Friday, August 28, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Here are my remarks:
None from the BBC mentioned that this uprising was staged by the Bulgarians and the Bulgarians were inviting all the nationalities in the area, even the peasant Turkish population, to revolt against the Sultan.
None from the BBC pointed out that the Manifesto of Krushevo was written in Bulgarian.
None from the BBC revealed that during the revolt, with Krushevo as its epicenter, the Turks who had been bribed by the Bulgarians exterminated the Greek population and the Hellenized Vlachs of Krushevo.
None from the BBC mentioned that 366 Greek homes and 203 Greek shops were destroyed by the vengeance of the Turks and Bulgarians. The Slavs, today's self-proclaimed "Macedonians" were coerced to finance the "revolution", but as soon as they found the chance, they escaped to the mountains. The scholars totally glorified individuals such as Damien Grueff and their horrid actions during that period. Dr. Duncan Perry in his book The Politics of Terror: The MacEdonian Liberation Movement, 1893-1904, identified this uprising as an act of terror. It is not known under which circumstances he changed his opinion and why during the deliverance of his theme he concluded that the Ilinten revolution "awakened the "Macedonian" national consciousness".
Below is a article from the TIMES that show a small description as regards the reality.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Report of Greece
In the context of minorities, references made by a very small number of non-governmental organizations to a so-called “Macedonian minority” in Greece do not correspond to existing realities. The fact that a small number of persons who live in Northern Greece use, in addition to the Greek language, Slavic oral idioms, does not indicate the existence of a national minority. Furthermore, the use of the term “Macedonian” to describe a so-called minority usurps the name and national and cultural identity of some two and a half million Greeks who identify themselves for many centuries as Macedonians (Makedones) in the regional and cultural context and can therefore not be accepted.Presentation of Report
In this connection, claims that Greece did not recognize the existence of a national linguistic minority by the name of “Macedonian” were totally unsubstantiated and threatened to create potential tensions over existing identities in the region, as well as serious confusion over that name, as it was also used by hundreds of thousands Greek Macedonians living in the northern part of the country, said Ms. Telalian. Also, the non-recognition of numerically small groups as a national minority did not imply discriminatory treatment.Oral Questions Raised by the Rapporteur and Experts
JOSE LINDGREN ALVES, the Committee Expert serving as country Rapporteur for the report of Greece, said he could not agree more with Greece’s answer to his question as to why Greece had not ratified the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities of the Council of Europe, while it had signed it in 1997. In its response Greece had said that the diversity of legal and socio-political circumstances and historic traditions prevailing in each country called for tailor-made rather than “one size fits all” conceptual approaches and practical solutions. If this response held true for Europe, it held truer for the rest of the world.Response by Delegation to Oral Questions
Turning to the question of those who insisted on a Slavic Macedonian minority, Mr. Lindgren Alves said that the most important thing was to assure their human rights in general, including their right to use their dialect or mother language, as any other group. The non-recognition of a group as a minority did not deprive such a group from the enjoyment of its rights. He had been interested to learn that even a political party to foster the claims of Slavic Macedonians had been accepted and had been freely participating in parliamentary elections.
One Expert noted that there was a group speaking a Slavic language in the country, they did not need to be considered as Macedonians, if this led to confusion over the name, but they were still using a Slavic language, which they had not invented and they should have the right to use it. Also political parties should not be divided by ethnicities as this could undermine the unity of the State. Further, for him it was more important to know whether a minority had the right to use its language, not if it had the right to form a political party.
On the so-called Slavic “Macedonians” the delegation said that this was not a case of self identification as this group did not base its identification on objective criteria. The “Slavic” qualifier was not used in this case. The only qualifier used by this community was the “Macedonian” one. The problem was that the “Macedonian” term was already used by thousands of people in Greece. Up until recently, this group of “Slavic Macedonians” had been completely unknown, not only to Greece but to the whole Balkan region.
