Press "Enter" to skip to content

The Geopolitics of the Macedonian Ethnogenesis

Hits: 808

Introduction

“The Balkan oasis of peace” was an epithet given to Yugoslav Macedonia during the bloody destruction of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. However, it seems much less convincing today, than twenty-five years ago as Europe is wondering if the territory of ex-Yugoslav Macedonia can become the last domino in the domino-effect of the collapse of the former Yugoslav federation[1] taking two fundamental reasons: “Albanian Question” in Macedonia, and Macedonia’s political-diplomatic dispute with neighboring Greece.

The name “Macedonia” today belongs to two independent states: Greece and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). A memory of the political-military achievements of Macedon kings Philip II and Alexander the Great are living in political narratives in both countries who derived great pride from their self-understood association with the name Macedonia. Therefore, claims by FYROM to the name Macedonia offend Greek national feelings, since North Greece’s region of Macedonia has equal or even more moral and historical claim to the title.

Balkan Irredentism

Probably, the focal point of Balkan nationalisms that can direct us to properly understand the historical evolution of this region to this day is that national-self-rule was and is the product of both secessionism and irredentism, unlike in majority of non-Balkan countries. Macedonian case in this matter is one of the typical examples of such phenomena. If we look at the Balkan maps of the first, initially autonomous provinces and later sovereign states, and compare them to their present-day maps we can notice that the first provinces/states emerged in the 19th century included no more than half the territory these states have today. All of East Balkan states were the product of secessions from the Ottoman Empire, first in the form of autonomous provinces and then as internationally recognized independent states. However, from the very beginning, they understood themselves as matrix-states (“Piedmont”) with an open irredentist mission to annex all “national” territories in the neighborhood according to self-interpreted “ethnic” and “historical” rights.[2]

The fact that modern Balkan states adopted the politics of irredentism inevitably led them to ethnic conflicts with the neighbors as in the Balkans, the marked territories targeted by one state conflicted with those targeted by other states, because of the mixed populations and, in many cases, their lack of a clear national consciousness in these territories as, for instance, Macedonian case clearly confirms this historical development of national politics. Macedonian nationalism is, however, the last nationalism to have been developed in South-East Europe, in the very end of the 19th century, in fact, by the creation of the first Macedonian revolutionary organization in Thessaloniki in 1893 by Bulgarian high school teachers. This is today a celebrated event in FYROM as the beginning of a Slavo-Macedonian struggle for a united national-state of a Greater Macedonia. Today’s FYROM represents, in fact, a historical accident of the 1912−1913 Balkan Wars – a territory which the Kingdom of Serbia received according to the 1913 Bucharest Peace Treaty.[3]

It is not true that the idea to create a united Greater Macedonia which should include the so-called Pirin, Aegean and Vardar Macedonia only exist after 1991 within the political framework of some extreme Macedonian nationalists and that official Macedonia’s view recognizes the inviolability of Bulgaria’s and Greece’s borders and explicitly renounces any territorial claims. We cannot, however, forget that such idea was included into an official programme of the ruling political party in FYROM in the 1990s (reestablished nationalistic IMRO)[4] and that the 1991 Macedonia’s constitution was implicitly speaking to this direction. Greece and Bulgaria (Serbia to a certain extent too) should, therefore, fear a territorial threat from neighboring FYROM at least on the propaganda-diplomatic level.

Historical (Dis)Continuity and Contemporary Politics

Both Greek and FYROM historians usually and unfortunately are not making a clear difference between ancient and modern/contemporary times in dealing with the very sensitive question of Slavo-Macedonian and Greek national ethnogenesis. This is one of the reasons of their separate claims to have an exclusive copyright to the designation “Macedonian”.

In the paragraphs below, the basic viewpoints on Macedonian ethnogenesis by all most interested sides involved in this question will be presented.

