Members of this group have had a number of conflicting ethnic identifications.
Predominantly identified as Macedonian Bulgarians until the early 1940s, since the formation of a Macedonian nation state, many of the migrant population in the diaspora (Australia, America and Canada) have a strong Macedonian identity and have followed the consolidation of the Macedonian ethnicity.
However, those who remain in Greece, now mainly identify nationally as ethnic Greeks, although, it should be noted, that though the Macedonian region is overwhelmingly inhabited by Greeks including descendants of Pontians, it is ethnically diverse (including Albanians, Aromanians and Slavs).
The second group in today's Greece is made up of those who seem to reject any national identity, but have distinct regional ethnic identity, which they may call “indigenous” - dopia -, Slavomacedonian, or Macedonian, and the smallest group is made up of those who have a clear ethnic Macedonian national identity. They speak East South Slavic dialects that can be linguistically classified as either Macedonian or Bulgarian, but which are locally often referred to simply as "Slavic" or "'the local language". Today all speakers are also bilingual in Greek.
A crucial element of that controversy is the very name Macedonian, as it is also used by a much more numerous group of people with a Greek national identity to indicate their regional identity. The term "Aegean Macedonians" (Macedonian: Егејски Македонци, Egejski Makedonci) is associated with those parts of the population that have an ethnic Macedonian identity. Speakers who identify as Greeks or have distinct regional ethnic identity, often speak of themselves simply as "locals" (Greek: Dopii), to distinguish themselves from native Greek speakers from the rest of Greece and Greek refugees from Asia Minor who entered the area in the 1920s and after.
Slavic speakers will also use the term "Macedonians" or "Slavomacedonians", though in a regional rather than an ethnic sense. People of Greek persuasion are sometimes called by the pejorative term "Grecomans" by the other side. Greek sources, which usually avoid the identification of the group with the nation of the Republic of Macedonia, and also reject the use of the name "Macedonian" for the latter, will most often refer only to so called "Slavophones" or "Slavophone Greeks".
"Slavic-speakers" or "Slavophones" is also used as a cover term for people across the different ethnic orientations. The exact number of the linguistic minority remaining in Greece today, together with its members' choice of ethnic identification, is difficult to ascertain; most maximum estimates range around 180,000-200,000 with those of an ethnic Macedonian national consciousness numbering possibly 10,000 to 30,000. However, as per leading experts on this issue, the number of this people has decreased in the last decades, because of the intermeriages and the urbanization and they number nowadays between 50,000 and 70,000 people with around 10,000 of them identifying as Macedonians.I believe the wiki article on the matter to be fairly accurate.Nevertheless it took almost a century for the Bulgarian idea to regain ascendancy in the region. Paisius was the first ardent call for a national awakening and urged his compatriots to throw off the subjugation to the Greek language and culture. The example of Paissiy was followed also by other Bulgarian awakeners in 18th century Macedonia.
The Macedonian Bulgarians took active part in the long struggle for independent Bulgarian Patriarchate and Bulgarian schools during the 19th century. The foundation of the Bulgarian Exarchate (1870) aimed specifically at differentiating the Bulgarian from the Greek population on an ethnic and linguistic basis, hence providing the conditions for the open assertion of a Bulgarian national identity.
On the other hand the Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization (IMARO) was founded in 1893 in Ottoman Thessaloniki by several Bulgarian Exarchate teachers and professionals who sought to create a militant movement dedicated to the autonomy of Macedonia and Thrace within the Ottoman Empire. Many Bulgarian exarchists participated in the Ilinden Uprising in 1903 with hope of liberation from the Porte.
From 1900 onwards, the danger of Bulgarian control had upset the Greeks. The Bishop of Kastoria, Germanos Karavangelis, realised that it was time to act in a more efficient way and started organising Greek opposition. Germanos animated the Greek population against the IMORO and formed committees to promote the Greek interests.
Taking advantage of the internal political and personal disputes in IMORO, Karavangelis succeeded to organize guerrilla groups. Fierce conflicts between the Greeks and Bulgarians started in the area of Kastoria, in the Giannitsa Lake and elsewhere; both parties committed cruel crimes.
Both guerrilla groups had also to confront the Turkish army. These conflicts ended after the revolution of "Young Turks" in 1908, as they promised to respect all ethnicities and religions and generally to provide a constitution.
After the Balkan Wars in 1913, Greece took control of southern Macedonia and began an official policy of forced assimilation which included the settlement of Greeks from other provinces into southern Macedonia, as well as the linguistic and cultural Hellenization of Slav speakers. which continued even after World War I. The Greeks expelled Exarchist churchmen and teachers and closed Bulgarian schools and churches. Bulgarian language (including the Macedonian dialects) was prohibited, and its surreptitious use, whenever detected, was ridiculed or punished.
Bulgaria's entry into World War I on the side of the Central Powers signified a dramatic shift in the way European public opinion viewed the Bulgarian population of Macedonia. The ultimate victory of the Allies in 1918 led to the victory of the vision of the Slavic population of Macedonia as an amorphous mass, without a developed national consciousness.
Within Greece, the ejection of the Bulgarian church, the closure of Bulgarian schools, and the banning of publication in Bulgarian language, together with the expulsion or flight to Bulgaria of a large proportion of the Macedonian Bulgarian intelligentsia, served as the prelude to campaigns of forcible cultural and linguistic assimilation.
The remaining Macedonian Bulgarians were classified as "Slavophones". After the Ilinden Uprising, the Balkan Wars and especially after the First World War more than 100,000 Bulgarians from Aegean Macedonia moved to Bulgaria.
There was agreement in 1919 between Bulgaria and Greece which provided opportunities to expatriate the Bulgarians from Greece. Until the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922) and the Population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1923 there were also some Pomak communities in the region.
According to this map I should be half Greek by the way.
Serbs and Greeks allied eachother!
Let us do the same
My friendly advice to all Balkanians- start learning Bulgarian. It will once again become the most important language in the region.
There was an indirect assimilation. I mean, there was indeed no clear force to make them Turks, but the Christians were heavily taxed, so many people convert in order to avoid taxation.
This is were the myth of ''tolerant'' Ottoman empire came from.
Pontic Greeks and Greeks remained in Turkey, and people were blend and lived well, by many years. You can still go to the main center of Istanbul, and see that there are shop owners who speak Greek and remember their Greek friends.
(documented, not ''my uncle's brother said me)
But from 1914 and later, the happenings are undeniable..
The Pontic Greek genocide, as well as the mistreatment of Greeks by Turks is well document from newspapers, photos and paper/documentation of that period of time.
And is not suprise that Greeks in Turkey AFTER the Laussane treaty were 200.000 and today's Greeks there are not more than 5.000.
"Човек дори и добре да живее умира и друг се ражда, но оставя това което е съградил."
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)