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  • George S.
    Senior Member
    • Aug 2009
    • 10116

    Why negotiating with Greece is bad for Macedonia!

    Why negotiating with Greece is bad for Macedonia!



    By Risto Stefov

    [email protected]

    August 8, 2010



    First and foremost, Macedonia should not be negotiating with Greece over its own name even if Greece was its brother and best friend! But setting that aside, what message does Macedonia give the world when it willingly enters a process to negotiate a change to its own name to please Greece, one country which amounts to less than 1% of the world’s countries and a fraction of the world population, so small that I don’t even know how to describe it!



    Let us pause for a moment and think about this. Who would willingly negotiate to change their own name?



    1. A desperate person for whom life does not matter and has no future.

    2. A completely ignorant person who knows not what they are doing.

    3. A person who has something to gain that is worth more than his or her own identity.



    Whether Macedonian authorities are prepared to change our country’s name or not is unknown, but as long as these “negotiations” are going on there is a possibility that a name change will take place. The fact that we are allowing the negotiations to go on is demeaning, reckless and dangerous to Macedonia and to the Macedonian people.



    The negotiations are demeaning to every decent Macedonian because of what they mean; to be put in a situation where Macedonians are expected to voluntarily negotiate their own sacred identity with their worst enemy, the same enemy who has been planning and executing their demise for more than a century.



    The negotiations are reckless because there is no definition or limit to what is being negotiated. No one knows exactly what is negotiated and so far I have not seen any analysis or reports of what a name change will do to/for Macedonia if it is allowed to happen. Worse than that, by negotiating our own God given name, Macedonian authorities have given the world the wrong message about what Greece really wants from Macedonia and what Macedonia is willing to give up for it. Macedonian authorities have failed to officially disclose where they stand with Greece and simply jumped into a trap from which they now find difficulty exiting.



    The negotiations are dangerous because as long as they go on there is danger that Macedonia will be pressured to change its name and that will lead to greater consequences for the Macedonian people in the future.



    To minimize this danger, Macedonian authorities must pull out of these negotiations now and face the fallout today before an even greater mistake is made. To eliminate this danger, Macedonian authorities must amend the Macedonian constitution to never allow anyone again to play with Macedonia’s name. It is not a referendum that is needed to save Macedonia, it is a constitutional amendment so that no one ever again will have the right to negotiate Macedonia’s name with anyone!



    Personally for me and for thousands of Macedonians like me that originate from Greek occupied Macedonia, the name negotiations are more than an embarrassment, they are a total letdown, a disaster. To see our sacred Macedonian name, for which we fought and spilled blood, negotiated away with our oppressors and worst enemies is a crime of the worst kind. We are the people whose Macedonian identity has been forcefully ripped out of us. We are the people who lost everything to the Greeks; our freedom, our names, our language, our lands and our dignity. It is appalling for us to see our fellow Macedonians sit side by side with our worst enemies and willingly negotiate away something that belongs to all Macedonians and is not negotiable.



    We the Macedonians from Greek occupied Macedonia place great trust in you to safeguard our God given name and preserve it for all time. We plead with you to immediately pull away from these negotiations because, from our experience, we can tell you with certainty that nothing good will come out of this for any of us! Do the right thing, call off the negotiations and begin a new campaign to force Greece, Bulgaria and Albania to recognize the Macedonians in their respective countries!



    The only way to put Greece and Bulgaria in their place today is to demand of them that they give back what rightfully belongs to the Macedonian people; their human rights, their property rights and their rights to declare themselves Macedonian. Do that for us instead of negotiating away our name!



    Another thing, besides the danger of losing our name, which worries me about these negotiations, is the message we are sending to the world. People don’t know and for the most part don’t care about what is going on between Macedonia and Greece and see the “name negotiations” as something the Macedonian people want. But is this what the Macedonian people really want? To capitulate to their enemies? To commit ethnic suicide? If this is not what the Macedonian people want then why negotiate with the Greeks? Better yet why hasn’t anyone officially explained to the world what Greece is really asking us to do through these negotiations?



    Are we a desperate people who have no life and no future and are willing to commit ethnic suicide to satisfy the Greeks who want nothing less of us than our total demise?



    Are we a completely ignorant people who know nothing of what we are doing and is that why we are negotiating our country’s God given name with our worst enemies?



    Or do we believe that Greece, our worst enemy which wants nothing less than our demise, or someone else out there, will by some magical means give us something so great that it is worth more than our own identity?



    If we are none of the above then someone please explain to me why we are still negotiating away our own country’s God given name with our worst enemies who want nothing less of us than our total demise?



    Here is something to think about:



    Former UN Mediator tells Macedonia not to change name



    Macedonia must not and will not change its name in order to appease Greece - this was a message from the first UN mediator Mr. Robin O'Neil for Ohrid based NTV station as part of a conference entitled "Macedonia, our name, identity and dignity.

    Speaking about exclusivity of the name Macedonia, British expert of international law and ambassador, explained that no one exclusively owns the name Macedonia.

    According to Mr. O'Neil, if Macedonia succumbs to pressures and changes its name, such events will only give more firepower to Greece until it reaches its final goal - Macedonia to vanish from the map.

    O'Neil advised the Macedonian Government to work hard on admission to EU and NATO adding: 'Macedonia already has two names, it doesn't need a third. As time passes, the temporary name will lose its importance and relevance, because it is a temporary name."

    Mr. O'Neil believes Greece has broken the rules of the 1995 Agreement because it is blocking the country from accessions to EU and NATO, even though it is clearly stated in the Agreement (UN Resolution 817) it can not do so.

    The former UN mediator stressed repeatedly at the conference: "If Macedonia accepts any sort of change, whether it is the silly North, Above, Top, Vardar, Upper... it shall commit a national suicide.

    Greek professor Aristotelis Camparis disagrees. The intellectual from the Athens University of Pirea believes there is a rare opportunity for the two countries to solve the name dispute until November in which both parties will win. He believes there are friendly Governments in both countries that could work things out.

    Famous professor and intellectual at Ss Cyril and Methodius Mr. Ljubomir Cuculovski disagrees with his colleague from Athens. Cuculovski believes Greece is just a poodle in the whole name dispute game and is being used by a third powerful nation whose agenda is to remove Macedonia from the map, a sentiment shared by many Macedonian professors.
    "Ido not want an uprising of people that would leave me at the first failure, I want revolution with citizens able to bear all the temptations to a prolonged struggle, what, because of the fierce political conditions, will be our guide or cattle to the slaughterhouse"
    GOTSE DELCEV

    Comment

    • George S.
      Senior Member
      • Aug 2009
      • 10116

      Does anyone seriously beleive that macedonia will be better off if it changes it's name?
      i think we'll be worse off as greece will appropriate everything macedonian & monopolise the name.Wo knows later on may ask to take the rest of macedonia??It's all asinister move to destroy macedonia completely.
      Last edited by George S.; 08-08-2010, 08:42 AM. Reason: ed
      "Ido not want an uprising of people that would leave me at the first failure, I want revolution with citizens able to bear all the temptations to a prolonged struggle, what, because of the fierce political conditions, will be our guide or cattle to the slaughterhouse"
      GOTSE DELCEV

      Comment

      • julie
        Senior Member
        • May 2009
        • 3869

        George, you ask the question if Macedonia will be better off with the EU and if forum members condone this. I really think you should read the threads and posts, and actually take note of the comments, and you wont need to ask that question.
        The answer is NO , no to Nato, EU and to negotiations.
        It is suicide for Macedonia.
        "The moral revolution - the revolution of the mind, heart and soul of an enslaved people, is our greatest task."__________________Gotse Delchev

        Comment

        • Makedonetz
          Senior Member
          • Apr 2010
          • 1080

          Yebej Grcia!!!

          thats all i have to say about them wanting to change our name.
          Makedoncite se borat
          za svoite pravdini!

