Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Evolution of FYROM Historiography

The following excerpts are taken from a propaganda booklet published by the self described "Macedonian Acadamy of Sciences and Arts". The book is full of unsubstantiated claims, exaggerations and even falsifications.

The authors do concede a couple of interesting points:

1. The descriptor "Macedonian" took on an ethnic significance only in the 19th century when a certain demographic of the population diverged from a populace that was regarded as BULGARIAN. This statement contradicts the mythical historiography being promoted by the extremist Gruevski administration and the Maknuts lunatics in the diaspora who claim that "Macedonians" have resided in the region, while forming the vast majority, for centuries!

2. The geographic definition of "Macedonia" that the nationalists from FYROM espoused was only established during the 19th century. This is a far cry from the notion that "Macedonia" has existed as they would define it since ancient times.

This is a group of their scholars telling us this. It is important to note how FYROM's historiography has evolved. During the communist era the original doctors of FYROM's historiography were not so bold as to link the Slavic populace of FYROM with ancient Macedonia. Their communist forefathers and the authors of this book, which was published less than 20 years ago, conceded that their population diverged from a population that was regarded as Bulgarian.

Please rub this in their faces at every opportunity. This is their scholar's version of their history from less than 20 years ago. The nutcases of today would call these scholars traitors for making such claims!

Note: This excerpt states that they took on the name "Macedonian" in the 19th century with the implication that their population was UNDIFFERENTIATED from the Bulgarians up until that point:

Note: This excerpt clearly states that their definition of "Macedonia" was only established in the 19th century. Prior to the 19th century, as many of us know, most of the geography of FYROM was not even included in depictions of Macedonia!

My friends, this is their scholars telling us this! This state sponsored book was authored during a period in which the lunatics had not taken power yet.

Make no mistake: the theories in this book are far fetched . Some theories are even based on falsifications. The point is that less than 20 years ago their own scholars were conceding that their population was undifferentiated from the Bulgarians prior to the middle of the 19th century. In reality, no significant population affiliated with their ethnic/national identity until the 20th century.

by Xiotis

Saturday, April 18, 2009

FYROM Travel advise: Don't go to Macedonia and other Greek places

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of FYROM has advised FYROM citizens to refrain from travelling or stay for longer periods in larger Greek cities.If the journey or stay are necessary, MoFa advises careful behavior, safe parking space if travelling by own vehicle, avoiding city centers and locations used for protests and unrest, as well as avoiding facilities and institutions, which have been the most common targets of violent attacks.MoFA says that Greece has been hit by a wave of internal unrest, violent protests and armed incidents in the past few months, resulting in endangerment to private property and personal safety of many people."

Such incidents, which unfortunately have still not been put under control, occur especially in larger cities (Athens, Thessaloniki etc), demonstrated by attacks with Molotov cocktails at car dealerships and banks, attacks of police patrols and foreign offices, taking over university centers by anarchist groups, bomb threats to churches, as well as protests at main streets and squares that often obtain violent dimensions.

Moreover, dozens of FYROM citizens, especially transporters, have notified competent FYROM authorities in the past few months on problems related to damage to vehicles during their stay or transit in Greece", reads the recommendation.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urges FYROM citizens to follow regularly the situation in Greece, as well as contact the Ministry and the country's diplomatic offices in Athens and Thessaloniki (Macedonia).

The Greek foreign ministry spokesman on Wednesday said fYRoM Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki is "obviously confused", when asked about "travel advice" for citizens of the landlocked neighbouring country interested in visiting Greece over during the Orthodox Easter season, advice posted on the fYRoM foreign ministry's website.The foreign ministry in Skopje urged fYRoM citizens to avoid extended stays EU and NATO member-state Greece as well as visits to large urban areas in the country. "

On April 10, Mr. Milososki released a letter toward the (Greek) Foreign Minister [Dora Bakoyannis], in which he requested that we strengthen communication between the two peoples and bilateral tourist cooperation. Five days later, for reasons known only to himself, he deliberately misinforms the citizens of his country and urges them not to visit Greece. Mr. Milososki is obviously confused," Koumoutsakos stated in response to press questions.

"The only serious conclusion that could be drawn from this action was that those governing the neighbouring country had not yet tired of showing their worst selves and had once again damaged relations with Greece," the spokesman added. In a recent announcement, the FYROM foreign ministry warns its citizens to avoid visits to Greece unless this was unavoidable, citing domestic upheavals last December, among others.