The delegation said that the “Slavic Macedonians” were however not prevented from speaking their oral idiom or from stating that they were part of a certain group. The fact that the Greek State had not officially recognised them did not mean that this community was not fully enjoying its rights and that its members were not fully respected by the Greek State.
The delegation underscored that there was a dignity in the name of the Greek Macedonians and said that Greece had not gotten any answer yet on why the State should not respect the cultural and historical heritage of the Greek Macedonians. It had nothing to do with the denial of the existence of a minority group but the denial of a name that was already used since a long time.
Further Oral Questions Posed by Experts
Jose Lindgren Alves, the Committee Expert serving as country Rapporteur for the report of Greece, said that, on the question of the so-called “Slavic Macedonians”, he did not know that they were denying their Slavic origin, even though he had been an ambassador to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. He wondered if it would change something if this community would recognise its “Slavic Macedonian” culture.
Replies by the Delegation
Responding to this question, the delegation said that they were not in a position to respond in a hypothetical sense. Very recently, Greece had said that the “Slavic Macedonians” should have used a qualifier to clarify their origin. Why were they constantly using the name Macedonian, which already identified 2.5 million Macedonians in the cultural sense? Even the former leaders of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia had admitted that they were of Slavic origin. This question had only come up in the last years. Everyone in the Balkans knew very well what minorities there were in the Balkans, as the question of minorities in the Balkans had created so many tensions in the region. This was the very first time that they had heard of a “Macedonian” group in this region. It was a question of dignity of the name “Macedonian”.
This difference had created a tension with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and even the United Nations Security Council had said that there was a difference in the name. This situation had to be solved. In Security Council resolution 1845, the Council had asked the two parties to settle the question under the auspices of the United Nations.
This clearly showed that what was in a name had several historical and political implications. It was not a question of a specific denial but the risk of creating tension among identities in the Balkans.
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  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.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Correspondence between Craig Whitlock and Christos Karatzios as regards the Washington Post article.
Dear Dr. Karatzios,Thanks for the note and for taking the time to write, though I'm sorry you didn't like the article.I don't think it would be productive or satisfying for either of us to engage in a running debate regarding each of the lengthy points you outlined in your email. I certainly respect your opinions, however, and feel you deserve the respect of a thoughtful reply.First, just because I interviewed and quoted individuals in Skopje and elsewhere does not mean that The Washington Post endorses or supports their views. We are a newspaper; we interview people of all stripes and let our readers make up their own minds whether to agree with their views or not. I'm sure many people -- including very many Greeks -- find the views of Todor Petrov and Pasko Kuzman to be irritating, or worse. That's OK. I have enough confidence in our readers to decide whether to take someone like Petrov seriously, given his assertions of "genocide" and so forth. But it's not the job of a journalist to suppress or ignore or censor people when it comes to a newsworthy topic.A few factual points to counter the ones you raised:1) I'm sure you know that the Republic of Macedonia changed its constitution and flag in 1995 (as reported in the article). The constitution in particular makes clear that the Republic of Macedonia harbors no territorial ambitions and considers current national borders to be binding. I'm sure you know this, but it seems disingenuous of you not to mention it when you imply the opposite is still the case today.2) You're certainly entitled to your views regarding US-Cuban relations, but I really don't see what that has to do with my article. Furthermore, The Washington Post is an independent newspaper and not responsible or connected to US foreign policy, despite your efforts to link the two.3) I think it is completely accurate to report, as we did, that Greece vetoed the Republic of Macedonia's membership application to NATO. I think you know as well as I do that if Greece had not objected, the Republic of Macedonia would be a member of NATO today. Personally, I have no stake or opinion in the matter. But I think you're distorting what happened at the Bucharest summit last year.
Berlin bureau chief
The Washington Post
Athens and Skopje - Reply to Mr. Craig Whitlock from Christos Karatzios
Dear Mr. Whitlock,
Friday, July 31, 2009
I thank you for taking the time to respond to my e-mail. It was courteous of you to do so in view of your busy schedule, and since many readers on this issue have probably contacted you.
