We the Macedonians of the Diaspora together with all our fellow
Hellenes prepared this treatise in peace, true to our traditions
and beliefs expressed by our own Alexander the Great (Plutarchs
Moralia On The Fortune Of Alexander):
... he bade them all consider as their fatherland the whole
inhabited earth, as their stronghold and protection his camp,
as akin to them all good men, and as foreigners only the wicked;
they should not distinguish between Grecian and foreigner by Grecian
cloak and targe, or scimitar and jacket, but the distinguishing
mark of the Grecian should be seen in virtue, and of the foreigner
in iniquity ...
Over the millennia, as Hellenes we have shared willingly our heritage
and our culture with all the peoples of this earth, for truly
we consider the whole inhabited earth our home. The
Oracle at Delphi is the undisputed proof of our belief in our
international outlook and the inclusiveness of all mankind in
all that is sacred.
By contrast, Olympia where only Hellenes could compete in the
Olympic games, is the undisputed evidence of our strong sense
of ethnic identity and the exclusiveness of being Hellene. The
strong ethnic identity extended also to the reverence of fatherland
which is best expressed by Socrates himself who said:
... our country is more to be valued and higher and holier
far than mother or father or any ancestor, and more to be regarded
in the eyes of the gods and of men ...
These two Hellenic characteristics of international orientation
on the one hand, but possessing a strong ethnic identity on the
other, reach deep into the past and explain our unequivocal resolve
not to share the name of our Macedonia with those who preach and
teach ethnic falsehoods. This is not, as some have
suggested, a matter of hysteria, or unnecessary worship of ancestry,
or even hostility toward Greeces multi-ethnic neighbor to
the north. It is a matter of intellectual and political integrity,
without which Greeces neighbors will never find their own
true identity, without which they will never be able to make a
new beginning and prosper. In her book Not Out of Africa, professor
Mary Lefkowitz points to the dangers of rewriting history to serve
... although such new and daring hypotheses about the past
can easily win adherents, especially when they favor present cultural
and political aspirations, everyone should be aware that there
are real dangers in allowing history to be rewritten, even for
culturally useful purposes. Even though it may inspire students
with pride and self-confidence, writing and teaching such ethnic
histories, each with its own brand of ethnic truth,
sanctions the invention of falsehoods.
We believe that building nations on falsehoods, as Greeces
northern neighbors are attempting to do, is like building on sand.
Ultimately the structure collapses and destroys the very people
it was meant to protect and nurture.
We, therefore, extend a friendly hand and invite the people in
the whole inhabited earth, including Greeces
neighbors, to become Grecian by virtue instead of foreigners by
CREATION OF THE FYROM AND THE NAME DISPUTE
In September of 1991, after the breakup of the Socialist Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia, its most southern republic declared independence
from Yugoslavia and it named itself "Republic of Macedonia"
as a new independent country. Greece immediately objected to the
name used by the new country because Greeces northern province
is also called Macedonia from ancient times.
The new republic designed a new flag with the Sun of Vergina at
its center and printed new currency with the White Tower of Thessaloniki,
symbols clearly from the northern province of Greece. Because
of these actions and also because of certain articles in their
constitution which implied that the their country had territorial
rights to all of the ancient Macedonian area, Greece imposed a
trade embargo and prevented any trade commerce through Greece's
northern border. Greece reluctantly lifted the trade embargo when
the new republic redesigned and accepted a new flag, stopped the
issuance of the new currency with the depiction of the White Tower
of Thessaloniki, and passed amended articles to their constitution
implying that they have no territorial rights outside their present
Greece, however, continued to object to their use of the name
Macedonia. Because of this objection, the United Nations accepted
this nation as a new member with the temporary name of "The
Former Yugoslav Republic Of Macedonia (The FYROM)" (UN Resolutions
#817 of April 7 and #845 of June 18 of 1993) and the Interim Accord
of September 13, 1995, until a permanent solution to the name
is found. Originally, The FYROM was accepted to the UN without
a flag to be raised at the UN until their flag was changed to
According to the above documents signed and accepted by both parties,
the FYROM will have to assume a constitutional name by September
13, 2002, which would be mutually acceptable, by both concerned
parties. The spirit behind the documents signed springs up from
the letter of the UN negotiator Cyrus Vance to the then UN Secretary
- General Boutros Boutros - Ghali, with the understanding that
"if a mutually agreeable settlement could not be reached
by the parties, peace in the region might be put at risk."