          "The one who works for joining of Macedonia to Bulgaria,Greece or Serbia can consider himself as a good Bulgarian, Greek or Serb, but not a good Macedonian"
          - Goce Delchev

          Comment

          • George S.
            Senior Member
            • Aug 2009
            • 10116

            Julie i did not mean if they change the name to enter the Eu or nato.I mean't to change the name & appease the greeks the greeks will not rest until it's destroyed.A lot of countries are not happy with what's happening it's simply debt ridden.Nato on the other hand is more to do with security.Really macedonia shouldn't negotiate or to discuss a name chage.
            "Ido not want an uprising of people that would leave me at the first failure, I want revolution with citizens able to bear all the temptations to a prolonged struggle, what, because of the fierce political conditions, will be our guide or cattle to the slaughterhouse"
            GOTSE DELCEV

            Comment

            • VMRO
              Senior Member
              • Sep 2008
              • 1462



              www.yousendit.com works, you upload a file and then they give you a link that you can download the file from.


              Zamunda.net site doesn't work beh.
              Verata vo Mislite, VMRO vo dushata, Makedonia vo Srceto.

              Vnatreshna Makedonska Revolucionerna Organizacija.

              Comment

              • George S.
                Senior Member
                • Aug 2009
                • 10116

                Free E BOOKS IN MACEDONIAN

                From RIsto Stefov


                Dear readers and friends,


                Some of my books that are out of print are now available in electronic format for free. You can access them at this link;







                Regards, Risto…
                "Ido not want an uprising of people that would leave me at the first failure, I want revolution with citizens able to bear all the temptations to a prolonged struggle, what, because of the fierce political conditions, will be our guide or cattle to the slaughterhouse"
                GOTSE DELCEV

                Comment

                • George S.
                  Senior Member
                  • Aug 2009
                  • 10116

                  Well guys there is such a thing as a free Book.Check it out & start downloading happy reading!
                  "Ido not want an uprising of people that would leave me at the first failure, I want revolution with citizens able to bear all the temptations to a prolonged struggle, what, because of the fierce political conditions, will be our guide or cattle to the slaughterhouse"
                  GOTSE DELCEV

                  Comment

                  • George S.
                    Senior Member
                    • Aug 2009
                    • 10116

                    Macedonian Struggle for Independence Part 32 – Prelude to the Balkan Wars

                    Macedonian Struggle for Independence



                    Part 32 – Prelude to the Balkan Wars



                    By Risto Stefov

                    [email protected]

                    August 2010



                    The Ilinden Macedonian National Uprising was the Macedonian peoples’ conclusion to a long struggle for freedom from the oppressive Ottoman Empire and for the creation of a free and independent Macedonian state. The Macedonian peoples’ hopes and aspirations unfortunately were not only dashed, when the Ottomans violently crushed the Uprising, but their hopes for liberty in the future were also destroyed as a Macedonian defeat signaled to Macedonia’s neighbours that Macedonia was now ripe for the picking.



                    Despair and helplessness overcame the Macedonian population as it lost its strength to struggle not only against the Ottomans but also against foreign influence and alien propaganda. Disappointed in their leadership’s ability to lead them to liberty and under the influence of neighbouring propaganda, Macedonians began to believe that the only way they could liberate themselves was if Bulgaria, Serbia, or Greece helped them. The hopes of the majority were pinned mostly on Bulgaria because its propaganda, delivered by the Exarchate Church and the Vrhovists (Bulgarian supremacists), was very convincing. Bulgarian propaganda was so strong that Macedonians began to trust Sofia to become their liberator.



                    In terms of numbers, just before the First Balkan War broke out, there were 2,360,000 people living within Macedonia’s ethnic and geographical borders in an area encompassing 67,741.2 square kilometers.



                    Of the total population living in Macedonia, 52.4 percent, or 1,182,000 people were Christian Macedonians, 22 percent, or 500,000 were Ottomans, 10 percent, or 230,000 were Greeks, 5.7 percent, or 123,000 were Albanians, 3.6 percent, or 80,000 were Vlachs, 3 percent, or 70,000 were Jews, and 2.4 percent, or 54,000 were Roma (Gypsies). Ottomans lived mainly in the Vardar River valley and on the Aegean Coast. Greeks lived on the southern fringe of Macedonia and Jews lived mostly in Solun. In 1912 Solun had a population of 125,000 people, 60,000 of whom were Jews, 25,000 were Ottomans, 14,000 were Macedonians and 14,000 were Greeks. (Vanche Stojchev. “Military History of Macedonia”. Military academy. Skopje, 2004. Page 397)



                    Even though the Macedonian Odrin Revolutionary Organization (MORO) had much influence over the entire Macedonian territory, it was unable to entrench itself everywhere. There were peripheral areas still out of its control where Macedonians were only a minority. MORO attempted to pull these areas under Macedonian control and grant them political autonomy. But just before the Balkan Wars, Bulgaria and Serbia signed a secret treaty which put an end to Macedonian autonomy altogether. The name “Macedonian” was also deleted from various official documents including the “Greek-Bulgarian Defense Alliance” map created in early October 1912 and the military convention of the Bulgarian and Greek army Major Headquarters.



                    Nineteenth and twentieth century Serbian aspirations towards Macedonia were based on a Serbian national program created by IIija Garashanin in 1844. Serbian writers, poets and scientists contributed much to the creation and development of the Serbian national ideology, especially during the romantic period towards the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Garashanin’s idea called for the creation of a strong Serbian state capable of opposing Austria-Hungary and Russia who had intentions of partitioning the Balkans along the Vidin-Solun line. Garashanin wanted the Serbian state to be based on historical rights going back to the 13th and 14th century Serbian Empire. Serbia, Garashanin believed, would be a factor of stability in the region and would hold the balance of power after the Ottoman Empire was removed. He based this belief on the certainty that the Western Great Powers, led by France and Britain, were opposed to the Austrian and Russian expansion in the Balkans.



                    Garashanin’s idea of a Greater Serbia was to include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and northern Albania, territories under Ottoman rule, as well as Srem, Banat, Bachka, Slavonija and Croatia. Even though Garashanin never mentioned Macedonia by name he clearly meant it to be incorporated into Greater Serbia as per Dushan's empire of which Macedonia was part.



                    Later, after Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia lost its chance to access the Adriatic Sea, it came to rely on Russian help to achieve its objectives. This prompted Serbia to look south to Albania and Macedonia to obtain access to a seaport, which clearly proved that Serbian aspirations were nothing more than imperial land grabs of other peoples’ lands. This was also proven by the fact that Serbian authorities told their own people to prepare to fight at any cost in order to obtain access to the sea. While preparing to drive out the Ottomans, Serbia had to also confront its Balkan partners Bulgaria, Greece and Montenegro who had similar ambitions and were preparing to also occupy and annex Ottoman territories in the Balkans.



