How contemporary Australian and other foreign newspapers saw the Bulgarian uprising of llinden in 1903…
Accounts of the llinden Uprising in Australian newspapers of the time, invariably echo the way ihe event was perceived by the general world media.
The reader will discover thai according to the reports in the newspapers, (as indeed in those of any other contemporary source), the Insurgent Slavs were the Bulgarians of Macedonia. A “Macedonian” ethnic group simply did not exist!!
In accounts which refer to the ethnic make-up of Macedonia, the Slavs ol the region are always described as Bulgarians …
For this is precisely what they themselves believed. This tact is exemplified by the numerous references in many reports, to the ‘local Bulgarians’ of the Monastir and Krushevo district – the area in which the 1903 rebellion centred.
(Both towns arc now in the southwestern part ol the FYROM).
There are also, quite naturally, references to the “Macedonian” revolution and to “Macedonian bands’. This is expected; given that the events took place mainly in the Turkish ‘province’ of Macedonia. Essentially it is a short-hand reference to the events that occurred in this region: and to the local Bulgarian population as opposed to the population of the independent Hulgarian kingdom.
Any casual reading of the reports will very clearly show that the term “Macedonian’ was used entirely and purely in a regional sense. In fact, the two terms. Bulgarian’ and ‘Macedonian are frequently used interchangeably; Ihe former ethnically, Ihe latter regionally.
In a “New York Times” report of the uprising dated 10 August 1903. for instance, a ‘Μacedonian” revolutionary (as described in the report), is quoted as stating that the revolutionary organization in Macedonia “Came info existence nine years age when the percecution of Ihe Bulgarian population of Macedonia became flaglant.
Ihe following pages contain accounts of the Bulgarian Uprising of Ilinden, as recorded in a representative sample of contemporary Australian newspapers; The Age, The Herald and the Sydney Morning Herald.
The last page contains a letter from Gotse Delchev, a leading Bulgarian revolutionary of the time. He is claimed as a national icon by both ihe Bulgarians and the Slav Macedonians.
New York Times – 14 August 1903
Fitchbourg Daily Sentinel
Welsborough Gazzete 15 Octomber
Standard 11 October
Lincoln Evening News 14 October
Delphos Daily Herald
Times September 1903
New York Times 26 August 1903
15 August 1903
19 August 1903
THE TORONTO GLOBE AND MAIL: 1903
*” Salonica. Aug 6. -A special messenger from Monastir reports that the Bulgarian insurgents have dynamited the Governor’s palace in the town of Krushevo, 23 miles north of Monastir. “
*” Vienna, Aug. 7.- Salonica despatch to the Neue Freie Presse says that 1,000 young Bulgarians have taken the filed in the neighborhood ofMonastir. The Bulgarian families there have been ordered to prepare provisions for the insurgents. “
*”Athens, Aug. 7.- Official reports state that Bulgarian bands have occupied Krushevo, and are besieging other villages in the vilayet of Monastir. “
*” Salonica, Aug. 7.-Four battalions of Turkish troops supported by artillery yesterday met and routed a body of 1,700 Bulgarians, near Serovitch. “
*”Salonica, Aug. 13. -It is reported that the Bulgarian insurgents have massacred the inhabitants of the large Turkish village of Kenati, near monastir, only twenty escaping.”
Globe and Mail, August 17, 1903
*” … in the town of Salonica itself, the Bulgarian professors of the university, the students and shopkeepers, in fact all intelligent
Bulgarians in the city, have been cast into prison. “
*” … In the vilayet of Uskub, the entire Bulgarian population has been systematically persecuted since last May. The director of the normal school at Uskub was imprisoned because his library contained the “revolutionary” works of “Othello” and “Les Miserables”.Inthe districts of Palanka, Koschiani,Koumanovo and Gostigar, the prisonser (sic) are filled with Bulgarian priests, schoolmasters and merchands. It is difficlut, says the memorandum, to obtainthe exact number of Bulgarians who were imprisoned, mostly on the flimsiest pretexts, as when they were released others were immediately arrested.
The estimates obtainable give for the vilayet of Salonica 900 prisoners; for Uskub, 500; for Monastir, 500, and for Adrianople, 550; a grand total of 2,800. “
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