However, and unfortunately I continue to disagree with your views. You state that you would prefer not to argue each of the points I outline in my letter to you. In my view, these .. points that you dismiss are testament to the bias in your article. How can you state that the article has no bias when you interviewed no less than 6 individuals from Skopje and its Diaspora, and quote them without verifying the facts, all the while presenting their opinions as if they are the Gospel truth? In the meantime, you only quote the Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece and in a very conscious way, you state that Greece's views stem only from the government. You state that it is not the job of the journalist to censor anyone. I agree with you however, it is the job of the journalist to report truthfully. Otherwise you reduce your newspaper to the level of a supermarket tabloid. Would you have devoted word after word to a Holocaust denier or the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan? Would you have written a story about how the CIA flew airplanes into the World Trade Center in 2001? I can provide you with examples of overt racism uttered by elite members of organizations like the World Macedonian Congress (WMC), and United Macedonian Diaspora [1, 2, 3]. Yet you give Todor Petrov a platform.Mr. Whitlock, despite the freedom of expression, and the right of journalistic freedom, hate and fringe ideas do need to be censored or at least presented with counterarguments. Statements like: "The Athens government says there is no question that he [Alexander the Great] was Greek" reflect your view as well. You seem to collude with pseudohistorian Pasko Kuzman. How then are you not putting The Washington Post's reputation on the line?
I will now focus on your counterpoints to me. In your first counterpoint, you claim that I am disingenuous when I discuss the first constitution written in Skopje. I know very well that Skopje changed its constitution and flag in 1995. You state that Skopje has stopped all irredentist activity (including land claims) and I am not truthful when I state (with supporting references and pictures) that Skopje still harbours such feelings. Did you not see the picture of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski laying a wreath on [Bulgarian] hero Goče Delčev's grave under a poster of a "United Macedonia"? Despite changing their flag, the Diaspora and even members of Skopje's government still use the old irredentist flag in their offices and in public [4, 5, 6, 7]. There are even official calls to revert back to the old flag. Did you not see the video of Antonio Milososki that I linked in my original letter? If he denies that a Macedonia existed in Greece before 1988, how then is his government to be trusted? If Skopje would have adhered to the Interim Accord, its government would not promote the idea of an unredeemed "Aegean Macedonia" in the school curriculum , and its government would not encourage the plight of land claims in Greece by "Aegean Macedonians"[9, 10, 11]. Last summer, in a pre-election strategy, instead of focusing on his country's economic and social problems, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski started chasing waterfalls by writing to the Greek Prime Minister, to the United Nations, and to the European Union, requesting human rights for the "Macedonian" minority in Greece. Did he not violate the Interim Accord by doing this? Why has the country, whose official name is the cumbersome but accepted FYROM until a mutually acceptable name is agreed upon, gone around and marketed itself as "Republika Makedonija"? Why have they brought suit against Greece at the International Court of Justice in The Hague claiming that Athens violated the Interim Accord when she objected in Bucharest in 2008? They will likely lose the suit (which will probably be heard in 3 to 5 years) but again this was a pre-election coup by the VMRO for internal consumption only.
Mr. Whitlock, the constitution and (arguably) the flag may have changed but the ATTITUDE in Skopje has not changed. We know very well that a constitution and flag can easily be reverted back to the original by parliamentary decree if there is enough will and power by the government, the Assembly, and the people (Articles 68, 74, and 129 of the country's new constitution discuss how "changes in the [Republic's] borders" can be achieved): The governing VMRO overwhelmingly holds the Presidency, the Prime Minister's office, and controls the parliament. There are laws that make it a crime to research ethnicity and to question ultra-Macedonism (Article 179 of the country's Criminal and Penal Code). People in that country have been jailed and sent to psychiatric institutions for questioning these laws [12, 13]. For goodness sake Mr. Whitlock, God appeared on TV and spoke to the nation, edging them on in their struggle against Greece and reaffirming their view that they are the progenitors of the white race !