It also advised those having to travel to Greece to avoid urban centres and areas where demonstrations might take place and to park their cars in safe places, while claiming that transporters have also had vehicles vandalised.The only verifiable instance of violence directed at tourists occurred in early March 2009 in the lakeside town of Ohrid, in south-western fYRoM, when three tourist coaches carrying Greek tourists had nationalist graffiti written on them, while a handful of local youths also confronted the group of mostly elderly tourists.Athens responded with a verbal protest by its liaison office head in Skopje and issued a travel advisory.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Antifascist, Anti-VMRO Demonstrations by Liberal Youth in Skoplje [11-IV-2009]

A display of opposition by antifascist youth composed of moderate, centrist, liberal and libertarian intellectuals in defiance of Pseudomacedonian fascist policies of the regime of VMRO-DPMNE.

by Vasko
Словенска Филхеленска Мрежа - Σλαβικό Φιλελληνικό Δίκτυο - Slavic Philhellenic Network

Friday, April 10, 2009

THE RECONSTITUTION OF THE EMPIRE... (letter to Obama that rewarded Turkish barbarism in the name of his democracy)

"At the end of World War I, Turkey could have succumbed to the foreign powers that were trying to claim its territory, or sought to restore an ancient empire. But Turkey chose a different future. You freed yourself from foreign control. And you founded a Republic that commands the respect of the United States and the wider world. There is a simple truth to this story: Turkey’s democracy is your ownachievement. It was not forced upon you by any outside power, nor did it come without struggle and sacrifice" Barack Hussein Obama President of USA at the Turkish national assembly in Ankara.

The fore mentioned statement of the President of USA,besides being ignorant of history, is an insult to the memory of hundreds of thousands slaughtered Greeks, Armenian and other nationalities by the swarm of Attila's descendants, which the USA's consul general in Smyrna, described as "The Blight of Asia" and devastated stated "I sick of being human",watching the horrible and barbaric crimes of Mustafa Kemal...

On the blood of thousands of innocent martyrs the self-proclaimed "Turkish Republic" was founded.

The President of the USA molested upon our ancestors martyrs honored remains...

"Turkey’s democracy is your own achievement"...said, with pompous language, filling the Turks with pride!

A "democracy" built on the remains and the blood of thousands of innocent people.

On the ashes of "infidel" Smyrna...

On the genocides of Greek of Pontus and Armenians...of the Syrian-Chaldaeans and Assyrians..the Greeks of Imvros and Tenedos...of Constantinople...of Cyprus...

On the bodies of penurious Kurds and the ashes of their 4000 villages...

A "democracy" that continues to live on the blood of Alevites, the Kurds and the last Greeks of Pontus...

A "democracy" of ERGENEKON and the GREY WOLVES...

This is Turkey mister Blessed (Hussein)...

It is this state that slaughters are customary tradition and yourancestors described as "The Blight of Asia" you state your respect, adding "and the wider world"...

Our respect mister Obama, you are not entitled to nor deserve to refer to. It is our inalienable right, to pay our respect where we think we owe it to...

You have bowed the knee of your heart, and attributed honor to the disrespectful Turkey...

You rewarded barbarism and tyranny, triggering the Turkish aggressiveness against us...

We were, are and will be HERE...

History has taught us to withstand the slaughters, tortures, ousting, impalements, cremations, refugees, poverty, starvation and destructions, for thousand of years...

We know how to sacrifice ourselves, self willing, and we turn to death for our beloved Motherland... Our Motherland and the mother of Beauty and Civilization...

This is mister Obama the "ancient empire" that you pointed as the enemy of Turkey. You have awakened the primeval and primitive instincts of Turks...But you have also awakened our sentiments... Contemporary history gives all the answers.

Quotes by Nikolaos Plastiras to the Ambassador of Great Britain Lindley.

-"Greece was an honest Ally of England. You have abandoned her but she continued the alone. She witnessed her populations being slaughtered, parts of her land being cut off. She may live on her one. And if she falls we will raise a sing on cape Maleas stating that, once a civilization flourished here, that was destroyed by the Western Forces, with England being the leader. Convey this to your Government. That's all sir. We have nothing else to say. Go!"

As the blog mention, the above text mail to

-US President
-US Vice President
-US Secretary of State
-US Congress
-Many others US Secretaeries and officials.

In my letter that I sent to Obama mention:

Mr President we like to see from you Presidential actions that based in your words as Senator and Presidential Candidate.

