Fighting for a historical relic..the modern Macedonian Question

Article published on Nov. 26, 2007
community published
Article published on Nov. 26, 2007
When reffering to Macedonia is very difficult to define of what are you talking about : is Macedonia a georgaphical term, is it a nation and why for eons all these Balkan people fight for this piece of land? Lets split the timeline in three periods..The first one is the ancient era, where Macedonia means an indipendent state ruled by Phillip II and after him Alexander the Great.
This state consider of itself to be a part of the greek world. Macedonia shares the same language,culture, religion and joins every pan-hellenic event as for example the Olympic Games. This state under the rule of Alexander united almost all the greek city states and declared war to the Persian Empire. The second period begins from the Roman times and continues to the Byzantine Empire (or Eastern Roman Empire) and her succesor in the area the Ottoman Empire. All this time which is almost 19 centuries Macedonia is called the geographical region of the ancient kingdom which now was a province of all these empires. After Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia became indipendent they all wanted to gain the region of Macedonia because of her strategical and economical importance and because they all had people of the same nation who inhabited Macedonia. During the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 the united Balkan allies captured Macedonia and with the Bucharest Treaty of 1913 the Ottoman Empire was forced to cede the region to the allies. Greece and Serbia controlled almost the 95 % of the former ottoman region but Greece had the biggest part which also included the capital of the region Thessalonica. The decades following the creation of Yugoslavia under the king Alexander III Karageorgevitc the region of Serbian Macedonia was named Vardaska which means the land of the Vardar river. After Tito came to power and made Yugoslavia a federal stated he changed the name and made it Peoples republic of Macedonia while he cultivated a Macedonian national identity. After the collapse of Yugoslavia the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia declared it's independance and changed her name into Macedonia. This goes to the third period...Macedonia tried to convince the globe that they were the same nation as ancient Macedonia and of course they claimed that Alexander was also a Macedonian. Following that they used the royal emblem of Alexander as their flag and in their school books they claimed that Macedonia was under Greek and Bulgarian occupation. After Greece outrageously rejected all these, there was a negotiation process where F.Y.R.O.M. accepted to join the UN under the name former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and was forced to changed her flag and every territorial claim over the Greek region of Macedonia. All this history is needed to understand why Greeks have emotional reasons of not accepting Macedonia as the name of this country. If we take in mind that much of the greek nationalism is based on Alexander's Macedonia and that nowadays Greece owes almost the 90% of the ancient Macedonia and a huge part of the Ottoman Macedonia then we can understand the sensitivity of the issue. However, the Greeks dont have the exclusivity to the term which is geographical and is vital for FYROM's stability in the interior.Of course this doesn't mean that FYROM or any other country have the right to exclusively use the name of a region - and especially Macedonia which is important for all Balkan people. Personally, I would like in the name of the neighbouring country to be defined that this country is not the whole of Macedonia -which is after all a georgaphical term- but a part of it f.e. Nothern Macedonia, or Slavian Macedonia et.c. Furthermore FYROM must stop fabricating historical facts over ancient Macedonia. In conclusion, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of FYROM when interviewed said : Of course we have no relation with Ancient Macedonia, but when in Balkans in order to proof a different national existance you have to present history we were forced by you (the Greeks) to fabricate our history.....