                    While Serbia directed its attention southward towards Macedonia and Albania, Bulgaria was hard at work looking for ways to annex all of Macedonia and Thrace (Odrin Region). Due to the outcome of the 1876 Istanbul Conference and the 1878 Treaty of San Stefano, Bulgaria believed it had legal rights to annex Macedonia. Bulgaria also believed that it was the only state entitled to annex Solun even though Solun was never included in any of the aforementioned agreements. Greater Bulgarian propaganda was constantly emphasizing that the Macedonian people were Bulgarians and had Bulgarian national consciousness and that Bulgaria had a moral right to look after them. These assumptions were taken as the basis upon which Bulgaria carried out its international affairs regarding the Macedonian Question.



                    Greece also had similar expansionist ambitions to enlarge its own territory at the expense of the Ottomans. The most important of Greece’s goals was to liberate the so-called “Greeks” who at the time were under Ottoman rule. But as this idea was popularized, a dispute arose between various factions of Greeks as to the definition of who exactly was Greek. Influenced by many factors such as the idea of creating a new Greek national state, various ideologies, economics, religion and other factors, which surfaced in the first half of the 19th century, resulted in two political and spiritual centres to emerge; Athens and Istanbul. Rivalry between the two became an obstacle for building a unique Greek national ideology but was later overcome in the second half of the 19th century by the adaptation of Hellenism. Modern Hellenism connected the ideas of an ancient Greek civilization and a Byzantine Greece, thus linking together all Greek factions.



                    The Istanbul Patriarchate also played an important role, not only with its spiritual and secular power over the Ottoman Orthodox Christians but also with its political, economic and cultural influence. The Byzantine Church language, later termed “Greek”, being the language of business and commerce among the Christians in the Ottoman Empire was widespread among the educated non-Greek population, which supported the idea of creating a Christian ruled state similar to the Byzantine Empire.



                    But by mid-19th century, Hellenism became the adopted compromise for the Greek national formula which united the ancient and the Byzantine heritage thus ending the lengthy dispute between the Greek autocephalous church created in 1833 and the Istanbul Patriarchate. The Istanbul Patriarchate recognized the independence of the Greek Church in 1850 and the Greek Church in turn recognized the supreme power of the Patriarchate. The Russian Church was instrumental in playing the intermediary from its traditional attitude that Russia was responsible for the preservation of Orthodoxy in the Balkans.



                    The desire for a Greater Greece was first publicly expressed in 1844 in a statement to the Greek national assembly by Ioannis Kolettis, the president of the Greek government. Kolettis called for the liberation of all Christians in the spirit of the “Megali Idea” (Great Idea), which was to decide not only the destiny of Greece but also the destiny of Greeks in the European part of Ottoman Turkey and in Asia. He added that “all those who believe in Christ are Greek”, an idea supported by Greek intellectuals.



                    Greeks initiated the “Megali Idea” in 1830 immediately after the creation of the Greek state, which at the time consisted of the Peloponnesus and surrounding territory. Then in 1881 Thessaly became a Greek territory and after the Balkan War in 1913, Greek territories expanded to include 51% of Macedonia, Epirus and almost all the islands in the Aegean Sea, approaching the Turkish coast, including Crete. Then by the Treaty of Versailles in 1920, Greek territories expanded to include southern Thrace and parts of Asia Minor (Izmir and its surrounding Region extending 20 km from Kushadasi). But after Ataturk’s victory over the Greeks in 1922, Greece retreated from the Turkish mainland but retained the islands. In 1932, by the Treaty of Sevres, Greece was again expanded to include the southwestern islands near the Turkish coast and in 1947 Greece was given the Dodecanese and surrounding islands.



                    By any measure the “Megali Idea”, supported by the Great Powers, especially by Great Britain, was a great success for Greece which expanded its territory by several times.



                    The Ottomans on the other hand, as the Young Turk Uprising came to a close, found themselves in a deep political and economic crisis. Their neighbours were continuously exerting pressure and openly showing aspirations to annex more of their territories.



                    Foreseeing their own demise, the Ottomans decided to use foreign loans allocated for modernization to reinforce their armed forces. They hired German officers and military advisers to modernize their land forces and British seamen to restructure their navy. The Empire’s General Staff evaluated and militarily reinforced the various strategic places in the Balkans. Then in the fall of 1910 the Ottoman army carried out military exercises near the Bulgarian border, which revealed to its Balkan neighbours that the Ottoman Empire could not be easily defeated. Given the situation, the Balkan neighbours realized that each state individually could not successfully defeat the Ottoman army. A defeat was only possible if all states put their efforts together. This could only be done if the once bitter enemies became friends; a friendship of convenience. So their way of becoming friends began in July 1910 with the reconciliation between the Bulgarian Exarchate and the Greek Patriarchate Churches.



                    Another set of players besides the Greeks, Serbians and Bulgarians vying for establishing a “Greater State” inside the Ottoman Empire were the Albanians. The idea of establishing a Greater Albania appeared during the Eastern Crisis, when an Albanian National Movement was formed and demanded autonomy and unification of all territories inhabited by Albanians. Some Albanian intellectuals were in support of cooperation between the Balkan nations in their struggle against the Ottoman Empire. Most, however, were of the opinion that once the Ottomans were thrown out of the Balkans other people would take over their territories. So they supported autonomy for the Albanians but within the Ottoman Empire.



                    Influenced by rich Albanians, Husein Pasha, from Shkoder together with some Albanians from Istanbul, on June 10th, 1878 formed the Prizren League, a political organization with objectives to struggle for the unification of all territories populated by Albanians and for Albanian autonomy within the Ottoman Empire. Its ideological leader was Abdul Bey Frasheri who initiated the idea of a “Greater Albania” and from the beginning opposed all others who inspired similar ideas such as “Greater Serbia”, “Greater Greece”, “Greater Bulgaria” and so on. Greater Albania was to encompass Shkoder Region, Kosovo Region with Skopje as its centre, and the Ioannina vilayet as a single Ottoman province under the Sultan's sovereignty, with an Ottoman governor and a council of 10 Albanians.



                    With the Berlin Congress canceling the Treaty of San Stefano, the Ottomans were given back their lost territories at which point the Ottoman government disbanded the Prizren League and crushed the Albanian national movement. At the same time however, Austria-Hungary escalated its interests in Albania offering its protection for the Catholic population, living there and in the greater area, and financing Catholic priests and schools. Austria-Hungary also established permanent ports in Albanian harbours. This was done right after Austria-Hungary invaded and occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina, and after it began its penetration into Novi Pazar sanjak, Kosovo and Macedonia. Austrian-Hungarian presence in the region also reaffirmed the Prizren League Program.



                    The Ottomans on the other hand continued to reject Albanian requests for autonomy. Divided into Entente and the Central Powers, the Great Powers of Europe were against not only Albanian autonomy but any kind of alliances and conflict against the Ottomans.



                    Victory during the First Balkan War came quickly thus preventing the creation of a Macedonian or Albanian autonomous state within the Ottoman Empire, as promised by the Young Turks. Ottoman defeat and the occupation of Albanian territory by Serbia, Montenegro and Greece had significant consequences for the Albanian people who now had to give up the idea of autonomy within the Ottoman Empire and begin their fight for independence. Austria-Hungary and Italy, which in 1901 had agreed that if there was an Ottoman defeat would guarantee the status quo in Albania, now became very much involved in preventing neighbouring countries from dividing Albania. This in fact ruined Serbia’s chances for accessing the sea through Albania and encouraged Serbian aspirations for Macedonia.



