village of Orlyak.

In this way our church and school, built with the money of our forefathers, were delivered into the hands of only five Graecomanes, while 50 Bulgarian households are without a house of prayer and their children -without education. The whole village had been united and used the church and the school together, but the arrival of the bishop caused discord and now 50 families have been deprived of their church and school. Under the old regime such a thing was easy to understand, but now that the Constitution guarantees full freedom of conscience, such a thing is unjust and illegal. An inquiry can easily prove the truth of our words. For this reason, we beg you to inquire into the case, and to give us the right to use our native Bulgarian language in our church and school, and to forbid the Greek bishop to come and cause discord by his arbitrary actions.Jan. 12th, 1909                                     

On behalf of the whole population of the village of Mekesh (district of Syar)

Mayor: the village seal    Member: Stoil Apostolov    Member: Tasho Popov

Village of Elshani (district of Syar)

The whole population of our village is of Bulgarian origin and, until recently, the Bulgarian language was used in both our school and church. But ill-wishers from outside provoked discord and destroyed the peace in the village. There are 140 houses in our village, 30 of which were lured by the Greeks and joined the Patriarchate. The keys of our village church were taken by force from the majority and given to the Graecomanes, who alone are using both the church and the school. Although these village properties were built with our own money, 117 of our households have now been deprived of them. In view of this glaring injustice, we implore Parliament to settle this question justly and to allow us to use our church and school as we used to do.

On behalf of the Bulgarian Commune in Elshani:

Mayor: the village seal          Members: D. Stoyanov  and K. Georgiev                  

Village of Kamila (district of Syar)

The whole Christian population of our village is of Bulgarian nationality and has spoken Bulgarian from time immemorial. In spite of this, it is com­pelled to use Greek priests and teachers, because various slanders on the pan of the Greek bishops have prevented us from introducing the Bulgarian language. After the proclamation of the Constitution, the whole population, inspired by a desire to preserve its native language, and deeply convinced that it should pray and study in Bulgarian, unanimously acknowledged the supremacy of the Bulgarian Exarchate, and begged the Bulgarian church commune in Syar to send us a priest and a teacher of Bulgarian origin. At the same time the myutesarif of Syar was officially informed. The Bulgarian commune in Syar sent us a priest and a teacher, who were heartily welcomed by the whole pop­ulation. But then, the hateful Greek bishop of Syar came to our village without being invited, and managed to deceive and win over some ignorant peasants, and gave them the keys of our church and school. Resolving not to deprive our children of education and ourselves of a house of prayer, we hired a private house for use as a temporary chapel and school, but even this appeared too much to our enemies and the house was closed on the order of the authorities.

And, besides ourselves, 270 households in the villages of Agomahala, Joumalar, Kuzpike and Ada were also deprived of a house of prayer because they have no churches in their villages and used to come to our church.

In this way, our church and school, built with the money of our forefathers, have been delivered into the hands of five Graecomanes, while five Bulgarian villages have been deprived of their church and school. Under the old regime, this injustice could be easily explained, but now that the Constitution guarantees full freedom of conscience, this situation must no longer be tolerated.

For this reason, we beg you to investigate our case and give us the right to pray in our church and study at our school in our native language and to forbid the Greek bishop to come to our village and cause discord among the Christian population.

January 12th, 1909On behalf of the population of the village of Kamila (district of Syar) Mayor: Seal

Village of Tsurna Reka (district of Gyumendje)

The church and the school of our village have been handed over by the government to 40 households, subordinated to the Patriarchate, and, we who are 80 households, have no place for religious rites and for the education of our children. We earnestly beg you to settle this question in a satisfactory way.

On behalf of the Bulgarian population in the village of Tsuma Reka:

Mayor: Nikola

Village of Koshinovo (district of Gyumendje)

There are 21 Bulgarian houses and only 10 Graecomane houses in our village. Until 25 days ago we conducted our religious rites in the village church, but two weeks ago the government took the church from us and gave it to the Graecomanes, although they are a minority, and, after they had used the church for about 15 days, it was closed and it is still closed. We beg you to take the necessary steps for the opening of the church.

On behalf of the whole Bulgarian population:

Mayor: Milcho     Member: Andon

Village of Pet Guz (district of Gyumendje)

Although the whole population of our village is of Bulgarian origin our church and school have been closed for the last 4 years. We don't know the reason for this. We beg you to give the necessary orders for them to be reopened.

On behalf of the population:

Mayor: Ivan     Member: Gono

Village of Kriva (district of Gyumendje)     

There are 240 houses in our village, of which 10 are Patriarchist and 230 are Exarchist. Our village church and school were built under the old regime, with the help of the poor population, but today, under the Constitutional regime, they are closed, although we, the Bulgarians, being Exarchists, have paid our taxes regularly for the last 10 years. The other ten houses belong to people of Bulgarian origin, who call themselves Graecomanes, only because they are under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate, and, although they did not help in the least over the building of the church, they continue to use the church and the school, where only 5-6 of their children study, while we, the Bulgarians, 230 households, appeal first to God and secondly to the members of Parlia­ment, as true patriots, to inquire into this case and put an end to such injustices, which may drive us to despair.

On behalf of the population of the village of Kriva:

Mayor: Kolyo Mitre

Village of Barovitsa (district of Gyumendje)

Owing to slanders made by 7 Graecomane Patriarchist households, our village church and school are closed, although we, the Bulgarian Exarchists, number 150 households. We beg you to give orders for the opening of our church and school, so that we shall not be without a house of prayer and so that we shall save our children from loitering about in the streets.

On behalf of the Bulgarian population:

Mayor: Tano    Member: Petre

Отоманският парламент за положението в Македония, Издание на „Съюза на българските конституционни клубове" в Европейска Турция, Солун, 1909, (The Ottoman Parliament about the Situation in Macedonia. Publications of the 'Union of the Bulgarian Constitutional Clubs' in European Turkey), Soloun, 1909, pp. 69-84; the original is in Bulgarian.


A leading article entitled 'Our Positions' in the newspaper Narodna Volya1
explains the demands of the Bulgarian People's Federal Party
January 17th, 1909

Edinstvo and Constitoutsionna Zarya had only provisional tasks, the most important of which was to help the Bulgarians in the Empire to orientate their social and political thought amidst the sudden changes in the internal life of the country; to propagate the new ways of thought and new forms of struggle made necessary by the changes, to point out the need to organize Ottoman democratic parties and to raise their common slogans. This aim has been achieved. In the ranks of the Bulgarian element the organization of democratic forces is already taking place. On the one hand, we observe the speedy growth of the Bulgarian People's Federal Party (BPFP) and, on the other, the first beginnings of the Workers' Party.

The need for the further concentration of the forces around the two party groupings, the need for purely party newspapers, led to the appearance of Narodna Volya as a Party organ of the BPFP which is already in formation, and the newspaper Rabotnik, which will soon begin to appear as the theoretical organ of the Workers' Party (WP).

To disseminate the ideas of our party and to defend our positions - this will be our daily task. In this article, however, we want to set forth the general outlines of these positions and ideas.

As an organ of the BPFP, Narodna Volya defends and expresses the in­terests mainly of that part of the Bulgarian population, which comprises its predominant majority, and which is the most important element in that party -the petty owners deprived of all state protection, the landless or poor farmers, petty shopkeepers, craftsmen and merchants. These are the social strata whose interests today are the interests of the Bulgarian nationality in the Empire.

We consider that these interests require, in the first place, the strengthening of the constitutional regime, the expansion of liberties and the extension of reforms in the administrative and economic system. Only in this way can we create conditions for the raising of the standard of living and the prosperity of the Bulgarians in the Empire.

But the expansion of liberties and reforms can be guaranteed and realized only by organizing of those strata of society which are most concerned - not only among the Bulgarian population, but among all the nationalities in the Empire, the interests of which are identical - in joint Ottoman democratic par­ties on federal basis. Only parties which rely on the above-mentioned strata, and, above all, on the revolutionary ones, can be sufficiently strong to impose their interests upon the external and the internal policy of the state: interests which coincide with the general cultural development of the country.

The power of reaction and the greatest obstacle to progress in the country today, as under the old regime, lies in the animosities among the nationalities and the divisions among the democratic forces. Since we regard the organizing of these forces as of paramount importance even to purely national Bulgarian interests, we consider as equally reactionary both the actions and the encroach­ment of the conservative internal factors which obviously seek to stop the progress of reform as well as all actions - from whatever direction - which create animosity and suspicion among the nations. We also consider as reac­tionary all those actions which, as their primary object, seek to compromise the present regime in the eyes of the national minorities - the Bulgarian, for exam­ple - and, on the basis of discontent and distrust of this regime seek to preserve their false hopes in external factors, thus making these minorities tools of the external propaganda conducted by the court camarillas in Athens, Sofia and Belgrade. These actions are reactionary, not only because they create discord and animosity among the nations in the Empire, but also because they drive the Moslem populations to the side of the conservative forces, and encourage the minorities to remain passive as regards internal politics. Narodna Volya will fight against conservative forces and reaction from within, and against reaction from without - propaganda from all sources.

Convinced that the prosperity of every nation within the Empire lies in the prosperity of the entire Ottoman people, which prosperity can be achieved only by coordinating the separate efforts of the democratic elements of all the nations, we put forward these general demands in support of which the great majority of the Bulgarian people in the Empire will soon rally to form a party, which, in turn, will later become an integral part of the General Federal People's Party.

The most important economic demands which we raise are: to supply the landless and the poor farmers with land; to raise the people's standard of living by creating a credit system accessible to all; to build suitable and inexpensive communications, to provide technical and economic education.

Our general political demands are: to introduce widely the principle of sovereignty of the people by universal, direct, secret and proportionate suf­frage; to ensure freedom of the press, of organization, of assembly and of protest.

The national question is for us a question of democracy and it has to be solved by the internal social forces. That is why, in connection with this ques­tion too, we are raising demands which will unite rather than split the democratic forces of the different nationalities. As the most urgent demand we are insisting on an expansion of the self-government by the communes, the dis­tricts and the vilayets. Concerning education, our demands are that it should be conducted in the native language of the pupils; it should be under the general control of the state and should be governed by central bodies, elevated by each nation; every national department in the general Ministry of Education should have at its disposal the taxes collected for educational purposes from their respective nations; the existing spiritual institutions which are based on purely monarchic principles and are entirely in the service of various kinds of national propaganda, should deal with spiritual matters only, and education should be Put under the direct control of the people.

We see the unification of the Bulgarian nationality and its cultural development not in the annexation of parts of the Empire to Bulgaria, nor in the ruin of any of its neighbouring states, nor of any of the nationalities within the Empire, but, on the contrary, we see it only in their common prosperity and fraternity, which can be achieved through the implementation of the idea of an Eastern Federation.

Proceeding from these premises, Narodna Volya will fight against every policy, - whatever its origin - which brings discord and creates gulfs between the small states in the Balkans and the Empire.

В. "Народна воля", Солун, (Newspaper Narodna Volya), Soloun, No. 1, Jan. 17th, 1909; the original is in Bulgarian.

1 The newspaper Narodna Volya subtitled 'Organ of the Bulgarian People's Federal Party,' was the organ of the left faction in the Macedonian-Adrianople movement at the time of the Hürriyet, prepared the ground ideologically for the founding of the People's Federal Party, the Bulgarian section of which was set up at the Congress in August 1909.

An article entitled 'Two Tactics' in newspaper Narodna Volya expresses the view that
'the Ottoman Bulgarians' should not rely on external intervention
January 17th, 1909

Up till now the Macedonian revolutionary movement has not been able to rely on its own forces in the struggle against absolutism for reasons that are well-known. That is why it relied mainly on so-called 'foreign' intervention. To provoke this 'foreign' intervention - this was the main task of the movement.

What this foreign intervention brought us is well known to all Ottoman Bulgarians, as well as to the whole interested world. But, however small the ad­vantages of the foreign support might have been, still the Macedonian popula­tion could not reject it because it could see no better way out of the desperate situation. The national character of Turkish absolutism, the inevitable and, in most cases, artificially fanned national discord, the endeavours of the Ottoman Bulgarians to unite their nation - these and many other reasons created before the eyes of the Macedonian movement an impenetrable wall which did not allow it to observe the realities of life. The idea of autonomy for Macedonia was opposed to the idea of a Constitution and this led to a split in the revolutionary forces, which should have acted jointly in their struggle against their common enemy - absolutism.

The proclamation of the Constitution could not put an end to this lack of unity. A large part of the Bulgarian population has still its old disbelief in the development of its own homeland. This can be explained partly by the force of tradition, and partly by the inadequate improvements. In this respect no small part was played by the false propaganda of the Bulgarian Constitutional Clubs. When they first came into being these clubs declared that they based themselves on the Constitution, and that their main task would be to contribute to their strengthening and expansion.

But this was just a formal position. In fact, the Constitutional Clubs, at the bottom of their hearts, still keep their old distrust of constitutional reforms. For this reason, they could not become a really significant force for the development of democracy, which alone provides conditions under which the Bulgarian element as well would, together with the other nationalities, be able to feel free and equal. They probably said to themselves: 'We shall wait and see what the "Young Turk" Revolution will bring us.' And they waited at a time when it was necessary to work with all their strength for the organization of those forces which alone could make the Constitution a reality. To see what the others will give us! This could be said only by a man, who relies on what the others will give him, instead of winning his rights through his own efforts and struggles. And such are the people around the Constitutional Clubs. Being for the most part foreign agents, they have neither the desire, nor the interest, to show the Bulgarian people in the Empire that the Bulgarians there should not rely on others, as they have done until now, but that they too, like the other nations eager to achieve equality and justice, should take the responsibility for what has been won and what remains to be won. But they are not doing it because they know that if they say 'A' they will have to say 'B' as well, i.e. if they teach the people to rely on their own strength, they will not be able to avoid a confederation of all freedom-loving forces in the Empire. And this is contrary to the interests of the Bulgarian pseudo-patriots. It is much more in their in­terests to prove that only the Bulgarians are unjustly treated. To say that out of 38 million Ottoman citizens only one million Bulgarian-Exarchists are unjustly treated! And this agitation of theirs obviously aims at keeping the Bulgarian population in an isolated state in order to enable some dirty hands to use them.

It is true that not everything has been given to the people, to the entire Ot­toman people, and hence to the Bulgarian element. It is also true that the legal struggle must not stop for a long time ahead. But between the real struggle for equality and liberty, on the one hand, and the 'waiting' of the Constitutional Clubs, on the other hand, there is a wide gap. This 'waiting' is the complete negation of struggle of every kind. It can serve only to create a certain mood, as those clubmen are doing. Their final conclusion is that we have been given nothing.

What then should be done, gentlemen of the Clubs? To this question you can give no answer because, as your 'struggle' has no beginning, it can have no end. Then we answer thus: the Ottoman Bulgarians united with all the democratic forces will continue their struggle collectively and they will not stop it until the complete sovereignty of our country is achieved, until serious guarantees are won for the full equality of all the nationalities and the common development and prosperity of the entire Ottoman people. And in this un­ceasing struggle of the Ottoman Bulgarians, together with the progressive and democratic elements of all the nationalities in the Empire, they will become an active political power, which will be able to defend with dignity both its specific interests and the interests of the common cultural development of the country.

В. "Народна воля", Солун, (Newspaper Narodna Volya), Soloun, No.. 1, January 17th, 1909; the original is in Bulgarian.


From the speech of Habib Bey at the 11th session of the Ottoman Parliament.
The speaker gives a true picture of the tragedy of the Bulgarian population
January, 19th, 1909
... The aim of the Greeks was to hellenize all Wallachians living in the region between Katerini and Preveza and all Bulgarians from the Bitolya and Prilep districts. The Serbians from the north tried to Serbianize all Bulgarians living in these regions. And so the Greek government intended to have under their influence all West Macedonia, leaving the Bulgarians to the East, i.e. in the sandjaks of Soloun and Syar. The sole task of the Greeks was to hellenize all Bulgarians, Wallachians and Albanians living in the region. It should be borne in mind that the Greeks were waiting for the right moment to implement this idea; the Greek government stopped at nothing in order to achieve its aim more easily. There were rumours that the Greek Consulates paid monthly salaries to many officials. These Greeks, our compatriots, said that the Bulgarians were organizing in some kind of organizations and they made com­plaints, but didn't they have their own organizations? It is well known today that our compatriots - Greeks from the Janina vilayet - have organized a very secret and strong organization. They devote themselves solely to such things. The government will not be slow in taking the necessary measures. The Greeks say that Bulgarian bands are committing atrocities. It is indeed atrocious to kill a man unlawfully, but bands from Greece have committed far greater atrocities. I am saying this because there were no local Greek bands before, and all of them have come from Greece. Their leaders carried hatchets and would cut off the breast of a woman before the eyes of her husband, or chop the husband into pieces before the eyes of his wife. On the farm called Libarche thirty Bulgarians were burned to death. While the local Bulgarians said to their leaders: the people we are killing, although Greeks, are sons of this country and by exterminating them, we are exterminating sons of our country (Voices: Bravo, bravo), the others could not think about this. It is not improbable that the Bulgarians had something in mind. Recently they coined a phrase which has become a slogan: 'Macedonia for the Macedonians.' The faction of the Supremists thrived under the name of Centralists. One of the factions set con­siderable conditions before the Committee of the Young Turks, while the other is trying with all its might to become Ottoman. This latter is the faction of Sandanski. It is entirely Ottoman and will remain so forever. Let it propagate its views so that all Bulgarians will become genuinely attached to us. As for the other faction, I'll say that it, too, is not so very estranged from us as some peo­ple think. After the proclamation of freedom, all Bulgarians who assembled in the State Military School in Bitolya heard many speeches and the necessity for agreement among all Ottomans was stressed. So that they, too, contributed to unity ...

Отоманският парламент за положението в Македония, Издание на „Съюза на българските конституционни клубове" в Европейска Турция, Солун, 1909, (The Ottoman Parliament on the Situation in Macedonia, Publication of the Union of the Bulgarian Constitutional Clubs in European Turkey), Soloun, 1909, pp. 44-45; the original is in Turkish.


From a speech by Pancho Dorev, delivered at the 11th session of the Ottoman Parliament,
about the reasons for creating the Revolutionary Organization in Macedonia
January 19th, 1909

... Before starting my speech, I should like to convey my sincere con­gratulations to my honoured friend, Mr. Habib, who, in his speech, clearly described the true situation in the country. The greatest impediment on the road to complete success is the fact that we are more concerned with memories from the past than with the future. A German sage has said: 'We have to forget the past if we want to go forward.' As far as the situation in Macedonia is con­cerned we are burdened by past and personal emotions. The chief task set by Ottoman patriotism is not to go into details and criticism, which is easy, but to find the means for eliminating or, at least, diminishing the existing dangers. For this reason, I strongly object to the charges of Mr. Naly and his friends that the Ottoman Bulgarians are the instruments of Panslavism and of Greater Bulgarian and the Wallachians - of Panromanism. I deeply regret that they have posed national problems in such an acute way. I refuse to follow their example. I shall not degrade myself by speaking about Alexander the Great, about the 'Great Idea,' St Sofia, etc. (Applause)

But I should like to answer some of the questions posed by the speakers before me. Mr. Bousho said that Turkey would exist with Hellenism (unity). The Ottoman state cannot exist with Turks, nor Greeks but only with Ottomans (Stormy applause). Honeos said something about the Greek-Orthodox church. Neither the Patriarchate nor the Exarchate can decide who is Orthodox and who is not. This will be decided after we die, in heaven or in hell (General laughter). Then he (Heneos) added that the services are held only in Greek, or in Latin. Obviously, he has forgotten his history. The Patriarchate itself, through Cyril and Methodius, helped the Bulgarians to become Christians, created our alphabet and, in this way the language which we use in church was perfected. It was not only the Sultan's firman which created the Bulgarian Exarchate. We have historical documents and berats from the Patriarchate itself for two Bulgarian Patriarchates: in Turnovo and in Ohrid. The latter existed until 140 years ago. So that the Exarchate is not something newly created but a continuation of the old Bulgarian Patriarchates.

Now let us turn to the problem of the revolutionary organization in Macedonia. Hilmi Pasha said that the authors of the organizations were out­siders. I shall not deny influence and aid from outside, but was it not the tyran­nic regime itself that created the revolutionary situation? As far as the Bulgarian Organization goes, the position is entirely different. The Bulgarians were the first to rise and to aspire to freedom. Even before 1897, a date authoritatively, mentioned by Hilmi Pasha, even in 1892 internal people: Damyan Grouev from the village of Smilevo (Bitolya district); Gotse Delchev from Koukoush, and others, all from inside the country, laid the foundations of the Internal Organization, which has always followed its own independent principles. It fought against all foreign encroachments in 1902 and opposed the Supremist detachments even more than the government. Of course, I cannot deny that there was foreign influence and foreign aid, but I think that all this was the result of the despotic regime. From that date on, there were no Supremists in Macedonia, but two factions divided because of personal reasons on the part of the Internal Organization. My honoured friend Rahmi Bey said that the aims and ideas of this Organization were completely alien to the coun­try and that they did not fight for freedom. The proclamation of the Constitu­tion found them very weak and they gave up. This is not at all true. If it were so, why could not the government wipe them out and why, as the Minister of the Interior made very clear, did it happen that, in the place of every detach­ment destroyed, another one immediately came, ready to give its life for freedom, justice and law? In vain have Rahmi Bey and Mr. Karolidi attempted to present the Bulgarians as oppressors and the other nations as oppressed, and to make out that the European public opinion had at the time been poisoned. Today's European public opinion, which is on our side (on the side of the Ot­tomans) and especially on the side of the Turks, has that been poisoned? The fact that such enlightened and progressive minds, belonging to such rivals as the English, the Germans, the French and the Austrians, the Russians, the Italians, etc., unanimously expressed their sympathy for the Macedonian Bulgarians shows that they realized who was right and who was suffering. Ab­solutism, undermined, to a certain extent, by the bloodshed of the innocent Armenians, and completely - by the constant blows from the Bulgarians during 13 years, had to submit and accept the constitutional government, as soon as the committee of' Unity and Progress' attacked it. This element which you want to discredit has the greatest merit for the liberation which we enjoy today. It was neither us, nor the Armenians, that asked for foreign intervention: the Miirzsteg reforms and the meeting in Reval; it was the savage tyranny which stubbornly refused to give human rights to the population. In opposing these allegations, allow me to quote, without comment, a phrase from an editorial from the newspaper Yeni Gazeta: 'If we had treated the Ottoman Bulgarians well the majority of them together with the Turks would have opposed the ihtilalci (the revolutionaries).'

