Some Authentic Turkish Documents About Macedonia

I. Sultans Ferman for the establishment of a Bulgarian Exarchate.

"...But in spite of all this we observed with regret the disputes and controversies which contrary to our good will, have lately arisen between the Bulgarians of the Orthodox faith and the Greek Patriarchal, i.e. concerning the relations between the Bulgarian archbishops, bishops, priests, the Bulgarian Church and the Patriarchate.

The following articles, the result of many discussions and much though about the best solution of the difficult problem were formulated as follows:

1. A special spiritual jurisdiction shall be established under the name of Bulgarian Exarchate, which will include the below mentioned archbishoprics, bishoprics, and others; the Exarchate shall be authorized to manage all the church affairs of this religious faith.

... 10. The spiritual jurisdiction of the Bulgarian Exarchate shall include the bishoprics of Ruse, Silistra, Shurnen, Tarnovo, Sofia, Vratsa, Lovech, Vidin, Nish, Pirot, Kyustendil, Samokov, Veles, Varna... , the district of Sliven..., the country of Sozopol... , the bishopric of Plovdiv...

If all, or at least two thirds of the Orthodox Christian population in other places, besides those enumerated above, are willing to accept the supremacy of the Bulgarian Exarchate in religious matters and if this is duly proved, they will be allowed to do so, but this shall happen only by the will and with agreement of all or, at least two thirds of the population. Those, who try by these means to create trouble and disturbances among the population, will be persecuted and punished according to the law"

Note: The Bishops of Kyustendil and Samokov contained parts from the geographical area of Macedonia. Whole Bishop of Veles was situated in Macedonia. After a plebiscite (1871-1873) almost whole Slavic population in the rest of Macedonia chose the supremacy of the Bulgarian Exarchate. According to Lyubcho Georgievski, a leader of the biggest Macedonian non communist party VMRO-DPMNE (IMRO-DPMNU), this event was the first time when "the Sultans decree allowed a free referendum and when the people of Macedonia with a majority of over two thirds accepted the Bulgarian Exarchate as their own".


It is more than obvious that the Turkish statistics and documents explicitly referred to the Slavonic population in Macedonia as Bulgarian. Both bureaucracy nomenclature and personal testimony of prominent figures witness on Bulgarians in Macedonia; there is no mention of some "Macedonian ethnic nation" whatsoever. Such ethnicity was unknown to the all non-Slave living in Macedonia. The Turks ruled the region of Macedonia for over five centuries, hence, they were well aware on the ethnic character of the population.

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