                    Led by Ishmail Kemal, the Albanian Peoples’ National Congress in Valona, on November 28th, 1912 proclaimed Albanian independence. The Great Powers, in December 1912, however only recognized Albania’s autonomy under Ottoman sovereignty. But with the Ottomans out of the way Albania became a Great Power protectorate. The Balkan countries who wanted to annex Albanian territories now had no choice but to accept the new situation.



                    Soon after achieving autonomy the Albanian government, through the Prizren League, requested of the Great Powers to allow Kosovo, Macedonia with Skopje, Bitola and Prespa and the territory as far south as Ioannina and the Ionian Sea to become part of the Albanian territories. Serbia and Montenegro, however, also made similar requests including acquiring almost half of current Albania, and Greece wanted Epirus and Korcha. Despite these requests Albania’s borders were determined by the London Conference Protocol of the ambassadors in April and August 1913. After that the Great Powers granted Albanian independence reserving their right to rule the country in the future. In September 1913 the Great Powers appointed German prince Wilhelm von Wied ruler of Albania. But after arriving in Durres on March 6th, 1914, the Albanian people demonstrated against him and soon afterwards he was expelled. On March 14th, 1914 the Albanian people established their own government and elected Turhan Pasha Permeti as their president.



                    The Prizren League reappeared again during World War II and was led by Xhafer Deva, Ibrahim Bey Bichaku, Mithat Frasheri and others. Supported by Hermann Neubacher, a German diplomat, the Prizren League created a new Albanian government, the “National Board”, and in 1943 proclaimed Albanian independence.



                    To connect itself to the 1878 Prizren League and the idea of a “Greater Albania”, Xhafer Deva and Albanian representatives from Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia and Novi Pazar sanjak established the “Second Prizren League” during an assembly in September 16-19, 1943. A Central Committee of the League was also elected with Rexhep Mitrovitsa as leader. As their first act, the League proclaimed unification of Albania with Kosovo, western Macedonia, parts of Serbia and Montenegro. To achieve this, the League created its own military forces including the “SS Skanderbeg Division”. But due to Nazi Germany’s capitulation the Prizren League’s plans for a Greater Albania failed.



                    Those Balkan states which wanted to annex parts of the Ottoman Empire for themselves, having realized that individually they could not do the job on their own, decided to start forming alliances. The formation of the first Balkan alliance began in phases spanning from 1866 to 1868 involving Serbia, Greece and Montenegro in two bilateral treaties.



                    In 1866 a secret alliance between Serbia and Montenegro was created involving both nations in the preparation of an uprising to liberate and unify their respective people. Montenegro promised to participate in any Serbian led war provided Serbia did the same. Another alliance was formed between Serbia and Greece and a Treaty was signed in 1867 in Veslau near Vienna.



                    After the failed Macedonian Uprising in 1903, Macedonia became the apple of discord between the various immediate Balkan States who in 1912 formed another Balkan Alliance, this time involving Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria and Greece. This Alliance was based on previous bilateral treaties.



                    Negotiations between Serbia and Greece were held as early as 1892 and 1899, while negotiations between Serbia and Bulgaria were held in 1889, 1897, 1904 and 1909 .These negotiations did not result in any firm treaties but built a foundation for future negotiations, particularly during the Young Turk Uprising when the various Balkan countries were encouraged to cooperate.



                    A more serious phase of negotiation was entered after the Young Turks capitulated and terror and anarchy returned in the Balkans. Fearing the possibility of Great Power intervention and the Ottoman Empire being divided between the Great Powers, the small Balkan states realized that they could achieve their objectives only if they cooperated. Russia was in support of the creation of a Balkan Alliance as a bulwark against Austrian and German penetration into the Balkans.



                    Negotiations for the creation of a Balkan Alliance began in the fall of 1911with the first serious negotiations taking place between Serbia and Bulgaria, which involved the division of Macedonia. Refereed by Russia, Bulgaria was forced to give up on the San Stefano Treaty in order for Serbia to get parts of Macedonia.



                    The real motive for the creation of the Balkan Alliance, as it turned out, was the division of Macedonia which was accelerated by the 1911 Italian-Ottoman war. Bulgaria was unhappy about having to give up the San Stefano Treaty but would have found itself at a disadvantage if it did not participate in the Alliance. Fearing being attacked by the Ottomans, Bulgaria decided to join the Balkan Alliance.



                    The Serbian government had its own reasons for rushing the signing of the treaty with Bulgaria. After the Italian-Ottoman war started, Serbia sent classified information to St. Petersburg, London and Paris warning the Triple Entente of possible consequences if a war broke out in the Balkans. According to the Serbian view, the best way to protect Balkan interests was through the creation of a Balkan Alliance.



                    The Greek government had no expectations that the Great Powers would resolve the Macedonian Question. That is why it also put in a bid to annex Macedonian territories, a bid supported by Great Britain. For that reason Greece was in support of a Balkan Alliance. With its support behind Serbia, Montenegro too was in support of a Balkan Alliance, particularly since it had ambitions of annexing Shkoder and other parts of Albanian territories.



                    Supported by Russian delegates Hartvig and Nekludoff in Belgrade and Sofia, the treaty initiated by Serbia and Bulgaria provided the basis for a Balkan Alliance and negotiations began in September 1911.



                    On March 13, 1912 the Treaty of friendship and alliance between Serbia and Bulgaria was signed and on June 2, 1912 a secret appendix was added detailing military agreements. Among other things these agreements provided guarantees for each state’s independence and territorial integrity and support in case of attack by a third party. They also committed to mutual support if any of the Great Powers tried to occupy or take by force any part of the Balkan territory under Ottoman rule, which might threaten their interests.



                    The secret appendix spoke of a war against the Ottomans with prior permission from Russia where the “liberated” Ottoman territory would be treated as mutual to be divided among the participants three months after the war ended. The only debatable part of territory was the Shar Planina Mountain, Rodopi Mountains, the Archipelago and Lake Ohrid, which if not divided by the allies could be given autonomy.



                    So according to the March 13th, 1912 Serbian-Bulgarian Treaty of friendship, the debatable part of Macedonia’s territory was to be given autonomy. This was added to the Treaty, at the request of Ivan Geshov, to deceive the Macedonian people; especially the Macedonian immigrants in Bulgaria.



                    Believing that Bulgaria had abandoned the Treaty of San Stefano and the decision to give Macedonia autonomy after ejecting the Ottoman army out of the Balkans were the sole reasons why the Macedonian people joined the allies during the Balkan Wars.

                    But as it turned out neither Serbia nor Bulgaria were prepared to give Macedonia autonomy. How could they? They did not even recognize the existence of the Macedonian nation. Their plans were to divide Macedonia among themselves without considering the consequences for the Macedonian people.



                    According to Article 2 of the Secret Appendix, Serbia and Bulgaria had drawn their mutual border right over the debatable territory, which extends from the Golem Vrv near Kriva Palanka to the Gubavets monastery at Lake Ohrid. Serbia was obliged not to request more territories and Bulgaria was obliged to recognize the border if the Russian Tsar supported the said division. This meant that Serbia and Bulgaria had already divided Macedonia even before the First Balkan War began and the Russian Tsar’s role was only a formality.