Propaganda was also mentioned. Propaganda means: something non­existent that has to be created. While we, the Ottoman Bulgarians, had representatives from Bitolya, Skopje, Soloun and Ohrid in the very first Parlia­ment. If the Organization had worked only for the Bulgarians, it would have done so before the Uprising when it was at the peak of its power and influence. The Minister of the Interior himself has admitted that the church and school arguments started afresh after the Uprising had been crushed, when the Organization was in a very poor condition. Let us see who was to blame for this. After the Uprising, hundreds of villages were burnt and destroyed; thousands of people were left without homes, food and material means. It was at that time that the Greek bishops, who make use of every legal or illegal situa­tion, with atrocities, threats and intimidation forced into the bosom of the Patriarchate the population of almost all the villages that had suffered the worst devastations during the Uprising - the districts of Lerin, Kostour and Lozengrad; from the following villages in the district of Soloun: Gradobor, Novo Selo, Doudoulare; from the district of Doiran: Pataros, Akendjali, Sourlevo; from the district of Syar: Lagos, Doutii,, Banitsa, Gorno Frashtani, Orehovets, Koula, Karadjovo, Hristos, Chouchouligovo; from the district of Nevrokop - Chereshevo, Zurnovo; from the district  of Drama -Vissoka, Kobalista, Skrizhovo; from the district of Gevgeli - Goma Beshtava. These are official facts which cannot be denied. (Turning to Hilmi Pasha, the speaker said): Pasha, Your Excellency, at that time you were in Bitolya and, in the name of humanity and justice, I beg you to say who is to blame for the existing con­troversy. Even the Turks, moved and angry at the Uprising, could not stifle their proverbial pity at the sight of the destruction, while the servants of Christ took advantage of the piteous situation of a people, deserving compassion and help.

Let us turn to the church question. The churches belong neither to the Exarchate nor to the Patriarchate, but to the peasants with whose means and labour they were built. In the event, the Patriarchate and the Exarchate were a kind of proxy for the issuing of the necessary firmans. As my deceased tutor in Law, Ali Haidar Efendi, used to say, the source of the power of the proxy (vekillik) is in the authorizer. If the authorizer changes his mind, the authorized loses his prerogatives. Up till now the churches have been headed by a body elected by the peasants. I should like to ask a question: are the people made for the churches or are the churches made for the people? Is it possible for God's creatures to belong to inanimate objects? The latest achievements of culture stem from the fact that the soul, the mind, and all spiritual forces in general have power over natural forces. But let us leave these logical conclusions and come to the policy of the government from the 'sixties onward; it acknowledges the ownership of the peasants in these matters. What is more, the Bulgarian villages in the districts of Odrin and Soloun   which became Catholic kept their churches and schools. Besides, this question is not a purely religious one, because if it were, that pillar of Christianity, the Patriarchate, instead of closing down the existing churches, would build four or five more in every village. This shows that the question is purely social and political. The government has proved incapable of coping with this question and tricked the people by saying that  Parliament will settle this question. If Parliament does not settle it, the population will become still more restive. I completely agree with the deputy Kozmidis, who demands first of all, justice from the government and for those that are not satisfied with this justice - compulsion. I subscribe to this totally. But this justice will not be as he desires and wants it to be medieval in character, but the way our honourable friend, Risa Tefik Bey (the deputy from Odrin) wants it, worthy of a modern constitutional state.

I am not an extremist. I am against all, be they Bulgarians or Greeks, who want to exploit this question and create disorder. I want it to be solved with justice and legally, so that we be able to consolidate the agreement and solidari­ty we have so long desired. At this moment, when the country needs peace, we must all show moderation and make sacrifices for the welfare of the country. And he who is not satisfied with a just and modern settlement of this question, has voluntarily rejected the Ottoman cause, which is based on liberty, equality, law and solidarity. You will agree that such stubborn and extremist elements are not true sons of this country (Applause), The private interests of the Patriarchate and the Exarchate should give way to common Ottoman interests and the interests of the population (Loud applause). We should not be looking at every problem through alien telescopes, but through Ottoman spectacles (Applause). I find the Minister's declaration satisfactory and the proposal for creating a commission for inquiring into and settling this question once and for all timely (Loud and long applause).

Отоманският парламент за положението в Македония, Издание на „Съюза на българските конституционни клубове" в Европейска Турция, Солун, 1909, (The Ottoman Parliament on the Situation in Macedonia, Publication of the Union of the Bulgarian Constitutional Clubs in European Turkey), Soloun, 1909, PP. 45-47 the original is in Turkish.


A report by the Greek Consul in Syar to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
on the dangerous propagation of the Bulgarian spirit in the region of Syar
January 31st, 1909

... Better, more gifted, more active and, in general, better and more systematically organized than we after the proclamation of this favourable Constitution, they managed to import arms and to complete the arming of the population. After that they sent to every Bulgarian-speaking village, without exception, innumerable agents and preachers of the Bulgarian idea. The former leaders and members of their revolutionary organizations proved excellent in this respect. They have made and are making use of everything. I cannot dis­guise my surprise at the fact that, after the changes, they proved themselves to be well prepared for the new way of activity in which they excel. By threats, by tempting promises, by persuasion and by every kind of means they have succeeded in forming strong Bulgarian parties in the majority of Bulgarian-speaking villages where never before had there been any schism. And in spite of the fact that three villages came over to our side from the northern regions, we suffered losses after July 11th, especially in the plain of Syar. Reserving the right to send you a special report on this problem, by the first post, I shall now confine myself to stating merely that Bulgarian activity in my region takes the following forms: arming, military drilling and, in general, preparations for a forthcoming uprising in the northern, i.e., purely Bulgarian regions. At the same time, there is vigorous, constant, quiet, terrifying work for final predominance in the south i.e. on the plain of Syar. It could even be said that the entire atten­tion of the Bulgarian cause is, at this moment, directed towards the south, so that after gaining final victory on the plain, it may surround, as in an iron ring, the city of Syar together with the five Greek-speaking villages around it, similarly with the town of Djoumaya, so that later the Bulgarians can come down freely to the sea.

This terrible work, directed and led from above (Sofia, Soloun and Bitolya) according to the evidence which we have, i.e., letters giving orders to the leaders and the archpriests for actions which they have to carry out in the villages and which give rise to the petitions of the Bulgarophon population to the government on different questions (military duty, military levies, schools, churches, etc.) - all this colossal work now is being done quietly and noiseless­ly. Almost no killing, no assaults, apart from some insignificant incidents limited to squibbles between different parties in the villages and to the seizure or attempts at seizing schools and churches, something which is more or less sup­ported by the authorities. The leaders and the revolutionaries make the rounds of the villages and some of them are appointed as teachers, the constant collec­tion of taxes from the peasants still continues, those that do not submit are punished, the Organization is supported, military drill continues and everything else as well, just as before the Constitution, and this with the knowledge and forbearance of the Turks and the government, who are afraid to persecute Bulgarians, nor do they even dare offend them. In actual fact, in the south there are no detachments except for the old revolutionaries, who, armed and un­troubled, visit the villages and freely come on their lofty and peace-loving work , while with us it is just the opposite. In the north there are two or three detachments maintained by Sandanski to strengthen his influence, to collect levies, drill the peasants, etc. The leader of the detachment at Melnik is a man named Tosho, who has fled from justice. Besides the detachments there are seven Bulgarian officers, disguised as peasants, who visit the villages and drill the peasants. In a fortified valley in the mountain of Orvil (Mount Pirin), Bulgarian peasants constantly practise shooting and various military exercises in companies and battalions. It is inexplicable how the leaders and deputy-leaders from Sandanski's party, having brainwashed the peasants, send them afterwards to the Bulgarian archpriest in Syar and to the Bulgarian diplomatic agent, when at the same time Bulgaria pretends to be mercilessly pursuing San­danski's men. The number of guests to the above-mentioned characters on the part of the Bulgarophone peasants recently is extraordinary. Of course, there is no supervision on the part of the government while, on the contrary, the Greek Consulate, for a month now, has been under constant supervision and sometimes people coming out of it are arrested.

The Greek-speaking villages, as well as those from the unmixed Greek zone, and the city of Syar itself, are swarming with Bulgarians, who, up till July 11th, did not dare enter them, to their great regret, since they could not sell their goods nor work there, but now they fill the city without any restrictions, not due to any need, but with a fixed aim. The proclamation of Bulgaria as a kingdom, its military preparations, the war threats and, in general, the attrac­tion of Bulgarian bayonets have roused the spirit, of the Bulgarian population and have incited it to such an extent, that, when Bulgarian peasants come with a petition to the myutesarif on any problem, they threaten him (it is incredible but true) that if their requests are not granted, they will not come to the government again, but will go elsewhere, meaning Bulgaria. And this happens at a full meeting of the government's council at which, when our archpriest and deputy director (a Greek) remarked on the seriousness of the problem, the myutesarif replied that the peasants were simple people and did not know how to express themselves.

Йордан поп Георгиев и Ст. Н. Шишков, Българите в Серското поле, II изд., Пловдив, 1918, (Yordan pop Georgiev and S. N. Shishkov, Bulgarians in the Valley of Syar), II ed., Plovdiv, 1918, pp. 27-29 the original is in Greek.


A report from the Greek Consul in Syar to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens on the village Prosenik
joining the Exarchate and on the influence of socialist ideas on the people

February 1st, 1909

A few days ago, the schism appeared in the Bulgarophone village of Prosenik, half-an-hour by train from Syar. About 60 families signed a petition for a Bulgarian teacher to be appointed and for permission to open a school and a church. The administration rejected the peasants' plea and declared that these questions would be settled in the National Assembly. In spite of this, the ones who thought of themselves as Bulgarians accepted as teacher, Stoyan, deputy to Tasko, the chief administrator of the region. The people who had provoked the schism, in agreement with Stoyan and Tasko, and who, since the Constitution, visit this village very often with the connivance of the government, are four peasants, who due to family reasons are opposed to the other notables, their relatives, and who, for matters of revenge, have declared themselves to be schismatics. This split, which has existed for years and which from a family af­fair has turned into a public one and then into a political one, is naturally exploited by the Bulgarians, who never miss a chance of this kind. Many years ago, the late leader, Hadji Pantazi, from the same village, prevented the growth of any idea of Bulgarian spirit in Prosenik, and later the defence (by the andarts) also preserved the village, which, as I mentioned in my last year's report No. 110, has not caused any anxiety before.

The appearance of a schism in Prosenik filled us with sorrow, because in this way all villages in this part of the plain, Eleshen, Kiipru, Koumli and now Prosenik, have become mixed since the Constitution except, of course, the farms in the plain which are ours only in form and are really Bulgarian, and have become very fanatical after July 11th. Against these losses, we have in the plain only 25 families in the village of Ernikyoi (near Djoumaya), who fled to us together with their priest, six families in the village of Spatovo and two or three families in some other villages. As I have said many times, the reason for these losses after July 11th are the generous promises about the distribution of the lands belonging to the beys, as well as promises of posts, titles and other public offices, on the part of the Bulgarian government,, which allegedly for this purpose, has placed its army on alert, etc.

Assurances about an uprising, about an impending war and the coming of the liberating Bulgarian army, as well as other lies on the part of the agents of Bulgarian propaganda, have electrified the population and have persuaded the poor elements to proclaim a schism, with the conviction that this will improve their lot. It should be repeated that the Bulgarian propaganda is full of Socialist ideas and, in the struggle against capital, private ownership and the upper classes (archbishops, notables, etc.) and easily wins over the broad masses of the population by linking the natural striving of the human being for personal interest with social and political strivings. It is another matter, whether it is possible to do serious work based on false promises. But it is a fact that impor­tant forces are being taken away from us, and we are falling into a difficult situation, the continuance of which is tantamount to the failure of our task in this part of the country.

Measures for preventing this danger will be submitted in a special report to the King's Ministry.

Йордан поп Георгиев и Ст. Н. Шишков, Българите в Серското поле, II изд., Пловдив, 1918, (Yordan pop Georgiev and S. N. Shishkov, The Bulgarians in the Valley of Syar), II ed. Plovdiv, 1918, pp. 29-30; the original is in Greek.


The editorial The Parties and the Workers' in the newspaper Rabotnicheska Iskra 1
refers to the 'People's Federal Party' and 'The Union of the Bulgarian Constitutional Clubs'
as being Bulgarian parties in Macedonia and the region of Odrin
February 15th, 1909

... We shall not now discuss the other parties which are represented in Parliament. We would like now to say a few things about the Bulgarian parties which have been formed in Macedonia and in the Odrin region and which probably will play an important role in the future.

Today, there are two main parties in Macedonia and in the Odrin region: one is the party of the Macedonian-Adrianople Constitutional Clubs; the other - that of Yane Sandanski2 and Hristo Chernopeev3 recently named the 'Bulgarian People's Federal Party.' For the workers in Macedonia and in the region of Odrin it is most important to know what is the nature of these parties and how to behave towards them, or, to put it another way, what their attitude towards them should be. And, indeed, what are these parties?

Here we shall consider these two parties only in general lines, and another time, if necessary, we shall discuss them in detail. In essence, the two parties express the strivings of two different classes - the Bulgarian Macedonian-Adrianople Constitutional Party represents the interests of the merchants and industrialists, of the factory owners, and rich craftsmen who tomorrow will turn into industrialists and wholesale merchants, of the contractors, the rich peasants and pawnbrokers, in brief, of the class which is called the urban or bourgeois class. As a party of a class, which is nationalistic, which wants to un­ite with its 'brothers' in Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Macedonian-Adrianople Constitutional Party is equally nationalistic and all its strivings and ideals are those of the Bulgarian bourgeoisie in Macedonia and the region of Odrin.

In contrast, the Bulgarian Federal Party is the representative of the petty merchants, artisans and peasants, of the grocers and innkeepers, in short, of what is called the petty bourgeoisie. Thus, if the first is a bourgeois party, the second is a petty bourgeois party. The fact that the latter sides with the farm workers and with the poor peasants in general and stresses as a special point on its programme a demand for social reform, in the sense that the government should give land to these peasants - this fact does not in itself make it any better than a petty bourgeois party, which it is in essence. Because, first of all, it regards the problem of the social reform as a means of creating more petty owners, i.e. a more numerous petty bourgeois class, as a solution to what is today called a 'social problem'; secondly, 'this same social reform is the aim of the Bulgarian Macedonian-Adrianople Constitutional Party, except that for this party, the reform has a different, a purely bourgeois meaning. On the other hand, the Bulgarian Federal Party is also as nationalistic as the first party. The difference lies in the fact that the first party wants the Bulgarians to be united with Bulgaria under any conditions, while the second party wants this only providing that there is no monarchism,-etc., in Bulgaria. At least, this is what their words give one to understand. But it is precisely this that suits a class which itself has hazy, ill-defined aspirations as do the petty bourgeoisie and the mass of the peasants. At any rate, the declining petty bourgeois class also is for joining with its 'brothers,' since it sees its salvation in this. And the more it declines with the development of capitalism in Turkey, the more it will lean towards Bulgaria, the stronger Bulgarian nationalism will become, and that is why the Bulgarian People's Federal Party will become more nationalistic ...

В. "Работническа искра", Битоля, бр. 4, 5.II.1909 г., (Newspaper Rabotnicheska Iskra), No. 4, Febr. 15, 1909; the original is in Bulgarian.

1 A social-democratic newspaper, published by V. Glavinov, left-wing socialist and collaborator of D .Blagoev.
2 Yane Sandanski (1872-1915), born in the village of Vlahi, district of Melnik, eminent figure of the Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Organization, leader of the left-wing of the Organization. One of the initiators for the founding of the People's Federal Party.
3 H. Chernopeev, from the village of Dermantsi, district of Loukovit, an active member of IMARO, for many years leader of the revolutionary district of Strumitsa and one of the leaders of the leftists in the Organization after the Ilinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising. Killed at the front in Macedonia during World War I.


A report by the Greek Consul in Syar to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens
on the decline of Greek propaganda in the struggle against the Bulgarians
February 28th, 1909

... There is little to add to my letter No. 65 of this year. In the north, the military preparations are still going on for an eventual uprising. As I have already informed you, different leaders have formed their own detachments but they are not as yet active, either because of the winter, or because they are expecting a signal. I was informed yesterday that, besides the detachment of Stoyu Hadjiev, who fled from justice, one of Sandanski's aides, who has been roaming freely in the region of Kroushevo (Demir Hissar) has turned up near Yakovo and Bogoroditsa (Petrich), and also Mircho, with a detachment of six teen. Other smaller groups keep visiting those parts to boost Sandanski's in­fluence. In the south, and especially on the plain of Syar, efforts most energetic, varied and more consistent than ever before are being made to ensure the final predominance of the Bulgarians. I cannot but express my fears as to the final victory of the Bulgarians. Many circumstances are in their favour while very few - in ours. On top of it all, it would be added that the authorities tacitly support them, because in their stupid shortsightedness they imagine that by supporting Sandanski's people, it will weaken the Supremists who, accor­ding to the thoughtless Turks, are the only danger! Thus we are witnessing the pitiful sight of Bulgarian leaders and their aides and all sorts of other agents freely visiting the villages and farms on the plain with the approval of the Turks and are using all possible means of severing the ingenuous peasants from the Orthodox Church and making them join Sandanski's party which is friendly to the Turks! - in spite of the fact that these neophites are later sent to the Bulgarian agent here or the archpriests, these official organs of the Supremists, to help their cause. In this way, with promises or threats, they persuade the peasants to hand in petitions asking for Bulgarian schools and churches, etc. Thus, a few days ago, the chief official in the village of Kakaraska was severely beaten for refusing to seal a petition and his mayor's seal was taken away from him by force and the petition was sealed. The victim reported the incident to the authorities but the chief of the region, Stoyan Kochar, at once told him that, if he did not withdraw his complaint, he would be killed. All the petitions, which Sandanski went personally to Constantinople to support, were sealed in the same way.

As I informed you a second time by telegram, there is no freedom of con­science, the terror goes on and the daily petitions from the Bulgarian-speaking population for separation from the Patriarchate are the result of violence and fraud. The generous promises and monstrous lies for liberation in the near future, and, above all, the promise to distribute the farm lands of the beys, and the collection of taxes allegedly for this purpose, are well known to the Turks and all the activity for turning the population into Bulgarians is being done un­der their protection. At the same time, any of our people who dare, even by word, to act against the Bulgarians, are arrested and severely punished by the authorities. It is strange that the government is blind to the extent that it takes no notice of the voices of despair, the protests of the archbishops, nor ours, nor does it realize that, once the plain becomes Bulgarian, the Bulgarian masses, compact and united, will roll down like an avalanche towards the sea, while the Greek minorities are disappearing completely and the Turkish population itself is becoming an insignificant minority.

Indeed, the Bulgarian lies are inexhaustible and they are amazingly inventive as to new attractive promises, such as liberation in the near future, a speedy declaration of war, the crossing of the boundaries by Bulgarian military forces, complete exemption from taxes, the giving back of schools and churches, the founding of agrarian banks, the building of railways and communication means, free schools, etc., and finally the distribution of farm land. In this way, the poor population, under the constant influence of the prospect of happiness in the near future, is in a state of excitement and apart from the taxes which it is obliged to pay, it is ready to act against those who stand in the way of its well-being! And when the manipulators of this policy of fraud and lies get the wind that their influence is declining and that the truth is coming to light, they im­mediately resort to new tactics. Thus, recently, when the peasants began to cool towards them because none of the promises had been kept, they began to organize rallies. Mass rallies were organized in Melnik, Nevrokop, Demir Hissar, and only the meeting in Djoumaya did not take place, owing to the op­position of our people. In view of the fact that the population in these centres is Greek, the peasants from the neighbouring villages were invited to attend the rallies. There were fiery speeches in Bulgarian and Turkish, expressing the people's indignation over the non-fulfilment of the promises of the Constitution and the fact that no railways, no schools, no agrarian banks, no hospitals, no roads, no post offices, no military service for the Christians in the district, no interest-free loans, no distribution of farm land, nor anything else promised had materialized. Moreover, identical resolutions prepared in advance were adopted and sent to the government and the National Assembly. On the other hand, the Bulgarian Clubs in Soloun, in a long circular letter distributed in thousands of copies throughout villages and farms, ask for information on the problem of the distribution of the farm land which is to be carried out either by a decision of the National Assembly or by a court, by proving that the present farm hands had once been the real owners of the lands which were later seized by the beys and turned into their own private farms. By this means, Sandanski's men revive their influence and, at the same time, instill hatred towards the Turks in the hearts of the peasants, while the Turks patiently put up with everything that is going on. Indeed, great excitement has lately been visible, and this is not only to the detriment of our interests, but we are being fatally pushed towards the agrarian problem, the consequences of which will be fatal for the Turks both politically and economically. This is actually the aim of the Bulgarians, who are working with great skill.

As far as particulars go, it should be noted that the struggle between the Supremists and Sandanski's men is still in progress and in many places skir­mishes are taking place. On February 1st, Hristo Haliani, the leader of the Supremists in Kroushevo, was killed. In the village of Hristos (district of Syar) on the 8th of February a 15-year-old boy was killed. But many such assassinations are kept secret by the peasants. On the whole, thanks to the sup­port of the authorities, Sandanski's men have virtually become masters of the region. Mainly through rallies, as well as by other means, Sandanski's in­fluence has seriously increased. There was even an attempt to kill Tasko, the chief leader of the district of Syar, in the centre of the town on February 1st but Tasko was only wounded. Although those responsible for this attempt remain unknown, the authorities insist that they are Greek. But our people blame either the Turks or the Supremists, who a few months ago made an attempt to kill Sandanski. On February 12th, a Bulgarian detachment entered the mixed village of Kalendra and killed Nikola Douli and wounded Ivan Dina both Greek Wallachians, who were spending the winter in this village.

For them (the Greeks) the situation has remained unchanged for the last month. All those who were leaders up to a short time ago and the andarts have either left, or are devoting themselves to peaceful activities. They are constantly under supervision and are often troubled without cause by the authorities. In general, our people, due to the natural character of the nation which is inclined towards a peaceful and quiet life, and is, at the same time, aware of the more general reasons for preserving absolute calm, are displaying impeccable and loyal behaviour. The Greek element is engaged in peaceful life and progress, but is displaying a large dose of cosmopolitism, which our organization, weakened for obvious reasons, is not in a position to fight. Indeed, our people realize the critical situation and are well aware of the avalanche coming from the north, but are not in a position to do anything on their own initiative, without being pushed or made to act. The armed struggle during the last four or five years has not been sufficient to cure them of the aftereffects of the long and fatal oppression and to mould characters standing above factions and fac­tional interests, and capable of carrying the struggle by peaceful means. They accept the unjust attitude and hatred of the Turks fatalistically and, in justifica­tion, they point to the same policy of official Greece towards Turkey; while they have no will to deal with the Bulgarian sore, which now is appearing as an economic threat. The city of Syar and the entire Greek zone is swarming with masons, carpenters, tailors, charcoal merchants, woodcutters and all sorts of other labourers and artisans, who up till July 11th did not dare show their faces in these places. In contrast, no Greek goes to Bulgarian places nor can he find any work there. All Greek artisans or labourers from other Greek places who had worked in the Greek zone up till July 11th were made to leave, because the Bulgarians who get lower pay than our compatriots are preferred even by our own rich compatriots.

In spite of the severe economic crisis affecting the country, I have to ad­mit with sorrow that the patriotism of our compatriots has not reached the point at which they would sacrifice part of their material interests for the national cause. That is why those who came from the north constitute such a danger, whether they come through the natural evolution of things, or, following a certain political programme, to work or to settle in the rich Greek zone, and, since they are numerous, industrious, content with little, thrifty, they compete successfully with our people.

And, in spite of the fact that the economic conditions of our people are also deteriorating because of the economic war declared by the Turks, unfor­tunately since the Constitution was proclaimed, nothing has been done on the initiative of the local authorities, nor on our own initiative, to increase the resources of our people, or to extend the scope of their labour activities, or to find new horizons for enrichment by exploiting the numerous natural resources of the country.