Greek Viewpoint

Modern Greek intellectuals state that there is an unbroken historical continuity between ancient and modern Greeks what is far from the truth.[5] However, a very important component of this theory of historical continuity is the claim that Antique Macedon people are from ethnical point of view, culturally and linguistically part of the ancient Greek world. This idea is deeply rooted in the official framework of Greek national identity and ethnogenesis. After Greece became independent from Ottoman Empire in 1829/1830 Greeks used this theory of historical continuity in order to make moral and political claims to ancient Macedon territory and Macedon cultural legacy. Today, the effects of such claims are clearly visible in Greek attitude to oppose FYROM’s right to use the term “Macedonia” in the official state-name, to use as state-symbols those in relation to Antique Macedon (for instance, a “Sun of Vergina”), to relate the identity of FYROM with ancient Kingdom of Macedon and to usurp the history of Antique Macedon (for instance, erecting monuments to Philip II and Alexander the Great, naming public objects and national infrastructure with their names like the highway, airport or national stadium in Skopje, etc.).[6] In other words, from a Greek perspective, “Slavs of Skopje” (but never “Macedonians”) are “stealing Greek name”, “embezzling” Greek cultural heritage and “falsifying” Greek history.[7] A usual official Greek answer to the question who were the people of Antique Macedon is: one of the many Greek (Hellenic) tribes who finally at the time of Philip II and Alexander the Great became the unifiers of all Greece (Hellas) (after the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC in Beotia/Boeotia, Greece).

Modern Greek historiography and ethnology support an idea of the essential cultural, linguistic and civilizational Greekness of Antique Macedon based on linguistic arguments and different archaeological material which are coming from excavations of ancient Macedon sites done after the WWI onward (Vergina, Pella, Philippi, etc). As a matter of fact, there is at least thousand years of continuous presence of Greek (Hellenic) culture on the territory of Antique Macedon. In addition, the aristocracy of ancient Kingdom of Macedon played a crucial role in rooting of Hellenic culture in Macedonia. These two facts are an unbeaten reality by any objective academician but, at the same time, both facts do not mean that ancient Macedon people have been the ethnic Greeks. However, surely, they have not been either Slavs, but being Hellenized several centuries before Slavs arrived at the Balkans.

Slavo-Macedonian Viewpoint

The claim of historical continuity is also found in both positions of some of the nationalists among FYROM’s authorities and in extreme propaganda by Slavo-Macedonian nationalists, especially by those who are living in emigration. They try to demonstrate the continuity between antique Macedons and modern Slavo-Macedonians by denying the very fact that the former were not the Slavs as the later are. Nevertheless, they claim that today’s Slavo-Macedonians are direct ethnic descendants of the inhabitants of ancient Kingdom of Macedon. For instance, we can read:

Only those Macedonians who feel direct descendants of Philip and Alexander in unbroken continuity will remain eternally immune to the assimilation propagandas of the neighboring states and will never betray the Macedonian race

[A programmatic statement of Makedonsko Sonce, the weekly organ of the World Macedonian Congress]

Even though that this is just the opinion of some extreme nationalists (more moderate patriots acknowledge the fact that modern Slavo-Macedonians have no ethnic relation to ancient Macedonians as Slavs arrived at Macedonia only in the sixth century AD[8]), such propaganda strengthens Greek position as more academic and objective. The crux of the matter is that as Greeks claim that the ancient Macedonian culture is part of Antique Greek world, and that modern Greeks are their direct descendants, it is for them impossible that others claim to be as well as the descendants of the ancient Macedonians.

An idea that modern Slavo-Macedonians are ethnic descendants of ancient Macedon people is essentially propagated at the expense of Greeks and it became very strengthened at the first years of FYROM’s independence after 1991[9] with the usurpation of ancient Macedon symbols,[10] for instance of the Sun of Vergina – a symbol used by ancient Macedon royal dynasty and found in Macedon King Philip’s tomb in Greece. Moreover, the new FYROM’s authorities went further in direct provoking Greece and Greeks as on the Republic of Macedonia’s commemorative currency was put the image of the White Tower of the city of Thessaloniki, which is situated in Aegean Macedonia of Greece being the second largest city of the country. For Greeks, it became quite clear that their northern neighbor has territorial pretensions on the land of the state of Greece. Such claims were backed and by both FYROM’s irredentist constitution and the programme of the leading FYROM’s political party – the VMRO-DPMNE (the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – The Democratic Party of Macedonian National Unity), which was fighting for the unification of “all Macedonia” (FYROM, Aegean Macedonia of Greece, Pirin Macedonia of Bulgaria and the land around Pčinja river in Serbia).