                    According to Article 4 of the same Treaty, Russia was given unlimited power regarding the solution of the Macedonian Question.



                    After the Treaty was signed both Bulgaria and Serbia began missions to separate the Macedonian Revolutionary Organization from the people in order to manipulate them more easily.



                    The June 2nd, 1912 Military Convention, appended to the Treaty, included plans for a military offensive against the Ottoman Empire which required Bulgaria to commit no less than 200,000 troops and Serbia to commit to no less that 150,000 troops. In case of Austrian-Hungarian attack, Bulgaria was to assist Serbia with no less than 200,000 troops. If Romania or the Ottomans attacked Bulgaria, Serbia would assist with at least 100,000 troops. If the Ottomans attacked Serbia, Bulgaria would send no less than 100,000 troops. If both Serbia and Bulgaria were attacked by the Ottomans, they would engage 100,000 troops each.



                    But then, due to some disagreements about their role in their engagements in the battlefields, another treaty was signed in September 1912, according to which the obligations of the Bulgarian army were reduced.



                    King Ferdinand opposed Article 2 of the Treaty and Article 3 of the Military Convention directed against Austria-Hungary but, under Russian pressure, he finally agreed to sign it.



                    Bulgarian-Greek negotiations also began in 1911 but were interrupted due to their dispute regarding how to divide Macedonia. Negotiations resumed again in March 1912 and the Treaty was finally signed in May 1912. As it turned out the treaty was actually a defense alliance for mutual support against the Ottomans and the Great Powers. They also signed a declaration of neutrality for Bulgaria if Greece fought the Ottomans to gain Crete.



                    In terms of troop commitments, Bulgaria was to commit no less than 300,000 troops and Greece was to commit no less than 120,000 troops. The Greek fleet was also to be engaged in order to block traffic in the Aegean Sea traveling between Asia Minor and the European part of the Ottoman Empire.



                    The last phase of the formation of the Alliance was for Montenegro to sign a treaty with Bulgaria which was done in July 1912. Montenegro was also committed to be the first to declare war on the Ottoman Empire in order to engage as much of its forces as possible.



                    There were no treaties signed between Serbia and Greece and between Montenegro and Greece.



                    To be continued.
                    "Ido not want an uprising of people that would leave me at the first failure, I want revolution with citizens able to bear all the temptations to a prolonged struggle, what, because of the fierce political conditions, will be our guide or cattle to the slaughterhouse"
                    GOTSE DELCEV

                    Comment

                    • George S.
                      Senior Member
                      • Aug 2009
                      • 10116

                      Macedonian Struggle for Independence

                      Macedonian Struggle for Independence - Part 32 - Prelude to the Balkan Wars‏

                      10/08/2010
                      Reply ▼
                      risto stefov
                      To ;
                      Macedonian Struggle for Independence



                      Part 32 – Prelude to the Balkan Wars



                      By Risto Stefov

                      [email protected]

                      August 2010



                      The Ilinden Macedonian National Uprising was the Macedonian peoples’ conclusion to a long struggle for freedom from the oppressive Ottoman Empire and for the creation of a free and independent Macedonian state. The Macedonian peoples’ hopes and aspirations unfortunately were not only dashed, when the Ottomans violently crushed the Uprising, but their hopes for liberty in the future were also destroyed as a Macedonian defeat signaled to Macedonia’s neighbours that Macedonia was now ripe for the picking.



                      Despair and helplessness overcame the Macedonian population as it lost its strength to struggle not only against the Ottomans but also against foreign influence and alien propaganda. Disappointed in their leadership’s ability to lead them to liberty and under the influence of neighbouring propaganda, Macedonians began to believe that the only way they could liberate themselves was if Bulgaria, Serbia, or Greece helped them. The hopes of the majority were pinned mostly on Bulgaria because its propaganda, delivered by the Exarchate Church and the Vrhovists (Bulgarian supremacists), was very convincing. Bulgarian propaganda was so strong that Macedonians began to trust Sofia to become their liberator.



                      In terms of numbers, just before the First Balkan War broke out, there were 2,360,000 people living within Macedonia’s ethnic and geographical borders in an area encompassing 67,741.2 square kilometers.



                      Of the total population living in Macedonia, 52.4 percent, or 1,182,000 people were Christian Macedonians, 22 percent, or 500,000 were Ottomans, 10 percent, or 230,000 were Greeks, 5.7 percent, or 123,000 were Albanians, 3.6 percent, or 80,000 were Vlachs, 3 percent, or 70,000 were Jews, and 2.4 percent, or 54,000 were Roma (Gypsies). Ottomans lived mainly in the Vardar River valley and on the Aegean Coast. Greeks lived on the southern fringe of Macedonia and Jews lived mostly in Solun. In 1912 Solun had a population of 125,000 people, 60,000 of whom were Jews, 25,000 were Ottomans, 14,000 were Macedonians and 14,000 were Greeks. (Vanche Stojchev. “Military History of Macedonia”. Military academy. Skopje, 2004. Page 397)



                      Even though the Macedonian Odrin Revolutionary Organization (MORO) had much influence over the entire Macedonian territory, it was unable to entrench itself everywhere. There were peripheral areas still out of its control where Macedonians were only a minority. MORO attempted to pull these areas under Macedonian control and grant them political autonomy. But just before the Balkan Wars, Bulgaria and Serbia signed a secret treaty which put an end to Macedonian autonomy altogether. The name “Macedonian” was also deleted from various official documents including the “Greek-Bulgarian Defense Alliance” map created in early October 1912 and the military convention of the Bulgarian and Greek army Major Headquarters.



                      Nineteenth and twentieth century Serbian aspirations towards Macedonia were based on a Serbian national program created by IIija Garashanin in 1844. Serbian writers, poets and scientists contributed much to the creation and development of the Serbian national ideology, especially during the romantic period towards the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Garashanin’s idea called for the creation of a strong Serbian state capable of opposing Austria-Hungary and Russia who had intentions of partitioning the Balkans along the Vidin-Solun line. Garashanin wanted the Serbian state to be based on historical rights going back to the 13th and 14th century Serbian Empire. Serbia, Garashanin believed, would be a factor of stability in the region and would hold the balance of power after the Ottoman Empire was removed. He based this belief on the certainty that the Western Great Powers, led by France and Britain, were opposed to the Austrian and Russian expansion in the Balkans.



                      Garashanin’s idea of a Greater Serbia was to include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and northern Albania, territories under Ottoman rule, as well as Srem, Banat, Bachka, Slavonija and Croatia. Even though Garashanin never mentioned Macedonia by name he clearly meant it to be incorporated into Greater Serbia as per Dushan's empire of which Macedonia was part.



                      Later, after Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia lost its chance to access the Adriatic Sea, it came to rely on Russian help to achieve its objectives. This prompted Serbia to look south to Albania and Macedonia to obtain access to a seaport, which clearly proved that Serbian aspirations were nothing more than imperial land grabs of other peoples’ lands. This was also proven by the fact that Serbian authorities told their own people to prepare to fight at any cost in order to obtain access to the sea. While preparing to drive out the Ottomans, Serbia had to also confront its Balkan partners Bulgaria, Greece and Montenegro who had similar ambitions and were preparing to also occupy and annex Ottoman territories in the Balkans.