To this date no solution has been found and the UN deadline of
September 13, 2002 has passed by with the two countries only agreeing
to extend discussions on this matter for one more year. Clearly,
it is to FYROMs advantage to delay a solution to the name
problem indefinitely. Consequently, they are not serious in the
discussions at the UN unless they are pressured to settle the
The FYROM actually never had any active negotiations
on changing its constitutional name although its government has
accepted the fact that Greece has a different view in relation
to this question. This has been expressed time and again by the
person responsible according to article 86 of the Constitution
of the FYROM for the name of his country, the President of the
FYROM, Boris Trajkovski. One indication that the FYROM never cared
about changing its name even agreeing to a composite name, is
that its e-mail address in the UN is firstname.lastname@example.org, but why
not FYROM@un.int? It must be noted, however, that the difference
of opinion on the name has not obstructed the multilateral or
bilateral relations of the two countries.
During the period between 1995 and the present, the FYROM paid
attention neither to the spirit nor to the letter of article 7
of the Interim Accord. The deliberate and systematic campaign
throughout the world to refer their country as the Republic of
Macedonian has intensified and is ongoing today with full and
untiring strength. On the other hand, neither the Hellenic government
nor the UN never bothered to demand enforcement of the provisions
of the above article which prohibits such actions. Thus, we are
today in the precarious situation that the FYROM does not want
to change its name since everyone call it "Macedonia."
There is merit to the strategy that the FYROM has exercised thus
far. The more they wait the better it is for them.
The following is taken from the minutes of an intergovernmental
meeting that took place in February 2001. The speaker is VMRO-DPMNE
leader Boris Stojmenov. "No one has the right or authorization
to change this country's name. This is not merely a party matter,
but also concerns the citizens inside the country and abroad.
It should not be raised bilaterally, in our relations with Greece.
The UN Security Council should resolve this issue. Our experience
has shown that if we find the solution unfavorable, we will certainly
win justice in court"
"there was no need for
Macedonia to hurry with the negotiations. Time is on our side.
Also, Greece's euphoria over opposing Macedonia's name has subsided.
We only need to wait a little longer."
WHY THE NAME DISPUTE
After the unfortunate dismemberment of the Socialist Federal Republic
of Yugoslavia (SFRJ) the individual countries proceeded with imperialistic
visions of their ethnic groups claiming not only territories,
but also ancestry from various ancient peoples to have some type
of proud history and legitimacy for their modern existence.
In this respect the Slovenes claim to be descendants of the Wends,
an ancient Illyrian tribe, the Croats of the Persians, the Slavs
of the FYROM from ancient Macedonians, the Bosnian Moslems from
the ancient Illyrian tribes of Bosnia.
But the FYROM is a unique case. The sole purpose of the creation
of the Socialist Republic under the name "Macedonia"
was the eventual claim and incorporation of Greek Macedonia into
communist Yugoslavia with the port of Thessaloniki as the trophy.
During the period of communist Yugoslavia, a systematic "macedonization"
of everything possible took place. As long as something took place
in or someone was born in the Geographic Macedonia at any time
from the beginning of time until today it was being changed into
"Macedonian" meaning Slav.
The area that later comprised of the former Yugoslavia's
southern republic was not called Macedonia but was called Vardarska
Banovina (Province -of the river- Vardar). It was in 1944 that
Marshal Joseph Broz Tito, the communist dictator ruling Yugoslavia
at that time, created Yugoslavia's southern republic and called
it "Peoples Republic of Macedonia" and in 1963
"Socialist Republic of Macedonia" for purely political
and expansionist reasons. However, "Macedonia" was already
the name of one of Greece's northern provinces. In ancient times,
the land that Macedonia covered included this northern province
of Greece (about 80%), a small part of Bulgaria (about 5%), a
small part of Albania (about 5%), and a small part of the region
that Tito named the Socialist Republic of Macedonia (about 10%).