The only that I see from Mr Hussein, is a Bush policy as regards the Greek issues and democratic values (Armenian genocide and Orthodoc Ecumenical Patriarch) and many forgotten past views.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Bernal's "Black Athena" published in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia(FYROM)

Anthony Davis, quoted in Lock that” If somebody uses tradition as a way of limiting your choices in away that's as racist as saying you have to sit at the back of the bus.” This quote is suit to Slav Macedonians of the FYROM that adopted Macedonism [1] as ideology and now promote the book of Martin Bernal known as “Black Athena”, a work that contribute the Afrocentrism.[2][3]

Volume 1 from Bernal series has been translated in the Slav Macedonian language and an official presentation take place today in the “Book Affair” at Skopje (FYROM) which will be attended by Slav Macedonians politicians, academics and media personalities and academics. Bernal in his books proposed a radical reinterpretation of the roots of classical civilization, contending that ancient Greek culture derived from Egypt and Phoenicia and that European scholars have been biased against the notion of Egyptian and Phoenician influence on Western Civilization.[4]

In 1990, an issue of the American Journal of Archaeology comprised a number of articles on the book and the questions it raises. The most extended, so far has been the collection of responses and reactions in the book Lefkowitz/Rogers [5]. Several authors and experts in a variety of disciplines, including archaeology and linguistics as well as history and classics, with 20 articles criticize Bernal's views. In the conclusion to the volume, the editors propose an entirely new scholarly framework for understanding the relationship between the cultures of the ancient Near East and Greece and the origins of Western civilization. Also the contributors to this volume argue that Bernal's claims are exaggerated and in many cases unjustified.

Below is a abstract of Von Thomas Shmitz paper with the title “Ex Africa lux? Black Athena and the debate about Afrocentrism in the US” that present the whole history as regards Martin Bernal views and the objections that raised from US academic community. The overwhelming majority of academic responses to Bernal's book, while acknowledging its importance as a catalyst of renewed interest in the questions it raises, pointed out that its main theses were deeply flawed. As Smitz point out what follows is just a selection of the most serious critical objections raised against Black Athena.[6]

— The part of Bernal's arguments that has met with almost unanimous disapproval was his linguistic evidence, especially his Egyptian etymologies for numerous Greek nouns and names. Critics pointed out that his supposed derivations are most often based on nothing but vague resemblances. Even if we admit that (conscious or unconscious) prejudice has led earlier scholars to underestimate the real number of Semitic borrowings and that conclusive proof cannot be attained in the slippery field of etymology, it remains true that Bernal disregards the most elementary rules of linguistic developments. Accordingly, the judgment of trained linguists is harsh: "No effort is made to go beyond the realm of appearances; known and inferable facts about the history of individual forms are systematically ignored, misrepresented, orsuppressed." Bernal's linguistic evidence, which he himself says is a keystone of his argument (Bernal [1987] 62), is thus void.

— Bernal's use of ancient documents, especially of Greek mythological narratives, is deeply flawed. On the one hand, his construction of an "ancient model" of Egyptian colonization and influence in which "the Greeks" are said to have believed, is simplifying to the point of misleading readers unacquainted with the sources. Greek beliefs about the origin of their own culture were various and contradictory, and different authors or groups constructed versions that fit their individual argumentative needs. Bernal's method consists in arbitrarily taking into account only versions that seem to support his thesis and disregarding conflicting ones. This becomes particularly clear in the case of Danaus, whose myth is fundamental to Bernal's argument. Bernal often mentions that "the Greeks" told stories about Danaus's flight from Egypt, his arrival in Argos and his accession to the throne (Bernal [1987] 75-98; 2.137-8, 502-4 and passim). He interprets this myth as preserving memories of a Hyksos colonization of Greece. However, he fails to mention that in these narratives, Danaus is of Greek descent: he is a great-great-grandson of Io, daughter of the Argive king Inachus. In Aeschylus's tragedy The Suppliants, Danaus and his daughters emphasize this Greek origin to support their claim for protection from the king of Argos (274-326, see especially 274-5 "To cut a long story short: we claim to be of Argive extraction"). Bernal's partial summary of the myth is thus deceptive.