This is the situation, and one can look to the future only with apprehen­sion as far as the problems of our people are concerned in this part of the coun­try.

Йордан поп Георгиев и Ст. Н. Шишков, Българите в Серското поле, II изд., Пловдив, 1918, (Yordan pop Georgiev and S. N. Shishkov, The Bulgarians in the Valley of Syar), II ed., Plovdiv, 1918, pp. 30-34; the original is in Greek.


A report by the Greek Consul in Syar to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens
on the raising of the agrarian problem on the part of the Bulgarians

March 6th, 1909

In my letter No. 1351 drew your attention to the increasing seriousness of the agrarian question.

Since I consider that this question is more important than the Church question and since it will have a more profound influence on the Macedonian task and finally on our struggle, I have the honour again to appeal to the Royal Cabinet for co-operation.

The Bulgarians, true to their principle that the Macedonian struggle has to be waged with material sacrifices of Macedonia itself, while Bulgaria pays only for the creation of a strong army, are making use of every means, so that the Macedonians themselves with their own forces wage the struggle for liberation. Independent of the armed activities of the committees, which not only obtain their supplies from the country but collect money at its expense also, the Bulgarians have grasped the great and satanic significance of the agrarian ques­tion, a success in which would be a victory for Bulgarian ideals, while, for us, it would be a final defeat. Having this in mind, the Bulgarians take into considera tion what is happening in other countries and they have arranged things in such a way that the agrarian question in Macedonia has become national in character. Since the farm hands throughout Macedonia (in the regions of Syar, Vardar and Bitolya) are Bulgarian-speaking, hereas the land-owners are Turks, and, in places, Greeks, the Bulgarians intend to persuade the population that these farms were formerly the property of the farm hands and that the beys and the Greeks, taking advantage of the tyranny, turned the villages into farms and the old owners into slaves. In this way, they have linked the idea of liberty with the idea of material independence for people who are, indeed, unfortunate. This idea was very successful. In this way they easily attracted the population of the plain, which, up till then, had been loyal to the status quo and the Patriarchate. Once this plan is fulfilled - and things are unfortunately going that way - the consequences will be terrible; because all these regions which are mostly in the disputable zone are turning Bulgarian as regards ownership and as regards ideas. The Bulgarian spirit is thus becoming colossal in terms of quality and quantity and it will be in a position to recover through its own strength. Then we shall be completely vanquished, since the Greek centres will remain scattered and remote minorities, without being able to maintain future contact either with each other or with the Greek nation. Thus our forces have weakened, and the Turkish power which relies on them is also weakening and, in many places, it has been completely destroyed.

Before the Constitution, the agrarian question was one of the most impor­tant plans of the Bulgarian cause, but since July 11th this question has become the basic concern of Bulgarian propaganda. Indeed, if some other event, be it war or radical agreement among the European Powers, does not solve the Macedonian question, there is, in my opinion, no doubt that the solution of the agrarian question will prepare the final solution of the Macedonian question. Earlier on, the Bulgarians promised that the distribution of the farm land would start immediately after the unification of Macedonia with Bulgaria, or after it had acquired autonomy. Later, at the talks between the Young Turk Committee and Sandanski, the latter made the agrarian question the most important condition for his cooperation with the Turks and his services to Young Turkey. The Young Turk Committee, alarmed by the impending danger that the farm hands would be in constant excitement and would rise in the event of their demands not being met, promised to accept their demands and also to give the Bulgarians land sufficient for their needs. According to my information, the Turkish government has taken a decision to issue a law giving some farms to the farm hands, farms which are very big and the tilling of which is difficult, and for which they must pay in installments. But of course, the question arises as to whether the owners will agree to this. But since this is a question on which, according to the Turkish government, public order and the security of Macedonia depends, then, to find some way out of this, be it by legal means or otherwise is not impossible. That is why, in order to make the Committee take this decision, the Bulgarians have issued thousands of printed circular letters in­viting all villages and farms to give information regarding the numerous questions put to them in the circular. Of course, it is not a matter of information which the Bulgarians do not know; but, through these circulars, as well as through the rallies, they aim to create interest and incite the population against the people standing in the way of their welfare. And indeed, .as I said in my report No. 135, the excitement of the farm hands and their conviction that they will be given lands is such that they are ready to do anything in order to see their expectations fulfilled.

Probably the Turkish government, after being informed about the real reasons of the agrarian question, will defer as long as possible the fulfillment of this unwise political promise of the Young Turk Committee. But is it possible to defer things ad infinitum in the face of the constant threat of rebellion on the part of the farm hands? Would it not find itself in a dilemma?

From the Greek point of view, the results will be no less detrimental because the Bulgarian-speaking farm hands and the poor peasants, lured by prospects of a happy future, are joining the other side. And when the distribu­tion of land, no matter under what circumstances becomes a fact, they will finally declare themselves to be Bulgarians and this will lead to all the con­sequences mentioned above. It is not possible that the Royal Ministry does not know, from word of mouth or from the written reports of all consuls in Macedonia, what has to be done to prevent this general catastrophe. But even these measures, I dare say, are not only proving inefficient, but they are also impossible. There is only one way to fight the Bulgarian promises and it is to promise that we shall buy all the farms and distribute the land to the farm hands and the landless peasants on very advantageous terms. In addition, it is necessary to distribute, through sale, with a 10-20 year period for payment, the farms belonging to our village communes, and in this way they will become our villages. As for the communes, it should be arranged in such a way that their farm lands should be paid for by reducing the subsidies. At the same time, for the same purpose, some smaller farms should be bought with the money of the existing Macedonian budget, by reducing this budget by 1/3 or 1/2. These 'lands should be distributed among the farm hands and the poor peasants throughout the villages on condition that the latter become full owners of their property after payment of their final installment in 10 or 20 years' time. Of course, during this time it is not possible for the population to turn its back to us, and thus we shall have time enough to prepare a purely Greek generation. We shall settle Greek-speaking families belonging to the tribes of Lazy, Cir­cassians or other refugees beside the Bulgarian-speaking population. There is no need to buy all the farms, which, by the way, is impossible also because, after the changing of regime, the owners are no longer selling out, or, if they are, they are asking fantastic sums for them. The farms belonging to our com­munes or compatriots, as well as some other small farms which are located in favourable spots, will be sufficient to ensure that the present unmixed population of the plains now will become mixed.

I am aware of the many difficulties in the way of such an attempt. But I feel obliged to express my opinion on the real situation and to repeat once more that the zone under dispute, i.e., the Macedonian question, will be a lost cause for us unless we do decide to change our ways of action without, however, in­creasing the budget. Otherwise, everything now being spent will be in vain.

Йордан поп Георгиев и Ст. Н. Шишков, Българите в Серското поле, II изд., Пловдив, 1918, (Yordan pop Georgiev and S. N. Shishkov, The Bulgarians in the Valley of Syar), 2nd ed., Plovdiv, 1918, pp. 34-37; the original is in Greek.


An article in the newspaper Narodna Volya about Gotse Delchev

April 25th, 1909

In the history of the peoples, there are crucial moments when all the forces of a nation must be mobilized, when all its national might must be directed towards a single goal. There are fateful moments of strenuous struggle, moments, in which fate tests the peoples and their viability, placing in their paths obstacles that are difficult to surmount. At such moments of struggle, of organization and stress the nation as a whole demonstrates its physical and spiritual forces, at such moments it shows and develops its highest qualities and civic virtues. Such moments of upsurge and stress are moments of idealism, of civic courage, and of self-sacrifice. These are moments in which individual and public thought matures rapidly, in which strong characters and per­sonalities are created and forged.

Such moments in the history of the peoples are transient like everything else in life. They remain alive, however, in the memories of succeeding generations. In them, these generations contemplate the beauty and nobility woven on the loom of their national history. Towards these moments veiled in the darkness of the past, posterity turns its eyes to admire and to draw wisdom and courage from them. These historical moments continue to live in the memory of the nations, and they live in the names of a handful of represen­tatives, a handful of heroes of these moments, in the names of the personalities who expressed most clearly the nation's power, who headed the movement, who were its soul and in whom, as in a focus, were concentrated the nation's strivings and wishes.

The Bulgarian population in Macedonia and the Odrin region   has lived through such a historical moment. Under impossible conditions of life and development, it was forced to organize itself, and to start a struggle of life and death, an unequal and bloody struggle. In this agonizing and unequal struggle, the Bulgarian people in Macedonia demonstrated rare resilience and rare tenacity, it created strong characters and heroes, it reared innumerable modest people, steeped in bright idealism, people who were completely selfless, living with the interests and the ideals of their nation and finding their unnamed graves in the forests and plains.

And among them the man who best expressed the people's strivings, whose personal qualities, whose selfless loyalty to the cause, whose energy, sharp mind and organizational talent made him the soul of the movement - this man was Gotse Delchev. He it was whose wishes and aspirations were more ar­dent than anybody else's, who saw further than anybody else, and who was ahead of everybody else. And is it strange that he was among the first to give his life at the beginning of the decisive struggle?

He died one of the first, and, let us admit it, his death was timely. He did not see the ruin of the cause to which he had dedicated his life. He did not see the crisis of defeat, of the inevitable decline and degeneration of the movement. How many of his comrades who are still living, remembering his death, would not say that he was 'a fortunate man.'

Yes, indeed, he was fortunate, because, while alive, he had the rare hap­piness of being at the head of the fighters for a great human cause. He was for­tunate, because the coming generations venerated in him a whole epoch of tenacious and bloody struggle, an epoch of upsurge and idealism. In his person posterity venerates the memory of thousands of simple fighters for freedom, they venerate the most noble personal and civic virtues of a revolutionary period. And the more this period recedes into the past, the more clearly his im­age stands out in an aura of heroism and nobility.

В. "Народна воля", Солун, (Newspaper Narodna Volya), Soloun, No. 19, 25.IV.1909; the original is in Bulgarian.


An article in the newspaper Otechestvo,1 dedicated to the anniversary of the Ilinden Uprising
July 18th, 1909

After July 10th, so festively celebrated throughout the Empire, here comes July 20th. In two days' time it will be Ilinden. There will be no bonfires; there will be no parades and no receptions; no flags will wave, no music will be heard in the streets and on the squares. But a natural, internal fire will warm the hearts of the Ottoman Bulgarians when they remember the terrible bloody parade commanded from the unassailable Macedonian heights six years ago; in their thoughts they will pass under the flags waving all over the forests and plains, and bringing death with them, so that afterwards freedom might be resurrected, they will listen to the recent past and hear the elegiac harmony of the gun shot and the dying cry: freedom or death.

Ilinden! A single word, a single name which expresses a whole great epic, the glory of a nation - fighter and slave.

July 10 was the epilogue of Ilinden; Ilinden, that was the most solemn act of the great Macedonian revolutionary drama. Without Ilinden there would have been no July 10. The latter date is common to all Ottomans, Ilinden is ours, it is Bulgarian. This name alone is sufficient to bear witness to our un­equalled share in the struggle for freedom; Ilinden was the price which we paid to taste the abundant advantages of a free life.

How fortunate we are that we can celebrate one glorious date, before memories of the other have faded away!

How proud we are to see in the dawn of freedom the rays which form a shining halo for so many heroes who have perished!

Is it possible to contain within the narrow columns of a small newspaper what is great and boundless? Dare we underestimate the significance of this glorious day in our attempt to describe it here when it is drawn with deep furrows in the hearts of all Ottoman Bulgarians, living witnesses of the great cause? Read the history of Ilinden throughout the vast plains of Macedonia: there it is written with the bones of the dead fighters; read it in the derelict huts in the villages: there it is carved with the suffering of the people; read it in the raised scars from chains on the wrists, necks, ankles of so many prisoners and emigrants, who were freed by July 10th: there you will find-traits of the greatness of the Bulgarian soul which in suffering becomes still more noble; listen to the sad weeping of orphans and widows; listen to the heartrending tales around the fire told by homeless old people; listen to the folk-songs telling of incredible heroes with unknown graves in forests, groves and valleys! Everywhere Ilinden has written its story. Look around and read with reverence what you cannot fmd here since it is unencompassable. Ilinden is before us! On your knees in memory of the heroes of Ilinden! On your knees!

В. "Отечество", Солун, (Newspaper Otechestvo), Soloun, No. 43, 18.VII.1909; the original is in Bulgarian.
1Organ of the Union of the Bulgarian Constitutional Clubs in Turkey - a legal organization of the Bulgarians, linked to the right wing of the IMARO.

A dispatch from the special correspondent of the newspaper Dnevnik1 (Diary) in Soloun
on the attitude of Y. Sandanski towards the Exarchate
August 8th, 1909

Late last night, when the Congress of the Federalists were discussing Arti­cle 32 of the Party programme on the question of education, a delegate spoke against the Exarchate, saying that it had not fulfilled its duties properly and that it was an impediment to education in Macedonia. There was general excite­ment.

At this moment, Sandanski, who was chairing the Congress, stood up and in a shaking voice forcefully declared: 'Don't touch the Exarchate! The situa­tion in Turkey is not stable yet.' There was uproar. Then there was an intermis­sion. During the intermission, Sandanski went to the delegate who had raised the question of the Exarchate, and told him: 'You don't know anything. If the demands of the Bulgarians in Macedonia are not met, I shall fight for the Exarchate, gun in hand.'

This made a deep impression on those present. Afterwards, nobody men­tioned the Exarchate in the discussions.

В. "Дневник", София; (Newspaper Dnevnik), Sofia, No. 2522. 11.VIII.1909; the original is in Bulgarian.

1 A daily newspaper, which, during the summer of 1909, sent a special correspondent to Soloun in connection with the congresses of the Bulgarian parties in Turkey taking place there. On this question also Cf. Alexo Martukov's Memoirs: “Моето учество во револуционерните борби на Македониjа", published in Skopje in 1954. On pp. 186-187 the following can be found:

'The comrades from Soloun, Strumitsa and Syar had gone too far in their adherence to Ottoman Turkey and had overt Ottoman centralist sentiments, obviously influenced by the 'Union and Progress' circles. They renounced any past acquisitions even from the Revival Period, among which they rejected most of all our national and political institution - the Exarchate, and insisted that its functions be taken over by the State. Our education should be guided and controlled by the state, and the schools should be maintained by it, as well as the other privileges of the communes; thus, in short, the Exarchate as an institution should be abolished. I could not agree, because we, the members of the Socialist group in Sofia, were of another opinion on this matter.

'Not only I, but many Macedonians from the left wing were against the standpoint of Chernopeev and his associates. The opinions of those who opposed this stand point, completely coincided with mine. It was also shared by Yane Sandanski, Dimo Hadjidimov*, Gyorche Petrov, Pere Toshev and many more. In the very beginning, after the coup, two trends took shape in the Macedonian left-wing and this was ob­vious from their press. The differences between the two trends were not only on matters of the Exarchate, but also on other political questions and this was clearly discernible from the writings in their newspapers and from their contents; for instance, on the one hand, the newspaper Narodna Volya (Popular Will) and, on the other, the newspaper Konstitoutsionna Zarya (Constitutional Dawn). These differences stood out still more clearly at the first Congress of the left wing in 1909, when the foundations of the federal party were laid. At that Congress, when the question of the Exarchate was put on the agenda and Chernopeev and his other associates upheld their stand on the matter, Yane Sandanski sharply stated that no en­croachments should be made upon this national institution and that, if one day, the Exarchate were threatened, he was ready to take up arms again and go in the Pirin Mountains to fight in its defence.'

* Dimo Hadjidimov (1878 - 1924), an activist in the Macedonian-Adrianople revolutionary movement, born in the village of Gomo Brodi, Syar district. He was an ideologist of the left wing of the movement after the Ilinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising. After the wars he was member of the Provisional Representative Mission of the united former IMRO and a prominent functionary of the BCP. He was assassinated by the nationalistic wing of IMRO on September 13th, 1924.


Information on the Constituent Congress of the People's Federal Party

August 22nd, 1909

On the third of August, in the coffee-shop 'Splendid Palace' the Constituent Congress of the People's Federal Party was opened by Hristo Yankov.

On behalf of the local Party organization, he said, I greet you. I see in you the fighters who successfully fought against the old regime. This is the guarantee that in the future too our Party will fight energetically against every kind of reaction, no matter where it comes from.'

Fifteen organizations were represented at the Congress: there were also several sympathizers, who had been in contact with the central group in Soloun. Here are the names of the 38 delegates to the Congress:

H. Yankov, D. Vlahov1 (Soloun), H. Mednikarov and T. Klifov (G. Poroy), St. Hadjiev and I. Bizhov (D. Hissar), Yane Sandanski and Kazepov (Melnik), St. Pashkoulev and Al. Bozhikov (Nevrokop), D. Koshtanov and G. Zahariev (G. Djoumaya), G. Ognyanov (Maleshevo), K. Samardjiev and H. Chernopeev (Strumitsa), Pando P. Manoushev (Petrich), M. P. Gyoshev and D. Miraschiev (Veles), D. Daskalov and D. Lazarov (Tikvesh), Iv. Ikilyulev and N. Pettov (Koukoush), Iv. Manolev (Bitolya), Yord. Shourkov and F. Bayraktarov (Skopje), G. Skrizhevski and Elezov (Razlog), Spasov and Stamboliev (Syar), T. Panitza (Drama), A. P. Kirov   (Odrin)   B. Hristov (D. Poroi) and G. Mitrov (Ohrid).

Six commissions were elected for working out the following:

a) The standing orders of the Congress

b) Party programme

c) Party Rules

d) The declaration of the Constituent Congress

e) A resolution on the school question and on teachers who are soldiers

f) A resolution on the agrarian and refugee questions. The secretary of the local organization in Soloun, which prior to the election of a permanent central leading body, was provisionally charged with the functions of a central party group, delivered a report on the state of the Par­ty since January 16th, when Hristo Chernopeev and Hr. Katrandjiev as representatives of the revolutionary district of Strumitsa, Yane Sandanski, as the representative of the revolutionary district of Syar and the board of the people's organization in Soloun, had signed documents stating that they would work for the establishing of a legal organization in their respective dis­tricts, similar to the ones in Soloun and Koukoush. They had also worked out directives for the newspaper Narodna Volya, which became the organ of the Bulgarian People's Federal Party. In his report, Hristo Yankov stated the reasons why the report was not exhaustive. He declared that the central group from Soloun was not in a position to present a report on the state of the party, since it had been ignored almost by everybody, especially in places, where it thought that there existed disciplined and well organized revolutionary organizations. After hearing the report of the secretary of the people's organization in Soloun, the Congress, in order to have a better idea of the state of the party in the country, decided to invite all the delegates to report on the state of the party in their respective districts, on the forces it had at its dis­posal and also about the difficulties the Party and its sympathizers were experiencing in their activity. The floor was taken by Mednikarov, Koshtanov, Tomov, Sandanski, Shourkov, Daskalov, Manolev, Zahariev and Bizhov. All that the above-mentioned comrades said can be summarized as follows:

The population is under pressure from members of the nationalistic Constitutional Clubs and is being terrorized by remnants of the former revolutionary organization: the government of the country is still in the hands of people belonging to the former regime and the authorities do not trust the population; moreover, our people have no material means to go and do agita­tion work among the population. Because of all this, the Party cannot boast of great achievements.

The editor of the Party organ Narodna Volya explained the principles followed by the newspaper. What he said can be summarized as follows: The task of the People's Federal Party is to organize all revolutionary forces in the country and to complete the revolution which has been started. The newspaper Narodna Volya was taking this road. Due to language and other problems, we cannot, for the time being, work among other nationalities: we are now organizing mainly the Bulgarian revolutionary forces. All parties here are based on a national separatist basis, the only exception is the People's Federal Par­ty, whose aim is to organize all elements dissatisfied with the economy of the country. We have to win over the ruined small-holders. But the economically oppressed population is, at this moment, mainly occupied with the churches and not with its economic interests. This means that propaganda has got the upper hand. We have to organize this population in the name of its own in­terests and in this way we shall sever it from the influence of propaganda. The attitude of the People's Federal Party towards the 'Union and Progress' Com­mittee depends on monarchist reaction: as long as the limited liberties which we enjoy today are still threatened, we have to work with the Committee of the Young Turks. But 'Union and Progress' is a conservative party; in its opinion, the revolution is over. It is mainly an organization of the beys and bureaucrats. It, too, like the other parties in the country, is extremely nationalistic. That is why it is necessary for us to detach the revolutionary elements from it and organize them in separate national sections which, after federating, will form our future party. We constantly meet with the people of the Bulgarian Constitutional Clubs, since we, too, work among the Bulgarian population. What miserable interests are the motive power of the Constitutional Clubs? They work under the banner of national separatism. In their organ Otechestvo, one reads mainly of national interests. This party is reactionary because it stands for the supremacy of the Bulgarian population over the others. They prevent the development of the revolution. The Constitutional Clubs do not de­fend the national interests of the Bulgarian people, but are the stooges of Bulgarian monarchism. That is why there are no attacks against the Tsar of the Bulgarians in Otechestvo. There is complete solidarity between the Clubs and the Exarchate. Both institutions are instruments of Bulgarian propaganda. There are voices raised in favour of uniting with the Clubs, but they forget that the Clubs work under the banner of separatism. We have to fight hard against the Clubs and, in general, against the separatist movements. Due to the cen­tralization of the schools and religious affairs, foreign propaganda can exert a very strong influence on the masses in our country. The Exarchate is not carrying out reforms of any kind; the people are excluded from the manage­ment of churches and schools. A democratic constitution has to be imposed on the Exarchate. The teachers have to fight for freedom of action, and, for this reason, they have to be organized. This is the direction followed by the newspaper Narodna Volya. The more important articles published in our organ should be translated into Greek and Turkish, so that we can influence the non-Bulgarian revolutionary forces in the country.

During the discussion on the party programme, the Congress, disgusted at the lies and intrigues of the agent of the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency, which by its reports and telegrams aims at disorganizing the Party and provoking con­troversies in its ranks, expressed its contempt for the agent, who did not miss a chance of slandering a delegate and praising others. All the delegates una­nimously condemned the correspondent of the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency. In one of his dispatches, he had written that things were developing according to what Chernopeev wanted, i.e. the Bulgarian schools in Strumitsa were to be subsidized by the government and that Sandanski was the boss of the People's Federal Party. In connection with this the Congress declared that the People's Federal Party was democratic in its aims and membership, that it had no boss, or bosses; that there were only equal members in the Party. For his part, Yane Sandanski declared that, for him as a democrat, it was degrading to be the boss and not the comrade of the members of the Party.

During the discussions on the programme, the Rules, and the declaration, as well as on the resolutions of the Congress, there were no differences of prin­ciple. The basic principles of all the decisions of the Congress were the prin­ciples of democracy and people's rule. The well-being of the mass of the people - this was what all delegates to the Congress always had in mind.

Finally the Congress elected, according to the Rules of the party, by secret ballot, a bureau of three, and six counsellors. As members of the central bureau the following were elected: A. Matliev, D. Vlahov and H. Yankov (Soloun). For counsellors: A. Buynov (Razlog) D. Daskalov (Tikvesh), D. Koshtanov (G. Djoumaya), Yane Sandanski (Melnik), H. Chernopeev (Strumitsa) and Yordan Shourkov (Skopje).

The Congress ended on August 10th late at night, with a speech by D. Koshtanov, who was presiding and who wished the party comrades success in their future work.