It is pertinent to note that this 10% of ancient Macedonia in
Titos Socialist Republic of Macedonia was only 1/5 of this
Republics area while the other 4/5 was actually from Slavic
Extremely interesting is the U.S. State Dep. Foreign Relations
Vol. VII, Circular Airgram [868.014], which was sent by then Secretary
of State E. Stettinius, December 26th 1944, to all consular officials,
informing them of the act to create a separate "Macedonia,"
as a "cloak for aggression against Greece." "The
Department has noted with considerable apprehension increasing
propaganda rumors and semi-official statements in favor of an
autonomous Macedonia emanating from Bulgaria, but also from Yugoslav
partisan and other sources with the implication that Greek territory
would be included in the projected State. This Government considers
talk of "Macedonian Nation", "Macedonian Fatherland",
or "Macedonian National Consciousness" to be unjustified
demagoguery representing no ethnic or political reality, and sees
in its present revival a possible cloak for aggressive intentions
After 1944 a deliberate and systematic campaign was initiated
for Yugoslavia's southern republic to take over the history of
ancient Macedonia. Scholars from the Peoples
Republic of Macedonia were commissioned to re-write their
history books to include the ancient Macedonian History according
to the wishes of the League of Communists of communist Yugoslavia,
accompanied by perverted maps showing their "Macedonia"
going all the way down to the northern half of Mount Olympus.
Also, linguists led by Blagoj Konev, a.k.a. Blaze
Koneski, were appointed to create the alphabet for and refine
the "newly discovered" Macedonian language, which, of
course, was made to sound as if it were the natural development
of the ancient Macedonian language. Through their control of mass
media and education, the government of Peoples Republic
of Macedonia then introduced this language and claimed that
it is the language that was spoken by the ancient Macedonians.
However, this language is grammatically nearly identical to Bulgarian
and, due to continuous government interventions, its vocabulary
tends to include more Serbo-Croatian words that have replaced
the Bulgarian words. They clearly overlooked the unquestionable
fact that the inhabitants of ancient Macedonia were Hellenes and
spoke the Hellenic language. Numerous excavations in all of the
ancient Macedonia area have consistently unearthed relics clearly
with Hellenic writings, and depictions of rulers clearly designated
with Hellenic names.
The GREEKNESS of the following which are examples of countless
others cannot be denied:
Macedonian = GREEK for "the tall one"
Amyntas (father of Philip) = GREEK for "defender"
Philippos (Philip) = GREEK for "one who loves the horse"
Alexandros (Alexander) = GREEK for "the protector of man"
Bucephalus (Alexander's beloved horse with a large head)= GREEK
for "ox-like head "
Aristotle (Alexander's teacher) = GREEK for "the best and
Thessaloniki = GREEK for "victory over the Thessalians"
The deliberate and systematic campaign of distortion, stealing
and absorption of the history and ethnicity of the ancient Macedonians
has intensified and is ongoing today with full and untiring strength.
Although officially this country is known as The FYROM, through
a vigorous campaign they have managed to contrive the world to
call it Macedonia in common day usage disregarding
the UN resolutions. The Internet and mass-communications have
made it easy for them to do this and they have used these tools
to create a flood of misinformation. One such example that clearly
shows their devious actions is the Web site: http://faq.macedonia.org/.
Hitler is credited with saying "Tell a big enough lie, tell
it often enough, and it becomes the truth." In some way this
provides an explanation as to why the inhabitants of The FYROM
are so adamant about keeping the name Macedonia. Now,
fifty-eight years after the start of the campaign of distortion,
stealing and absorption of the HELLENIC history and ethnicity
of the ancient Macedonians, we find that the inhabitants of The
FYROM are mostly the children of 1944 and those that were born
afterwards and who grew up with these untruths. To them these
have become facts.
There has been much confusion since the FYROM's independence.
There have been many discussions and misunderstandings with respect
to its name and its dealings with Greece. It brings out the fact
that neighbors of Greece, irrespective of international alignments
or internal political regimes, have pursued, throughout the 19th
and 20th centuries, schemes for expanding into Greek Macedonia
and Thrace. Furthermore, it supports the thesis that no single
Balkan neighbor dared challenge Greek sovereignty over the two
Greek northern provinces, unless it was in alliance with one or
more external Great Powers.