                      While Serbia directed its attention southward towards Macedonia and Albania, Bulgaria was hard at work looking for ways to annex all of Macedonia and Thrace (Odrin Region). Due to the outcome of the 1876 Istanbul Conference and the 1878 Treaty of San Stefano, Bulgaria believed it had legal rights to annex Macedonia. Bulgaria also believed that it was the only state entitled to annex Solun even though Solun was never included in any of the aforementioned agreements. Greater Bulgarian propaganda was constantly emphasizing that the Macedonian people were Bulgarians and had Bulgarian national consciousness and that Bulgaria had a moral right to look after them. These assumptions were taken as the basis upon which Bulgaria carried out its international affairs regarding the Macedonian Question.



                      Greece also had similar expansionist ambitions to enlarge its own territory at the expense of the Ottomans. The most important of Greece’s goals was to liberate the so-called “Greeks” who at the time were under Ottoman rule. But as this idea was popularized, a dispute arose between various factions of Greeks as to the definition of who exactly was Greek. Influenced by many factors such as the idea of creating a new Greek national state, various ideologies, economics, religion and other factors, which surfaced in the first half of the 19th century, resulted in two political and spiritual centres to emerge; Athens and Istanbul. Rivalry between the two became an obstacle for building a unique Greek national ideology but was later overcome in the second half of the 19th century by the adaptation of Hellenism. Modern Hellenism connected the ideas of an ancient Greek civilization and a Byzantine Greece, thus linking together all Greek factions.



                      The Istanbul Patriarchate also played an important role, not only with its spiritual and secular power over the Ottoman Orthodox Christians but also with its political, economic and cultural influence. The Byzantine Church language, later termed “Greek”, being the language of business and commerce among the Christians in the Ottoman Empire was widespread among the educated non-Greek population, which supported the idea of creating a Christian ruled state similar to the Byzantine Empire.



                      But by mid-19th century, Hellenism became the adopted compromise for the Greek national formula which united the ancient and the Byzantine heritage thus ending the lengthy dispute between the Greek autocephalous church created in 1833 and the Istanbul Patriarchate. The Istanbul Patriarchate recognized the independence of the Greek Church in 1850 and the Greek Church in turn recognized the supreme power of the Patriarchate. The Russian Church was instrumental in playing the intermediary from its traditional attitude that Russia was responsible for the preservation of Orthodoxy in the Balkans.



                      The desire for a Greater Greece was first publicly expressed in 1844 in a statement to the Greek national assembly by Ioannis Kolettis, the president of the Greek government. Kolettis called for the liberation of all Christians in the spirit of the “Megali Idea” (Great Idea), which was to decide not only the destiny of Greece but also the destiny of Greeks in the European part of Ottoman Turkey and in Asia. He added that “all those who believe in Christ are Greek”, an idea supported by Greek intellectuals.



                      Greeks initiated the “Megali Idea” in 1830 immediately after the creation of the Greek state, which at the time consisted of the Peloponnesus and surrounding territory. Then in 1881 Thessaly became a Greek territory and after the Balkan War in 1913, Greek territories expanded to include 51% of Macedonia, Epirus and almost all the islands in the Aegean Sea, approaching the Turkish coast, including Crete. Then by the Treaty of Versailles in 1920, Greek territories expanded to include southern Thrace and parts of Asia Minor (Izmir and its surrounding Region extending 20 km from Kushadasi). But after Ataturk’s victory over the Greeks in 1922, Greece retreated from the Turkish mainland but retained the islands. In 1932, by the Treaty of Sevres, Greece was again expanded to include the southwestern islands near the Turkish coast and in 1947 Greece was given the Dodecanese and surrounding islands.



                      By any measure the “Megali Idea”, supported by the Great Powers, especially by Great Britain, was a great success for Greece which expanded its territory by several times.



                      The Ottomans on the other hand, as the Young Turk Uprising came to a close, found themselves in a deep political and economic crisis. Their neighbours were continuously exerting pressure and openly showing aspirations to annex more of their territories.



                      Foreseeing their own demise, the Ottomans decided to use foreign loans allocated for modernization to reinforce their armed forces. They hired German officers and military advisers to modernize their land forces and British seamen to restructure their navy. The Empire’s General Staff evaluated and militarily reinforced the various strategic places in the Balkans. Then in the fall of 1910 the Ottoman army carried out military exercises near the Bulgarian border, which revealed to its Balkan neighbours that the Ottoman Empire could not be easily defeated. Given the situation, the Balkan neighbours realized that each state individually could not successfully defeat the Ottoman army. A defeat was only possible if all states put their efforts together. This could only be done if the once bitter enemies became friends; a friendship of convenience. So their way of becoming friends began in July 1910 with the reconciliation between the Bulgarian Exarchate and the Greek Patriarchate Churches.



                      Another set of players besides the Greeks, Serbians and Bulgarians vying for establishing a “Greater State” inside the Ottoman Empire were the Albanians. The idea of establishing a Greater Albania appeared during the Eastern Crisis, when an Albanian National Movement was formed and demanded autonomy and unification of all territories inhabited by Albanians. Some Albanian intellectuals were in support of cooperation between the Balkan nations in their struggle against the Ottoman Empire. Most, however, were of the opinion that once the Ottomans were thrown out of the Balkans other people would take over their territories. So they supported autonomy for the Albanians but within the Ottoman Empire.



                      Influenced by rich Albanians, Husein Pasha, from Shkoder together with some Albanians from Istanbul, on June 10th, 1878 formed the Prizren League, a political organization with objectives to struggle for the unification of all territories populated by Albanians and for Albanian autonomy within the Ottoman Empire. Its ideological leader was Abdul Bey Frasheri who initiated the idea of a “Greater Albania” and from the beginning opposed all others who inspired similar ideas such as “Greater Serbia”, “Greater Greece”, “Greater Bulgaria” and so on. Greater Albania was to encompass Shkoder Region, Kosovo Region with Skopje as its centre, and the Ioannina vilayet as a single Ottoman province under the Sultan's sovereignty, with an Ottoman governor and a council of 10 Albanians.



                      With the Berlin Congress canceling the Treaty of San Stefano, the Ottomans were given back their lost territories at which point the Ottoman government disbanded the Prizren League and crushed the Albanian national movement. At the same time however, Austria-Hungary escalated its interests in Albania offering its protection for the Catholic population, living there and in the greater area, and financing Catholic priests and schools. Austria-Hungary also established permanent ports in Albanian harbours. This was done right after Austria-Hungary invaded and occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina, and after it began its penetration into Novi Pazar sanjak, Kosovo and Macedonia. Austrian-Hungarian presence in the region also reaffirmed the Prizren League Program.



                      The Ottomans on the other hand continued to reject Albanian requests for autonomy. Divided into Entente and the Central Powers, the Great Powers of Europe were against not only Albanian autonomy but any kind of alliances and conflict against the Ottomans.



                      Victory during the First Balkan War came quickly thus preventing the creation of a Macedonian or Albanian autonomous state within the Ottoman Empire, as promised by the Young Turks. Ottoman defeat and the occupation of Albanian territory by Serbia, Montenegro and Greece had significant consequences for the Albanian people who now had to give up the idea of autonomy within the Ottoman Empire and begin their fight for independence. Austria-Hungary and Italy, which in 1901 had agreed that if there was an Ottoman defeat would guarantee the status quo in Albania, now became very much involved in preventing neighbouring countries from dividing Albania. This in fact ruined Serbia’s chances for accessing the sea through Albania and encouraged Serbian aspirations for Macedonia.



