The Greek policy towards Macedonia, 19th and 20th century, part 4

The Greek policy towards Macedonia during the second half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, Risto Poplazarov [Македонска библиотека]

Грчката политика спрема Македонија... Ристо Поплазаров

The struggle undertaken by the Sandanists and other forces of the Macedonian revolutionary organisations especially by the peasant police, the regional and the provincial bands was a very sound reason which did not allow the andarism and the other armed propagandas spread over bigger territory. It helped the Macedonian people stick together. During the Greek and other četnik interventions the Macedonian people and the organisational forces had many victims as well as material losses because they fought on many fronts. More than 5 Kostur voivodas died in the struggle with the Turkish army within 10 months from 1906 to 1907. The voivodas were the pole of the revolutionary struggle against the andarism in Bitola vilaet. It is said that 5000 to 7000 people were killed during the četnik and other armed actions and that 2500 were victims caused by the Greek andarism. Hundreds of houses were burnt and many estates plundered. The Greater Greek terror was also felt in many towns. The special organisations undertook many terroristic actions and so called "the economic boycott" was introduced which affected badly the poorest masses. The same boycott was introduced in the villages [< page 296] too. All this together with many andar actions influenced badly the Macedonian economy and the situation worsened a great deal.

Thereafter the declaration of the Young Turk revolution the Greater Greek propaganda stopped but for a short time. The constitutional regime of the Young Turks showed that the armed propaganda succeeded with many efforts, means and forces of the Greek government and that was insecure and lasted shortly. The same was regarded by the Greek leading factors-the Greek consulates, the Patriarchate and some of the leaders too. As a result of that they made a plan for reintroducing the andarism in Macedonia, with the knowledge and help of the Greek government, in order to keep the population subjected to the Patriarchate and the Greek kausa (Greek Policy) and with terror to reject "the disobedients". Parallel new ideas appeared for colonisation Macedonia with Greek, peasant and other population as one of the means for hellenising the Macedonians. In the years till the First Balkan War the andarism was becoming stronger and stronger and it prepared a terrain for engaging the population into actions for a Balkan federation and paid special attention to the Greek-Bulgarian closeness and alliance for the struggle for separation of Macedonia.

Thereafter the first years of the Young Turk revolution the andar bands were formed of 2 to 4 local residents. From 1910 Greece started sending more bands in Macedonia. They were active on the same territory where the andar bands till 1908. The Greater Greek armed propaganda in comparison with the andarism during the Young Turk period till the declaration of the First Balkan War, had mainly a defensive character and was gradually united with the bands sent by the Bulgarian or the Serbian government. Immediately before the First Balkan War the andarism was completely under the control of the Greek Main Headquarters and worked according the needs of the struggle. In that time there were some ideas and actions too which wanted to raise the Macedonian population on "a rising" helped bv the andar bands but that did not give any result. Most of the andar bands were active in south Macedonia i.e. in the boundary regions. The results from the andarism during the Youg Turk revolution were very bad. The armed propaganda showed openly that it did not fulfill the aims. That was the basic reason for Greece to start a war.

During the Young Turk revolution the Greater Greek policy towards Macedonia was manifested through the Greek- [< page 297] Bulgarian agreement against the Macedonian unity. Parallel with the Greek-Bulgarian governmental alliance it came to a unity of their legal propagandas towards Macedonia led by the Patriarchate and the Exarchate. That was mostly expressed during the Parliament election campaign conducted in Turkey in 1912. In fact it had an aim to prapare the people psychologically for the Greek-Bulgarian alliance and the struggle for annexing Macedonia. In that way the Patriarchate and the Exarchate perfected their activity against the Macedonian people. The Macedonian people stood openly against that. The Macedonian revolucionema levica (the Macedonian Revolutionary Left) led the resistance together with other political groups. They showed the people, through political agitation, the forthcoming danger for whole Macedonia, resisted the andar-Vrhovist četnik actions and undertook defensive measures.

The Balkan monarchies used their četnik bands against the Macedonian resistance. The Greek and the Bulgarian leading circles made an agreement for mutual tolerance and help in the Macedonian territory. As a result of that they undertook many combined terroristic actions against the Macedonian revolutionary Left and the people. The andar-vrhovist unity as well as the unity between the Patriarchate and the Exarchate represented an integral part of the Greek-Bulgarian governmental alliance formed especially to annex Macedonia. The two countries thought that with the help of their armies (Bulgaria with 300.000 soldiers and Greece with 120.000) would rule bigger part of Macedonia. Bulgaria first and then Serbia too, with the war against Turkey, enabled Greece take bigger part of Macedonia without special means and victims which on the other hand was impossible for Greece to do alone.

Translated from the Macedonian by:
Nada Saratinovska [< page 298]

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