I am a Macedonian!
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“There is no name dispute”! Macedonia has no problem with its own name, a historical name that belongs to the Macedonian people and has been with them for over three millenniums. It is Greece that has a problem! So, it is not a dispute between Macedonia and Greece but a one way dispute… Why is Greece disputing Macedonia’s name?
In response to Greek misrepresentations claiming the ancient Macedonians were Greek, we as concerned Macedonians declare the following:
We, the indigenous people of Macedonia who have lived in Macedonia for centuries:
- Were present in Macedonia before the Ottoman Turks invaded the Balkan Peninsula,
- Existed as a people before the Greek, Bulgarian and Serbian states were formed,
- Opposed the forcible occupation and illegal partition of Macedonia by Greeks, Bulgarians and Serbs, in 1913 by the Treaty of Bucharest and,
- Witnessed the mass expulsion of Macedonians and the subsequent resettling of foreign people into our homeland,
We further declare that:
1. By virtue of our distinct language and customs and by our efforts to liberate Macedonia during the Ilinden uprising of 1903, our national character is different from that of Greeks, Bulgarians and Serbs.
2. As the indigenous people of Macedonia we have a separate national identity. As such, we have the right to identify ourselves as we feel, to declare our own ancestry and to ascribe our own history.
3. Being indigenous to Macedonia and having lived in the region for centuries, it is only reasonable that we have the right to call ourselves Macedonians, our language Macedonian and our nation Macedonia.
4. We, as a distinct people, have the right to assert ourselves and be awarded recognition as Macedonians by all states and peoples who respect universally accepted human rights treaties and laws.
5. Prior to the invasion and partition of Macedonia in 1912-1913, the unique national character of the indigenous people of Macedonia was misrepresented by Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia. After Macedonia’s partition the Macedonian people witnessed the destruction of our ancestral villages and churches, suffered under brutal assimilation practices, ethnic cleansing, confiscation of property, population transplantations, torture, rape, murder, humiliation and systemic state discrimination.
6. To this day Greece and Bulgaria still refuse to recognize a distinct Macedonian nation within their borders. We, the indigenous people of Macedonia, call on the Greek and Bulgarian States to acknowledge us and grant those of us living within their borders status as a national minority with full rights and privileges in accordance with international norms.
7. We, the indigenous people of Macedonia, demand an apology from the Greek, Bulgarian and Serbian governments for our past and present maltreatment.
We, the indigenous people of Macedonia, also demand that:
a) All Macedonians born in Greece and Bulgaria, who were forcibly expelled because they were of Macedonian ethnic heritage, be re-instated as citizens in their respective countries and compensated for their suffering and material losses.
b) All confiscated properties be returned to their rightful owners or their heirs.
c) All perpetrators who have committed internationally recognized criminal acts against the Macedonian people be brought to justice.
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