— This selective use of ancient documents demonstrates the absurdity of Bernal's polemic against nineteenth-century source criticism, which he often (e.g., Bernal [1987] 118, 377; 2.200, 237, 308, 309) disparages as Besserwissen. Bernal goes so far as to assert that "the cultural, racial and temporal arrogance or Besserwissen of the critical method [.] has been a bane to the writing of history ever since" the early nineteenth century (Bernal [1987] 306). Yet Bernal himself obviously cannot accept the totality of the ancient documents; he has to differentiate between what he deems more or less credible, or, as he would probably say, more orless useful to his argument. He lays strong emphasis on the myth of Danaus, which he interprets as pointing to an Egyptian origin of Greek culture, yet he virtually ignores the myth of Pelops, who was described as coming from Asia minor and would thus symbolize "that Greece was colonized from the northwest corner of the Asiatic seabord." When ancient sources do not fit his argument, Bernal is ready to criticize them in the spirit of Besserwisserei that he usually decries. For instance, the Egyptian historian Manetho is said to have "garbled" and "confused" several pharaohs (Bernal [1991] 196); his account is said to be "internally inconsistent and of only very limited value for this period" (Bernal [1991] 325); the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus is said to have misunderstood Herodotus's account because of its linguistic ambiguity (Bernal [1991] 202)—thus Bernal believes he knows Greek better than a native speaker of the language. Hence, Bernal's critics are indubitably right when they denounce his repudiation of source criticism and historical methodologies as self-contradictory. What his strategy amounts to is a return to the uncritical antiquarianism of earlier historians and a collection of fragments which suit the present purpose while everything else is neglected.

— These flaws are especially prominent in Bernal's treatment of myths as historical sources. In general, he seems entirely convinced that myths can be read as reliable traditions of historical events and social structures, and he is inclined to accept even late sources: e.g., Bernal [1991] 173 a passage in the Greek writer Aelian (second century CE) is said to preserve correct information about a cult of the fourth millennium BCE, an "instructive example of the strength and durability of traditions over this huge expanse of time." When it is more convenient for his argument, however, Bernal dismisses Greek traditions because "the Greeks had no long-term cultural memory" (Bernal [1991] 319). Again, the absence of any historical methodology makes for an ahistorical eclecticism that has only rhetorical value.]

— Bernal's treatment of modern scholarship is as indiscriminate as his use of ancient documents. His sweeping generalizations ignore the discussions, controversies and doubts of historians, philologists, archeologists and philosophers about the origin and originality of Greek culture that had existed at almost every period of European scholarship. Neither was the "Ancient Model" as undisputed before the nineteenth century as Bernal implies, nor did all Europeans after 1800 accept the claims of "racial science" or believe in the inferiority of non-whites. It is certainly true that Bernal's "failure to recognize this variety" is a serious flaw of Black Athena. His own first-hand knowledge of the most important texts of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European historiography, philosophy and political theory is so meager that his generalizations rest on very shaky ground. Hence, Marchand/Grafton are justified in their harsh judgment about his contribution to the history of scholarship: "Bernal simply has not done enough work to deserve respect or attention as a historian of European thought about the ancient world. The ability to make noise entitles no one to a hearing, and up to now, Bernal has made noise, not historical argument." This is especially true in the field of classical studies. It is simply not true that scholars have been as stubborn in their refusal to acknowledge Oriental influences on Greek culture as Bernal thinks they have been. Suffice it to mention just a few: F. Dornseiff in Germany, W. Burkert in Switzerland and M. L. West in Great Britain have been publishing well-known works about the interrelations between Middle¬and Near-Eastern cultures and Greece for a long time. If these scholars do not see Egypt as a decisive influence on Greece, this is certainly not due to any kind of prejudice, let alone racism, but reflects the evidence of our archeological, historical, and literary documents.

— Lastly, Bernal never states clearly whether his "Aryan Model" is due to a vast, worldwide conspiracy of classicists with the aim of suppressing the truth about the origin of ancient Greek culture or whether earlier scholars were merely influenced by the prejudices and beliefs of their times without actively manipulating the evidence. We will see shortly that Bernal's failure to make this crucial distinction is not coincidental—rather, it amounts to a demagogic manipulation of his readers.
Bernal book was voted one of the worst top 50 books of the 20th century.
[1]- Macedonism is an attempt by the Slav Macedonians (FYROM and diaspora) to discredit the ancient Macedonians ethnicity, break the connection between present-day Greek Macedonians and the Macedonians of antiquity, and establish a connection between FYROM’s Slavs with ancient Macedonia. The historically, linguistically and archaeologically incorrect challenge is that the historical Macedonia was never part of Greece and the Macedonians were Slavs who spoke a language in comprehensible to the other Greeks and similar to modern Slav Macedonian.
[2]- Symposium by SMK/WMC, 7-9 April 2009, Skopje, FYROM.
[3]- Afrocentrism, is a extreme diffusionist ideology who argue that black Egypt—and sometimes black Africa—was the sole intellec­tual catalyst for the development of most subsequent civilizations, no matter how geographically remote the latter may have been.
[4]- Martin Bernal, Black Athena, The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization, 4 Volumes.
[5]- Lefkowitz/Rogers, Black Athena Revisited, 1996. Also read the “White Athena” by Walter Slack.
[6]- Bibliography and notes that support these objections located in the paper.