Clearly, Athens not only perceives the (mis)use of such symbols as a “cultural threat” but also understand it as an actual threat to the territorial integrity of Greece. This feeling was strengthened by the Article 49 in the constitution which was stating that the Republic of Macedonia cares for the status and rights of Macedonian people in neighbouring countries which Greece saw as a reference to alleged Macedonian minority in North Greece and, therefore, interpreted the article as a territorial threat to this region and Greece’s sovereignty. Moreover, the maps of a “Greater Macedonia” regularly circulated in FYROM, on which North Greece was included into the so-called “united Macedonia”.[11] All these facts are strong reasons for Greece to be afraid of territorial claims by FYROM concerning Aegean Macedonia that is about 1/3 of Greece. It has to be noted that the wish to create a “free, united and independent Macedonia” by “liberating” parts of a historical-geographic Macedonia which are “temporarily occupied” by Greece and Bulgaria (after the Balkan Wars of 1912−1913), is not merely the goal only by the extreme Macedonian nationalists but rather has a greater support by the people. However, more moderate Macedonian nationalists (which have the biggest influence over FYROM’s political life) formally recognize the inviolability of Greek and Bulgarian state-borders and officially reject any territorial claims (irredenta).[12] Nevertheless, they demand the recognition of Macedonian minority in Greece and Bulgaria by these countries and that it should be granted the basic minority rights which Macedonians deserve according to the international norms and standards.[13]

This demand is, in fact, the fundamental apple of discord between Skopje and Sofia and secondary political problem in relations Skopje-Athens as both Bulgaria and Greece do not recognize any “Macedonians” on their state-territories while Sofia does not recognize at all the existence of “Macedonians” and their language as “Macedonian” under the reasonable claim that Slavo-Macedonians are, actually, ethnic Bulgarians who speak a dialect from Macedonia of Bulgarian language. In Greece, those speakers of Slavonic language are officially called as Slavophone Greeks. As they are of Christian Orthodox denomination, as the ethnic Greeks are too, Slavophone Greeks cannot enjoy the status of a minority in Greece as Athens recognizes only religious minorities – i.e., those who are not Christian Orthodox. In common speech, Greeks are calling those Slavophone Greeks as Bulgarians[14] as their language does not differ too much from Bulgarian. Therefore, Greeks are refuting the crucial standpoint by FYROM’s authorities about alleged historical continuity of the modern Macedonian identity: if there are Macedonians today they have to be descendants of ancient people of (non-Slavic) Macedons. However, both Greeks and Bulgarians in this respect have the same position: a self-identification by definition of FYROM’s “Macedonians” means only what the people think about themselves – irrespective of whether they are historically accurate or not.

Bulgarian Viewpoint

Bulgarian position in regard to the question of the national identity of FYROM’s “Macedonians” is quite clear: they are ethnolinguistic Bulgarians. Sofia is also very keen to use historical continuity as a method to prove Bulgarian claims about the ethnolinguistic identity of FYROM’s Slavonic population just from the opposite direction in comparison to the position by Skopje: if there were Bulgarians in Macedonia in the Middle Ages as the only Slavs then today Slavo-Macedonians can be only of Bulgarian origin and blood. Bulgarians, in essence, deny present-day reality in FYROM that officially exist both “Macedonians” and “Macedonian” language which is, however, formally recognized internationally. Sofia is right that Macedonian nationality is created by Comintern between two world wars and officially recognized by Titoist Yugoslav authorities after the WWII when the Socialist Republic of Macedonia became created within the Yugoslav federation composed by six republics of six recognized nations of Yugoslavia. Nevertheless, what Bulgarians do not want to recognize as a matter of fact is that such “Macedonian” policy of the post-1945 Yugoslav government was, in fact, primarily against Serbian national interest as a consequence of a deep anti-Serbian policy by mainly Croatian-Slovenian predominance and influence in the ruling structure of Titoist dictatorship.[15]

Sofia’s main argument in dealing with Slavo-Macedonian identity is the linguistic feature of the issue as it is quite clear that the so-called “Macedonian” language as spoken in Serbian-Yugoslav Vardar Macedonia is extremely similar to Bulgarian language to such extent that today FYROM’s Slavo-Macedonians and Bulgarians are communicating in their languages with each other without any translation or interpreter like Romanians and Moldavians. To be clear, all three languages spoken by Slavo-Macedonians, Bulgarians, and Serbs are similar and belonging to a South Slavic linguistic group, but as a matter of fact, the spoken language of Slavo-Macedonians is much closer to Bulgarian (if not the same) then to Serbian.[16] Genuine Bulgarian national feelings and identity in Vardar Macedonia, according to Sofia, was gradually disappearing in the 20th century primarily because of three reasons:

  • Yugoslav propaganda of serbization in the inter-war time.
  • Confrontation of a Slavic population with Bulgarian occupation authorities during the WWII.
  • Titoist organized anti-Bulgarian propaganda after the WWII in order to macedonize Slavs of the People’s (later Socialist) Republic of Macedonia.

