Friday, December 14, 2007

Racial Migrations In Macedonia During The Years 1912-1924


During the period of the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913, WW I and Minor Asia Disaster 1914-1918 , have witnessed mass-movements of whole populations on a scale which can hardly be paralleled, unless we go back to the period of great racial migrations which coincided with the break-up of the Roman Empire.

These mass-movements were, partly, the result of direct warlike operations, such as the flight of the Moslem population of Eastern Thrace during the advance of the Bulgarian army up to the lines of Chataldja in October 1912, the flight of the Bulgarian population of Central Macedonia before the advancing Greek army in June 1913, and the flight of the Greek population of Western Asia Minor and Eastern Thrace following on the Turkish victory in Anatolia in August 1922.

It is obvious that all these movements which involved the transfers, in either direction, of between 2,300,000 and 2,500,000 Greeks, Bulgarians, and Turks-leaving out of account the Armenians-have had the effect of profoundly modifying the racial geography of the regions in question.There has been a complete re-shuffling of races in Macedonia, Thrace, and Anatolia. Where before there was great diversity, there is now nearly complete homogeneity. Political problems, which owed their complication to the mixture of mutually antipathetic races, have been simplified.

Thus the Macedonian Question, where the inextricable nlixture of Greeks, Bulgars, Turks, and others had been the cause, up to 1913, of chronic racial warfare to such an extent that the word 'l Macedoine " has found a permanent place in our culinary vocabulary as an appropriate name for " fruit-salad," has practically been solved by the disappearance of its causes. As a result of the re-sifting of populations which has taken place during the mentioned priod (1912-1925), Macedonia north of the Belatista has become purely Slav(Bulgarian-Slavmacedonians), Southern and Western Macedonia (with the exception of some small and dwindling enclaves), predominantly Greek.

From the outbreak of the Balkan War in October 1912 up to the end of 1924, Macedonia has witnessed no less than seventeen migratory movements in either direction. There has been one constant flow of populations between the various territories of the Southern Balkans, and from one side of the Bgean to another.

In the term "migratory movements" are to be included all mass movements due to any cause whatsoever, whether the result of forcible eviction (war-like operations, deportations, etc.), voluntary emigration, or treaties and exchange of populations.

These migrations and only in Greek Macedonia (not in Bulgarian or Yugoslav Macedonia) are set forth below in their chronological order.


The advance of the armies of the Balkan Allies-the Greeks on Thessaloniki, the Serbs on Uskub and Monastir, the Bulgars on Kavalla and Thessaloniki, resulted in a partial stampede of the Moslem population of the invaded area towards Thessalonica. Of the Moslem population of Greek Macedonia, some 10000 went over to Turkey as the result of this panic.


  • On the outbreak of the second Balkan War between Bulgaria and her former Allies, a very considerable portion of the Bulgarian population in the districts to the north of Salonika followed the retreating Bulgarian Army into Bulgaria. The districts affected were, principally, that of Kilkis and, to a lesser degree, Goumentza, Demirhisar and Seres. The total number of Bulgarians who migrated at this moment was about 15000

  • Towards the end of that year the whole Greek population of the Macedonian districts ceded to Bulgaria by the Treaty of Bucharest (qazas of Jum'a-i-Bala, Razlog, Melnik, Nevrokop, Strumitsa) emigrated to Hellenic Macedonia. They numbered about 5000

  • A similar movement took place from the Macedonian districts ceded to Serbia (qazas of Monastir, Gevgeli and Doiran). The Greeks from these districts, to the number of about 5000 settled for the most part at Thessaloniki, Florina, and Kilkis.

  • At the same time the Greek population of the Caucasus, excited by the news of the Greek victories in Macedonia and by reports of free distribution of land, started to emigrate. Although the movement was discouraged by the Greek Government, which already had its hands full with other refugees, some 5000 * Caucasian Greeks succeeded inbeing admitted into Macedonia.


AS the result of the action of the Bulgarian Government in Western Thrace, which territory had been ceded to Bulgaria by the Treaty of Bucharest, and the settlement there of Bulgarian emigrants from Macedonia, practically the whole of the Greek population were forced to emigrate. Of these some 40,000 settled in Macedonia, others going to Old Greece.


