'IN OPPRESSED MACEDONIA' - the memoirs of Pavel Shatev,
one of the 'Gemidzhii' (also known as the 'Salonica assassins') - an anarcho-terorist group, which in April, 1903 conducted a series of attacks on a bank, a ship, hotels, and other property of Western companies in Turkish-held Salonica.
Shatev joined this group while still a student at the Bulgarian secondary school in Salonica. First, in 1900, they studied the possibilities for an assassination of the sultan Abdul Hamid. After giving up they decided to attack the offices of 'Ottoman bank', a major credit institution run by Western capitals, in Constantinople and Salonica.
Their objective was to harm the interests of the Western powers operating in European Turkey, to attract the attention to the situation in Macedonia and to provoke Western intervention.
Stores in Constantinople and in Salonica next to the banks were rented and the group started digging tunnels under the streets in order to lay explosives in the foundations. Shatev worked in Constantinople where the tunnel was successfully completed, but the lack of explosives (some 100 kg dynamite provided by the Armenian revolutionaries were intercepted by the Turks) prevented the destruction of the bank.
Later two of the leading members of the 'Gemidzhii', together with the rest of one Bulgaro-Armenian band, were killed near Adrianople. The Gemidzhii were ready for action again in 1903, but the seizure in Dedeagach of 1000 kg dynamite, arranged by Boris Sarafov, forced the group to abandon planned attacks in Adrianople, Veles, etc., and to restrict its activity to Salonica alone. All this to the great annoyance of the Central Committee of VMORO, with headquarters in the same city.
At the end of April 1903 the Gemodzhii blew the Ottoman bank office in Salonica, one French ship (done by Shatev himself), the gas-and water supply in the city, and several other minor targets.
The Turks mistook it to be the beginning of a general uprising in Macedonia and conducted mass arrests of Bulgarians all over Macedonia. In fact, the Gemidzhii's action was not coordinated with the Central Committee of VMORO, and the arrest of hundreds of its members disturbed the preparations for the Ilinden uprising.
Shatev was subsequently exiled to Tripolitania and Asia Minor.