Interview of Greek consul in Serres, Stournaras in the Greek newspaper ‘Empros‘ in the paper of 21 August of 1903. Stournaras was an eye-witness of Ilinden uprising and he is talking here about the uprising.
Journalist- Do you believe that the uprising in Macedonia will be suppressed soon?
Stournaras- There is no uprising in Macedonia. Noone from the inhabitants has rebelled against the rulers of the region. There is an incursion of Bulgarian gunmen and other brigands and nothing more. Do you believe that these low-numbered Bulgarians will be able to conquer Macedonia or force the inhabitants to rebel? The result of their clashes with Turkish army verifies the opposite. Everywhere they were defeated and shattered. The ending of this incursion is near. But the most important is that these men, these alledged burned by patriotism, dont fight. In each encounter with Turkish army, they run like sheeps. They only shoot when they are surrounded and cant find their way out. But in all these occasions everything was shattered. Heroism, self-sacrifices, altruism is something unknown to them. They are throwing dynamites and murder whenever there is no danger. They murder mostly to scatter terror. But there is a general impression in Macedonia that they never stand and fight. Because of that, there are the results which we hear about them being killed 10 times more than the turks. While running to get away they dont even shoot.
I couldnt believe that if i didnt see it almost with my own eyes. In one clash in Panitze, outside of Serres, a few months ago where the notorious Delchev was murdered and 52 Bulgarians were arrested, only 2 Bulgarians managed to escape and the rest were killed. This of course has no meaning anymore, because through the fuss they managed to create, many believe now in Europe that Macedonian question is actually Bulgarian question.
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