As for the 2008 NATO Summit in Bucharest: I am not distorting any facts. Greece did not use any veto. As I have mentioned before, Skopje was not invited to join NATO (to the personal dismay of then-President George W. Bush) because there were many countries concerned with the lack of democratic and good-neighbourly progress by Skopje. As NATO Secretary General Jan de Hoop officially stated, "There has never been a veto" [15, 16 (see par. 20), 17]. Despite your claims to not really have an opinion on the matter, you state that if Greece had not objected, "Macedonia" would be in NATO right now. Is this the crux of the problem as you see it? Is this the bone you have to pick with Greece? Is FYROM ready to be a NATO or EU country before countries like Croatia? If you support NATO expansion at any cost, then yes you and your newspaper are reflecting ex-President George W. Bush's US Foreign Policy. By the way, Skopje's bid was sponsored by the United States as "Republic of Macedonia", and not FYROM. Greece has no obligation to accept the country as anything but FYROM as per the Interim Accord of 1995. As a result, I did not distort any facts on the matter.
Finally, I fail to see how you fail to see the analogy I give with US-Cuban relations. It is a very clear analogy of a larger country rightfully reacting to the irredentism of a smaller one and yet you criticize Greece. This is an obvious double standard.
Mr. Whitlock, we are both educated people and you can't deny the influence the media has on public opinion and on a country's internal and foreign policy. US senators and congressmen/women frequently quote newspapers when making their arguments in the Senate and the House of Representatives. As a recent example, the media was very much responsible for propagating the idea that Iraq possessed "weapons of mass destruction" and had direct links to Al Qaeda. However, in the view of many people around the world, the US went to war against a ruthless dictator but under false pretense as was evident later. I hope you can see the analogy of how the media influences public and governmental opinion and the responsibility you have as a journalist to present balanced news.
I would be more than happy to continue a discourse with you. In closing, I invite you to write a balanced article on the Athens-Skopje debate. I invite you to give some of the worldwide classicists who deride pseudohistory  a voice, I invite you to interview members of the PanMacedonian Association  and bilingual Greeks, and I invite you to visit Vergina, Pella, Philippoi, and Dion and see the real Macedonia.
Christos Karatzios MD
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Cyprus soldiers’ remains traced
In this iconic image that became available after the Turkish photographer who shot it strayed into the hands of Greek-Cypriot soldiers, a member of the Turk invasion force lights the cigarette of a prisoner, Yiannis Papayianni. The latter’s funeral is due to take place in Nicosia on Friday after officials confirmed that his remains had been found.
The United Nations-led Committee on Missing Persons confirmed that the families of the five soldiers in the photographs, which have become synonymous with the struggle of Greek Cypriots to discover the fate of hundreds of missing people, had been informed of the results of forensic tests.
The remains of the five soldiers, named as Antonakis Korelli, Panayiotis Nikolaou, Yiannis Papayianni, Christoforos Skordi and Filippos Chatzikiriakou, were found in a well along with the relics of 14 others, also thought to be Greek-Cypriot soldiers.
“For the soldiers to be discovered the way they were, in a well, proves they were murdered,” said Cypriot government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou, who urged Turkey to investigate what happened.
“The discoveries confirm the crimes and flagrant breach of international law and human rights during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus,” said Greek Foreign Ministry spokes-man Grigoris Delavekouras.
“It is a cold-blooded execution,” said Andreas Chatzikiriakou, the brother of one of those killed on August 14, 1974. “I can never accept this.”
The Turkish government had not commented on the findings by last night.
Since starting exhumations three years ago, the UN-sponsored program has unearthed the remains of 537 people and has returned those of 119 Greek Cypriots and 44 Turkish Cypriots to their families.