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Cultural Genocide of the Greek Macedonian Identity

The systematic counterfeiting of the history of Macedonia by the Slav Macedonians of the FYROM since 1944 and their attempt to monopolize the "Macedonia" name were considered by the Hellenic people as absurd and unworthy of their attention.

Yugoslav "Macedonia", formed in 1946, consisted of the area previously called "Southern Serbia" or Vardaska Banovina". FYROM's Slav Macedonians began to claim their "Macedonian" ethnicity as a result of the role Tito and communism played in their acquiring a "Macedonian" language, a "Macedonian" nationality, and a "Macedonian" country, ethnic characteristics acquired from 1941 to 1945, an ethnicity built in a remarkably short time. The recycled and indiscriminate usage of the term 'Macedonian' bearing a distinctly non-Greek connotation is liable to hasten the acceptance of the term in the academy, and hence be exploited politically by Slavmacedonian irredentist circles for whom the territories of "Aegean Macedonia" remain unredeemed.[1] The distress and resentment of Greek Macedonians in this regard stems from the fact that this arbitrary nomenclature, which takes into account only the Slav Macedonian nationalist narrative is clearly lopsided and amounts to an unacceptable monopoly of key terms. It is also offensive to 2,5 million Greek Macedonians cultural identity, including the other "ndopioi" such as individuals speaking Vlach- Arvanite- and Slavonic-based idioms residing in the prefectures of Greek Macedonia, who declare resolutely and unambiguously a Greek national identity.

And the question is how you segregate a Greek Macedonian identity with a Slav Macedonian one?

I will begin my analysis with the term "Macedonian" and its meaning: A Macedonian according to several sources [2][3] is a native or inhabitant of the (Ancient or Modern) Macedonian region.

In the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) the noun Macedonians (Makedonci = Makedontsi- in the local Slavic language) identifies, (a) in the legal and civic sense, all citizens of the Republic (including Albanians, Greeks, Roma etc), and (b) in the ethnic/national/cultural sense, a million and a quarter local Slav-speaking population. The Slavic people of this Republic have no connection with the people of ancient Macedonia or their descendants or Cultural Identity. They have Slavic origins — not Greek or ancient Macedonian.

In Greece the noun Macedonians (Μακεδόνες = Makedhones in the Greek language) identifies, in the regional/cultural sense, almost two and a half million ethnic Greeks of the region of Greek Macedonia.

In Bulgaria the same name Macedonians (Makedonci = Makedontsi- in Bulgarian) identifies, in the regional sense, hundreds of thousands of ethnic Bulgarians.

These three variants of the noun ‘Macedonians’ are also in use in diaspora by persons who have emigrated from the three Macedonian regions, namely, Greek Macedonia, FYROM, and the Bulgarian region of Pirin.

To complicate matters further, there is a fourth, historical dimension of the name Macedonians, which refers to the first ‘owners’ of the name, who actually gave their name to the region. They were Greek-speaking people who inhabited roughly the region of present-day Greek Macedonia in classical antiquity identifying themselves as Μακεδόνες (Makedones) in their Greek language.

Peter Mackridge and Eleni Yannakakis define cultural identity as a community's sense of belonging to a group that shares a specific set of values, attitudes and emotions based on a particular view of the local historical past and on a number of assumptions concerning the ethnic and cultural characteristics of the community itself and of the region which it inhabits. [4] Such a cultural identity tends to be constructed partly in opposition to the cultural identities of neighbouring communities or of other communities that share the same space.

Antony D. Smith remarks that there are two main kinds of ethnic extinction in the full sense: genocide and ethnocide, which is sometimes - at times misleadingly — called «cultural genocide». In one sense genocide is a rare and probably modern phenomenon. It includes those cases where we know that mass death of a cultural group was premeditated and the basis of that targeting was exclusively the existence and membership of that cultural group. [5]

The difference over the name ‘Macedonia’, as a state appellation, has been resolved temporarily since 1993 by the adoption of the provisional name ‘the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’. Nevertheless, there is considerable confusion and ambiguity over the derivatives of that name; more specifically, the noun Macedonians and the adjective Macedonian in their ethnic, regional, cultural, historical and legal (citizenship) variants.