As a result of such historic development, today the overwhelming majority of the Slavic population in FYROM lost their authentic Bulgarian identity but their spoken language is still a fundamental evidence of their Bulgarian origin – a fact that is proven by many historical sources collected and published in 1980 by Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in Sofia in several languages.[17] Therefore, when Sofia recognized the independence of the Republic of Macedonia after the break-up of Yugoslavia, Macedonian national identity and language separate from Bulgarian were not.

Serbian Viewpoint

Differently from Greece and Bulgaria, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) up to 1996 recognized the independence of ex-Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in full satisfaction by Skopje: under the name of the Republic of Macedonia, independent Macedonian nationality and a separate Macedonian language. Therefore, Belgrade recognized, in fact, Slavo-Macedonians as not ethnic Serbs. Such diplomatic decision deteriorated historically very good relations with Greece as Athens insisted that Skopje cannot use the name of Macedonia included into the official state-title. From this respect, Belgrade did the same as did Sofia but differently as Tirana did: Albania recognized FYROM in April 1993 as well as the political continuity of Macedonia from August 2nd, 1944 when a communist Anti-Fascist Assembly of National Liberation of Macedonia proclaimed Macedonia’s statehood.

From the 19th century up to 1945 Serbs mainly understood the territory of today’s FYROM as “South” or “Vardar” Serbia for the reason that it was included into the medieval Serbian empire proclaimed by the emperor Stefan Dušan in 1346 in Skopje as a capital of the state.[18] Vardar Macedonia was part of Serbia from 1299 till 1371.[19] That is a territory which the Kingdom of Serbia annexed from the Ottoman Empire after the Second Balkan War in 1913 when “geographic-historical” Macedonia became divided between Greece (51% – Aegean Macedonia), Serbia (39% – Vardar Macedonia) and Bulgaria (10% – Pirin Macedonia).[20]

However, while Serbian position to the question of Macedonian identity after 1945 is mainly clear from the political point of view, great difficulties exist at the academic and popular level as many Serbian academicians and people claim Macedonians as ethnolinguistic Serbs. One of the crucial arguments to support this position is the fact that “Slava” – family patron day (a pagan tradition accommodated to the new Christian environment), as a custom, exists only among Serbs wherever they live. As Slavo-Macedonians celebrate “Slava” as well as they have to be of Serbian origin.

Nevertheless, moderate Serbian position is that throughout the centuries Slavo-Macedonians, in fact, did not have any specific ethnic characteristics as being, according to the famous Serbian and Yugoslav ethnologist and geographer Jovan Cvijić, just “une masse flottant” living between Serbian and Bulgarian ethnic identities.[21] In other words, J. Cvijić claimed in 1906 that Slavo-Macedonians are only an amorphous mass that is going to be assimilated either by Serbs or Bulgarians, depending on the influence of the relevant propaganda. Many moderate Serbian nationalists will also accept his standpoint that the name “Bulgarian”, which was usually used by Slavs of Macedonia around the year 1900, was not an ethnolinguistic name but rather the product of strong Bulgarian propaganda in the region of Macedonia which started to be spread out from 1870 when the autonomous Bulgarian Exarchate was established by the Ottoman sultan with a jurisdiction over the biggest portion of geographic-historical Macedonia.

Conclusion

Taking into consideration FYROM’s name dispute between Athens and Skopje and a Greek fear of territorial irredentism coming from FYROM’s side, a strong obstruction of Greece towards international recognition and participation of FYROM from 1991 to 1993 was quite understandable at least from a political standpoint knowing that the ancient Macedon culture and history are deeply embedded into a Greek history and national consciousness. For all of these reasons, it is for Greeks very difficult to accept that another nation can claim a name, culture, and history which in their eyes are part of Greek civilization.

FYROM’s territorial irredentism can have and very practical geopolitical reasons of the economic nature: the landlocked country is desperately searching for the outlet of the seacoast. The most optimal solution is a Greek Aegean Sea with its biggest port of Thessaloniki – a city marked as a capital of a united Greater Macedonia by all Slavo-Macedonian nationalists. Nevertheless, the territory of geographical-historical Macedonia has been for the last 150 years one of the focal apples of discord in South-East Europe. A stable prosperous country of Macedonia, however, can serve in the future as a bridge between all of her four neighbors[22] under one condition: to relinquish its territorial irredentism.