  • After the conclusion of peace between Turkey and the Balkan States, the Young Turkish Government started a vigorous propaganda among the Moslem inhabitants of the ceded districts, to induce them to emigrate to Turkey. Although Western Macedonia was hardly affected, a considerable portion of the Moslems of Central and Eastern Macedonia, estimated at 100000-115000 left for Turkey and were settled in Eastern Thrace and on the western coast of Anatolia.

  • With the object of bringing pressure to bear upon the Greek Government to surrender the Egean Islands which had been occupied by Greece during the first ~ a l k a n War, the Young Turkish Government proceeded to expel, during the summer of this year, a portion of the Greek population of Eastern Thrace and the Asiatic littoral. About 100000 of these refugees (80,000 from Thrace and 20,000 from Anatolia) took refuge in Macedonia, where they were settled by the Greek Government.

  • During the European War the Bulgarian Army occupied Eastern Macedonia, and all the Greek inhabitants-to the number of 36,000 were deported to Bulgaria.


Immediately after the Armistice the survivors of theabove deportation-to the number of 17000only-were brought back and reinstated in their homes.


The successive occupations of Western Thrace, Eastern Thrace, and Smyrna by the Greek Army were followed by the re-emigration of the Greeks who had been expelled from these countries in 1913-1914. The total number repatriated from Macedonia was about140,000.


In the course of 1919 the Greek Government decided to remove to Greece the Greeks of South Russia and the Caucasus, many of whom had been reduced to the condition of refugees by the Bolshevik Revolution. Of these, 55,000" were settled in Macedonia.1919. After the defeat of General Wrangel by the Bolsheviks at Odessa and in the Crimea, a portiori of the Russian White Army, including large numbers of Russian civiliall refugees, was transported to Greece. Of these about 1000 were settled at Thessaloniki.


In 1919 a Convention was signed between Greece and Bulgaria to facilitate the reciprocal emigration of the Greek and Bulgarian minorities in the two countries. Under this arrangement 27,000 Bulgarians had quitted Greek Macedonia for Bulgaria up to the end of 1924.1922-1924. After the Greek disaster in Asia Minor practically the whole of the Greek population of Western Asia Minor and the Black Sea littoral (Pontus) took refuge in Greece. Also, immediately after the signature of the Mudania Convention by which the Allied Powers agreed to surrender Eastern Thrace and Constantinople to the Kemalists, the greater part of the Greek and Armenian population of Eastern Thrace and a portion of the Greek inhabitants of Constantinople, fearing reprisals by the Turks, removed to Greece. Of these refugees, up to November 1924, about 200000 had been installed in Macedonia and 120000 in Western Thrace.1923-1924. In January 1923 was signed the Greco-Turkish Convention for the exchange of populations, which differs from the Greco-Bulgarian Convention in that it makes the emigration of the Greek and Moslem minorities in the two countries compulsory, only the Greeks of Constantinople and the Turks of Western Thrace being exempted from its provisions.This Convention came into operation in October 1923. By November 1924 the whole of the Moslem population of Macedonia, amounting to 348000persons, with the exception of a few individuals of Albanian origin whom the Greek Government had agreed to exempt from the exchange, had been transferred to Turkey.1924. In May of this year the remnant of the Greek population of Eastern Thrace and Asia Minor began to be transferred to Greece, under the provisions of the same Convention.By December 1924, at which date the exchange was practically completed, 150,000 Greeks (94,000 from Anatolia, 18,000 from Eastern Thrace, and 38,000 from Constantinople) had been transferred to Greece.Besides the above-mentioned wholesale migrations, a factor which must also not be overlooked is the settlement in Macedonia, immediately after the Balkan Wars, of considerable numbers of Greeks from Old Greece. Taking into account the Government officials, gendarmes, etc., 10000 would not be too high a figure. This does not include the army.


In 1913 the population of Greek Macedonia, according to the census taken in that province by the Hellenic Government immediately after the annexation, was 1,194,902. At the census of 1920 it had fallen to 1,120,079, a decrease of 7%.