Recent events have shown how strong a sense of Macedonian identity there is among the Greeks, particularly in Greek Macedonia itself, and how vigorously Greeks react to any suspicions of rival claims to what they perceive to be their exclusive historic rights to the territory and the name of Macedonia.

The Macedonian name rooted from the Greek word Makedones, that mean "highlanders" or "the tall ones," related to makednos "long, tall," makros "long, large" [6]. Irredentist leaders are forced to reconcile their nationalist policies with pressures from the international plane. At the same time, irredentist leaders exploit perceived "windows of opportunity" in pursuit of their nationalist goals. So we must examine in depth the past, to understand the present, in order to eliminate possible irredentist projects of tomorrow. Slav Macedonians of the FYROM need to realize that their newly conceived ethnogenetic dogma, extending to classical antiquity, encroaches upon the Hellenic cultural heritage and the identity of their Greek neighbours to the south. As such, it threatens to ignite a clash of identities in the region as a whole.

The use of the Macedonian name as a state appellation in no way confers the right to appropriate everything and anything derived from or pertained to the entire region of Macedonia. This needs to be legally clarified and remain binding erga omnes. The state name needs specifically to refer to and describe the present region of FYROM. It should apply erga omnes in multilateral and bilateral international relations and transactions and should be observed by all organizations, states, and other non-governmental international organizations, including the government and the agencies of FYROM. As Kofos said [7] Greek and FYROM parties should accept the name used by the inhabitants of FYROM for their region of geographical Macedonia, i.e. Vardar Macedonia, or preferably Vardar Makedonija.

It is therefore clear that the appropriation of the name Macedonia by the FYROM, on which they have based all their propaganda and even their national existence, does not even correspond to their own false national identity since their artificially created state does not have any national homogeneity. This appropriation of the Macedonian name goes against every principle of justice and conceals other expediencies which directly insult Greek national and Macedonian Cultural Identities as shows the unchanging nature of their continuous propaganda.

I am a Macedonian, however I am in no way identified with or related to the newly formed independent state referred to as “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” ; I am instead insulted by the fact that I cannot be known as a Macedonian without being identified by others as related to FYROM. This is a rape of my identity and a continuing cultural genocide.

My cultural identity has been usurped.
Where is the justice ?

[1]-'Aegean Macedonia' is a Slav Macedonian irredentist term used to refer to the region of Macedonia in Greece, in the context of a 'United Macedonia'. The origins of the term seem to be rooted in the 1940s but its modern usage is widely considered ambiguous and irredentist. The term has occasionally appeared on maps circulated in the former Yugolsav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), which envisioned Greek Macedonia (referred to as "Aegean Macedonia") as part of a "Greater Macedonia", and is regarded as a challenge of of the legitimacy of Greek sovereignity over the area. Further reading in
[4]- Peter Mackridge and Eleni Yannakakis, Ourselves and Others The Development of a Greek Macedonian Cultural Identity, page 2
[5]-Anthony D. Smith, NationaL Identity, Oxford,1991
[7]-Evagelos Kofos, ELIAMEP, April 2009, The Current Macedonian Issue between Athens and Skopje:Is there an Option for a Breakthrough?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Current Macedonian Issue between Athens and Skopje:Is there an Option for a Breakthrough?

by Dr. Evangelos Kofos
Former Consultant on Balkan Affairs at the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Athens, and Visiting Fellow, Brasenose College, Oxford University (1995-96); currently Senior Advisor – Balkan Area, ELIAMEP, Athens


The present paper
  • analyses the 16-year old Balkan diplomatic imbroglio over the name issue of "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (FYROM), from the UN Security Council resolution 817/1993 calling for the resolution of the issue "in the interest of maintaining peaceful and good-neighbourly relations in the region", to the communiqué of the April 2008 Bucharest NATO Summit specifying that FYROM would be admitted to the Alliance "as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue has been reached";
  • initiates a discourse with the assessments and proposals of a recent report of the International Crisis Group, Macedonia's Name: Breaking the Deadlock;
  • attempts to clarify current Greek positions and concerns vis-à-vis the various proposals on the state name submitted by UN mediator Matthew Nimetz;
  • submits a comprehensive proposal for dealing, in an international environment, with such sensitive issues as those affecting personal, state, regional and cultural identities.
The diplomatic imbroglio

The diplomatic controversy between Athens and Skopje over the appellation "Macedonia" has entered its 18th year. Back in April 1993 the UN Security Council had issued ....