Prof. Dr Vladislav B. Sotirović

www.global-politics.eu/sotirovic

sotirovic@global-politics.eu

© Vladislav B. Sotirović 2018

References

[1] Marijana Ivanova, “The Last Domino? FYR of Macedonia Facing New Challenges”, EuroBalkans, Autumn/Winter 1999, 47.

[2] About the geopolitical and historical context of contemporary Balkan questions, see [Derek Hall, Darrick Danta (eds.), Reconstructing the Balkans: A Geography of the New Southeast Europe, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 1996].

[3] Vanni Cappelli, “The Macedonian Question…Again”, The Washington Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 3, 1998, 133.

[4] VMRO-DPMNE (Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation-Democratic Party of Macedonian National Unity). A Macedonian „national unity“ is seen as a creation of a Greater (geographic-historical) Macedonia.

[5] On the main markers of Greek national identity in Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic periods, see [Katerina Zacharia (ed.), Hellenismas: Culture, Identity, and Ethnicity from Antiquity to Modernity, New York: Routledge, 2008].

[6] Victor Roudometof, “Nationalism and Identity Politics in the Balkans: Greece and the Macedonian Question”, Journal of Modern Greek Studies, Vol. 14, No. 2, 1996, 253−301.

[7] Nicolas K. Martis, The Falsification of Macedonian History, Athens: Graphic Arts, 1984; Loring M. Danforth, “Claims to Macedonian Identity: The Macedonian Question and the Breakup of Yugoslavia”, Anthropology Today, Vol. 9, No. 4, 1993, 3−10.

[8] Loring M. Danforth, “Claims to Macedonian Identity: The Macedonian Question and the Breakup of Yugoslavia”, Anthropology Today, Vol. 9, No. 4, 1993, 3−10.

[9] A referendum on independence was held on September 8th, 1991 and based on its results on September 17th, 1991 it was adopted the Declaration of Sovereignty and Statehood. The Assembly (Sobranie) adopted new constitution on November 17th, 1991 according to which, the Republic of Macedonia became the official state-name of this former Yugoslav socialist republic [Sabrina P. Ramet (ed.), Central and Southeast European Politics since 1989, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010, 348].

[10] Nikolaos Zahariadis, “Nationalism and Small-State Foreign Policy: The Greek Response to the Macedonian Issue”, Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 109, No. 4., 1994, 647−667.

[11] John Shea on a history of Macedonia [http://www.ancientmacedonia.com /shea.html].

[12] Irredentism is, in fact, a synonym for “piedmontization” after the model of the unification of Italy, build around the Piedmont state in the 1860s. In the case of Macedonian nationalism, FYROM has to play a role of Macedonian Piedmont.

[13] Loring M. Danforth, “Claims to Macedonian Identity: The Macedonian Question and the Breakup of Yugoslavia”, Anthropology Today, Vol. 9, No. 4, 1993, 3−10.

[14] Hugh Poulton, The Balkans: Minorities and States in Conflict, London: Minority Rights Publications, 1994, 175.

[15] Yugoslav dictator Josip Broz Tito (1892−1980) by himself was half Slovenian and half Croatian from Roman Catholic family born in Croatia (Kumrovec in Zagorje) very close to the border with Slovenia. During the WWI he was fighting on the Serbian front as a solder of infamous Austro-Hungarian 42. Devil Division which committed terrible war crimes against civilians in West Serbia in 1914 [Перо Симић, Тито и Срби. Књига 1 (1914−1944), Београд: Laguna, 2016, 25−48].

[16] On the Balkan languages, national identity and nationalism, see in [Stephen Barbour, Cathie Carmichael (eds.), Language and Nationalism in Europe, New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, 221−239].

[17] Macedonia: Anthology of Documents and Materials, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Historical Institute and Institute of Bulgarian Language, Sofia, 1980.

[18] Станоје Станојевић, Сви српски владари, Београд: Отворена књига, 2015, 56−57.

[19] In 1371 the second and last Serbia’s emperor, Stefan Uroš, died and the empire became forever gone as the feudal lords decomposed it [Јованка Калић, Срби у позном средњем веку, друго издање, Београд: Службени лист СРЈ, 2001, 10−11; Миладин Стевановић, Душаново царство, Београд: Књига-комерц, 2001, 181−187].

[20] Georges Castellan, History of the Balkans: From Mohammed the Conqueror to Stalin, New York: Columbia University Press, 1992, 377−382.

[21] Јован Цвијић, Неколика посматрања о етнографији македонских Словена, Београд, 1906. However, Cvijić marked the Slavo-Macedonians as the Serbs on his Ethnographic Map of the Balkan Peninsula in 1918 which was made for the political purpose to claim the Vardar Macedonia for the new Yugoslav state rather than for the post-WWI Bulgaria.