В. "Народна воля", Солун, (Newspaper Narodna Volya), Soloun, No. 1, 1909; the original is in Bulgarian.
1 D. Vlahov (1878-1953), a political figure and publicist, born in Koukoush. During the Hürriyet he was elected a member of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian section of the People's Federal Party and Bulgarian representative to the Ottoman Parliament. After the wars he was a member of the Central Committee of the IMRO (United) and editor of the newspapers Makedonsko Delo and Balkanska Pederatsia. Later he shifted to anti-Bulgarian positions.

An appeal of the Central Macedonian Committee (Sofia) revealing the situation in the Turkish Empire
after the Young Turk Revolution, and calling on the Bulgarians to resume their struggle for autonomy

March 1st, 1910

When the Young Turks declared the Hürriyet (freedom), the Bulgarian population fighting for liberation in Macedonia and in the Odrin region rejoiced and became peaceful, believing it had been indeed granted all its rights, written into the Constitution proclaimed by the Ottoman Empire (Articles 8-26 and 108).

The Bulgarian population believed that it would have equal rights; there would be no longer any difference between it and the Turkish population as far as the authorities of the Empire were concerned; that the life, health, property and honour of everyone would be protected and respected, that homes would be considered inviolable; that there would be prompt and strict justice for all without discrimination; that there would be free communications, trade, criticism, a free press, freedom of education, freedom of conscience, freedom of assembly and associations; that the newly gained rights would not be taken away; that work would be organized and ensured, that the position of farmers would be relieved, and that every one in the Empire would be able to live and develop freely and peacefully.

The Bulgarian population, however, has received nothing from the new regime. On the contrary, it has realized that it has been fooled, and it is dis­gusted by Turkish perfidy.

The Young Turk regime took no steps to improve the means of livelihood of the population in Macedonia. Neither did it do anything to improve roads, nor to cancel the heavy passport system. It did nothing to improve or intensify production in the country. It still keeps the rural population in its former painful state. The land has remained exclusively in the hands of the state, of in­stitutions, pashas, beys and Turkish local tyrants. The new regime, however, promptly did everything it could to oppress the Christians, especially the Bulgarians:

1. First, the new Turkish regime merged the budgets of the three vilayets with that of the whole state, in spite of the autonomous rights granted to Macedonia, and Article 108 of the Constitution.

2. Instead of leaving the settlement of church disputes to local legal authorities according to the country's laws of settling routine civilian disputes, the new Turkish government persists in its most hazardous political course concerning the church issue, so as to engage in intrigue and fan internal strife among the Ottoman Christians.

3. The Young Turk regime attempted to close the schools of the Bulgarians. It took a number of steps, seeking to replace them by state-run schools in spite of Article 15 of the Constitution, which recognizes the right to the existence of private schools, and in spite of our rights acquired under the old regime.

4. It issued a law against idlers, and introduced flogging as a punitive measure in spite of Article 26 of the Constitution, which prohibits flogging and torture as punitive measures on the part of the authorities and their organs. This law was especially directed against former members of rebel detachments.

5. It passed a law restricting the press.

6. It curtailed the freedom of assembly and associations.

7. It set up Turkish bands to terrorize the Bulgarian population, and gradually to exterminate all former voivodes and rebels.

8. It deprived the Christian villages of the right to have their own field-watchmen, and appointed field-watchmen from among the most desperate Turkish bandits, instead of granting Christian villages the right to communal self-government, and the right to organize their own field-guards in order to protect their property.

9. It took care to reinforce the Turkish population by settling refugees, giving them the best land. Thereby the Young Turks clearly show that they have not become Ottomans, because they do nothing to improve the lot of the Christian farmers, citizens of the Ottoman Empire. On the contrary, by settling the refugees, they oppress Bulgarian farmers even more, and force them to seek occupation elsewhere.

10. The new regime invented a draconian law against the rebel detachments which did not exist. Introducing its evil measures aimed at sup­pressing and weakening the Christians, it provoked the latter, and then applied this law even before it had been discussed and passed by Parliament.

11. Under this evil law it set up secret courts-martial which tried a number of Bulgarian suspects and sentenced them to exile and death without any legal defence, sending also their parents, wives and children into exile. Whereas the murderers of Vassil Adjalarski and of a number of other good Bulgarians, are not being prosecuted, or, in the event of their being caught, they are never punished, because they are members of the organized Turkish bands of the authorities themselves.

12. Finally, the organs of the Young Turk government banned the word Hürriyet, 'freedom' in a number of places in Macedonia. Now, whoever men­tions 'Hürriyet' or sings 'Hürriyet' songs, is fined and flogged under the law passed against idlers.

The Turks did not assess the situation soberly, and failed to use it for the common benefit of everybody in the country.

They were merely content with having fooled and paralyzed the revolutionary struggle and interference from without, so that they could prolong the days of their severe rule over the subordinate peoples and the lands which they have seized. So much the worse for them! They have proved yet again that they are in the throes of death. We must speed up this process, and throw off the burden of the dying corpse, which is today called the Ottoman Empire.

It is incumbent upon us, Bulgarians, being the majority in Macedonia, and bearing the brunt of the Turkish regime, to resume the struggle for freedom and never stop until complete autonomy of Macedonia is established under the government of the Christian Governor General, guaranteed by the states which were signatories to the Treaty of Berlin.

The Central Macedonian Committee calls upon all sincere patriots to resume their work, and appeals to all free and enlightened nations and states to take a just stand on the situation, and lend their moral and material support to gaining Macedonia's autonomy - and to restore the political, economic and educational freedom of all people in that land.

В. "Македония", Newspaper Makedonia, Year 22, No. 2 (490), June 26, 1910, p. 2; the original is in Bulgarian.

1 The newspaper Makedonia was published by Kosta Shahov from Ohrid, the initiator of many steps and actions in favour of the oppressed population in Macedonia and the Odrin region. Kosta Shahov was also the initiator of the establishment of the Central Macedonian Committee, on whose behalf this appeal was published. No details are known of the activities of this committee. According to the newspaper Makedonia, it ‘is not considering any general movement, neither does it want to spread its organization everywhere, unless circumstances compel it to ... It does not oppose the legal and other organizations and the struggle of all; as long as this struggle is reasonable, it will support it to the best of its abilities.'


A memoir of the Macedonian Brotherhoods in Bulgaria to the Slav Congress in Sofia
about the activities of Serbian propaganda in Macedonia
as an obstacle to closer relations between the Bulgarian and the Serbian peoples

June 25th, 1910

The lofty goal in the name of which Slav congresses have been held for several years now, namely to attain a closer unity culturally and economically among the various Slav peoples, so that they can easily preserve their particular position and original way of life in the general competition of nations through mutual cultural cooperation, so as to be able, in a spirit of unity, to take a more impressive part in the cultural development of mankind, and to introduce their original outlook into world culture under better circumstances, all this has in­spired us, Macedonian Bulgarians, living in Sofia, to address the honourable Slav Congress with a few sincere words about the particular state of affairs in Macedonia, where conditions run counter to the mutual understanding of the Slav nations.

It is known that half of the population in Macedonia, comprising within its recognized geographic boundaries larger or smaller parts of the three vilayets - Soloun, Bitolya and Skopje -is Slav, and from time immemorial it has always felt Bulgarian, and has been considered such by all important Slav and non-Slav scholarship. The Southern Slavs have also, until recently, been unanimous in their views of the national character of the Macedonian Slavs. The best representatives of the closest Slav neighbours of the Bulgarians - the Serbs, never expressed any doubts whatsoever as to the nationality of the Macedonian Slavs until the last war of liberation. They considered those Slavs who inhabit the former Turkish territories of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as those inhabiting the fringes of the Skopje vilayet to the north of the Shar Moun­tain, as belonging to the same ethnic group as themselves.

The disastrous Treaty of Berlin was a turning point in the attitude of the Serbs: by entrusting the government of the Turkish districts of Bosnia and Herzegovina inhabited by Serbo-Croats to the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, the Treaty frustrated the hope of the Serbs to see those territories, or the bulk of them, incorporated into their own state, and thus preserved for their own national culture. From that ill-fated moment on, no doubt at the suggestion of certain spheres hostile to Slav unity, the Serbs of the Kingdom were seized with the ambition to expand into the Slav people different from themselves, and to seek, by all means, to divert it from its age-old national aspirations, and to im­pose upon it a culture repugnant to it. They unleashed propaganda un­precedented in scale, aimed at implanting a Serbian spirit in the population of Macedonia, which has been Bulgarian from time immemorial and which was the first to raise the banner of the liberation of the Bulgarian people from the heavy Phanariot yoke; which, in the glorious times of our national Revival in the first half of the last century, produced a number of illustrious men such as the monk Joakim of Kichevo, the archimandrite Anatoli and bishop Parteni of Debur, the metropolitan bishop Nathanail of the village of Kouchevitsa (Skopje district), Father Neofit Rilski from Bansko, the father of Bulgarian book printing Hadji Teodosi Sinaitski from Doiran, Kiril Peichinovich from the Tetovo district, the Miladinov brothers from Strouga, Grigor Purlichev and Kouzman Shapkarev from Ohrid, Yordan Konstantinov Djinot, Angeiko Palashev and Raiko Zhinzifov from Veles, Nako Stanishev from Koukoush, Emanuil Vaskidovich from Melnik and others - and which population has always, in all the vicissitudes in the history of the Bulgarian people, thought itself one with its brothers on this side of the Rila and the Rhodopes.

The first deplorable effect of this course of Serbian cultural and political propaganda was that disastrous fratricidal war which offered mankind a dis­graceful spectacle of Slav discord and lack of understanding. Despite the historical lesson, however, this policy of encroachment upon the indisputable rights of one Slav people upon another, was not interrupted, on the contrary, it was carried on with even greater vehemence, and conscious of its impotence to achieve any tangible results without resorting to drastic means, began to employ most unsavoury means in order to ensure even the smallest degree of success for its unjust cause. As the Bulgarian population did not easily suc­cumb to the 'cultural' blandishments of this propaganda, the latter entered into collusion with the century-old enemy of Slav culture on the Balkan Peninsula with the Oecumenical Patriarchate; besides, in amost unpardonable way it used the corrupt Turkish administration, in order to demoralize the Bulgarian pop­ulation, and to disunite it; at last, when none of this proved to be of any use in breaking down the population's resistance,   Serbian propaganda resorted to terror, and in order to carry on its infamous policy more easily, it entered into collusion with the very authorities, seeking to sow discord among the sturdy Bulgarian population, and thus, to weaken it. As an actual result of that violent attack of Serbian propaganda on the Bulgarian population, today we see in­trigues and discord among the Slav population in that land, which in no way forwards the noble task of the Slav Congress. Those intrigues, maintained thanks to the strong support of the propaganda of the Serbian kingdom, which nevertheless would not have found fertile ground had it not been for the use of most ignoble means, constitute a lasting source of hostility between the two neighbouring Slav peoples, whose relations could easily be used by enemies of Slav unity, or if not, might lead to fatal conflicts instead of understanding and friendship.

Unless the circles conducting this propaganda, harmful to Southern Slav solidarity, come to their senses, and if this violent and treacherous propaganda continues in a land where it has no business, then the lasting hostile attitude of the Bulgarian population in Macedonia toward everything Serbian, of which it can see around it only a shameful manifestation, this policy is sure to act further toward the alienation of the two neighbouring peoples, which, in the long run, will become two openly hostile camps. Because the state of affairs in Macedonia cannot but elicit a response from public opinion in the Kingdom of Bulgaria where there is a numerous Macedonian colony whose influence is felt in the entire social life of the Kingdom. If today, in spite of all desire for Progress, there still persists an obvious coolness in the relations between the two peoples, which cannot easily be overcome, the reason is that very unfortunate propaganda which, like a cancer, wastes away the healthy Slav organism.

Today, the Bulgarian people look with lively sympathy upon the attempts of the leading representatives of the Slav cause to place Slav cultural unity on a strong basis, and, therefore, they warmly greet the Slav Congress in its young capital. Yet, nobody knows whether, under the pressure of public opinion which is now silent, lest it should harm the great cause, the Bulgarian cham­pions of Slav unity will not soon find it impossible to take part in other con­gresses where fine words will be spoken of fraternity and understanding, while, in spite of those phrases, a kindred Slav people participating in those con­gresses, will in the meantime treacherously stab in the back a population, which for centuries, has firmly guarded its national identity and would not give it up now, in spite of the unheard-of sufferings.

Inspired by a deep love for common Slav unity, we, Macedonian Bulgarians in the capital of Bulgaria, take the liberty of voicing to the Slav Congress our firm conviction that all noble efforts of the champions of cultural unity between the Slavs will be in vain, as long as that propaganda, harmful to the interests of the Southern Slavs, is maintained, which shall be a lasting source of hatred between the two most outstanding branches of southern Slavdom.

Sofia, June 25, 1910

Macedonian brotherhoods:

1) President of the Skopje Brotherhood:
D. Klisarovski;
2) President of the Bitolya Brotherhood:
D. Mihailov
3) President of the Debur Brotherhood:
L. Dimitrov
4) President of the Kostour Brotherhood:
Y. Yankov
5) For the President of the Shtip Brotherhood:
D. Kotsev;
6) President of the Syar and Drama Brotherhood K. Atanassov;
7) President of the Kichevo Brotherhood:
S. Dimitrov;
8) President of the Ohrid Brotherhood:
P. I. Grigorchev;
9) President of the Kroushevo Brotherhood:
10) President of the Prilep Brotherhood:
В. "Камбана", Newspaper Kambana, year IV No. 952, June 27, 1910, p. 2; Cf. L. Miletich Declaration of the Macedonian emigrants to the Slav Congress in Sofia, 1910. Macedonian Review year IV, 1928, book 3, pp. 105-109; the original is in Bulgarian.


The formation of the Macedonian-Adrianople Volunteer Corps to assist the Bulgarian Army during the First Balkan War
September 25th, 1912

In the meantime, the volunteers in Sofia, organized in Brotherhoods, would train daily at the camp. Training was under the command of Captain Atanassov and Second Lieutenant Minkov. It consisted mainly of marching, taking up positions, movement in line, singing and very few lectures. There were no weapons, and the commanders consisted of several former cadets, a number of retired NCOs and soldiers either seconded from their own units, or not enlisted with any unit. The appearance of the volunteers caused quite a lot of sympathy, as well as a bit of sadness, for the volunteers were being trained without arms. The delivery of rifles was undertaken at the time of the proclama­tion of mobilization, but, as we shall see further, they did not arrive in Turnovo-Seimen until late in October, where most of the battalions were armed.

On October 26, the officers enlisting volunteers in Sofia - the latter being about 6,500 - numbered only six: Captain Velichkov, Captain Atanassov, Captain Kanazirski, 2nd Lieut. Minkov, 2nd Lieut. Karadjov Dyanko, and ex-Lieut. Manovski K. The other officers, Lieutenant Colonel Nikolov and 2nd Lieut. Kostov, were used for special duty.

Headquarters decided to form six battalions only from the volunteers in Sofia, and give the battalions names first, and leave numbers for afterwards, along with the decision for grouping the battalions into bigger units. The bat­talions were named after towns which tell a whole history with their past and present. The following officers have been entrusted with the formation of the battalions for the time being:

2nd Lieut. Karadjov with the Debur battalion
2nd Lieut. Minkov         --      Skopje    --
Captain Atanassov        --      Soloun    --
Captain Kanazirski        --      Bitolya    --
Sgt.-Maj. Cannelli R.    --      Adrianople   --
Ex-Lieut. Manovski      --      Ohrid       --  

Prior to the formation of the battalions, Headquarters got together all the volunteers with better education, divided them among the battalions and ap­pointed them at the following posts: commanders of non-combatant com­panies, aides-de-camp, treasurers, mess officers, quartermasters and police chiefs. Captain Velichkov was entrusted with the selection of the technical bodies, and D. Mihailov, head of medical section, with that of the medical com­pany.

After the officers were thus elected, Headquarters, together with the bat­talion commanders, undertook the formation of the battalions themselves, as follows:

The Debur Battalion is to consist of citizens of Debur only, by reason of their costumes.

The Skopje Battalion - of the Palanka, Kratovo, Koumanovo and Skopje Brotherhoods, on the basis of the territorial system.

The Solom Battalion - of the Shtip, Syar, Drama, Salonica and Koukoush Brotherhoods, entirely on the basis of the territorial principle.

The Bitolya Battalion - of the Bitolya, Prilep and Tetovo Brotherhoods along the same system.

The Ohrid Battalion — 1st company of the Kroushovo Brotherhood, 2nd company of the Kostour Brotherhood, 3rd company of the Ohrid and Resen Brotherhoods, and 4th company of the Ohrid and Kichevo Brotherhoods i.e. on the basis of the regional system.

Technical Unit - with 12 heliographers from the telegraph company and 6 heliograph stations, supplied by the inspector of the engineering corps, and with volunteer high-school and university students, technicians, engineers, etc. is gradually to organize the following platoons: engineering (bridge and field), signals, heliograph, telephone, bicycle, mortar, mine-laying subversion and chemical-warfare, electrical-repairing, mechanical workshop and transport pla­toon.

Medical Company - with volunteer medical orderlies, who will initially run the volunteers' infirmary in Sofia and will receive training, and will afterwards serve to staff the battalions with medical personnel.

The formation of the six battalions began on September 26 and was almost completed by the 30th. On October 1, the Debur, Skopje and Soloun battalions were fully manned in personnel, and the other three - the Bitolya, Odrin and  Ohrid battalions - were complete by the 2nd. The Executive Committee allocated 400 leva to each of the battalion commanders for initial appointment and petty expenses.


 Table of the number of recruits in the Macedonian-Adrianople Volunteer Corps during the Balkan War

Note: This table does not include 2,174 volunteers from Macedonia and Odrin who fought in the ranks of the guerrilla platoons and chetas.


An excerpt from the book by Colonel P. Durvingov History of the Macedonian-Adrianople Volunteer Corps about the formation of the volunteer corps as a military unit meant to assist the Bulgarian army during Balkan War I (op. cit. Vol. 1, Sofia, 1919, pp. 34-36, 659)


In his article on 'The Social Significance of the Serbo-Bulgarian Victories,' V. L Lenin
notes that Macedonia is populated by Bulgarian, Serbian and Turkish peasants
November 7th, 1912

'To Macedonia, its conquest by Bulgaria and Serbia is tantamount to a bourgeois revolution, similar to those of 1789 or 1848.' These words of the Austrian Marxist Otto Bauer at once reveal the essence of the events which are now taking place in the Balkans.

The 1789 Revolution in France, and the one in 1848 in Germany and the other countries, were bourgeois revolutions, because the liberation of the coun­tries from absolutism, and from the privileges of big landowners and of feudal lords, in actual fact, provided freedom for the development of capital. Yet it is self-evident that such a revolution was most insistently demanded by the in­terests of the working class, and even workers of 1789 and 1848, of those who were 'non-party,' unorganized as a class, were front-ranking fighters in the French and German revolutions.

Macedonia, like all Balkan countries, is extremely backward economical­ly. Very strong remnants of serfdom and of the medieval dependence of peasants on feudal landowners, continue to exist there. These remnants include the peasant's taxes to the feudal lord (in money or in kind), then the sharecrop-ping system (the Macedonian peasant usually pays the landlord one-third of the crops, less than in Russia), etc.

The Macedonian landowners (the so-called spahis) are Turks and Moslems, and the peasants are Slavs and Christians. Therefore, the class con­tradiction is sharpened by the religious and national ones.

In this way the victories of the Serbs and Bulgarians mean that the domination of feudalism has been undermined in Macedonia, it means that a more or less free class of landowning farmers has been created, it means that the overall social development of the Balkan countries has been ensured, which had been held back by absolutism and by the relations of serfdom.

The bourgeois newspapers, beginning with Novoe Vremya and ending with Rech, are writing about the national liberation in the Balkans, ignoring the economic liberation. But actually it is the latter that matters most.

The national liberation and complete freedom of the peoples to self-determination would inevitably result in their complete liberation from land­owners and absolutism. And conversely, if the oppression of landowners and ;the Balkan monarchies remain over the peoples, national oppression will also 'definitely remain to one degree or another.

Were the liberation of Macedonia to be achieved by means of a revolution, i.e., by means of the struggle of the Serbian, the Bulgarian and the Turkish peasants against the landowners of all nationalities (and against the land­owners' governments in the Balkans), liberation would cost the Balkan peoples probably a hundred times fewer human lives than the present war. Their liberation would be achieved at an incomparably lower price, and would be immeasurably fuller.

One may well ask what historical reason has caused the question to be settled through war and not through revolution. The main historical reason for this lies in the weakness, disunity, underdevelopment and ignorance of the pea­sant masses in all the Balkan countries, as well as in the small number of workers who were well aware of the state of affairs, and demanded a Balkan federal (allied) republic.

Hence the evident fundamental difference between the attitude of the European bourgeoisie and the European workers towards the Balkan issue. The bourgeoisie, even the liberal one, of the type of our own cadets, is shouting about the 'national' liberation of the 'Slavs.' This clearly distorts the meaning and the historic significance of the events which are currently taking place in the Balkans, this hampers the cause of the true liberation of the Balkan peoples. This has to a lesser or greater extent preserved the privileges of landowners, the lack of political rights and national oppression.

And conversely, the workers' democracy is the only one which is defen­ding the real and complete liberation of the Balkan peoples. It is only the economic and political liberation of the peasants of all the Balkan nationalities carried through to its conclusion, that can destroy all possibilities for national oppression of any kind.

V.I.Lenin, Works, vol. 18, pp. 401-403. The original is in Russian.
Memorandum by the CC of the IMARO to Tsar Ferdinand, specifying the true goals of the revolutionary struggle in Macedonia
and insisting on the preservation of its integrity as an autonomous region
December, 1912

Your Majesty,

After centuries-long sufferings, we were happy to see the day when Your Majesty visited the chief city of Macedonia. (1) The final goal of the insurgent struggle, which was organized by our population in Macedonia and the Odrin region, was the liberation of our enslaved homeland, so that the Bulgarian people as a whole would be able to live a peaceful and civilized life. Our dream - the dream of the Bulgarian people is already becoming a reality, and there will be no one happier than us if the dawn of freedom illuminates all the corners of ethnic Bulgaria under the Bulgarian flag.

Convinced that, in these fateful days. Your Majesty is as anxious as we are to preserve the vital interests of our Bulgarian nation, we dare express, together with our deep gratitude for everything so far done by Your Majesty, the great sadness which is growing in us at the horrible thought that the libera­tion struggle now underway could be checked by the partial political division of our dear Macedonian homeland.