After its independence The FYROM pursued the expansionist policies
of the Communist Yugoslavia claiming lands from all neighboring
countries with no exception. Unquestionably, Greece and the Greek
people do not feel threatened today by a frail FYROM. However,
if the FYROM is permitted to progress on a nationalist, expansionist
and even revanchist course, it is guaranteed to seek its own patron
who will hand over the "promised lands." The cases of
Eastern Rumelia in 1885 and Kosovo in our days fully support the
The government of the FYROM has already officially appropriated
Sts. Cyril and Methodius as being "Macedonians" meaning
Slavs only because they were born in Thessaloniki, Greek Macedonia.
This is as if the Yugoslavian government declares the Roman Emperor
Constantine I, the Great, a Yugoslav only because he was born,
in Nis, Serbia. Should Greece call Mustafa Kemal a Greek since
he was born in Thessaloniki?
THE GREEKNESS OF MACEDONIA
Countless historians and other scholars have written extensively
about the Greekness of Macedonia. Henry Morgenthau served in Constantinople
as US Ambassador (1913-16), served as Vice President of the Relief
Committee for the Middle East (1919-21). He was appointed by the
League of Nations and served as President of the Greek Refugee
Settlement Committee (1923-28) and is known as a most reliable
source of historical facts. In 1929 (please note that this was
15 years before the start of the campaign of distortion, stealing
and absorption of the Greek history and ethnicity of the ancient
Macedonians by Titos propagandists) Henry Morgenthau published
his book I was sent to Athens, in which he writes:
"Soon after Athens had reached the height of its glory under
Pericles in the Fifth Century, B. C., and had started on its decline,
the rise of Macedon under Philip carried Greek influence into
new regions. The glory of Athens had been based upon sea power,
but the conquests of Macedon were the work of land armies
Philip invented the invincible phalanx. Upon Philip's death his
son, Alexander the Great, set forth to conquer the whole of the
then known world, and as that world in his day lay to the east,
his marches were in that direction. In a few years he had overrun
the fertile plains and opulent cities of Asia Minor, Syria, Mesopotamia,
and Persia, and had carried his conquests to the gates of Delhi.
In all the cities in the intervening countries he left large garrisons
of Greek soldiers. In many of these countries he founded flourishing
new cities. In every place his soldiers were followed by large
colonies of Greek civilians. The result was that the whole of
western Asia, and of what we call the Near East, including Asia
Minor Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Babylonia, Mesopotamia, Persia,
and northwestern India, was saturated with the Greek influence
and with Greek colonies."
"The imagination of these conquered peoples was dazzled by
the introduction of Greek art, literature, philosophy, and public
works. Though the successors of Alexander were unable to maintain
the political control of the lands he conquered, and though successive
waves of Roman, Arabian, and Tartar conquests swept over these
lands in succeeding centuries, none of the later conquerors has
been able wholly to eradicate the influence of Greek culture,
nor to exterminate that element of population which was of Greek
.The Greek War of Independence, which came to a successful
conclusion in 1832, affected less than one half of the Greeks
in the Turkish Empire. It did not bring freedom to the Greeks
of Macedonia and Thrace, of Crete and the Aegean Islands, nor
to the more than two million Greeks in Asia Minor and Constantinople."
THE ETHNICITY OF THE FYROM
The Yugoslavian Military Encyclopedia lists the ancestors of the
present FYROM inhabitants as Slavs, people of the first Slavic
tribes of Brsjaci, Dragudati, Smoljani, Rinhini, Velegiziti and
others, that arrived in the area in the 6th century AD.
But who are these people? The history of the Slav inhabitants
of The FYROM goes hand to hand with the history of the Bulgarian
people up to 1913, for they started together by fate and they
were forced to separate by politics. The present day Slavic population
of The FYROM has nothing in common with the ancient Macedonians.
They are simply put Slavs.
The southern Slavs used to be called Venedi, but the Byzantines
changed their name when they migrated to the south part of the
Balkans to Sklavini because the Slavs established alliances, or
unions among themselves called sklavinije with a regular
hierarchy of princes like Hatson, Akamir, Prvud as their high
commanders. In the middle of the 5th century AD the southern Slavs
crossed the Carpathian Mountains and settled in the former Roman
provinces of Panonia (modern day Hungary) and Dacia (modern day
Romania). It seems that the first Slavic and the Hunnic (Turkish)
tribes of the Bulgars started attacking the Balkan areas together
in the 5th century AD. In the beginning they robbed the Byzantine
population, devastating the countryside and then returning to
Lasting settlements of Slavs in Macedonia began at the end of
sixth century. Up to the middle of the seventh century seven Slavic
tribes, such as Draguviti, Brsjaci or Bereziti, Sagudati, Rinhini,
Strumljani or Strimonci, Smoljani, Velegeziti united in tribal
unions, thus turning into an important political and ethnic factor
in the history of the Balkans. They are the ancestors of the present
day Slavic population of the FYROM and originally they inhabited
the territory from the river Nestos to Thessaly, and from Thessaloniki
to the Mountains Shar, Rila, and Osogovska.