[22] Hough Poulton, Who are the Macedonians?, Hong Kong: Hurst & Company London, 1995, 210.


Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

READ MORE!
The Yugoslavia Counter-Narrative in 1993: Sean Gervasi, a Neglected Expert, Spoke Out in the Early Years of the Catastrophe
TRANSCRIPT:Harold Channer (HC): Good evening and welcome very, very much to the conversation. We’re pleased to welcome to the program, Sean Gervasi. He is a professor and academic who is concerned with economics and particularly with what is relevant to what we want to talk about tonight. He has just returned from a long stay in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, and knows something of that situation. Sean Gervasi, welcome very, very much to the conversation, and back to New York. Before we go into some detail about what in the world is going on in terms of the Balkans, from your experience ...
READ MORE
The Painful Truth: War is a Racket on Behalf of Wall Street and the Bankers
“We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth…For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.” —Patrick Henry, Virginia Convention, 23 March, 1775 “The completeness of the victory is established by this fact: that of the six hundred Moros (Muslims living in the southern Philippines at the beginning of the 20th century) not one was left alive. The brilliancy of the victory is established by this other fact, to wit: that of our six hundred heroes only fifteen lost their ...
READ MORE
Russia’s Geopolitical Interests in the Balkans
First of all, taking into consideration the particular region of the Balkans in the context of Russia's national interests, we should consult official documents reflecting the wishes and intentions of the government. It is therefore necessary to consider Russia’s foreign policy doctrine. Foreign policy strategy The Russian Federation's previous foreign policy doctrine was made public on July 15th, 2008. Russian objectives were marked as the following: - Impacting global processes in order to establish a just and democratic world order based on collective principles in solving international problems and on the rule of international law, primarily the UN Charter provisions as well as equal ...
READ MORE
The Slavo-Macedonians as a Tool For the Creation of a Greater Tito’s Yugoslavia
These coming days, the final result of the inter-state negotiations between the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Greece about the official and internationally used state’s name of the former is to be announced. According to many unofficial sources, most probable new state’s name of FYROM is going to be the Republic of North Macedonia but other options like the Republic of Ilinden Macedonia are also circulating in mass media. Here, it is worth to remember some of the aspects of historical disputes over the “Macedonian Question”. The focal Greek accusation of Yugoslav Macedonian policy after the WWII was that ...
READ MORE
America’s War Аgainst the People of Korea: The Historical Record of US War Crimes
The following text by Michel Chossudovsky was presented in Seoul, South Korea in the context of the Korea Armistice Day Commemoration, 27 July 2013 A Message for Peace. Towards a Peace Agreement and the Withdrawal of US Troops from Korea Introduction Armistice Day, 27 July 1953 is day of Remembrance for the People of Korea. It is a landmark date in the historical struggle for national reunification and sovereignty. I am privileged to have this opportunity of participating in the 60th anniversary commemoration of Armistice Day on July 27, 2013. I am much indebted to the “Anti-War, Peace Actualized, People Action” movement for this opportunity ...
READ MORE
The Destabilization of Macedonia? Greater Albania and the Process of “Kosovization”
Introduction The last open armed conflict in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – FYROM (former Socialist Republic of Macedonia as one of six federal republics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) in the May 2015 was just an expected continuation of constant tensions between the ethnic Albanians and the Macedonian Slavs during the last quarter of century.[i] However, these tensions are time to time transformed into the open armed conflicts of the Albanian extremists, usually coming from Kosovo, with the Macedonian security forces. The most notable conflict incidents in Macedonia after the Kosovo War in 1998−1999, when the Kosovo Albanians ...
READ MORE
The Balkans: Endurance, Endeavour and the Resistance to Foreign Oppression
I travel frequently to the countries which once made up the now defunct Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, satisfying a passion of mine that stems back to my childhood days. For me, the Balkans’ history, its people and its cultures are both enigmatic and magnetic, as they have been, too, for countless others, of many nationalities, over centuries gone by.  Accounting for the enchantment of the Balkans, its captivating allure, is a challenge to put into writing. Because no words can truly embellish what is one of the most absorbing parts of the world. To understand and feel what it is ...
READ MORE