As Your Majesty knows, the revolution in Macedonia was first initiated soon after the unfortunate Berlin Treaty, because it was then that the popula­tion realized that the distant goal of one of the Powers, most responsible for the destruction of the San Stefano Treaty, was to prevent the unification of the whole Bulgarian people by separating from Bulgaria that part of Macedonia which is most substantial and most valuable for us. The Internal Revolutionary Organization, fully aware of the fact that the more time passes, the harder it would be to get back what was lost through the Berlin Treaty, fought constant­ly with the modest help of the enslaved people and gave the Turkish Empire no peace until it was finally shattered. In spite of the great difficulties which the Internal Organization had to face here and outside, it unflinchingly pursued one and the same sacred goal - to save Bulgarian Macedonia for the Bulgarian peo­ple - undivided and integral. In view of the obvious predatory intentions of the neighbouring states and the difficulties involved in the direct liberation of all Macedonia, with the help of Bulgarian military force alone, the Internal Organization adopted the idea of working first of all for Macedonia's autonomy, so as to save her from fragmentation. This idea proved to be so beneficial, that finally, the states which are now Bulgaria's allies and which, un­til yesterday were the open and positive enemies of autonomy, accepted it and the union of the Balkan states - until recently impossible - was established.(2) Like the whole Bulgarian people, here, too, we welcomed the new alliance with admiration and, having complete confidence in Your Majesty and the glorious Bulgarian Army, we tirelessly endeavoured to be useful to the liberation cause; without making any distinction between the allies, our Organization supported both the Serbians and the Greeks in every way. Unfortunately, however, im­mediately after the occupation of our Bulgarian lands by Serbian and Greek ar­mies, there appeared signs which make us fear for our national future. The Ser­bian authorities have openly started to advise the Bulgarian to reject his name and his kin. Preparations are underway which indicate that the foreign occupation in our parts is not just temporary. Our people in Skopje who until now have heroically sustained the revolutionary struggle, are now justified in suspecting that they might be left under foreign rule. Joy is beginning to be mixed with desperation and the thought that the day of relaxation and peaceful cultural work, which seemed to us so near, will not come very soon in our unfortunate Macedonia. In these hard days of hopes and doubts, the Macedonian Bulgarian sees his most powerful support in the patriotism, wisdom and resoluteness of Your Majesty, which have so far been proved in many critical circumstances and which are so valuable now at a time so decisive for the future of the whole of Bulgaria.

For this reason, stating the above, the Internal Organization, true to its dear behest to work for the freedom of the whole of Macedonia, dares to extend to you, on behalf of the harassed people, a request, asking Your Majesty to in­tervene, with all possible means to the end, so that any partition may be avoided. Your Majesty may rest assured that in this matter he can rely on the help of the Macedonian Bulgarian, to the very last drop of his blood.

From the Central Committee of the IMARO (seal)

Г. Баждаров, Войните и Македонския въпрос - Македония, т. I, 1922; (G. Bazhdarov, The Wars and the Macedonian Question) Vol. I, 1922, N: 4, pp. 10-11; The original is in Bulgarian.

(1) Tsar Ferdinand came to Soloun on December 5/18, 1912
(2) The Organization has assumed that the Alliance had been signed on this basis
Information about the participation of Macedonian Bulgarians in the Balkan wars

The general mobilization of the Bulgarian army against the Turks was carried out on September 30th, 1912. All Bulgarians from Macedonia who had served in the Bulgarian army as privates or officers went to their respective military units: they were about 30,000 men. But in addition to them, there were Bulgarians from Macedonia who had recently fled from Turkish persecution and come to the territory of the Kingdom. These refugees voluntarily wanted to take part in the war of liberation, and, since they could not be enlisted in the regular army, the Defence Minister organized them into a Volunteer Corps.

The Volunteer Corps, consisting of 14,670 men, had 12 battalions: with People from Debur, Skopje, Odrin, Ohrid,   Kostour, Koumanovo, Veles, Frilep, Syar, Lozengrad and Soloun.

No sooner had they been organized than the volunteers engaged in operations.

According to their place of birth, the volunteers are classified as follows: from the district of Bitolya - 457, from the district of Veles - 449, from the dis­trict of Voden - 79, from the district of Gevgeli - 246, from the district of Gorna Djoumaya - 162, from the district of Gostivar - 104, from the district of Debur - 1,Oil, from the district of Demir Hissar - 234, from the district of Doiran - 73, from the district of Drama - 124, from the district of Enidje-Vardar - 104, from the district of Zuhna - 4, from the district of Kaylare - 36, from the district of Kichevo - 350, from the district of Kochani -203, from the district of Kostour - 409, from the district of Korcha - 6, from the district of Kratovo - 330, from the district of Egri-Palanka - 431, from the district of Kroushevo - 250, from the district of Koukoush - 512, from the district of Koumanovo - 202, from the district of Lerin - 158, from the district of Maleshevo - 77, from the district of Melnik - 240, from the district of Nevrokop - 715, from the district of Negotin - 12, from the district of Ohrid -542, from the district of Petrich - 129, from the district of Pehchevo - 16, from the district of Prilep - 501, from the district of Razlog - 359, from the district of Radovish - 89, from the district of Resen - 47, from the district of Skopje -207, from the district of Soloun - 194, from the district of Strumitsa - 143, from the district of Strouga - 40, from the district of Syar - 197, from the dis­trict of Tetovo - 171, from the district of Tikvesh 108 and from the district of Shtip - 440.

The Macedonian and Odrin volunteer forces consisted of three brigades and were organized as a division with its own services. General Genov was appointed commander of the volunteers, Colonel St. Nikolov from Prilep was appointed as commander of the first brigade. Colonel Pchelarov - of the second, and Colonel Protogerov - of the third.

In February the Volunteer Corps was joined by three new battalions - the Koukoush, Voden and Shtip battalions.

On May 2nd the Volunteer Corps left the coast of the Marmara Sea for Macedonia. There it held the sector facing the Serbs in the mountain of Ossogovo, from the village of Zletovo to the peak Sultantepe.

On June 30th the fifteen battalions of the Bulgarian volunteers from Macedonia took part in the attack on the Serbian front. In one day they took two fortified positions from the Serbs and, surging forward, they captured the heights of Paradii (Roumena Bouka). The next day they retreated only after an order had been given.

During the retreat the Macedonian Volunteers were very often in the rear­guard. Until the cessation of hostilities, they fought against the Serbs with in­credible fury. On the eve of the signing of the armistice, when they already knew that the war was lost, they counter attacked against the Serbs without any political hope, just for the glory of dying for Bulgaria, and they caused many bloody losses to the enemy.

When the Treaty of Bucharest was signed, it was the Macedonian Volunteer Corps that had to hand over to the Serbians the piece of Macedonian land which Serbia had annexed without having won it. In the history of martyr nations, this is a case without precedent.

During the two Balkan wars the casualties of the Macedonian Volunteer Corps amounted to 3,631, including 177 dead, 318 killed, 2,261 wounded and 377 missing, i.e. 25 per cent of its strength.

La question Bulgare et les Etats balkaniques, Sofia, 1919, p. 237; the original is in French.

An appeal from the Bulgarian population in Bitolya to the Prime Minister in Sofia
describing the situation of the Bulgarians after the arrival of the Greek and Serbian troops
and asking to be saved from the new foreign bondage
January 22nd, 1913

Most honourable Mr. Prime Minister!

As you are aware, the Bitolya district took the most active part in the whole of Macedonia, in the struggle for solving the very significant church question. This district also gave outstanding champions of our national revival: the Miladinov brothers, His Reverence Panaret, Dr. Mishaykov, Gr. Purlichev, M. Kousevich, etc. Their activities resulted in a strong national upsurge which cost many lives. The Church struggle in which you yourself played a leading part, and the task of which was, together with the liberation from Greek religious bondage, to attain the cultural unification of the Bulgarians in the whole of the Balkan Peninsula, paved the way for another ideal - the political liberation of the Bulgarians. Immediately after their church struggle, the Bulgarian people began their activities for their unification in one state. Soon after the foundation of the Exarchate, the fraternal Russian people, moved by the sufferings of their Bulgarian brothers, which had increased because of the revolutionary movements, undertook the war of liberation. The San Stefano Treaty was signed, under which the entire Bulgarian population from the Danube to Bistritsa, and from the Black Sea to the Shar Mountain, was united politically in one state. Regrettably, however, there were states which feared our unification, so the great cause of the magnanimous Tsar Liberator was thwarted at the Berlin Congress. Macedonia and the Odrin region remained under Turkish rule. The Russian-Turkish War of Liberation clearly outlined and illuminated the Bulgarian people's future ideal - the implementa­tion of the San Stefano Treaty. The young Bulgarian Principality made great sacrifices in order to prepare for the moment when the struggle for the charted ideal would begin. It was at great cost that Bulgaria created and maintained a numerous army. In addition, the Macedonian Bulgarians were also preparing for the fateful hour. This feverish activity roused the suspicion of the Turks, the Greeks and the Serbs who subjected everything Bulgarian to increasing persecution. This situation made the Macedonian Bulgarians desperate, and urged them to take measures of self-defence and to launch an offensive. A revolutionary organization was set up with the task of defending the Bulgarians in Turkey against the encroachments of their numerous political and religious enemies, and of winning political freedom. The political circumstances, however, made it impossible to pursue the immediate goal of uniting Macedonia with Bulgaria, because our present allies, as well as some of the Great Powers opposed our political unification. That is why our most prominent revolutionaries found it more expedient to achieve unification through the autonomy of Macedonia.

Indisputably, the Bitolya district, populated by a compact Bulgarian mass, took a most active part in the long revolutionary struggle: no other Macedo­nian region has as many Bulgarians as the Bitolya region, especially if we add the Kostour district to it, which the Turks cunningly severed from its natural centre - Bitolya - placing it in the Korcha sandjak. A strong revolutionary organization was formed here which held at bay the Turkish authorities and the other enemies of our political unification. The Ilinden Uprising of 1903 was organized and carried out mainly by the Bulgarian population from the Bitolya vilayet. It was only here that the Bulgarian villages from Lake Ohrid and Lake Kostour to the Voden district, rose up in arms on a mass scale. And it was thanks to this uprising that the Murzsteg reform programme was extended, and the boundaries of the entire Bulgarian Macedonia, as you know, were ratified with an international act for the second time, since the Constantinople Conference. Therefore, most Honourable Mr.. Prime Minister, there never has been any dispute - at the Constantinople Conference, in the San Stefano Trea­ty, or in the International Reform Act - that our land is Bulgarian, and that it can be severed politically from eastern Macedonia. After the Murzsteg Reform Programme, the revolutionary activities continued with the aim of bringing the

Reform Programme to its logical conclusion, that is, the creation of an autonomous Macedonia. The sequence of events was as follows: The Reval Reform Programme, which was the penultimate step to autonomy, was drafted after five years, at the cost of new lives after the Ilinden Uprising. High-ranking Turkish officials clearly perceived the danger facing Turkey; in autonomy they saw only a stepping-stone toward unification of Macedonia, and in order to prevent it, they resorted to the secret society called Young Turkey, they dug out Mithad Pasha's Constitution, and declared freedom, equality and fraternity in the Ottoman Empire. After this Turkish face Europe granted its last credits to Turkey, and called back its reform missions. Now, there ensued the blackest days for both the Bulgarian population and the other non-Turkish nationalities within the Empire. The settlement of Turkish refugees, the disarmament opera­tion, the systematic persecution of all Christians, led to rapprochement between the non-Turkish nationalities within the Empire, and the respective Balkan governments of the same faith. Convinced that the closer rapproche­ment of the Balkan states was taking place according to the national principle, we felt very optimistic and happy, while the declaration of the present war of liberation encouraged us still further.

To our great regret, however, from this moment on, we were faced with grave trials and painful bewilderment. At the time, when the brave Bulgarian army was defeating the main Turkish forces on the eastern front of the war, securing the rear of the allied troops, the latter, easily and with insignificant losses, conquered the whole of western Macedonia. This is nothing alarming in a war of allies, if it were not for other symptoms which make us ask ourselves in alarm: have we been liberated or have we been cast into a new bondage? The behaviour of the Serbian and Greek troops, as well as the behaviour of the ad­ministrative Serbian and Greek bodies have aroused our serious apprehensions for the future. Both the Serbs and the Greeks are acting toward us as con­querors, not as our liberators. The whole Bulgarian population especially the peasants, is being robbed: the allied armies never pay anything, neither do they issue any requisitioning receipts. Objects and goods which are needed to supply the army, are being carried away to Serbia and Greece; Bulgarian property is being destroyed without reason, and Bulgarian houses are being burnt. But this is not everything. What disturbs us most is the violence of a purely national character. The Serbs cannot calmly hear the word 'Bulgarian,' and their first words upon their arrival in these parts were: 'What are you?' As soon as they hear the reply 'Bulgarians,' they start cursing, as only Serbs can curse. They abuse the Bulgarian name, and force the population to give up their national identity. This happens particularly in villages. In strong Serbian language the Serbs, both troops and administrative bodies, express their surprise that there could be Bulgarian schools in a Serbian land. The same applies to the churches. Bishop Varnava, the incumbent of the Veles-Debur diocese, has gained particular notoriety in this respect. He forced the priests to mention the name of the metropolitan bishop of Belgrade in church services. The same is going on in the districts of Bitolya, Prilep, Resen and Ohrid. Furthermore, Boris, Metropolitan bishop of Ohrid, was officially ordered to mention the name of the Belgrade Metropolitan Dmitri in church services, instead of the name of the Exarch of the Bulgarian Holy Synod.

The Serbian administrative authorities systematically make difficulties for Bulgarian merchants who want to travel from one place to another, refusing them passes under various pretexts, whereas whenever they issue passes, they attach Serbian suffixes to Bulgarian names. In addition, they hinder the opening of Bulgarian schools in towns and villages, they drive away teachers in a most brutal manner, declaring that they will not allow the existence of any Bulgarian schools in a Serbian land. In Ohrid they gave Serbian names to the streets; in Prilep, a town-crier announced that, apart from the Turks, everybody else should call himself Serbian. A newspaper began to be published in Bitolya, the articles of which allegedly show that there are no Bulgarians in that town. All this shows that the Serbs are systematically trying to impart a Serbian character to the areas which they have occupied. In their attitude to the alleged­ly free Bulgarian population, the Greek military and civilian authorities are no better than the Serbs. And if the Greek military and administrative authorities in the Kostour and Lerin districts are behaving a little more leniently, it is because they themselves feel weaker. All this, taken together, greatly disturbs us.

The present war, which was undertaken, according to the Royal Manifesto of His Majesty, the Tsar of the Bulgarians, with the aim of liberating the enslaved Bulgarians, has so far brought a new slavery to the compact Bulgarian centres like ours. There are obvious examples which indubitably show that the Serbs and the Greeks are planning to remain the rulers of our purely Bulgarian districts forever. Serbian and Greek higher and lower officials and administrative bodies openly declare that they will not withdraw from the Bulgarian lands which they have occupied. Whoever dares express the hope that our districts will be united with Bulgaria, is being subjected to persecution. A teacher, named Lyutviev, was tortured to death in Prilep only because, at a party, he proposed a toast to the Tsar of the Bulgarians, and to his brave army. Mr.. Prime Minister, bringing the above-mentioned to your attention, we strong­ly believe that the honourable government of Bulgaria, which, to its honour and glory, took upon itself the hard and noble task of liberating the Bulgarians from the unbearable Turkish yoke, will do everything possible to save our dis­tricts from inevitably losing their national character. It should never be forgotten that all towns and villages under Serbian or Greek rule, will very soon be irretrievably assimilated. Whereas the mass emigration, which on such unfortunate occasions become imperative, will inevitaby again bring fresh unrest and disturbances to new Bulgaria instead of peace.

Bitolya, January 22, 1913
Most respectfully yours, for the Bulgarian citizens of Bitolya:
T. K. Tanev
L. P. Vassilev
Документи за противобългарските действия на сръбските и на гръцките власти в Македония през 1912-1913 година. Съобщава Л. Милетич, С., 1929, бр. 246-250; (Documents on the an­ti-Bulgarian activities of the Serbian and Greek authorities in Macedonia in 1912-1913. Reported by L. Miletich), Sofia, 1929, No. 246-250; the original is in Bulgarian.
A petition of the Central Committee of the Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization in Soloun
to the Prime Minister in Sofia,
appealing to the government not to leave the Bulgarian population in Macedonia under foreign rule again
January, 1913
To Mr.. I. E. Geshov,
Prime Minister  

Most honourable Mr. Prime Minister!

The aim of the church struggle, in which you yourself took part as a young man, was, as you know, to achieve the cultural unification of the Bulgarian peo­ple. The champions of the National Revival, consciously or instinctively, also paved the way for the resurrection of the old Bulgarian kingdom within its ethnic boundaries. And they were not deceived. Only five years after the es­tablishment of the Bulgarian National Church, the Exarchate, Н. М. the Tsar Liberator Alexander II and our brothers, the Russian people, moved by the suf­fering of the Bulgarians who were not then strong enough to destroy domination by themselves, declared the memorable War of Liberation ended with the San Stefano Peace Treaty.

As you know, under this treaty, almost all Bulgarian lands formed one political unit. But to our deep regret, there were European powers, which either out of selfish interest or the inability to foresee the future, frustrated San Ste-fano Bulgaria in Berlin.

San Stefano Bulgaria then became a nation-wide ideal to the Bulgarian people, and a bogey to Turkey, as well as to our Christian neighbours. From then on the so-called Slav danger constantly haunted the stealthy Greek, and he used all permissible and impermissible means to keep part of the Bulgarian nation under his spiritual oppression, and not to allow our political and cultural unification. A little later, Austria, in order to divert Serbia from her natural aspiration to draw Bosnia and Herzegovina within its boundaries, cunningly directed its attention to Macedonia. That is how fraternal Serbia also became the enemy of San Stefano Bulgaria. But Turkey was the greatest enemy of the political unification of the Bulgarian people because it was directly concerned. This is the reason for the persecution of the Bulgarians within the boundaries of the Ottoman Empire.

The unification of Eastern Roumelia with the Principality intensified Turkish suspicion, and the persecution of the Bulgarians assumed large-scale propor­tions. As the unification of the two parts of present-day Bulgaria upset the balance of power in the Balkans, our Christian neighbours grew even more alarmed, and Serbia embarked on the fratricidal war of 1885. After its failure in that war, it venomously attacked Bulgarian Macedonia, and its propaganda in our homeland was enthusiastically welcomed by the Turks. Greek propaganda was just as harmful to our national cause. Trying by all means to keep the Bulgarian settlements under the authority of the Patriarchate and to Hellenize them, it was at the same time doing the Turks a favour.

Thus, Mr. Prime Minister, all the peoples surrounding us opposed our cul­tural and political unification. As a result of this policy, the suffering of that part of the Bulgarian people, which was not yet liberated, became unbearable. The Macedonian Bulgarians, not able to react against the violence within the bounds of the law, resorted to underground activity, and laid the foundations of the revolutionary organization. Along with its legitimate defence the latter aimed at achieving the direct or indirect political unification of all Bulgarians by means of the autonomous stage. Because, as you know, Mr. Prime Minister, the principle of autonomy was a way of saving the integrity of Macedonia. All Bulgarian governments also worked in the same spirit until the proclamation of the Young Turk Constitution by supporting the reform international activities aimed at achieving autonomy.

But due to the circumstances, the unification of the Bulgarian people into one state will not pass through the autonomous stage. After the meeting in Reval, clearly aware of the fact that, sooner or later, an autonomous regime would be granted to Macedonia, and that it would pave the way for the political unification of the Bulgarian nation, the Turks proclaimed the Young Turk Constitution to frustrate unification. It marked the beginning of new trials for the Bulgarian people. You are acquainted, Mr. Prime Minister, with the op­pressive Young Turk policy which spared neither the Greeks in the Ottoman Empire, nor the Serbs in old Serbia. As a result of this cruel policy, the revolutionary organization resumed its armed struggle, which it had discon­tinued. Reducing the Bulgarians, Greeks and Serbs of Old Serbia to a common denominator, on the one hand, and the Albanian movement which put forward incredible claims on the ethnic boundaries of Albania, being encouraged by a Great Power and tolerated by certain Turkish circles, on the other, roused general fear in the Balkan states which united them. The obstacles this Great Power was to put in the way of the Balkan liberation cause could be foreseen even then.

Be that as it may, the jeopardized future of the Balkan states and the dif­ficult plight of their compatriots in Turkey caused the present war which ended in brilliant victories for Bulgarian arms. But the moment of the greatest joy marked also the beginning of a terrible anguish for the Bulgarian people. Due to the fact that our brave army kept the rear of our allies free by defeating the chief Turkish forces at Lyulé-Bourgas, and by stopping the Asian hordes at Chataldja, our allies were able to occupy two thirds of Macedonia without great efforts and losses to themselves. The temporary occupation of Bulgarian lands by Serbs and Greeks is not in itself a threat in an allied war such as the present one. What is actually worrying our people is the way the allies behave toward the Bulgarian population in the areas occupied by them. The old fear of San Stefane Bulgaria seems to have been roused in them with an even greater force. At any rate, the steps they have taken clearly speak of this. The Greeks are trying to Hellenize the Bulgarian districts held by them: those of Kostour, Kaylar, Lerin, Voden, Enidje (Vardar), of Soloun in part, and act as though they have no intention of withdrawing from them. The Serbs are doing the same. They are also trying to Serbianize the Bulgarian regions taken by them, and to take steps showing that they do not intend to withdraw from them either. They behave as if they were in lands occupied for ever, particularly the districts of Prilep, Kichevo, Debur. Skopje, Koumanovo, Veles, Tetovo, Gostivar.

All these regions, which are being oppressed by our allies today, have made and continue to make costly sacrifices for the unification of the Bulgarian people.

The present alarming situation in our regions occupied by the Greeks and Serbs has made us, Mr. Prime Minister, turn to you and beg you at these fateful times of responsibility, to continue supporting the unification of all Bulgarian outlying parts with the Bulgarian state by all the means at your disposal.

If this should fail, if purely Bulgarian lands should be left under Serbian and Greek domination, the population in them, forced to turn Greek of Serbian, with its national feelings hurt, will be compelled to resume its hard and unequal struggle for liberation. We have no doubt that the suffering of a part of the Bulgarian people will find a response, as it has hitherto, in new enlarged Bulgaria, and peace and tranquillity will not reign again in the kingdom, and consequently the heavy losses the entire Bulgarian people have suffered, es­pecially in the present War of Liberation, will not have fully achieved their aim. Confident that you are well aware of the great responsibility, we hope that you will not, at any price, sacrifice parts of the Bulgarian national body. In turn, we assure, you, dear Mr. Prime Minister, that we are ready to add all possible sacrifices to those already made by Macedonia in the course of many years, in order to achieve these all-Bulgarian aspirations.

Soloun,  January 1913
Sincerely and respectfully yours,
The Central Committee of the Internal Macedonian-
Adrianople Revolutionary Organization
(Seal of the Organization)
Документи за противобългарските действия на сръбските и на гръцките власти в Македония през 1912—1913 година. Съобщава Л. Милетич, С., 1929; "Documents on the anti-Bulgarian actions of the Serbian and Greek authorities in Macedonia between 1912 and 1913. Reported by L. Miletich, S., 1929, pp. 290-293; the original is in Bulgarian.
A petition from the leadership of IMRO's Skopje Revolutionary District to the Prime Minister in Sofia, I. E. Geshov,
dwelling on the Bulgarian character of the population in the Skopje region
and demanding that it should not be left under foreign rule
January 1913
Mister I. E. Geshov, Prime Minister

Esteemed Mr. Prime Minister,

We, the organized Bulgarians from the Skopje Revolutionary District, overwhelmed by that blessed feeling which the slave of five centuries experiences at the dawn of his freedom, greet through you our northern brethren for their unforgettable exploit - with their might they have resurrected the forgotten and abused justice in the Balkan Peninsula.