Smoljani and one part of Draguviti settled on the Rodopi Mountain
Range; Sagudati and the other part of Draguviti inhabited the
area north of Thessaloniki; Strumljani / Strimonci preferred the
lowlands of Strymon; whereas Rinhini went down to Chalkidiki and
some of them even to Mt. Athos. On the other hand Brsjaci / Bereziti
along with the Velegeziti settled the areas of Ohrid and Prespa.
There were a few other tribes of Timocani, Abodrini, and Moravjani,
which inhabited the south part of the present day Serbia and later
they were incorporated to the Serbia Nation. The Timocani lived
in the lowlands of the river Timok, the Abodrini inhabited the
west lowlands of Timok and the Moravijani populated the area of
the river Morava in the heart of present day Serbia, called Sumadija.
As time passed the trapped Thraco-ilirian population was either
pushed to the mountain regions, or at a later time assimilated
by the Slavs.
Because of their strong culture and population the Greeks could
not be assimilated, but stayed intact. So that areas with strong
Greek presence remained Greek. Thus even if Slavic and Bulgarian
elements were living in Macedonia and Thrace the main bulk of
the populace was Greek. The Illyrian lands that form today's Albania
and its neighboring areas were out of the Slavic and Bulgarian
So, these are the Slav inhabitants of the FYROM. What is interesting
about the whole matter is that very few of them know their own
history and even those who know it dont want to say anything
afraid for their safety or the stigma of being a traitor.
What is more interesting is the fact that notable citizens of
The FYROM, like the following, have acknowledged publicly that
they are descendants of the first Slavic tribes.
February 26, 1992: The FYROM's President Kirov Gligorov, at an
interview by the Foreign Information Service daily report, Eastern
Europe, stated: "We are Slavs, who came to the region in
the sixth century. We are not descendants of the ancient Macedonians.
January 22, 1999: The FYROM's Ambassador in Washington D.C., Mrs.
Ljubica Acevska, gave a speech on the present situation in the
Balkans, she stated: "We do not claim to be descendants of
Alexander the Great. We are Slavs and we speak a Slavic language.
Greece is The FYROM's second largest trading partner and its number
February 24, 1999: The FYROM.'s Ambassador to Canada, Gyordan
Veselinov, in an interview with the "Ottawa Citizen",
he admitted: "We are not related to the northern Greeks who
produced leaders like Philip and Alexander the Great. We are Slavs
and our language is closely related to Bulgarian. There is some
confusion about our identity."
December 29, 2001: Even recently, in an interview to Utrinski
Vesnik of Skopje, the Foreign Minister of The FYROM Slobodan Casule
said that he mentioned to the Foreign Minister of Bulgaria Solomon
Pasi that they belong to the same Slav people.
And yet nobody neither internally nor externally has asked then
whats with the name Macedonia? The only ones who believe
they are descendants of the ancient Macedonians, are the ones
who received their high degree of education from the "Titoic
School of History" under the auspices of communist Yugoslavia.
Our ancestors are the original Macedonians, the Macedonian Hellenes,
who arrived in the area around 2000 BC. The Macedonian Hellenes
were descendants of the Heracleides. As such the ancient Macedonians
were part of a larger and the last group of Hellenes, which reached
the area of present day Kastoria (ORESTIS) along with the Dorians,
Acarnanians and Aetolians around 2000 BC. Herodotus, the father
of history, very carefully describes the 800- year wanderings
of that large group, which eventually split into three smaller
groups. Just after the Trojan War, the first group under the leadership
of Dorus inhabited Peloponnesus and the second group, the Acarnanians
and Aetolians, went south. The third group marched east and by
pushing the Phrygians, established the Kingdom of Macedonia on
a loop of the River Aliakmon. The first king of Macedonia was
Karanos who reigned between 813 and 786 BC. More recent archeological
discoveries of the tomb of King Philip II (father of Alexander
the Great) at Vergina, in 1985 and lately at nearby Aiani, the
discovery of remnants from the 600 BC Mycenean civilization (southern
Greece) add to the tangible evidence that Macedonia is Greek.