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Twisting the words of Finlay

Nationalists from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (F.Y.R.O.M) and her diaspora frequently promote the following excerpt from George Finlay's "A History of the Greek Revolution" published in 1861:

According to G. Finlay in his 'History of the Greek Revolution volume 1 - 1861: "The Albanian population occupies most of ancient Greece. Albanians now occupy all Attica and Megaris, Boetia and Locris. They occupy the whole of Corinthia and Argolis, extending themselves into the northern part of Ardadia and eastern Achaia..."

Their intent on using the above quote is to imply that the Greek ethno/national identity was manufactured in the 19th century in a region that was dominated by Albanians. In other words they use the above quote to support their theory that most Greeks have Albanian ancestors. Anyone who has read Finlay's book surely knows that:

a) Finlay recorded significant Greek populations and

b) Finlay made absolutely no mention of any "Macedonian" ethnicity or nation even though he spent a significant amount of time in the region of "Macedonia". Is it not amusing that the same nationalists who quote from Finlay and present him as a reliable source completely overlook the fact that Finlay did not record any "Macedonians" in the region where nationalists from F.Y.R.O.M claim that"ethnic Macedonians" dominated the demographics for centuries?

Lets examine Finlay's passages in their context. If no significant Greek populations existed in the geographic region of modern Greece why would Finlay describe 6 Ottoman administrative regions, or Pashaliks, where Greeks formed the majority of the population?






Notice that Finlay, who documented his observations during the early-mid 19th century, made no mention of "Macedonians" in his population descriptions of Turkey's European dominions! Also notice that Finlay states that Greeks formed the majority of the population in the Pashalik of Thessalonica, a region that nationalists from F.Y.R.O.M and her diaspora claim was populated in the majority by "ethnic Macedonians"! As a matter of fact, Finlay is quite explicit in his description of Greeks dominating the population of the Pashalik of Thessalonica:

Finally, in order to clarify Finlay's position regarding the demographics of Albanians vs Greeks we have the following excerpt:

Hence Finlay estimated the number of Albanians in the Greek kingdom to be about 200,000. Recall, from the quote above, that Finlay estimated the number of Greeks in the region to be about 1 million!

This surely puts a pitchfork through the far fetched theory being promoted by radical nationalists from F.Y.R.O.M and her diaspora who use Finlay as supporting evdience to claim that:

a) hardly any Greeks existed during the early-mid 19th century and
b) Albanians formed the vast majority of the population in the region and as a result most modern Greeks have Albanian ancestors!

The excerpts from Finlay demolish these theories! To top it all off: George Finlay's first hand accounts made no mention of any "Macedonian" nation or ethnicity! We might as well add Finlay to the vast number of sources that failed to record any "ethnic Macedonians" prior to the 20th century! Of course this is due to the fact that the "Macedonian" ethno/national identity is a late 19th century construct that was not affiliated to by any significant population until the 20th century!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Press Release from Macedonian organizations as regards "Blatant FYROM Propaganda on Greek TV"

Press Release of the Macedonian Studies Center and the Pan-Macedonian Association of USA & Canada

Author: Christos Karatzios M.D.
Communication: Nina Gatzoulis:

New York-March 26, 2009

RE: Blatant propaganda on Greek TV
Encouraging message by P. Voskopoulos for “Macedonian” minority action in Greece

“Do not fear! Lift your heads high, we can do this very well!”, is the message that the representative of the so-called “Macedonian” minority, Pavlos Voskopoulos, promoted in a sly manner to the inconspicuous participants of the televised program “Atheatos Kosmos”, on March 10, 2009 on the Greek television station ALTER. During the program representatives of the political party “Rainbow”, Greek politicians, historians, and journalists discussed the recent United Nations report by Ms. Gay McDougall, on the “minority” issue in Greece.

In particular, towards the end of the broadcast, Mr. Voskopoulos, openly addressing the supposedly oppressed “Macedonian minority”, which he calls “Makedonski”, said: “Dosta veќe da se plašete, gorno glavata, možno e, mnogu dobro.” When asked to translate into Greek what he had said, he replied falsely: “this is a matter of pride for us.” Mr. Voskopoulos virtually called for an uprising by members of his political faction in Greece.

We welcome the initiative of ALTER channel to address the critical Macedonian issue. However, expressing the historical concerns of the Diaspora, the Macedonian Studies Center and the Pan-Macedonian Associations of U.S. and Canada, we wish to inform the Greek public about certain inaccuracies during the broadcast.