In order to be able to explain the cause of this decrease and to ascertain how the relative strength of the various racial elements coin posing the population of Macedonia has been affected, one must take into account all the migrations which, during the intervening period between the two censuses, resulted in either an increase or a diminution in the strength of each separate racial unit.It is also necessary to know what the relative strength of these units was at the beginning of the period, that is, just before the Balkan Wars.

This information is available from various auxiliary sources.We take, as our starting-point, a statistical table of the population of Macedonia, by races, published by the Greek Government in 1904 and derived from Greek and Turkish official sources.

"Greeks . . . . . . . . . . . . ...523,472

Bulgars . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 119,005

Moslems . . . . . . . . . . . . 404,238

Various . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68,902


The figures in question were published in the Bulletino d'Orient of 1904 and also in the Trnlps of 27 December 1904, and are reproduced in Virgilj, 'La Questione Rumeliota,' pp. 233-4.The figures include, under the heading of Greeks, the Slavophone Macedonians acknowledging the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch, and, under the heading of Bulgars, the Slavophone Macedonians acknowledging the authority of the Bulgarian Exarch, as, under the Turkish regime, ecclesiastical allegiance was the test of national sympathy. Koutzo-Vlachs, for the same reason, are classed as Greeks, unless they had officially registered as " Koumans." This classification, based on the principle of national sentiment, does not, of course, pretend to take account of the much.disputed question of the racial origin of the various elements of the population. In the Lausanne Convention for the exchange of populations (1g23), ecclesiastical allegiance was accepted as the determining test of national sympathy.


In his book " Slavphone moovements (1913-1930), War Statistics" Iakovos Michailides

analyze all the known Greek and Bulgarian sources regarding the census of the Slavphones in Macedonia.

In this book the writer publish for a first time two secret statistics as about the Slavphones populations that done from the Greek authorities in Macedonia and Thrace.

1st Document(Central and West Macedonia)A.Y.E./1925/B/40,2Synoptiki Statistiki tou Pluthismou ths Genikhs Dioikiseos MakedoniasSlavphones
Under Immigration................11.228

2nd document(Drama-Kavala)A.Y.E./1925/B/40,2Statistiki Pluthismou Ypodioikiseos ZyrnovouandStatistiki Pluthismou Ypodioikiseos Dramas, Komotene 19-11-1925
Under Immigration......1.326

In the analysis we can see that the slavphones(Greeks and Slavs) comprised the 11% of the Total Macedonian population.The exarchists comprised the 5%.

I think and in my opinion these statistics is the most accurate regarding the composition of the Slavphone community.

The writer also comment ironically and the FYROMacedonian statistics (actually they use the Bulgarian sources) and the transformer of the Slavphones into "Macedonians"!!!


Slavamcedonian writer Todor Simovski in his book "Summary of the Inhabited Places in Aegean Macedonia" mention as about the status in Greek Macedonia..

".... From totally 2.000.000 inhabitants in Macedonia on the whole before its partition, more from the half of it, in other words, 1.163.477 inhabitants lived in Aegean Macedonia. The national structure of its population, which, as a result of the five century slavery, met with serious ethnic changes on the eve of the Balkan Wars, was the following: Macedonian Christians about 326.000, Macedonian Moslems 41.000,Turks 295.000, Greek Christians 240.000, Greek Moslems 14.000, Christian Vlachs 46.000, Moslem Vlachs 3.500, Albanian Moslems and Christians 9.000, Jews 60.000, Gypsies 30.000, and the rest from other minorities. "

as you see the FYROMacedonian claims just follow the Bulgarian statistics as Iakovos Michailides clearly state in his book. The only that they can do it in every statistic is to change the Bulgarians in "Macedonians".


1-A. Pallis,'Racial Migrations in the Balkans during the years 1912-1924'

2-Statistics of (a) the Mixed Commission for the exchange of populations between Greeceand Turkey ; and(b) Mixed Commission for Greco-Bulgarian emigra

3-Slavphone moovements (1913-1930), War Statistics, KEMO,Iakovos Michailides,2003

4-Summary of "the Inhabited Places in Aegean Macedonia,Todor Simovski

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