                      Led by Ishmail Kemal, the Albanian Peoples’ National Congress in Valona, on November 28th, 1912 proclaimed Albanian independence. The Great Powers, in December 1912, however only recognized Albania’s autonomy under Ottoman sovereignty. But with the Ottomans out of the way Albania became a Great Power protectorate. The Balkan countries who wanted to annex Albanian territories now had no choice but to accept the new situation.



                      Soon after achieving autonomy the Albanian government, through the Prizren League, requested of the Great Powers to allow Kosovo, Macedonia with Skopje, Bitola and Prespa and the territory as far south as Ioannina and the Ionian Sea to become part of the Albanian territories. Serbia and Montenegro, however, also made similar requests including acquiring almost half of current Albania, and Greece wanted Epirus and Korcha. Despite these requests Albania’s borders were determined by the London Conference Protocol of the ambassadors in April and August 1913. After that the Great Powers granted Albanian independence reserving their right to rule the country in the future. In September 1913 the Great Powers appointed German prince Wilhelm von Wied ruler of Albania. But after arriving in Durres on March 6th, 1914, the Albanian people demonstrated against him and soon afterwards he was expelled. On March 14th, 1914 the Albanian people established their own government and elected Turhan Pasha Permeti as their president.



                      The Prizren League reappeared again during World War II and was led by Xhafer Deva, Ibrahim Bey Bichaku, Mithat Frasheri and others. Supported by Hermann Neubacher, a German diplomat, the Prizren League created a new Albanian government, the “National Board”, and in 1943 proclaimed Albanian independence.



                      To connect itself to the 1878 Prizren League and the idea of a “Greater Albania”, Xhafer Deva and Albanian representatives from Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia and Novi Pazar sanjak established the “Second Prizren League” during an assembly in September 16-19, 1943. A Central Committee of the League was also elected with Rexhep Mitrovitsa as leader. As their first act, the League proclaimed unification of Albania with Kosovo, western Macedonia, parts of Serbia and Montenegro. To achieve this, the League created its own military forces including the “SS Skanderbeg Division”. But due to Nazi Germany’s capitulation the Prizren League’s plans for a Greater Albania failed.



                      Those Balkan states which wanted to annex parts of the Ottoman Empire for themselves, having realized that individually they could not do the job on their own, decided to start forming alliances. The formation of the first Balkan alliance began in phases spanning from 1866 to 1868 involving Serbia, Greece and Montenegro in two bilateral treaties.



                      In 1866 a secret alliance between Serbia and Montenegro was created involving both nations in the preparation of an uprising to liberate and unify their respective people. Montenegro promised to participate in any Serbian led war provided Serbia did the same. Another alliance was formed between Serbia and Greece and a Treaty was signed in 1867 in Veslau near Vienna.



                      After the failed Macedonian Uprising in 1903, Macedonia became the apple of discord between the various immediate Balkan States who in 1912 formed another Balkan Alliance, this time involving Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria and Greece. This Alliance was based on previous bilateral treaties.



                      Negotiations between Serbia and Greece were held as early as 1892 and 1899, while negotiations between Serbia and Bulgaria were held in 1889, 1897, 1904 and 1909 .These negotiations did not result in any firm treaties but built a foundation for future negotiations, particularly during the Young Turk Uprising when the various Balkan countries were encouraged to cooperate.



                      A more serious phase of negotiation was entered after the Young Turks capitulated and terror and anarchy returned in the Balkans. Fearing the possibility of Great Power intervention and the Ottoman Empire being divided between the Great Powers, the small Balkan states realized that they could achieve their objectives only if they cooperated. Russia was in support of the creation of a Balkan Alliance as a bulwark against Austrian and German penetration into the Balkans.



                      Negotiations for the creation of a Balkan Alliance began in the fall of 1911with the first serious negotiations taking place between Serbia and Bulgaria, which involved the division of Macedonia. Refereed by Russia, Bulgaria was forced to give up on the San Stefano Treaty in order for Serbia to get parts of Macedonia.



                      The real motive for the creation of the Balkan Alliance, as it turned out, was the division of Macedonia which was accelerated by the 1911 Italian-Ottoman war. Bulgaria was unhappy about having to give up the San Stefano Treaty but would have found itself at a disadvantage if it did not participate in the Alliance. Fearing being attacked by the Ottomans, Bulgaria decided to join the Balkan Alliance.



                      The Serbian government had its own reasons for rushing the signing of the treaty with Bulgaria. After the Italian-Ottoman war started, Serbia sent classified information to St. Petersburg, London and Paris warning the Triple Entente of possible consequences if a war broke out in the Balkans. According to the Serbian view, the best way to protect Balkan interests was through the creation of a Balkan Alliance.



                      The Greek government had no expectations that the Great Powers would resolve the Macedonian Question. That is why it also put in a bid to annex Macedonian territories, a bid supported by Great Britain. For that reason Greece was in support of a Balkan Alliance. With its support behind Serbia, Montenegro too was in support of a Balkan Alliance, particularly since it had ambitions of annexing Shkoder and other parts of Albanian territories.



                      Supported by Russian delegates Hartvig and Nekludoff in Belgrade and Sofia, the treaty initiated by Serbia and Bulgaria provided the basis for a Balkan Alliance and negotiations began in September 1911.



                      On March 13, 1912 the Treaty of friendship and alliance between Serbia and Bulgaria was signed and on June 2, 1912 a secret appendix was added detailing military agreements. Among other things these agreements provided guarantees for each state’s independence and territorial integrity and support in case of attack by a third party. They also committed to mutual support if any of the Great Powers tried to occupy or take by force any part of the Balkan territory under Ottoman rule, which might threaten their interests.



                      The secret appendix spoke of a war against the Ottomans with prior permission from Russia where the “liberated” Ottoman territory would be treated as mutual to be divided among the participants three months after the war ended. The only debatable part of territory was the Shar Planina Mountain, Rodopi Mountains, the Archipelago and Lake Ohrid, which if not divided by the allies could be given autonomy.



                      So according to the March 13th, 1912 Serbian-Bulgarian Treaty of friendship, the debatable part of Macedonia’s territory was to be given autonomy. This was added to the Treaty, at the request of Ivan Geshov, to deceive the Macedonian people; especially the Macedonian immigrants in Bulgaria.



                      Believing that Bulgaria had abandoned the Treaty of San Stefano and the decision to give Macedonia autonomy after ejecting the Ottoman army out of the Balkans were the sole reasons why the Macedonian people joined the allies during the Balkan Wars.

                      But as it turned out neither Serbia nor Bulgaria were prepared to give Macedonia autonomy. How could they? They did not even recognize the existence of the Macedonian nation. Their plans were to divide Macedonia among themselves without considering the consequences for the Macedonian people.



                      According to Article 2 of the Secret Appendix, Serbia and Bulgaria had drawn their mutual border right over the debatable territory, which extends from the Golem Vrv near Kriva Palanka to the Gubavets monastery at Lake Ohrid. Serbia was obliged not to request more territories and Bulgaria was obliged to recognize the border if the Russian Tsar supported the said division. This meant that Serbia and Bulgaria had already divided Macedonia even before the First Balkan War began and the Russian Tsar’s role was only a formality.