First, the amiable journalist Mr. Hardavelas, referred to Nicodemus Tsarknias of the sectarian and self-called “Macedonian” Church in Aridaia, Greece saying that the building is incomplete, “as if no one wants to see it.” This statement was unfortunate. The Tsarknias church building was not built back then because it lacked sufficient funds for its completion (and virtually no support from the alleged minority that it was allegedly serving!). Mr. Tsarknias is the one who sent an inflammatory letter to the legitimate Bishops of Kastoria, Florina and Thessaloniki, demanding the keys to their churches, because he believes Greece has occupied “Macedonia” since 1912! During the program it was said that people who make frequent visits are from the FYROM and its Diaspora (Toronto and Australia). Where are the “ethnic Macedonians” from Greece? Unfortunately there was no mention about it during the broadcast.

The “deported Aegean Macedonians” declared to the young journalists, who were sent to FYROM to interview them that they have been grouped into an organization that lists 50,000 people! What kind of organization has 50,000 as members and why is this organization not known throughout the world? The repeated question of the journalists: “Do you feel Greek?” prompted them to declare: “No, I am Macedonian”. Then, they claimed that their ancestors were the owners of properties that were left behind when they fled Greece. They proclaim that the Greek government does not permit them entry to Greece after the Greek Civil War.

During the broadcast a member of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) during the 1940s and then a NOF fighter, who took arms against the Greek government during the Greek Civil War, made certain statements. She concluded that the Greek authorities did not allow her to return to Greece! Her statement was interesting in that her only wish is “to come back in Greece,” in order to see the grave of her mother. A few seconds later, negating her own words, she said that she has already visited Edessa and Florina!

The vast majority of NOF “fighters” initially took weapons against Greece and served Bulgarian interests, under the command of Axis Bulgarian army officers, such as Anton Kaltseff. In the summer of 1944, when the Germans were preparing to retreat from Greece, they were transformed from Bulgarians to “Macedonians”, enlisted in SNOF (Slavomacedonian EAM, or Slavomacedonian National Liberation Front), and fought along side ELAS (Greek People’s Liberation Army) hoping to avoid punishment for their treason against Greece during the Axis occupation of Nazi Germany, Italy, and Bulgaria. In October 1944, after they broke away from ELAS, they left Greek territory and went to Yugoslavia, where they joined Tito’s partisans, bearing the name “The Aegean Shock Brigade.” In the summer of 1946 they returned to the mountains of Greece as NOF (Slavomacedonian National Liberation Front) to fight alongside the communist “Democratic Army of Greece” (DSE), and to exploit Greek divisions during the Greek Civil War. In the summer of 1949, some before and others after the final defeat of the DSE again left Greek territory and eventually settled in Skopje and adopted Slavic names. Many among them including the leaders of the KKE (Communist Party of Greece) returned to Greece. Others did not return, or chose to return only on condition that Greece will accept their changed names, recognizing them as “Macedonians.” Still others did not return, or chose to return only on condition that Greece will recognize them as “fighters of the “Macedonian” Iliden Revolution”.

We should all know about the 28,000 Greek children who were sent to Iron Curtain countries by the communists for “education”, the majority of whom are now middle aged and have been taught that they were expelled. Also, we must have in mind the numerous UN resolutions calling for the return of these children from the Communist countries, especially from former Yugoslavia (UN Resolutions 382 (1950), 517 (1952) and 618 (1952)).

Furthermore, in another interview with a representative of the “ethnic Macedonian minority” from the village of Meliti, Greece there was again an unfortunate mention that “the only wish all these people have is to find work” and one father even claimed that he is “forced” to take care of his adult children (one of his children is 31 years old) because they can not find work in Greece, simply because they are “Macedonian”! In an era where many immigrants (legal and illegal) can find jobs and make a living in Greece, this claim is ludicrous.

It is crucial that Greek TV invites historians and politicians who are knowledgeable in this issue, so that they can rebut the historical inaccuracies, distortions and propaganda. It is also important that individuals who know the language spoken in the FYROM, and the Slavonic idiom used in some Greek border areas (the two are different), be present during such broadcasts, so that Greek television does not promote messages against our national interests.

We also understand the progressive and humanitarian ideas of some of the guests. In addition, we, the Macedonians of the Diaspora, want friendly relations with Greece’s neighbour and wish for an equitable solution to the issue. However, friendship and progressiveness cannot be promoted by ignorance and misrepresentation of historical facts, especially at a time when negotiations for the name of Greece’s northern neighbour are ongoing. This is especially true when intolerant and irredentist behaviour of the FYROM against Greece is ever escalating.