As sons of the same motherland, we are anxiously following the fateful events, and expect to see the cherished dream of an all-Bulgarian homeland and state come true. We do not want to be severed from that state, because the Skopje region, considered from all aspects, constitutes an integral part of the rest of the Bulgarian lands, and of Macedonia in particular. All impartial geographers, both foreign and ours, look upon the Skopje region as part of Macedonia. Even a perfunctory glance at the map is enough to show that the Skopje region is sharply separated from old Serbia by the Shar Mountain and the Zerna Gora Mountain, which serve as a watershed between the basin of the Danube and the Adriatic Sea, on the one hand, and the Aegean Sea, on the other. From the strategic point of view, Skopje dominates the entire Vardar valley, with which it is inseparably connected. When the Bulgarian kings ruled over Skopje, they were also the masters of the whole of Southwest Macedonia; when Dosan seized Skopje in the 14th century, Serbia soon conquered the whole of Macedonia. Skopje is an integral part of Macedonia also in terms of culture and geography. It is closely linked with Macedonia's centre, Soloun, and its exports and imports are carried out through Soloun.

Ethnographically, the Skopje region forms an entity with the rest of the Macedonian-Bulgarian population. Nowhere   else   are   there   more natural ethnographic borders between the Serbian and the Bulgarian peoples, as are here - the Shar Mountain and the Zerna Gora Mountain. In the Skopje region, and in the town of Skopje in particular, the Bulgarians constitute a com­pact mass characterized by a strong national consciousness. There are more Bulgarians in Skopje than in Prilep, Shtip, Veles, Bitolya, Ohrid and other Macedonian towns. Bulgarian has become the accepted language in trade and on the Skopje marketplace. Of the 38,000 Skopje inhabitants, some 20,000 are Bulgarians, and the rest are Turks and Albanians. Of the 50,000 inhabitants of Koumanovo and its vicinity, 35,000 are Bulgarians, and that according to a Serbian source. According to the recent census conducted by the Serbian authorities, in Koumanovo alone 1,194 households are Bulgarian, and 319 are Serbianized. Of the 80,000 inhabitants of Tetovo and Gostivar, 32,000 are Bulgarians.

Despite the fact that Skopje and the vicinity had been in Serbian hands for the longest period of time before they were conquered by the Turks, the Serbs failed to obliterate the Bulgarian character. Both the medieval and the most modern history of Skopje is mainly a Bulgarian history. There have been cultural achievements here of major importance for our National Revival long before the Exarchate was set up. In the age of dark oppression, even way back in the 16th century, Skopje had the Bulgarian bookshop of Kara Trifoun; as early as in 1816 Kiril Peichinovich of the village of Lesho began printing his Ogledalo (The Mirror) in the local 'Bulgarian' language. The Church of the Holy Virgin, which gained fame during the people's struggles, was built in 1835, and its firman states unequivocally that it is to serve the Bulgarians. The citizens of Skopje were the first to drive away a Greek bishop in the 'thirties of the 19th century, thus setting an example to be followed not only by the Bulgarians in Macedonia, but also by the Bulgarians in the present-day Kingdom. They took a most active part in the church struggles to the end, and the Skopje bishopric was among the first Macedonian bishoprics to be honoured with a Bulgarian bishop.

The Skopje region was also most active in the revolutionary struggles. From its very beginning, the revolutionary organization here acquired great proportions. The first notable affair was the Vinitsa one in 1897, owing to which revolutionaries from the entire Skopje sandjak suffered. The town of Skopje itself was the seat of the district committee. During the disarmament operation in Macedonia, the Young Turk authorities attacked Skopje with great fury and rage, because its population had the highest degree of Bulgarian national consciousness in the area. It was here that the revolutionary activities which had been suspended during the Hürriyet, were first resumed. The first bombings in 1910 took place at the Adjalar, Koumanovo and Boyanovtsi railway stations; the governor's office in Koinaré village, Skopje district, was destroyed with dynamite that same year.

In stating this, Mr. Prime Minister, we wish to remind the Bulgarian government - a reminder that is, probably, unnecessary to educated statesmen like yourself - that our region is an integral part of the rest of Bulgarian Macedonia and that, consequently, in the course of the present war, pursuing the liberation of the Bulgarian lands under Turkish domination, our region should not be forgotten either, and should not be left under a new foreign domination. It is to our deep regret, however, that very sad rumours have reached us, and they are constantly tormenting us. It is said that our region has been sacrificed, or that it will be sacrificed to the Serbs for their participation in the present war. The Serbs' conduct comes to support these rumours, and our fears are growing stronger. The Serbian authorities are settling down here as if for ever, and seem to be making a second Serbian capital out of Skopje. They cannot stand the Bulgarian name, and are constantly insulting our national feelings. And if we are putting up with the temporary outrages of the Serbian allies, we are doing so in the hope that there exists no Bulgarian government which would surrender to the Serbs a region like that of Skopje, which is so purely Bulgarian and nationally conscious; that there is not a single Bulgarian who would doom his own land to darkness and death, after so much blood has been shed.

We dare inform you, Mr. Prime Minister, that the Bulgarians in the Skopje region, who have made so many dear sacrifices, are ready to make new ones for the attainment of our national ideal - the unification of all Bulgarians with the Bulgarian Kingdom.

From the Administration of the Skopje Revolutionary District
(Seal of the Skopje Revolutionary District)
Документи за противобългарските действия на сръбските и на гръцките власти в Македония през 1912—1913 година. Съобщава Л. Милетич; (Documents on the anti-Bulgarian Activities of the Serbian and Greek Authorities in Macedonia in 1912-1913. Reported by L.Miletich), Sofia, J929, pp. 287-289; the original is in Bulgarian
A report from the church and school communes in Lerin and the district to I. E. Geshov, Prime Minister of Bulgaria,
on the situation of the Bulgarian population under Greek occupation
Lerin, January 20th, 1913

The emergency of the current historical situation in our region, the thought of our future national existence which has been tormenting us for four months, has made us bring to your attention, through our representatives -mayors and counsellors, the following request:

Far back in history, when the Bulgarian people formed a separate state and settled in the lands determined by God's will, our native land - the Lerin district, populated by pure Bulgarians in origin and language, was considered to be a Bulgarian region. As neighbours to our district we have the glorious Ohrid and Prespa - holy places of Old Bulgaria, and in the days when the Bulgarian scepter stretched to this side of the Rila Mountain, Lerin was always an in­separable part of the Bulgarian land as a whole.

At the time of the church struggles and the upsurge of the Bulgarian national spirit after the five century-long double bondage, Lerin, just as the other Bulgarian regions, responded to the call of the movement for an indepen­dent national church and school. Lerin has given great Bulgarian patriots and generous donors as the long-lived Dr Mishaykov from the village of Putelé, priests of the Bulgarian church, such as the highly erudite Metropolitan Panaret, born in the same village; it has also given self-educated scholars, followers of Paissi 's school, such as Gerassim, the monk of Athos from the village of Tursie, who left his cell in the Athos monastery in 1894 and went to his native village, founded a Bulgarian school, and with his numerous students lighted the torch of the Bulgarian national consciousness in three neighbouring districts: Lerin, Kostour and Prespa.

Lerin, the central town of the district, has been in the front ranks of the church struggles. Having passed as early as 1875 under the authority of the Holy Exarchate, later, under unfavourable circumstances it suffered a setback, and has recently made new efforts and sacrifices to bring its national character to the fore. In the Lerin district there are villages, such as Ekshi-Su, Putelé and Zeleniché, which are a credit to the Bulgarian national spirit in Macedonia because of their firm consciousness and unshakable Bulgarian feeling.

The population in our district most clearly expressed its national spirit and Bulgarian consciousness in the memorable turbulent revolutionary years, when the name 'Bulgarian' had to be defended at the risk of one's life, and to be in­scribed in martyr's blood in the annals of Macedonia. Without sullying the banner of the Macedonian Revolutionary Organization in the struggle against the five centuries of tyranny with the wild chauvinism inherent in the Greek and Serbian organizations, the Bulgarian population of the Lerin district, confident of its power and the justice of its cause, openly waged an unequal battle against the Turks and Greeks, who were united in their effort to erase the Bulgarian name from the bloody forehead of Bulgarian Macedonia. And when in the terri­ble year of 1903 all Bulgarians in that wretched land had to be wiped out with fire and sword, the Bulgarians in the Lerin district, who produced a Marko, mourning over their precious victims, their houses burnt to ashes and their fields desolate, fully showed their national spirit to spite their two-headed enemy. Instead of engendering passivity and wiping out the Bulgarian national traits from our region, the ill-fated revolution resulted in a new upsurge of the Bulgarian national spirit, and in a new triumph of the Bulgarian spirit in the Lerin district. And that insignificant Bulgarian minority with a non-Bulgarian consciousness hurried among the ashes of the unsuccessful revolution to take shelter under the protection of their own Holy Exarchate Church. Thus, we, the Bulgarians of Lerin, proved for the last time that we are linked not by artificial but by natural blood ties to the Bulgarian nationality.

And at the present critical moment, just as in the past, when we are faced with new temptations menacing our people and language, when we are again being lured to put on foreign masks, we still feel an inseparable part of the Bulgarian body, we all, as if by inspiration, feel Bulgarian more than ever -children of the Bulgarian people.

The enclosed table shows that the overwhelming majority of the popula­tion of our regions has been and continues to be Bulgarian to the present mo­ment. Out of a population of 60,027 we, the Bulgarian members of the Exarchate, number 32,140 people. The members of the Patriarchate numbering 12,075 people, are of various nationalities: 6,897 Bulgarians, 2,130 Wallachians, 3,020 Albanians, who, sooner or later, will acquire their natural character.

And this flourishing Bulgarian region, which has waged a heroic struggle for its national consciousness, which has produced Dr Mishaykov, Metropolitan Panaret, the Voyvoda Marko and others of the galaxy of fighters, today, when this region thought it was achieving its age-old sacred dream - un­ification with its free brother on the other side of the Rila - it sees itself in the hands of a government which, although allied to Bulgaria, is actually infected with hatred and venom for everything Bulgarian.

Although we are deeply convinced that this government is temporary, that the fraternal and great Bulgaria of today has embarked on the current War of Liberation in the name of the nation-wide Bulgarian ideal (San Stefano Bulgaria), and that for nothing in the world would it sacrifice flourishing and historical regions of the Bulgarian lands, such as those of Lerin, Kaylar, Kostour, Prespa, the very thought of it being suggested in the forthcoming talks on the partitioning of the Turkish inheritance that our district remain under another rule, a thought which is immensely tormenting our hearts, we con­sidered it our patriotic duty to ask you, Mr. Prime Minister, the government of tsarist Bulgaria, not to allow even a hint of leaving our native region under Greek rule, for the sake of the galaxy of the heroes who, having laid down their lives for the all-Bulgarian ideal, for the sake of their orphans, widows, old people bent with age, who, like the righteous Simeon, are waiting to see one Bulgarian soldier before they die in peace, in the name of the all-Bulgarian ideal, in the name of which the current War of Liberation is being waged, not to allow new suffering for us, the Bulgarians of the Lerin district, in which case we would have no choice but to leave our native homes and go to great Bulgaria, or to devote ourselves once more to bloody struggles against the enforced rule, in order to convince the whole world and fraternal Bulgaria that we deserve a better fate.

Deeply confident that our just fraternal voice will be heard, and that soon we, too, the residents of the Lerin district, will enjoy the happiness of joining the jubilation of our newly liberated brothers beyond the Vardar River, as citizens of new great Bulgaria, we remain most respectfully yours.

Signed by the mayors and counsellors on behalf of the town of Lerin and the villages belonging to the Greek Zone...
Head of the Exarchate,
(s) illegible
ЦПА, ф. 226, on. 1, a.e. 82, л. 6-7. Manuscript - copy
From the United Macedonian Emigration in Sofia to the Foreign Diplomatic Missions
Sofia, May 15th, 1913

During the last century, the Balkan Peninsula, till then a terra incognita to the wide foreign world, fully showed its genuine national character. The historical consciousness roused in these peoples inevitably resulted in their gaining national and political independence. The Serbian, Greek and Bulgarian states appeared, one after the other, on the territory of the internally dis­integrating Ottoman Empire as representatives of the three Christian nations in the Peninsula. However, European diplomacy, with whose cooperation these states were founded, did not at the time round off their national frontiers: regions with predominantly Greek, Serbian and Bulgarian population were left under the yoke of Turkish domination.

Macedonia, a predominantly Bulgarian region, was fated to suffer the most bitter fate from among these three parts of the Peninsula, varied in nationality, and left under Turkish rule. Greece, greedy for the Greek settlements scattered along the Macedonian coastline and using the power of the Greek Constantinople Patriarchate, and Serbia, which had given up all hope of regaining its compatriots to the west of the kingdom, turned their eyes to Macedonia and began forcing their own national character on the population by the most unscrupulous means. However, neither their efforts and violent ac­tions direct, or indirect - through the Turkish government - nor their gold, achieved their purpose: to the hardships suffered by the population from political oppression, they merely added trials inflicted upon them by Orthodox Christian states.

The Macedonian population found itself faced with a hard ordeal: it had either to efface its character and be on the safe side, or take up a strenuous struggle against the three united enemies and boldly bear the cruel blows of fate. Proud of its past, illumined by the bright, self-sacrificing personalities which it had born, the Macedonian population without hesitation took up the struggle and raised high its national flag so that the whole world could see and become convinced that it was, and would remain, Bulgarian in language, in consciousness, in feelings and in aspirations. And this struggle showed itself:

1) Against the organs of the Greek Patriarchate and those of the Greek Kingdom, in order to finish the process of the spiritual liberation and national independence, begun as far back as the first half of the past century, precisely in Western Macedonia.

2) Against Serbian propaganda, which, in spite of the support rendered it by the Turkish government so as to crush the Bulgarian might, could not achieve any results;

3) Against the State in order to improve the political situation of the coun­try. The revolutionary organization, which shook the foundations of the Turkish Empire in Europe and called forth European intervention, reforms and finally the Balkan War of liberation, was Bulgarian: Bulgarians shed their blood for the liberation of Macedonia, because only they cared for it as for a native land, while Serbia and Greece, foreigners to it, supported the Turkish domination and sent detachments, which united with the Turkish forces to persecute the fighters for freedom.

Thus, the clearly expressed national consciousness of the overwhelming majority of the Christian population of Macedonia could not but be acknowledged as a natural, given fact in scholarship, as well as in politics. And it has been established:

l) by the general opinion of foreigners travelling round Macedonia and by Slav scholars, that it is chiefly populated by Bulgarians;

2) by the Turks, who live there, and who in Macedonia recognize only Bulgarians and Greeks (the few of the latter who lived there) and by the Turkish State, through the 1870 Sultan's Firman on the establishment of a Bulgarian Exarchate, by the Law on the Contested Churches voted by Parlia­ment in 1910, and a number of other state acts;

3) by the Greeks who live there and who acknowledged only Vulgari, and by Greek propaganda, which did not acknowledge the Serbians in Macedonia, but did acknowledge the Bulgarians, though under the name of  'vulgarophoni';

4) by the fact that in everyday life the Bulgarian language has gained the upper hand among all foreign national minorities, including the Turks;

5) by the international Conference in Constantinople in 1876, which, having established that Macedonia was populated mainly by Bulgarians, in­cluded it in the proposed Bulgarian region;

6) by Russia, which, creating the Principality of Bulgaria under the Treaty of San Stefano of February 19, 1878, included in it the whole of Macedonia, as a Bulgarian land.

Given these obvious proofs of Macedonia's national character, all efforts by Greece and Serbia to change it forcibly were in vain, and so were almost all their attempts at misleading European public opinion on that issue in order to support and justify their political claims to that Bulgarian region. Martyred Macedonia longed for the time when these two Christian states would become reasonable and would stop harassing and tormenting it, when they would realize their proper national frontiers, and, in agreement with the Bulgarian Kingdom, would join together to achieve their national unification.

This is the reason why the Macedonian population welcomed with rapture the alliance of the Balkan states and the common war against the Turkish domination in the Balkans. Confidently seeing this war, the realization of their most cherished hopes for liberation from Ottoman bondage and for national unification, it rushed enthusiastically into the last bloody fight with the ancient enemy. Macedonia sent thousands of battle-tried men to join the allied army: part of them formed the Volunteer Corps, which performed miraculous exploits in the Thracian plains and on the coast of the Sea of Marmara, another part formed numerous detachments, and courageously fought the enemy, shoulder to shoulder with the Greek, Serbian and Bulgarian armies on the Macedonian heights. The entire Bulgarian population in Macedonia made things easier for them in the fulfilment of their task.

In that war, Bulgaria, due to its geographic location, had to direct its main forces towards Thrace where the enemy, too, had concentrated its main force which was constantly being reinforced by Asiatic hordes. The Bulgarian heroes struck and defeated the enemy in the Thracian valleys, and reached Chataldja and Gallipoli. The allied Serbian and Greek troops had the task of routing the weak and isolated enemy in Old Serbia, Epirus and part of Macedonia.

The Bulgarian population throughout Macedonia accorded a warm welcome to the Greek and Serbian units, and acted with utmost hospitality, opening the doors of its homes to them and offering them plenty to eat and drink. Indeed, it expected to see its sons and brothers, its compatriotic Bulgarian army as liberators, yet the absence of them did not prevent it from expressing its joy, because it knew that its freedom was being redeemed by Bulgarian blood at Lozengrad, Odrin, Lyulé-Bourgas, Chataldja and Boulair, and because it realized that the allied armies in Macedonia were fulfilling, on their part, their obligations towards the Alliance.

The war ended with a brilliant victory, but alas, the joy of the Macedonian population was short-lived.

The military and civil authorities in those parts of Macedonia which were taken by Greeks and Serbians very soon adopted a hostile attitude towards the population. Well aware of the fact that they were in a foreign country and having forgotten their obligations towards their allies, they immediately started to implement their old dreams by the most deplorable means, to force a whole people to renounce its name, its consciousness, its spiritual nature. The religious representatives of the Bulgarians in those parts - the bishops, archimandrites and priests - the Bulgarian teachers and "public figures, the voivodas and all fighters for freedom in that wretched land - became a target for abuse, ruthless persecution, arrests, beatings, and murders. Some dis­appeared without a trace. The Bulgarian church, the Bulgarian schools, and the Bulgarian name were persecuted everywhere and in the person of every Bulgarian. That unheard-of violation of the conscience of the Bulgarians was accompanied by an overt and systematic spoliation of their property and viola­tion of their family honour. Exposed to such cruel persecutions and plunder, the population was fully justified in considering its 'liberators' as even crueller enemies than the Turkish oppressors. It had looked forward to freedom and legal order after the war and had lived to see worse tyranny and arbitrariness.

This deplorable state of affairs, so clearly revealed and supported by facts in the foreign press and by foreigners - unbiased observers - corroborates the same old stark truth: the Greeks and Serbians themselves prove that Macedonia is a foreign country to them.

The behaviour of Bulgaria's allies, and especially that of the Serbs, fills us with deep indignation, and suggests to us the gloomy thought that they are plot­ting to assault our country and to appropriate our land.

The Balkan peoples are badly in need of a lasting peace after so many cruel battles, uprisings and wars during the past century. European diplomacy also wants peace in the Balkans, because the troubles are to the detriment of the cultural and economic interests of the Great Powers, and the spark of Balkan unrest is threatening to kindle a conflagration throughout Europe. That is why the Balkan War was started for the liberation of Bulgarians, Serbians and Greeks from the Turkish yoke, so that if every Balkan state had its citizens within its own natural boundaries, the unrest in the Balkan Peninsula would cease, and the nations would be able to concentrate exclusively on their cultural development. However, the behaviour of the Greek and Serbian authorities and their plans to settle permanently in the conquered Macedonian areas are making peace in the Balkans absolutely impossible.

The Bulgarian Macedonian population, which has proved by its valiant struggle for the preservation of its national identity and the realization of its political ideal, that it is not an inert mass, solemnly declares through its associated representatives from the whole of Macedonia:

1) That it does not recognize any contested areas within Macedonia's boundaries, for it has, a long time ago, defined and sealed its national physiognomy with the blood of its sons;

2) That it considers as its 'heart' those parts of Macedonia, which by a bitter irony of fate were conquered by the foreign allied troops;

3) That, in its well-defined and stable national identity, it indignantly rejects the idea that part of it should be treated as a pawn in political machinations aimed at gratifying foreign claims that are absolutely unjustified.

In view of this, the Macedonian population firmly believes and hopes:

1) That Bulgaria, which summoned Serbia and Greece to an allied war against the Turks and which, with its help, enabled their armies to inscribe vic­tories in their modern history, that Bulgaria, which bore the brunt of the war, which amazed the world with its army's heroism and which suffered the heaviest loss of human life, will not allow any amputation whatever to be per­formed on its national organism both in its own interests and in those of the coveted future peace among the Balkan states, and

2) That the other interested factors in the Balkans will not cooperate in raising artificial political boundaries between the Balkan states - boundaries, which could become the cause of future unrest and conflicts.

Sofia, May 15, 1913
There follow signatures, three for each brotherhood, namely: of Skopje, Koumanovo, Tetovo, Kichevo, Palanech, Kratovo, Debur, Demir Hissar, Ohrid, Strouga, Resen,'Bitolya, Kroushevo, Prilep, Veles, Kostour, Lerin, Embor, Tikvesh, Voden, Soloun, Enidje-Vardar, Syar, Koukoush, Razlog, Shtip, Nevrokop and Kochane districts.
Centre de Recherches et de documentation Balkanique, Roma (Italia), Cassela Postale 5030; thé original is in Bulgarian.
A report by the Greek company commander in Turlis, Syar district,
saying that in Lovcha the church services are being conducted in Bulgarian
October 29th, 1913

I have the honour to report that the commander of the military post in Lovcha informed me that in Lovcha the church services are being conducted in Bulgarian, since there is no priest who knows Greek, and the Greek church books, and he (the commander) issued an order forbidding church offices to be conducted in Bulgarian.

I recommended to the commander of the military post that he allow religious services for the inhabitants to continue as hitherto, until a new order is issued.

In view of all this, I beg you to assist in the settlement of this question.

Йордан поп Георгиев и Ст. Шишков, Българите в Серското поле, II изд., Пловдив, 1918. (Yordan pop Georgiev and S. N. Shishkov, The Bulgarians in the Valley of Syar, 2nd ed.), Plovdiv, 1918, p. 41; the original is in Greek.
A letter to the Greek bishop of Syar stating that the priest in the village of Lyahovo continues to hold services in Bulgarian
October 26th, 1913

I am well and wish you the same. On the day I left Singel, I started very early and I could not bid you good-bye, but since I am confident of your kindness, I am sure that you will not take this amiss. It seems that the priest in Lyahovo is making fun of religion without having respect for godly and saintly things. Since Your Grace gave orders for services to be held in Greek, he has gone on doing so in Bulgarian, pretending that he is ill, while, in actual fact, he is healthy.

What I have written to you, I have written out of friendship, since I had the honour of making your acquaintance. This priest must be replaced because he is a pure Bulgarian and he should feel your firm hand.