Alexander was as much a Hellene as the southern Hellenes, speaking
the same language, worshipping the same gods, uniting the Hellenes
against the common enemy, spreading the Hellenic language and
civilization throughout his vast empire and leaving nothing but
Hellenic footprints everywhere he went in his short life.
Alexander's own words are quoted as: "Men of Athens... Had
I not greatly AT HEART the common welfare of GREECE I should not
have come to tell you; BUT I AM MYSELF GREEK BY DESCENT, and I
would not willingly see Greece exchange freedom for slavery....
If you prosper in this war, forget not to do something for my
freedom; consider the risk I have run, out of zeal for the GREEK
CAUSE, to acquaint you with what Mardonius intends, and to save
you from being surprised by the barbarians. I am ALEXANDER of
[Herodotus, The Histories, 9.45, translated by G.Rawlinson]
"...consider all Hellas your fatherland, as did the founder
of your race,..."
[Isokrates, To Philip 127]
In 324BC, after the establishment of his state, Alexander the
Great gave an oath to the officers and soldiers of his state.
The oath was also addressed to all the races that lived in the
territories of his empire, it was given near Babylon (in Opis)
and the philosopher Eratosthenes passes it to us. By the reading
the oath one can quickly realize how much Greek Alexander felt,
and how proud he was of his Greek origin:
"I wish all of you, now that the wars are coming to an end,
to live happily, in peace. All mortals from now on will live like
one people, united, and peacefully working towards a common prosperity.
You should regard the whole world as your country, a country where
the best govern, with common laws, and no racial distinctions.
I do not separate people, as many narrow minded others do, into
Greeks and barbarians. I am not interested in the origin or race
of citizens. I only distinguish them on the basis of their virtue.
For me each foreigner is a Greek and each bad Greek is a barbarian.
If ever there appear differences among you, then you must not
resolve them by taking to arms, you should resolve them in peace.
If need be, I will act as your negotiator.
You must not think of God as an authoritarian ruler, but you should
consider him as a common father, so that your conduct resembles
the uniform behavior of brothers who belong to the same family.
For my part, I consider all, whether they be white or black, equal.
And I would like you to be not only subject of my common-wealth,
but also participants and partners. You should regard the Oath
we have taken tonight as a Symbol of Love."
Alexander I - Opis (324 BC)
There is no doubt that particular area endured many conquests
by various conquerors. But even during the Roman Conquest, which
continued into the Byzantine Era - a period of about one thousand
years - that Roman territory, with Constantinople as its capital
and Thessaloniki (in Macedonia) as a cultural and commercial center
of the Empire, remained fully Hellenic. Furthermore, during Justinians
time it adopted the Hellenic language as the formal and official
Language of the Byzantine State. Although the Romans came as conquerors
they were instead conquered by the Hellenic spirit, education
Throughout the Ottoman Empire the geographical area of Macedonia
was divided in three administrative areas called vilayets. Each
vilayet was further divided in smaller areas called sandzaks and
each sandzak was further divided in kazas. Thus during the period
of the Ottoman Empire there were three vilayets that included,
but not limited the area of geographic Macedonia. One vilayet
was Manastir with its capital the city of Manastir (present day
Bitola, the FYROM). The other one Kosova, with capital Prizren
(present day Kosovo), which included parts of present day Kosovo
and the northern part of the FYROM). The third one was the vilayet
of Selanik with its capital Selanik (present day Thessaloniki,
Macedonia, Greece). This included parts of the Greek Macedonia,
parts of the south-eastern FYROM and parts of southwestern Bulgaria.
After the demise of the Ottoman Turkey the terms of the Treaty
of Bucharest of 1913 Greece was awarded the south geographical
part of Macedonia, Serbia the north geographical part, and Bulgaria
was awarded a small northeastern geographical part of Macedonia.