Is the ‘Greater Albania’ Project Aimed Against Russia in the Balkans?
A project for Greater Albania – conspiracy or legitimate? According to a 2010 Gallup Balkan Monitor report, 83% of Albanians in Albania supported the idea of a Greater Albania, with 81% and 53% of Albanians in Kosovo and North Macedonia respectively supporting such an ambition.The ultimate goal? To have Kosovo and the Preševo Valley in Serbia, southern Montenegro, Epirus in Greece and western North Macedonia into a single Greater Albanian state. Although this may not be official policy of the Albanian Republic, it is ingrained into the Albanian mythos. The very idea of a Greater Albania has roots in the 1913 Treaty of London that left roughly 40% ...
READ MORE
War on Yugoslavia: Fraud Western Propaganda
From a geopolitical perspective, the war on Yugoslavia in the 1990s was about restructuring South­east Europe after the end of the Cold War. To this end, the US even deployed the combatants with which it had previously fought the USSR in Afghanistan and which it would later call „Al Qaeda“.The political and media propaganda regarding the war on Yugoslavia has been well researched by now. Interestingly, however, many media outlets and commentators are still trying to uphold the official narrative of the time, in contrast to the later war in Iraq, for example.There may be various reasons for this. On ...
READ MORE
A Letter From the Greek American Community on the Cyprus Talks
On the eve of the Conference on Cyprus, we feel compelled to express our views on the Cyprus negotiations on behalf of the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations (FCAO), the American Hellenic Institute (AHI), the American Hellenic Council (AHC), the Hellenic Federation of New Jersey, and the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH). Our community has worked with successive US Administrations on behalf of a workable and lasting solution on Cyprus. In 2004, when we warned that the flawed Annan Plan was headed in the wrong direction, ...
READ MORE
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938): The Perpetrator of the Greek Genocide
Mustafa Kemal ‘Atatürk’ was the consummator of the Greek Genocide. He was born in 1881 at Salonica in Greece (then part of the Ottoman Empire).  He attended the Ottoman Military School in Constantinople and graduated in 1905. Around 1908 he joined the Committee for Union and Progress (CUP). Kemal was an officer of the Turkish Army and founded the Turkish Nationalist Movement (the Kemalists) by regrouping the Ottoman Army, Turkish irregulars and the remnants of the CUP. He continued the genocidal policy engineered by the Committee for Union and Progress.Ottoman Greeks were persecuted throughout Asia Minor and Eastern Thrace under ...
READ MORE
A Short History of An Interwar Yugoslavia (1918‒1941)
Yugoslavia (the “land of South Slavs”) was a Balkan multi-ethnic state which emerged from the ruins of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy (est. 1867) and was officially announced to exist on December 1st, 1918 under the original name of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.[i] The name was changed in June 1929 to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The country existed under such name till April 1941 when it was destroyed, occupied, and divided by the Axis Powers and their Balkan satellites. Legally, the state emerged from the 1917 Corfu Pact signed by the Government of Serbia on one hand and the ...
READ MORE
New World Order: Muslims to be Majority in Europe within Two Generations
Within 40 years, given current demographic trends, the white population in France and the rest of old Europe will recede, creating a Muslim majority, a French researcher says.Charles Gave, an economist, fund manager and political commentator, published his conclusions this month on the webpage of his think tank, Institute des Libertes. He writes of the “disappearance of the European populations” as native populations shrink and Muslims continue to exhibit a robust fertility rate.Mr. Gave, president of Gavekal Research, acknowledges that his decidedly unpolitically correct view may bring him scorn and possibly censorship. The political left generally protects Islam from criticism. ...
READ MORE
Who are (not) Modern-Day Macedonians?
Preface It is quite true that “Macedonian national identity is one of the most complex in the Balkans”.[1] The present-day Macedonians are having a century and a half identity disputes with their neighbors, especially with the Greeks and the Bulgarians but as well as and self-identity problems within the territory of the state of Macedonia which was proclaimed as an independent in November 1991 on the foundation of ex-Yugoslav socialist republic (1945−1991) under the same name. Today, only about 64% of Macedonia’s citizens claim to be the Macedonians in ethnolinguistic terms while the rest of population reject this name even from ...
READ MORE
South-East Europe in the International Relations at the Turn of the 20th Century (II)