Йордан поп Георгиев и Ст. H. Шишков, Бълга­рите в Серското поле, II изд., Пловдив, 1918 г. (Yordan pop Georgiev and S. N. Shishkov, The Bulgarians in the Valley of Syar 2nd ed.), Plovdiv, 1918, p. 42; the original is in Greek.
From a report in the newspaper Radnicke Novine about the mutiny of young conscripts from Macedonia
who refused to take the oath at Kraguevac, Serbia
April 10th, 1914
Lined up in front of the barracks, the conscripts were mournful and sullen. They listened to the priest's patriotic speech in silence and with downcast eyes... Suddenly, there was a shout: 'We do not want to take the oath!' The entire battalion, to a man, refused to take the oath. Two platoons from the 1-3 regiment surrounded their 'newly-liberated brothers' with fixed bayonets.
The newspaper Radnicke Novine, April 17, 1914

We publish below the recollections of Konstantin G. Angelov of the town of St Nikole, a participant in the event.
The document is kept by the Centred Archives of Military History in Veliko Turnovo,

'Bulgaria lost the Balkan War, which it undertook for the liberation of Macedonia, yet it did not lose the hearts of its compatriots. The injustice in­flicted both on Bulgaria and on Macedonia caused much bitterness in the heart of every Bulgarian, and gave rise to a conspiracy of revenge, which was passed from person to person only with glances.

A new slavery began, this time under the Serbs and Greeks, more dreadful than the Turkish domination, but at the same time the Macedonian Bulgarians began a new, much more determined resistance.

The time came for drafting conscripts from Macedonia for the first time. The call-up lists were made.

The first draft of Macedonian young men was made in March 1914 by the respective regimental districts, from whence the conscripts were sent to various towns within the old Serbian borders.

The Shtip regimental district sent its conscripts to the town of Kraguevac. That was no accident; everything had been well thought out: Shtip, the stronghold of the Bulgarian national spirit, was the counterpart of Kraguevac-Shoumadia - a stronghold of the Serbian national spirit. The Serbs must have expected to be able to melt the consciousness of the Macedonian young men in the Shoumadian cauldron, and extract pure Serbs from that mass. Time soon showed them that 'ONE CANNOT EXTINGUISH WHAT IS INEXTINGUISHABLE!'

We departed from Shtip for Veles on March 23, 1914. On the next day we arrived by train at Kraguevac. From the station, we were billeted in taverns, because the barracks had not yet been prepared, probably they were still being repaired. There we spent two days. During that time, our people showed whatever talent they had - they played, sang, danced, etc. - things conscripts usually do in order to kill time.

Two days later, we were taken to the barracks. There were four barracks in Kraguevac in those days, three of them big, new, modern buildings, and an old one, with long eaves, which dated back to the times of the Turks. Two of the new barracks were on the left bank of the Lepenitsa river, and the old barracks and the new engineering barracks were on the right bank. On the day after our arrival, we were issued new uniforms, and were divided into units. All the conscripts in Kraguevac, some 1,200 men, formed a regiment called the 23rd Bregalnitsa Pouk (Regiment). The majority of the young men assigned to it were mainly from Shtip and its district, St. Nikole-Ovchepolia, Veles and its district, and a small number were from Doiran, Gevgeli, etc. The four bat­talions, as the Serbs called them, that were formed within the same regiment, were stationed in each of the four barracks. The commanders of the army, and respectively of our regiment, battalion, company and platoon, were as follows:

War Minister General Terzic;
Regiment Commander and Chief of the Garrison, Lieutenant Colonel Danilo Kalafatovic, a graduate of the Italian General Staff Academy;
Commander of 2nd Battalion, Major Bozhidar Zavoric;
Company Commander, Capt. 1st Class Dushan Panic;
1st Platoon Commander, 2nd Lieutenant Tihomir Dobrichanac;
2nd Platoon Commander, 2nd Lieutenant Arangel Stefanovic;
Sergeant Major, Sreten Penezic;
Group Commander, Corporal Stoyadin Milosavlievic.

We were immediately given the soldiers' oath of allegiance, on mimeographed sheets, and we were ordered to learn it by heart by the day on which we were to take the oath.

On the second day that we were in uniform, we were taken to an (im­provised) theatre performance - a plot from their heroic times, and we marched through the main street of the town. The citizens were noticeably sur­prised by the fine ranks we made, by the regular beat, as we sang Bulgarian marching songs, such as 'The Quiet White Danube', 'He Is Alive, He Is Still Alive', etc. It was a sensation for them to see conscripts marching in step from the very first day.

During the lectures, we studied the oath of allegiance, since every soldier was supposed to know it. When examined, however, no one said he knew it, for they had no desire to learn it, let alone say it. This riled them, but we claimed that we did not understand Serbian.

April 10 ofthat same year (1914) was announced as oath-taking day for the first conscripts from 'South Serbia' (as the Serbs had begun to call Macedonia).

That same day, April 10, 1914, Sunday, which was clear and sunny, after church, the conscripts stood in a square on the parade ground for the 1st and 2nd battalion (on the left bank of the Lepenitsa river) and in the middle there was a lectern, around which stood the priests and the officers, all in full dress (in those days all officers from majors up wore epaullettes), top administration officials, and foreign representatives from Belgrade, invited for the occasion, and all the citizens.

The order was given to stand to attention! The band played the national anthem 'God's Justice...' and afterwards the hymn 'How Glorious...' Accor­ding to the established regulations in the Serbian Army, the soldiers had to raise their right hands, with three fingers extended to make the sign of the cross, and to pronounce aloud the soldiers' oath of allegiance, word for word after the archimandrite (the bishop's representative): 'I, (followed by the name and sur­name) swear to the Almighty God that I shall truly serve King Peter the First...'

THE DECISIVE MOMENT HAD ARRIVED! IN AN INSTANT THE AIR WAS RENT BY A DEAFENING HURRAH! WE WILL NOT HAVE IT! WE ARE NOT SERBS! etc., etc. Despite the command 'Attention!', the soldiers' ranks were broken and confusion set in. There was indescribable chaos. All those present were taken aback and surprised. Enraged, the officers, their sabres drawn, swung about and hit at us, but to no avail - the confusion increased more and more. The townsfolk: men, women and children, panicked, looked furtively about and ran, stumbling over one another, falling, rising, thronging and screaming with horror, 'Yao kuku mené', etc., shouts they make to express horror, fear and despair.

It was a sight of a veritable mutiny, yet one rarely seen, for it was happening in public, before officials, before foreign representatives, and before all the citizens, in a ceremonial atmosphere, and in broad daylight.

In a short while, the townsfolk ran home, bruised and battered, by one another, and by the horror which had seized them: 'The eyes of fear are big'. Left on the 'battleground' were only the mutinous conscripts, an armed Serbian platoon (it should be noted that we, conscripts, were completely unarmed), the officers and officials.

The conscripts, pursued by the armed Serbian platoon and the officers with their sabres drawn, were scattered on the parade ground in disorder - they attacked us and beat us up, while we, with bare hands, shielding ourselves from the blows, were expanding th circle.

The chaos would have continued but for an order of the regiment com­mander for the officers to gather around the lectern, and for the armed Serbian platoon to withdraw. After the latter's withdrawal, evidently for fresh instruc­tions, the commotion subsided - everyone stood right where he was.

The officers returned to us, but desisted from lashing out again, despite their anger, for fear of exacerbating the situation. They began to gather the soldiers, and make them form ranks. The only exception was the commander of the 2nd Battalion, Major Bozhidar Zagorcic, a huge man, who was hitting every soldier in his battalion, asking each one 'Do you accept?' and following each answer in the negative 'I do not!' with-a stunning blow that could even kill a man. He received an answer in the negative from 18 courageous young men, who were immediately taken aside, and marched to the garrison prison.

Our aim had been accomplished. What we wanted to show the Serbs and the foreign representatives - that we are not Serbs, as they presented us to the outside world, and that we did not want to pledge allegiance to the Serbian state, this we had demonstrated in this case, before their very eyes.

They made us fall into ranks again, and they stood in front of us. Once again they tried to give the 'ceremony' an official appearance. The band played the anthem and 'How Glorious' once again. The archimandrite on the lectern said the oath, all by himself, for we all remained silent. Then he made a speech, in which he expressed regret at our having succumbed to 'Bulgarian propagan­da' and said that we had been misled, that we were true Serbs, and some other well-known 'arguments' of theirs.

After the end of the ceremony, we were marched back into the barracks. A real reign of terror began here. The officers from the whole battalion rushed into the barracks to beat us up with whips, and fists, and to shout in order to discover who the initiators of the mutiny had been. This is all they did till night­fall: they beat us up, threatened us, and interrogated the soldiers one by one. They became furious that all soldiers gave one and the same reply: 'I did not shout, and my comrades around me were silent, we did not know what was happening!' Some of the officers were further enraged by the same answers, and said 'Sons of bitches, there was a hell of a noise, and now you say you were quiet. Who made the noise then? Was it us?'

The great efforts of the Serbian officers did not lead them to the desired result - no one betrayed any one. This event was the greatest test for the Macedonian young men, which proved their maturity and endurance in defen­ding their national honour.

This was followed by days of strict confinement and Ш treatment, abuse, denigration, irony, etc., which only went to show that they were as alien to us as we felt them to be. This made us even prouder and bolder, and our self-confidence became even higher.

The soldiers were drilled about a kilometer outside the barracks, in a place called Stanovlyansko Pole. Every day, they would take the 18 courageous young men who had enfuriated the 2nd Battalion Commander Bozhidar Zagor­cic out of prison and bring them there to identify the initiators of the mutiny. We were being drilled in groups often. We were ordered to stand to attention. The Captain who led the prisoners, the so-called garrisoner, would point a finger at each of the soldiers standing at attention, and would ask: 'Was he the one?' The reply of the prisoners was, 'No it was not him!' In this manner, they went from person to person, but the result was always 'No, it was not him!' This harassment was repeated every day until the war with the Austro-Hungarian; Empire was declared in July 1914 (The First World War). These unfortunates (18 men) were subjected to terrible torture in prison. They were put into cells, and water was left to drip on their heads, together with other tor­tures that the satanic genius of the Serbs could devise, yet NO ONE BETRAYED ANYTHING.

How much we were intimidated by these tortures can be seen from the fact that at evening roll-call we continued to answer with the Bulgarian 'az' (I), instead of the Serbian 'ya'. The Serbian (Commanders) were enraged, but we went on doing it nevertheless. On marching out to drill from the barracks, towards Stanovlyansko Pole out of town, we always sang Bulgarian marching songs, including 'He Is Alive, He Is Still Alive' and 'The Quiet White Danube' without fail. The children in the streets, and on the balconies, would call their parents to hear 'the Bulgarians sing'.

They introduced the study of religion at the barracks, taught by priests; evidently, they were trying to influence us through the church.

The declaration of the First World War finally put an end to these trials.

OUR REGIMENT WAS DISBANDED. Our rifles were taken away, packed in their original crates, and sent somewhere by train. We, the soldiers, were sent on, in battalions, GUARDED LIKE PRISONERS OF WAR BY ARMED SERBIAN TROOPS, to the following towns: our 2nd Battalion to the town of Krushevats, to join King Lazar's 12th Regiment, and the other three battalions to the towns of Zaichar, Nish and Valievo.

On arriving in Krushevac, we were immediately marched to the barracks. In front of them, there were newly-mobilized Serbian reservists. They fell into ranks, and so did we. Two by two, we were taken out of our ranks, and were mixed with ten Serbs. Thus, we lost our comrades in various units. The Serbs did not trust us to leave us by ourselves. After we were mixed in this manner, we were issued rifles and bullets in the cartridge-belts, for the first time ever (while in Kraguevac, we were never issued bullets for the cartridge belts. During shooting practice, the corporals would give us a bullet at a time, and after shooting it, we would have to return the cartridge in order to receive another one).

From Krushevac, we left for the front lines, in the direction of Shabats. A new page was opened there, with new trials, which are the subject of another tale.


The following conscripts from St Nikole took part in the mutiny: Stoyan Manev, Stoyko Aleksiev Zabuhchiiski, Hristofor Veselinov, Vlade Baba-Dostin, Yordan Yosifov, Iliya Ordev, Tasse Panev, Vane Boikovski, Gyoshe Chakurov, Pane H. Nemanichki, Tode Sarchievski and Konstantin G. Angelov (the author of these recollections).

Of the above-mentioned conscripts, Iliya Ordev died in the town of Kraguevac, while Stoyan Manev, a young and sprightly youth, and Hristofor Veselinov disappeared without a trace.'

(signed) Konst. G. Angelov
ЦВИА — Велико Търново, фонд 42 м, on. I, дело 284, л.л. 1 — 6 (Central Archives of Military History -Veliko Turnovo); the original text typewritten in Bulgarian.
A  report by the police in Gorni Poroi to the police station in Demir Hissar asking that
Bulgarian priests be forbidden to hold services in Gorni Poroi

December 18th, 1914
I have the honour to report that the priests Stoyan and Angel, chismatics until recently and now Orthodox are here. The first has sent all his children and relatives to Bulgaria, and the second - his entire family, his wife and many relatives. Since the Greek authorities gave them permission to be priests, I ask you to interfere and have their permission withdrawn; since in the course of their work, they freely enter the suspect houses and, after what I have stated, there is no doubt that they are engaged in subversive activity and that, with their priest's clothes, they influence the congregation strongly. Also, it is worth noticing that the Bulgarian-speaking population here have never asked a Greek priest to take the services, but always the above-mentioned priests, who, as I say, were Bulgarians under Turkish rule.
Йордан поп Георгиев и Ст. Н. Шишков, Бълга­рите в Серското поле, II изд., Пловдив, 1918 г., (Yordan pop Georgiev and St. N. Shishkov, The Bulgarians in the Valley of Syar, 2nd éd.), Plovdiv, 1918, pp. 45 46; the original is in Greek.
Excerpt from the book The Carnegie Report 1 which states that the population of Macedonia is taking an active part in
the liberating struggles of the Bulgarian people, and that in the period following the Berlin Congress,
an extensive revolutionary movement developed among the Macedonian Bulgarians

The part played by Russia in the liberation of Bulgaria is sufficiently well known. It is much less well known that this liberation was preceded in 1878 by a national movement on the spot. Of this we have spoken already in connection with the peaceful struggle carried on by the Exarchate against the Phanariot Greeks. It was accompanied by a revolutionary movement whose aim was the independence of Bulgaria. As in Servia and in Greece at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the movement found allies among the semi-brigand, semi-revolutionary mountain chiefs, known as haidouks. The principal leaders, the 'apostles' of the movement, however, were revolutionaries of a more modern type, intellectuals whose education had frequently been acquired in foreign schools and universities. The generation of the 'apostles' declared against the older methods of conflict, the ecclesiastical methods adopted by the chorbajis, or nabobs of the Bulgarian colony at Constantinople. The people were with the apostles, and the era of insurrections began, bringing in its train the Turkish atrocities which Gladstone revealed to the civilized world. The Macedonian Bulgarians shared in this movement as well as the Bulgarians of Bulgaria proper. It was quite natural that the close of the Russo-Turkish war should see arising the idea of an 'undivided Bulgaria', conceived within the limits of the treaty of San Stefano and including all the populations in Turkey regarded by themselves as Bulgarian. The protestations of Servian nationalism were stifled by the Servians themselves, for they, like Mr. Verkovic, had recognized all the countries enclosed within the boundaries of the Bulgaria of the future, imagined by Count Ignatiev, as traditionally Bulgarian.2

The fate of the treaty of San Stefano is familiar. The principality of Bulgaria was dismembered, and Macedonia remained in the hands of the Turks. This was the origin and cause of all subsequent conflicts. 'Undivided Bulgaria', tsiélo coupna Boulgaria, became in future the goal and the ideal of Bulgarian national policy. Turkey replied by favoring minorities. An internal conflict followed by the use of means of which the late war has given an ap­palling example. From this time on there was no more security in Macedonia. Each of the rival nations - Bulgarian, Greek, Servian, counted its heroes and its victims, its captains and its recruits, in this national guerrilla warfare and the result for each was a long martyrology. By the beginning of 1904 the number of political assassinations in Macedonia had, according to the English Blue Book, reached an average of one hundred per month. The Bulgarians naturally were the strongest, their bands the most numerous, their whole militant organization possessing the most extensive roots in the population of the country. The government of the Bulgarian principality had presided in the origination of the Macedonian movement in the time of Stefan Stambolov (about 1895). There was, however, always a divergence between the views of official Bulgaria which sought to use the movement as an instrument in its foreign policy, and those of the revolutionaries proper, most of them young people enamored of in­dependence and filled with a kind of cosmopolitan idealism.

The Report of the International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars. Carnegie, Endowment for International Peace, London, 1914, p.31, 32; the original is in English.
1 The Inquiry into the causes and conduct of the Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913, was sponsored by the Irish philantropist Andrew Carnegie. The following leading public figures and scholars took part in the inquiry: Dr Josef Redlich, Professor of Public Law at the Vienna University; Baron d'Estournelles de Constant, Senator of France, and Justin Godart, lawyer, member of the Chamber of Deputies; Walther Schucking, Professor of Law at the Marburg University; Francis Hirst, editor of The Economist, and Dr H. N. Brailsford, journalist from Great Britain; Professor Paul Milyukov, member of the Duma in Russia, and Dr Samuel T. Dutton, Professor in Teachers' College, Columbia University, USA. A book of documents was published as a result of the Inquiry.
2 It should be added that the ethnographic boundaries of Bulgaria, including therein Macedonia, were, previous to the treaty of San Stefano, indicated in the Minutes of the Conference at Constantinople in 1876. (See the debates of December 11/23). The treaty of San Stefano as agreed upon between Russia and Turkey was, as is known, modified in essential respects and remade by Berlin agreement, which divided this ethnographic Bulgaria in three parts: (i) The Principality of Bulgaria; (ii) The vassal province of Eastern Roumelia; (iii) The Turkish province of Macedonia.
A letter from priest Peter to the Greek bishop in Melnik stating that the captain in the village of Kroushevo
has mercilessly beaten the priest
Theodor because he held services in Bulgarian
June 16th, 1915

On the 14th of the same month, I was in Kichevo and, in the evening when I returned to the village of Kroushevo, I learnt that the captain of the unit here had arrested the Bulgarian priest Theodor and had beaten him mercilessly. I went to see him yesterday in order to find out about this event and he told me the following:

That same Sunday, early in the morning, the priest Theodor had been in­vited by a woman, a relative of his, to read prayers to her in church after the service. He went to the church of the Holy Virgin at the cemetery and read prayers to this woman, but inside the church there were many other women. Priest Ioakim heard about the prayers that priest Theodor had read and he reported him to the captain for reading in Bulgarian. The captain immediately sent soldiers, who brought the priest to his office and he beat him mercilessly; after that he called the women who had been in the church when he had read the prayers and questioned all of them as to whether he had read in Bulgarian or in Greek. All women said that he had read in Greek and not in Bulgarian. After the captain found out that it had all been the result of intrigue and hatred, he held the priest in custody for three hours and then let him go.

I inform you about it, Your Grace, and remain with deep respect towards Your Grace.

Йордан поп Георгиев и Ст. Н. Шишков, Бълга­рите в Серското поле, II изд., Пловдив, 1918 г. (Yordan pop Georgiev and S. N. Shishkov, The Bulgarians in the Valley of Syar, 2nd ed.), Plovdiv, 1918, p. 46; the original is in Greek.
From the memoirs of Dr Hristo Tatarchev on the foundation and aims
of the Internal Macedonian Adrianople Revolutionary Organization


Not long after I had come back from my trip, towards the middle of August, Damyan Grouev came to my surgery. He had recently come in Soloun during the summer as a substitute for Nikola Naoumov, later the editor of the newspaper 'Pravo', and had become a proofreader in Semerdjiev's book shop. He had come to me for medical treatment as he had eczema on his left ear. On this occasion, we spoke about my patients, what kind of people visited me, and we passed on to the problems of the Exarchate, then to general questions. It transpired that we had many things in common. After a week, Grouev again came to see me, using as a pretext his ailment, which was already clearing up. And again he spoke about public questions. I was more definite, but he, on the contrary, was deliberately restrained; it was obvious that he was hiding something which could be deduced from his words, but he had not mustered courage enough to speak openly about it. I must say that the very first time I saw him I noticed the sly smile which accompanied his question as to whether I had much work or not. In general, his tactics of cunningly working his way to his aim from afar, even when there was no need for this, as in my case, did not impress me favourably and even made me cold towards him. At our second meeting I told him that my decision to come to Macedonia, where there was as yet not a single Bulgarian doctor, said enough about my views. Grouev, smiling again but obviously pleased with me, said good-bye, pressing my hand and asking me when we should meet again. Not long after, Grouev visited me again, but this time we talked more frankly of the activity which we, as Bulgarians, had to carry out in order to improve the political position of our nation. We discussed the problem of recruiting other comrades by talking with them in advance. Grouev decided to do this himself. On October 23rd, 1893 the first meeting of a larger group of people was held in the room of the book-shop owner Ivan Hadji Nikolov on Cheleby Bakal Street. In the group, apart from myself, there were Grouev, Poparsov, Hadji Nikolov, Andon Dimitrov (a teacher of Turkish in the High School, I think he was born in the village of Ayvatovo), Hristo Bostandjiev (from Gyumendje, at that time teacher in the primary school and after that secretary to the Metropolitan bishop; he perished together with archbishop Evlogi in 1913, thrown into the sea by the Greeks). There were only six of us. We exchanged ideas on the future political work and decided that each of us would try to influence other people and persuade them to work for the same cause, so that organized public activity could be prepared. The group formed a society along these lines, without any minutes and without electing a leading body, i.e., chairman, etc.

At this meeting, we did not work out any formalities, such as taking an oath or anything else of the sort, to make the members consider themselves per­sonally obliged to work for the cause. But we parted convinced that a serious and difficult task was facing us in the future. We decided to work jointly among our friends and each of us tried to take advantage of the sojourn in Soloun of teachers, artisans, priests and merchants coming from the provinces in order to propagate our ideas among them. Thus we proceeded up till the end of 1893.At the beginning of 1894, during the holidays, the above-mentioned six people met again before Epiphany in the room of Andon Dimitrov (opposite the house of brothers Damyanov, a former Bulgarian guest-house) in order to lay the foun­dations of a revolutionary organization. We discussed the aims of this organization at length and later we settled on the autonomy of Macedonia, with the predominance of the Bulgarian element. We could not accept the principle of the 'direct unification of Macedonia with Bulgaria' because we could see that this would be opposed by the Great Powers and by the aspirations of the small neighbouring states and Turkey. It came to our minds that an autonomous Macedonia could later be more easily united with Bulgaria, or, if this could not be achieved, it could be the uniting link of a federation of the Balkan peoples. The district of Odrin, as far as I remembered, did not enter into our programme at the beginning, and I think that later we thought of including the area as a part of an autonomous Macedonia. After we had decided what the aims of our organization would be, at the same meeting we attempted to work out the Statute of our organization. We had a volume of the 'Notes' by Zahari Stoyanov and used them as a model for the Statute of the 'Bulgarian Revolutionary Committee'. We asked Poparsov to work out a draft Statute on the basis of this statute. At the same meeting we discussed in detail the name of the revolutionary organization and of the committee. We wasted much time on this problem, and, finally, as far as I remember, we decided to call it the 'Macedonian Revolutionary Organization' and the committee - the 'Central Macedonian Revolutionary Committee' with the initials 'C.M.R.B.' At other meetings the Statute was finally adopted by the same six of us. After that, we formed the Central Committee, in accordance with the Statute. I was elected Chairman, Damyan Grouev - secretary and treasurer. Afterwards there began the practical organizing of the revolution, which went ahead very quickly.