The Serbs called their part South Serbia and later Vardarska Banovina,
which included the whole territory of the FYROM, Kosovo and part
of present-day south-eastern Serbia.
During the Ottoman Occupation of Greece, which lasted about four
hundred years, the Greeks, including those in the Macedonian area,
never lost their Hellenic identity. Through about twenty generations
during that era they were able to preserve their language, religion
and most importantly their Hellenic conscience under the most
difficult circumstances of an enslaved nation. Southern Greece
was liberated in 1821 and during the Balkan Wars of 1912-13 Greece
liberated its province of Macedonia from the Ottoman rulers.
THE FYROMs ILLEGITIMATE CLAIM TO THE NAME MACEDONIA
If the entire region of The FYROM were from ancient Macedonia
they would have some legitimate claim for The FYROM to be called
Macedonia. But it is not. Over 90% of the ancient Macedonian area
is outside of The FYROM's borders and less than 1/5 of its own
land within its borders is from the ancient Macedonian area. The
FYROM is clearly mostly a Slavic region.
If a vast majority of the inhabitants in The FYROM were Greeks,
they would have some legitimate claim to have this country named
Macedonia. But they are not. The Greek inhabitants in The FYROM
are a small minority. Officially they dont exist.
So where does their claim for The FYROM to be called Macedonia
in any form comes from? There is no valid reason, which is based
on facts for this country to have any form of a name that contains
"Macedonia" in it.
If one group of people could be called Macedonians, these are
the Macedonian Greeks as the direct descendents of the ancient
Even if the whole world recognizes The FYROMs inhabitants
as Macedonians, if Greece does not recognize them as such, they
are not and they can not be Macedonians. They know that too.
RECOMMENDATION FOR A JUST NAME FOR THE FYROM
Except for a narrow strip in the south, the FYROM's territory
has never been part of ancient Macedonia. Further this state never
existed before 1944 when Marshall Tito created it as one of the
constituent republics of communist Yugoslavia. To claim the name,
ethnicity and culture of "Macedonia" by the FYROM which
has only about 10% of the ancient Macedonian area is ludicrous
and irritating to those that live in the other 90% of that area.
Furthermore, since this 10% is only 1/5 of its own land, calling
the whole country "Macedonia" is ludicrous and irritating
to many inhabitants of the other 4/5 of the FYROM which have no
connection whatsoever to ancient Macedonia. It is therefore most
logical for the FYROM to change its name to what that area was
called prior to 1944 ("VARDARSKA") such as "VARDARSKA
REPUBLIKA " or "REPUBLIKA VARDAR". This would serve
as a unifying force for the various factions within its borders,
it would eliminate the name controversy with its neighbors, and
it would put them on the road to their proper identity, ethnicity,
heritage and most of all dignity.
The term Macedonia was used officially within the Socialist Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia since April 30, 1944. But now as an independent
state The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has in the past
and will claim in the future exclusivity on the term Macedonia
and its derivatives. Now the country, which wants to be called
Macedonia wants to have exclusive rights on the name
Macedonia and its derivatives. The danger in this is that The
FYROM could find patrons and then it could very well claim all
adjacent Macedonian territories with the Capital of Greek Macedonia,
Thessaloniki, as its prize. That is why The FYROM's inhabitants
and their compatriots abroad insist on the ethnic name Macedonia,
although prominent citizens of The FYROM admit they are Slavs.
The matters that Greece must be concerned with have to do with
more than the name of the newly created Slavic entity. A composite
name that includes "Macedonia" or its derivatives will
not be respected by anyone not only within the FYROM, but also
the World unless the Slavic part of the name in not translated
into any language. The name Yugoslavia or the land of South Slavs
is established and accepted by all countries as is, although its
first component means "south" in Serbocroatian. Under
similar conditions a composite name could remain without translation.
But in the case of The FYROM, the first component will disappear
while the ink is still wet.
The name Macedonia is part of the historic and cultural legacy
of all Hellenes. Macedonias history, including its name,
was not, is not, and can NEVER become a negotiable commodity.
FYROM: Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, known as Vardarska
until the 1940's, when Yugoslavia changed its name and falsified
its cultural heritage in order to try to steal Macedonia from
* FYROM's final name with any inclusion of "Macedonia"
in it, or a derivative thereof, would be the falsification of
history and an injustice to humanity.