Part IFrance’s Balkan policy of the status quo    The fundamental interest of France in the region of South-East Europe was of the economic nature but not fundamentally of the political one. The region was perceived by the French politicians as primarily significant in the following three points:As a well-suited area for the investment of the French financial capital.As the region which was the most appropriate overland traffic bond with the Ottoman Empire.As a foothold for the French economic domination over the East Mediterranean.[i]In this respect, the French economic penetration into the region, followed by an investment of the French financial ...
READ MORE
Yalta, 1945: The Impact on Yugoslavia
What was the impact of the 1945 Yalta Conference on Yugoslavia? The key result of the conference for Yugoslavia was that it endorsed and ratified the 1944 agreement between Josip Broz Tito and Ivan Subasic. The end result was that the American, British, and Soviet governments installed a dictatorship in Yugoslavia. The Allied task was the illusory and chimerical objective of uniting the prewar, monarchist Yugoslav Government-in-Exile based in London headed by Peter II Karadjordjevich with Tito’s de facto anti-monarchist, Soviet-style, Communist government in Belgrade. This was the major issue that was discussed at plenary meetings and foreign ministers sessions at ...
READ MORE
An Overview of the Greek Genocide
The Greek Genocide (or Ottoman Greek Genocide) refers to the systematic extermination of the native Greek subjects of the Ottoman Empire before, during and after World War I (1914-1923). It was instigated by successive governments of the Ottoman Empire; the Committee of Union and Progress Party (C.U.P), and the Turkish Nationalist Movement of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.  It included massacres, forced deportations and death marches, summary expulsions, boycotts, rape, forced conversion to Islam, conscription into labor battalions, arbitrary executions, and destruction of Christian Orthodox cultural, historical and religious monuments. According to various sources, approximately 1 million Ottoman Greeks perished during this period.The first ...
READ MORE
A Liberal Democracy, a Market Capitalist Economy and the Permanent Wars
War is not an anomaly, nor an exception to the rule, it has always been with us and it might always be. Militarism and its practice in war are subcategories of waste (the harmful things we produce such as pollution and bombs) and domains of accumulation themselves. They are also prerequisites for the expansion of capital and its market economy. Much is done to portray war as an inherent attribute of human fallibility or an unintended consequence. However, mainstream concepts associated with the promotion of the market economy are weapons of the ruling class. They are all laced with poison. ...
READ MORE
The Forgotten Genocide of the Greeks of Asia Minor
George Mauropoulos, "The Forgotten Genocide of the Greeks of Asia Minor", AHIF Policy Journal, American Hellenic Institute Foundation, Inc., Vol. 8, Spring 2017, pp. 3 Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest. Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement! Donate to Support Us We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
READ MORE
Greece and Slavo-Macedonians (1913-1993)
After the division of Macedonia in 1913 (according to the Bucharest Peace Treaty) neither Serbia, Bulgaria nor Greece recognized the existence of a Macedonian ethnolinguistic nation and, therefore, an assimilation policy of Macedonia’s Slavs was carried out by the state’s authorities of all those three countries. Greece referred to Aegean Slavo-Macedonians as Slavophone Greeks or Macedoslavs (the region was and is today officially called as “North Greece”), Serbia referred to Vardar Slavo-Macedonians as Serbs from “South Serbia” while for Bulgaria Pirin Slavo-Macedonians were Bulgarians. When the WWI started in 1914, Bulgaria sided with Central Powers and in the fall of 1915 ...
READ MORE
The Yugoslavia Counter-Narrative in 1993: Sean Gervasi, a Neglected Expert, Spoke Out in the Early Years of the Catastrophe
The Painful Truth: War is a Racket on Behalf of Wall Street and the Bankers
Russia’s Geopolitical Interests in the Balkans
The Slavo-Macedonians as a Tool For the Creation of a Greater Tito’s Yugoslavia
America’s War Аgainst the People of Korea: The Historical Record of US War Crimes
The Destabilization of Macedonia? Greater Albania and the Process of “Kosovization”
The Balkans: Endurance, Endeavour and the Resistance to Foreign Oppression
Is the ‘Greater Albania’ Project Aimed Against Russia in the Balkans?
War on Yugoslavia: Fraud Western Propaganda
A Letter From the Greek American Community on the Cyprus Talks
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938): The Perpetrator of the Greek Genocide
A Short History of An Interwar Yugoslavia (1918‒1941)
New World Order: Muslims to be Majority in Europe within Two Generations
Who are (not) Modern-Day Macedonians?
South-East Europe in the International Relations at the Turn of the 20th Century (II)
Yalta, 1945: The Impact on Yugoslavia
An Overview of the Greek Genocide
A Liberal Democracy, a Market Capitalist Economy and the Permanent Wars
The Forgotten Genocide of the Greeks of Asia Minor
Greece and Slavo-Macedonians (1913-1993)
Mission News Theme by Compete Themes.