                      According to Article 4 of the same Treaty, Russia was given unlimited power regarding the solution of the Macedonian Question.



                      After the Treaty was signed both Bulgaria and Serbia began missions to separate the Macedonian Revolutionary Organization from the people in order to manipulate them more easily.



                      The June 2nd, 1912 Military Convention, appended to the Treaty, included plans for a military offensive against the Ottoman Empire which required Bulgaria to commit no less than 200,000 troops and Serbia to commit to no less that 150,000 troops. In case of Austrian-Hungarian attack, Bulgaria was to assist Serbia with no less than 200,000 troops. If Romania or the Ottomans attacked Bulgaria, Serbia would assist with at least 100,000 troops. If the Ottomans attacked Serbia, Bulgaria would send no less than 100,000 troops. If both Serbia and Bulgaria were attacked by the Ottomans, they would engage 100,000 troops each.



                      But then, due to some disagreements about their role in their engagements in the battlefields, another treaty was signed in September 1912, according to which the obligations of the Bulgarian army were reduced.



                      King Ferdinand opposed Article 2 of the Treaty and Article 3 of the Military Convention directed against Austria-Hungary but, under Russian pressure, he finally agreed to sign it.



                      Bulgarian-Greek negotiations also began in 1911 but were interrupted due to their dispute regarding how to divide Macedonia. Negotiations resumed again in March 1912 and the Treaty was finally signed in May 1912. As it turned out the treaty was actually a defense alliance for mutual support against the Ottomans and the Great Powers. They also signed a declaration of neutrality for Bulgaria if Greece fought the Ottomans to gain Crete.



                      In terms of troop commitments, Bulgaria was to commit no less than 300,000 troops and Greece was to commit no less than 120,000 troops. The Greek fleet was also to be engaged in order to block traffic in the Aegean Sea traveling between Asia Minor and the European part of the Ottoman Empire.



                      The last phase of the formation of the Alliance was for Montenegro to sign a treaty with Bulgaria which was done in July 1912. Montenegro was also committed to be the first to declare war on the Ottoman Empire in order to engage as much of its forces as possible.



                      There were no treaties signed between Serbia and Greece and between Montenegro and Greece.



                      To be continued.
                      "Ido not want an uprising of people that would leave me at the first failure, I want revolution with citizens able to bear all the temptations to a prolonged struggle, what, because of the fierce political conditions, will be our guide or cattle to the slaughterhouse"
                      GOTSE DELCEV

                      Comment

                      • Onur
                        Senior Member
                        • Apr 2010
                        • 2389

                        The Ilinden Macedonian National Uprising was the Macedonian peoples’ conclusion to a long struggle for freedom from the oppressive Ottoman Empire and for the creation of a free and independent Macedonian state. The Macedonian peoples’ hopes and aspirations unfortunately were not only dashed, when the Ottomans violently crushed the Uprising, but their hopes for liberty in the future were also destroyed as a Macedonian defeat signaled to Macedonia’s neighbours that Macedonia was now ripe for the picking.

                        I cant agree to this part of the article. The author draws a portray like the Macedonians could have form an united Macedonia for themselves if they would defeat the Turks at Ilinden uprising and he says that the destruction of the uprising by the Turks leaded Macedonians to loose hope and their territories became as ripe for picking by the Bulgars, Greeks and the Serbs.


                        It`s always pointless to analyze the history with the theories and questions like "what if" but the assumption of the author cant be the truth. It was pretty obvious that as soon as Macedonia to be separated from Turkey, it was going to be split to the pieces by the Russian backed Bulgars, Serbians and western powers supported Greeks. They were already doing negotiations of how they were going to share Macedonia between themselves for like ~30 years `till 1912.

                        Also, Aegean Macedonia was so crucial for the British for the upcoming WW-1 and even if Macedonia would be liberated as united at the uprising of 1903, i am pretty sure that British would annex Aegean Macedonia anyway since Salonika and then Cyprus was the one and only port and the center of the British army for all their WW-1 campaign at middle east between 1914 to 1918. They were using Salonika as a base to transport military equipment and soldier units to the Palestine while preventing any Turkish or Russian fleet to set sail in both Aegean and Mediterranean sea at the same time and enjoying total control of the area.

                        Without having to control Aegean Macedonia, none of these would be possible for the British and they wouldn't have a chance to land Palestine without the total control of Aegean and Mediterranean sea. So they couldn't even have a chance to win the war vs the Turks at middle-east. So, all the oil sources of middle-east would be under the control of the Turks today. Can you imagine this? No way!. So, at least the Aegean side of Macedonia HAD TO BE under Greek control(British), neither the Turks nor the Bulgars(Russians). By controlling Aegean Macedonia, British created a perfect base for themselves and they were able to prevent Russians to reach the Aegean sea at the same time.


                        Macedonia`s partition was not about the failure of the Ilinden uprising or anything else. It`s was about the geopolitical importance of it`s place and the big plans of western powers upon the middle-eastern energy sources which have been discovered after the second half of 19th century.
                        Last edited by Onur; 08-10-2010, 08:12 PM.

                        Comment

                        • Risto the Great
                          Senior Member
                          • Sep 2008
                          • 15660

                          Onur, I do not believe you fully understand the second economy that existed within Macedonia at the time. The Macedonians ran it. Your suggestion that Serbia/Bulgaria/Greece were already drawing maps is no different to maps being drawn today. The difference is that there was more to fight for then and less chance of Macedonians losing. I would say the Macedonians are far more vulnerable in a number of ways right now than they were at the peak of their revolution in the early 1900's.
                          Risto the Great
                          MACEDONIA:ANHEDONIA
                          "Holding my breath for the revolution."

                          Hey, I wrote a bestseller. Check it out: www.ren-shen.com

                          Comment

                          • Prolet
                            Senior Member
                            • Sep 2009
                            • 5241

                            Risto, I believe TMRO headed by President Vanco Shehtanski are pushing for the Bucharest Agreement to be implemented and they believe the current document is in Paris. There is a 99 year lease which will be up by 2012, just like the British returned Hong Kong to China they want the same to happen to our country.

                            Канал 5 телевизија како една од водечките телевизиски куќи во Македонија, од 1998 година на малите екрани до гледање онлајн денес, известува за најновите вести од Македонија, регионот и светот.
                            МАКЕДОНЕЦ си кога кавал ќе ти ја распара душата,зурла ќе ти го раскине срцето,кога секое влакно од кожата ќе ти се наежи кога ќе видиш шеснаесеткрако сонце,кога до коска ќе те заболи кога ќе слушнеш ПЈРМ,кога немаш ни за леб,а полн си во душата затоа што ја сакаш МАКЕДОНИЈА. МАКЕДОНИЈА во срце те носиме.

                            Comment

                            • George S.
                              Senior Member
                              • Aug 2009
                              • 10116

                              If they can return agean macedonia to the macedonians that would be really good.Something topling similar to the berlin Wall & the fall of communism.
                              "Ido not want an uprising of people that would leave me at the first failure, I want revolution with citizens able to bear all the temptations to a prolonged struggle, what, because of the fierce political conditions, will be our guide or cattle to the slaughterhouse"
                              GOTSE DELCEV

                              Comment

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