Материали за историята на македонското освободително движение, кн. IX, ' Първият централен комитет на ВМРО. Спомени на д-р Хр. Татарчев, София, 1928 г., (Materials on the History of the Macedonian Liberation Movement,vol. IX. The First Central Committee of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization. Memoirs by Hristo Tatarchev), Sofia, 1928, pp. 100-103; the original is in Bulgarian.

A protest by the Macedonian Bulgarians against the views of the Dutch-Scandinavian Committee,
which organized the International Socialist Conference on Balkan Issues in Stockholm

December 27th, 1917

Mr. Chairman,

The Manifesto, in which the Dutch-Scandinavian Committee submits to the world its formula for the attainment of peace, deeply affects the destiny of the Bulgarians in Macedonia. The signatories on behalf of the latter deem it their supreme duty to raise their voice in protest against the proposal for the solution of our question which is as unnatural, as it is inexpedient.

One of the foundations of the afore-said manifesto is the formula adopted from the Russian Revolution: peace without annexations, but with the right of the peoples to self-determination. However, to our great regret and astonish­ment, the afore-said Committee has proposed a solution to the Balkan conflicts which completely runs counter to the foundations already laid. Thus it proposes the restoration of Serbia, united with Montenegro, and Serbia being granted all Western Macedonia, together with the Vardar River, which would connect it with the Aegean, while Bulgaria would be left with the lands east of the Vardar.

The century-long sufferings of our land in the remote and recent past, its present, and the need to establish conditions conducive to a lasting peace - all this raises a loud voice of protest against a solution which is fraught with new trials and sacrifices for our people. The Macedonian land has been, is, and should remain nationally and politically undivided from the rest of the Bulgarian lands. It has this right by virtue of its past as the cradle of Bulgarian enlightenment in times of yore, and, in modern times, by virtue of its epic struggles for the establishment and maintenance of a powerful Bulgarian state which would include all the lands inhabited by Bulgarians within its borders. In former times, Macedonia gave the Bulgarian people and the entire Slav world the Slavonic-Bulgarian alphabet and the first books through which that language became the language of religion and literature for the entire Bulgarian people. The westernmost Macedonian city, Ohrid, was the first Bulgarian hearth of enlightenment, thanks to the brilliant work of St Clement of Ohrid (916); furthermore, Ohrid was the capital of the Old Bulgarian tsars and the seat of the Bulgarian Patriarch.

In more recent times, it was again in Macedonia that the revival of the Bulgarian people began: it was here that the first spark was kindled to awaken the Bulgarians - Paissi's Bulgarian History (1762); it was here that the first Bulgarian books were written in a purely Bulgarian language by Hadji Yoakim Kurchovski of the town of Kichevo (1816) and by Kiril Peichinovich from Tetovets (1817).

It was here that the first Bulgarian printing shop was opened in 1838 by the archimandrite Hadji Theodosi (of Doiran), first in the village of Vatosha, Tikvesh district, and later in Soloun; it was the birthplace of the first Bulgarian pedagogue, Neofit Rilski of Bansko, and of the first collection of folk songs, by the Miladinov brothers of Strouga. The Macedonian Bulgarians were also the first to raise the ecclesiastic issue of the restoration of the old indepen­dent Bulgarian church, and that, precisely in Skopje, in 1828. Afterwards, that struggle gradually expanded and achieved nation-wide proportions, thus for­cing both the Greek Patriarchate and the Turkish government to make concessions; the Greek Patriarch Gregorius VI published the celebrated proposals of 1867, according to which the borders of the Bulgarian church were moved West to Lake Ohrid; on the other hand, the Turkish government issued a fir­man on the setting up of the Exarchate in 1872. Even in those times, i.e. prior to the formation of the Bulgarian Principality, and what is more, on the basis of a plebiscite, the Skopje and Ohrid bishoprics received Bulgarian dioceses.

The militant spirit of the Macedonian Bulgarians has also found expres­sion in a series of dangerous struggles of a political nature, in which they, with their suffering and blood, brilliantly cemented their unity with the Bulgarian people from the other parts of the common Bulgarian homeland. During the two conquests - under Byzantine and under Turkish rule - the Bulgarians in these parts, no less than the rest of their brethren, put up both passive and armed resistance to the foreign political power up to the attainment of freedom and unification. Thus, in the 11th century, the Macedonian Bulgarians, headed by Tsar Samuil’s grandson, Peter Delyan, and centered in Skopje, rose up in arms, defeated and drove out the Byzantine forces and re-established their own rule. In the 19th and the 20th centuries, the revolutionary movements of the Macedonian Bulgarians wrote a great blood-soaked page in the history of Europe and have become well-known to European diplomacy and European public opinion: the Kresna Uprising broke out in 1878; the Ohrid and Prilep Conspiracies were discovered in 1881 and 1882, respectively, and from 1895, up to the outbreak of the Balkan War, Macedonia was the theatre of constant and systematically organized revolutionary movements which produced in­numerable selfless heroes in every village and town, like Delchev of Koukoush, Grouevof Smilevo village (Bitolya district), Boris Sarafov of Nevrokop, Chekalarov of Kostour district, Apostol Voivoda of Enidje district, Ivan Karasoulski of Gevgeli district, Ouzounov of Ohrid, Sougarev of Bitolya, P. Toshev of Prilep, Razvigorov of Shtip, Popyordanov of Veles, Vassil Adja-larski of Skopje and thousands upon thousands of fighters, both dead, and living.

Most prominent among these rebel movements was that of 1903, which embraced all Macedonia, and which was most powerful in Macedonia's western parts - in the districts of Bitolya, Ohrid, Resen, Lerin, Kostour, Prilep, Kroushevo and Kichevo - precisely the places which the Dutch-Scandinavian Committee is condemning to the Serbs' alien, and therefore cruel, regime. The long and persistent revolutionary struggles in which Macedonia gave so many victims, had their culmination point in the last three wars waged by free Bulgaria, which had one single objective: the freedom of Macedonia and the unification of the Bulgarian people. Tens of thousands of Macedonian Bulgarians took part as volunteers in the first two wars of liberation - the First and the Second Balkan Wars - and, during the latest, the European war, these men formed entire volunteer divisions.

The Macedonian Bulgarians' revolutionary struggle for freedom con­tinued even during the three-year rule of the Serbs in Macedonia. We shall pass over the series of battles waged against Serbian military units by the Koumanovo voivoda, Krusto Lazarov, the Veles voivoda Vlade Slankov, the Resen voivoda, Krusto Lyondev, etc. Suffice it to mention two major revolutionary events. Namely: in the autumn of 1913, two months after the Bucharest Treaty, a rebel movement broke out in Ohrid, Strouga and Debur, under the leadership of P. Chaoulev (born in Ohrid) and M. Matov (born in Strouga), which succeeded in defeating the .Serbian garrisons and in temporari­ly establishing a local Bulgarian revolutionary administration. Early in 1915 the big local revolutionary armed detachments defeated the Serbian military units in the Demir Kapi Gorge and blew up the biggest bridge over the Vardar. In addition, the Macedonian conscripts, recruited by the Serbian military authorities by force, took the first available opportunity to run away to their brethren in free Bulgaria and they immediately joined the ranks of the Bulgarian army; others, as was the case in Kraguevac, refused to swear allegiance to the Serbian King and preferred to be shot while chanting: 'Long live united Bulgaria and the Tsar of the Bulgarians!'

Thanks to such efforts and struggles by the Bulgarian people, its rights and ethnic borders have come to be recognized by the international authorities of the whole of Europe, by Turkish legislation, and even by our enemies themselves, the Serbs.

Among these acts, suffice it to mention the following:

1. The Turkish government's Firman (decree) on the establishment of the Bulgarian Exarchate of 1872.

2. The Constantinople European Conference of 1876, which included Macedonia into the proposed Bulgarian region.

3. The San Stefano Treaty of 1878, under which the whole of Macedonia was included in the new Bulgarian state, and

4. The Murzsteg Programme on reforms in the lands where the great up­rising of 1903 occurred.

Among the admissions on the part of our enemies, the Serbs, we shall mention:

1. All Serbian literature from Serbia's Liberation up to 1870, which literature unequivocally mentions solely Bulgarians in Macedonia, and does not mention any Serbs;                      

2. The Serbian people's and the Serbian government's acquiescence in the setting up of the Bulgarian Exarchate and the new Western Bulgarian region, as proposed by the Constantinople  European Conference, with that region covering all of Macedonia as well;

3. The 1867 Protocol, approved by the Serbian government and by the Bulgarian Revolutionary Committee of that time, under which protocol Macedonia was included in the Bulgarian state then envisaged.

4. The Serbian Socialist Party's latest memorandum to the Dutch-Scandinavian Committee, which unequivocally recognizes the fact that the nucleus of the Serbian people lies between the Morava River and the Adriatic.

From what has been  said hitherto, it is evident that the Dutch-Scandinavian Committee is cutting off parts of the living body of the Bulgarian people, and is thus running counter not only to the natural and traditional ideals and struggles of the Bulgarian people for freedom and unification, but also to the unbiased acts of state by official Europe, official Turkey, and even official Serbia; thus the Committee has abandoned its sound status of a moral interna­tional organization and has assumed the role of a corps diplomatique which divides the peoples regardless of their right to self-determination.

Nor does the Dutch-Scandinavian Committee confine itself only to this error: in its desire to please Serbia, it offers her Macedonia's backbone, the river Vardar, as a form of a 'communication with the Aegean.' This is not, and cannot be justified by any pressing economic need, since, precisely for the pur­pose of meeting Serbia's economic needs, the Committee also provides her with an outlet to the Adriatic and with unification with Montenegro. It is precisely this manner of solving the Serbian issue in the Balkans (an outlet to the Adriatic) that is seen as most natural by the Serbian Socialist Party in its memorandum to the Dutch-Scandinavian Committee, which memorandum as was already seen, clearly states that 'the nucleus of the Serbian people lies between the Morava River and the Adriatic.'

The lands on both sides of the Vardar, and the Vardar itself, belong to the Bulgarian population which inhabits them and, consequently, cannot be given to this or that country to rule politically, no matter what their needs may be. Otherwise, reaction against foreign rule would be inevitable, and beyond all shadow of doubt, as long as it is a question of lands like ours, which, in the re­cent past - under the Turkish and the Serbian regimes - have for so long been hotbeds of armed rebel movements, and have thus been the main cause of the three latest wars of liberation waged by free Bulgaria.

The sensible and real use of the Vardar and all other basins in the Balkans is possible only under one main and fundamental condition, namely, the freedom of every people within its natural ethnic borders and the mutual recognition of everybody's natural rights. Having defended these principles with their breasts through their current participation in the bloodiest war the world has ever seen, the Bulgarian people are once again extending a hand for peace and understanding, determined, at the same time, to make further sacrifices in the name of freedom and their own unification, were these sacrifices to be imposed by an unjust desire to cut parts from their living body.

The undersigned, inspired by these ideas, on behalf of the Bulgarian pop­ulation in Macedonia, raise a loud voice of protest against the unjust, unnatural and inexpedient solution to our question which has been proposed by the Dutch-Scandinavian Committee, and we ask the latter to act on this protest

Signed by:

Dime Nikolov of Skopje, an old man of 86; studied under the teacher Ignatii of Veles at the Bulgarian school in the town of Skopje in 1845; the leading master of the tanners' guild in Skopje for many years and a most active participant in the struggle for the establishment of an independent Bulgarian church.

Traiche Chaicharov of Skopje, an old man of 76, studied at the Bulgarian school in Skopje between 1853 and 1860 under the teachers Ignatii of Veles, Hadji Yordan Konstantinov Djino of Veles and the teacher Stoyanche Rostov of Vranya; a co-founder of the Bulgarian library club Razvitie (Progress) in Skopje in 1873, and Chairman of the same for three years.

Petroush Shagmanov of Skopje, an old man of 66; member of the Bulgarian Church Commune in Skopje in 1873, a relative of Metropolitan Nathanail, the eminent Bulgarian participant in the church struggle, a writer and the first Bulgarian Metropolitan of Ohrid, immediately following the es­tablishment of the Bulgarian Exarchate (1872).

Spiro G. Gaidardjiev of Skopje, 22, a member of the Skopje Local Bulgarian Revolutionary Committee; sentenced and jailed six times for his revolutionary activities.

Kralyo Hadji Markov of Skopje, an old man of 78, studied in 1848-50 at the Bulgarian school in Skopje under the teachers Ignatii of Veles and Stefan Shosholchev of Skopje; for many years a member of the Bulgarian Church Commune and the school's board of trustees; a participant in the struggles for th establishment of an independent Bulgarian church.

Lazo Velkov of Divlya village, Skopje district, a Bulgarian public figure in Skopje for many years; the voivoda of a Bulgarian revolutionary armed detach­ment in the Skopje area during the Serbian regime in Macedonia (1913-15), whose detachment fought against the Serbian forces on several occasions.

Hadji Zafir Tasev of Koumanovo, an old man of 70; attended a Bulgarian school in Koumanovo in 1860 under the Bulgarian teacher Simeon Momchedjikov; active in church affairs in Koumanovo over many years.

Mihail S. Bailovski of Koumanovo, an old man of 77; studied at the Bulgarian school in Koumanovo in 1856-58 under the teacher Father Stefan Bailovski, for many years active over the Bulgarian church question and school affairs.

Krusto Lazarov of Koumanovo, a Bulgarian revolutionary voivoda in Koumanovo for many years; a participant in the great Bitolya Uprising in 1903; a Bulgarian armed revolutionary and during the Serbian regime (1913-15) the voivoda of a detachment which fought several battles with Serbian troops in the Koumanovo area.

The priest Dimiter Davidov of Krivorechna Palanka, an old man of 70; attended the Bulgarian school in Krivorechna Palanka in 1855 under teacher H. P. Andonov; himself a teacher in Krivorechna Palanka in 1864; member for many years of the Bulgarian Church Commune in that town and a participant in the struggles over the Bulgarian Church question.

Vesselin Popgeorgiev (Ikonomov) of Krivorechna Palanka, participant in the Bulgarian revolutionary struggle in Macedonia; son of priest Georgi Ikonomov, who was a delegate from the Skopje diocese to the first Bulgarian All-People's Constituent Assembly in Constantinople (1872) for the setting up of the Exarchate - the independent Bulgarian church.

Argir Manasiev of Gevgeli, a Bulgarian revolutionary voivoda of a rebel detachment in the Gevgeli district; a participant in the great Macedonian Uprising (1903).

Doncho Angelov of Kratovo, a Bulgarian revolutionary district voivoda of a rebel detachment in the Kratovo area; a participant in many battles.

Arso Lazarov of Stip, an old man of 70; attended a Bulgarian school in Shtip in 1854; formerly active in church and school affairs in Shtip; active in revolutionary affairs in Macedonia and brother of Todor Lazarov, the late emi­nent Bulgarian revolutionary in Macedonia.

Efrem Chouchkov of Shtip, one of the first leaders of the local Bulgarian revolutionary organization; a voivoda of many years standing in the Shtip, Maleshevtsi, and Kochen areas; a participant in the great Macedonian Uprising of 1903.

Arsenii Kostentsev of Shtip, an old man of 75, a Bulgarian travelling book­seller in Shtip and the surrounding towns in 1866, a Bulgarian people's teacher in various towns of Macedonia since 1862.

Hadji Ivan Vessov of Veles, an old man of 74; merchant, a leading local participant in the struggle for an independent Bulgarian church.

Ivan Korabarov of Veles, an old man of 70; active in the struggles over the Bulgarian church question and school affairs in Veles.

Traiko Gochev of Veles, a long-standing member of the governing body of the local revolutionary organization; formerly exiled to the Island of Rhodes for revolutionary activities.

Dimko Krepiev of Veles, a long-standing member and leader of the Bulgarian revolutionary cause in Veles; grandson of the late eminent partici­pant in the church question Gyosho Krepiev.

M. K. Tsepenkov of Prilep, an old man of 88, a Bulgarian book-seller in Prilep in 1862, actively involved in the church struggles, and known in Bulgarian literature as a student of folklore - a collector of Bulgarian folk songs, tales, proverbs, etc., from Prilep and the district.

Peter Atsev of Prilep, a Bulgarian revolutionary, voivoda in the Prilep area for many years, a participant as a voivoda in the great Macedonian Uprising of 1903 and member of the Bulgarian Revolutionary Committee in Bitolya in 1908

K. N. Nebrekliev of Prilep, an old man of 66; active on behalf of the peo­ple in the church struggle; revitalizer of the Bulgarian library club, Nadezhda (Hope), in Prilep, founded back in 1868, and its treasurer in 1874.

A. H. Yanov of Prilep, an old man of 62, one of the revitalizers of the Bulgarian library club Nadezhda (1874) and its secretary already in 1874.

Dimiter G. Velianov of Kroushevo, founder of the Bulgarian Revolutionary Committee in Kroushevo in 1894; a prisoner in Turkish jails for his participation in revolutionary affairs.

Grigor D. Bozhinov of Kroushevo, a long-standing member of the gover­ning body of the local Bulgarian revolutionary organization; member of the Provisional Bulgarian Revolutionary Administration in Kroushevo during the great Macedonian Uprising of 1903, while the town was held by the rebels.

Mihail I. Stanoev of Kroushevo, a long-standing member of the Bulgarian Revolutionary Committee in Kroushevo and participant in the great Macedo­nian Uprising of 1903 as a member of an armed detachment.

Andrea D. Tatarchev of Resen, an old man of-88; a meinber of the Bulgarian Church and School Commune in Resen for many years, ever since 1864 - long before the establishment of the Bulgarian Exarchate; active in the struggle for an independent Bulgarian church - Exarchate;

Evtim T. Lyapchev of Resen, an old man of 65; studied in the Bulgarian school in Resen in 1873 under the teacher Zahari Chintoulov; brother of the former Bulgarian minister, Adrea Lyapchev, and of the Bulgarian revolutionary, Nikola Lyapchev, murdered in prison during the great Bitolya Uprising (1903).

Krusto Traikov of Krushe village, Resen district, a Bulgarian revolutionary voivoda in the Resen area for many years; participant in the great Bitolya Uprising of 1903, and afterwards, during the Serbian regime in Macedonia (1912-15), the voivoda of a Bulgarian revolutionary detachment against that regime.

Hadji Seraflm Apostolov of Teartsi village, Tetovo district, a birthplace of Kiril Peichinovich, the eminent Bulgarian public figure, enlightener and writer at the beginning of the 19th century; an old man of 70, who attended a Bulgarian school in the neighbouring village of Leshok in 1855; a former long­standing member of the Church and School board of trustees in Teartsi.

Nasto Iliev of Tetovo, an old man of 80, who attended a Bulgarian school in Tetovo in 1849 under the teachers Nahum Ivanov of Tetovo and Gyore Stoev of Zhilche village, Tetovo district; a long-standing trustee of the Bulgarian church in Tetovo.

Hadji Grigor Hadji Seraflmov of Tetovo, an old man of 72; attended the Bulgarian school in Tetovo in 1858; a church and school trustee in the same town for many years; son of Hadji Serafim Hadji Nahumov, a prominent par­ticipant in the church struggles in Tetovo.

Mladen Talyov of Tetovo, an old man of 70; grandson of one of the sons of the priest Yakov Suzdanov, who was a Bulgarian priest and teacher in Tetovo back in 1836-38; himself a school and church trustee for many years, while his son, Mihail Mladenov, died in Rhodes in 1904, where he was exiled for his participation in Bulgarian revolutionary affairs.

Mladen Mishev of Tetovo, member of the governing body of the local Bulgarian revolutionary committee for the past 11 years.

Rafail Stolev of Vrapchishta village Gostivar district, an old man of 70; participant in the church struggles for the establishment of an independent Bulgarian church in Constantinople in 1870-72.

Nestor Trayanov of Galichnik, an old man of 76; icon painter for 55 years, during which time he decorated many Bulgarian churches in Macedonia; son of another famous icon painter, Trayan Negriev of Galichnik.

P. S. Hadjievski of Galichnik, nephew of Hadji Parteni of Zograf, the famous Bulgarian writer and first Bulgarian Metropolitan of Pirot immediate­ly after the establishment of the Bulgarian Exarchate in Constantinople (1872).

Trupko I. Ginovski of Galichnik, an old man of 68, nephew of the teacher Kruste Petrov Ginovski, who back in 1840 was a Bulgarian teacher in Galichnik; Trupko Ginovski's son, Ivan, was killed as a participant in the Bulgarian revolutionary struggle for liberation.

A. Hristov of Galichnik, an icon painter; a descendant of the Furtov fami­ly of famous painters, who for more than 200 years have decorated Bulgarian churches in Macedonia, Moesia and Thrace with mural paintings, wood-carving and sculpture; the same was the chief leader of the local revolutionary committee during the great uprising of 1903.

Ikon T. Simonovski of Debur, an old man of 65, a Bulgarian priest in this town ever since 1875; studied under the Bulgarian teacher Hadji Teofil in Debur in 1867; an eminent participant in public and church affairs in Debur.

Dimiter T. Kounovski of Debur, an old man of 81, who studied in Debur under the Bulgarian teacher Yosif Gyurov Kounovski; a former church and school trustee in Debur for many years; worker in Constantinople at the time of the establishment of the independent Bulgarian church.

H. Atanasov, born in Pasenki village, Debur district, district leader of the Debur Revolutionary Committee for four years, as well as during the great Macedonian Uprising of 1903.

Angel Sprostranov of Ohrid, an old man of 90; a participant in the Ohrid Bulgarian revolutionary liberation conspiracy of 1881, for which he spent five years in jail.

Stanislav G.   Chakurov of Strouga,  member of the local  Bulgarian revolutionary committee and son of Georgi Chakurov, an eminent Bulgarian public figure in Strouga, an associate of the Bulgarian public figures and writers, the Miladinov brothers of Strouga, and a Bulgarian deputy to Mithad Pasha's Ottoman Parliament in Constantinople in 1876.

Anastas N. Kalaidjiev, an old man of 80, a pupil of Dimiter Miladinov; a Bulgarian teacher in Strouga as early as 1868, and a singer in the Bulgarian church in Strouga ever since that year.

The Archpriest H. Malenkov of Ohrid, an old man of 76, a Bulgarian priest in Ohrid ever since 1866; ex-chairman of the Bulgarian church Com­mune, from 1870 to 1890; a former participant in the struggle for the establish­ment of an independent Bulgarian church - the Exarchate.

Anastas Lozanchev of Bitolya, Chairman of the Bitolya revolutionary dis­trict, member of the General Staff of the great Uprising of 1903.

Georgi Grouev of Smilevo village, Bitolya district, a participant in the great Macedonian Uprising and brother of Damyan Grouev, Chief of the rebel General Staff in that uprising and one of the founders of the Bulgarian Revolutionary Organization in Macedonia.

Nake Yanev of Lahchani village, Kichevo district, a voivoda in the Kichevo area for many years and a participant in the great Macedonian Uprising of 1903 as a voivoda of the rebels in the Kichevo district.1

В. „Родина", Скопие; (Newspaper Rodina), year II, No. 501 Dec. 27, 1917, pp. 12; the original is in Bulgarian.
1 Most probably, the signatories wrote the data about themselves; this explains the occasions differences in denoting or naming one and the same event.

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