It is necessary to use scientific facts in order not to fall for provocations. Thousands of written documents, records, books through European archives expressly confirm the uniqueness of the Macedonian people and their language, but the authorities do not use these scientifically proven facts at all to counter the constant attacks on identity and language.
The attacks on Macedonians are an ongoing process that has lasted for more than a century, but in recent years it seems to be entering its final phase, witnessed by the steps of Greece and Bulgaria, which undoubtedly lead to their only century-old target Macedonia, to deliver the final blow. Therefore, it is unclear why Macedonian diplomacy remains free from such constant provocations for so long and does not use historical documents that clearly describe Macedonian uniqueness as a powerful tool with which to vigorously and argumentatively repel attacks at any time and place.
“White Book” as a kind of textbook for Macedonian diplomacy
There are thousands of documents with Macedonian identity data, a large part of which were prepared by top foreign scholars, travel writers, folklorists and many enthusiasts working unencumbered by anyone’s influence, but only on the basis of what the field data shows. These data clearly show the existence of a unique Macedonian people with all their associated characteristics such as language, culture, folklore and traditions.
One such figure is the Greek academic Notis Botsaris, who in his book Balkan Visions in the Preparation of the Greek Revolution 1789-1821 cites a historical source from 1821 that lists the Macedonians as a distinct people, separate from the Greeks, Serbs, Albanians and Romanians. The information presented by the Greek academic was certainly known in Greek scientific circles, but was deliberately concealed in order to place another historical truth on the Athenian scale.
Similar documents and data are in various archives in Austria, Hungary, Germany, Turkey, Russia and many other countries, so it is extremely important to use these data properly so that the Macedonian side can finally respond to provocations.
But for this purpose the state should have had a strategy beforehand to archive a large part of these documents, records, papers, all collected in a “white paper”, which would also be a kind of textbook for Macedonian diplomacy. Through this book, instead of allowing Bulgaria and Greece to manipulate historical facts and describe the Macedonian people as a creation of the communists, Macedonianism would be promoted everywhere as a process that has its origins many centuries back in history.
This, of course, requires a return to the old diplomatic practices, i.e. before taking office, every diplomat must familiarize himself with the documents in this White Paper, including the papers and research produced by domestic institutions, and then be seriously trained to deal with any outstanding challenges in successfully deal with foreign policy, i.e. always having an argument plus in the controversy with the arguers.
It is this proven model, used for many years by Greek and Bulgarian diplomacy, which has hired entire scientific teams to spread their propaganda in many areas, that puts Macedonia in a situation where it has its own identity, language and history must negotiate, which is unthinkable for any country.
The scientific community believes that domestic diplomacy is underdeveloped
The local scientific community believes that domestic diplomacy is underdeveloped and makes no use at all of the scientific documents at its disposal, even those in the country, let alone those in foreign archives.
– Unfortunately, neither diplomats nor politicians use the knowledge gained by Macedonian science when they come to power. There are as many documents as you want that talk about Macedonians, about their special identity, not only from foreign sources, but also from our sources. If there is no coordination here, then things like opening clubs “Ivan Mihajlov”, “Todor Alexandrov” and similar names happen with us. Instead of taking the names that mean something to Macedonia and contributed to the Macedonian language, nation and culture, we turn to those who deny Macedonia – says historian Todor Cepreganov.
He explains that the Macedonian Institute of National History worked to spread Macedonian scientific knowledge by sending its publications to all libraries in the world, but that this practice was interrupted precisely because of the state’s lack of interest.
– Previously, in the Institute of National History, we had the practice of sending the publications that will come out of our institute to all libraries in the world, but the state stopped this and the books remained in the institute’s depots. It was a promotion from Macedonia. The Bulgarians are doing the same thing, sending every scientist in the world a book denying Macedonian identity. This is our tragedy – says Cepreganov.
According to him, it is incomprehensible that when there are documents about Macedonian uniqueness made by foreign scientists in the archives all over Europe, we have to prove our identity again.
– It is a shame in the 21st century to prove today who we are and what we are based on so many documents that speak of Macedonian identity. It is the greatest embarrassment for a nation. Why are the Bulgarians silent when something is written against their claims? Because they have no arguments, they use lies. Why can’t the Bulgarians resist when we go to symposiums? Because we have the documents, not just them. This confirms how easy it is to oppose someone when you know the facts, when you have confirmed documents that no one can dispute – said Chepreganov.
It evokes a similar record, not so old when viewed through a historical prism, made by a Briton who was sent to Aegean Macedonia during World War II and Greek propaganda told him, he was going to the “Greek Population”:
– In 1943-1944 a Briton stayed in the Lerin (Florina) region for a year and the Greeks told him that he was going to Greek territory. When he got there, he noticed that the people didn’t speak Greek, but a language other than Greek. The man wrote a 30-page report saying these people are neither Greeks, nor Serbs, nor Bulgarians, but Macedonians with their own language, their own culture, their own songs, games, dances. He describes them in great detail, and after all that, should we now tell the Brit that he was wrong, that they were Bulgarians and not Macedonians? And there are many other such records and documents – explains Chepreganov.
In his opinion, Macedonian politicians are not savvy enough to face their Bulgarian counterparts, who are backed by entire scientific teams.
– I think it’s primarily out of ignorance. Our politicians are not savvy enough, they don’t know, they don’t read, they take councilors who are children and are just partisans, they don’t use the institutions that the state has set up that can inform them about many things. That’s why our situation is like this, because the profession is not heard. Take the Bulgarians as an example of how politics uses science. The Bulgarian state puts the top historians in position wherever the Macedonian question is to be discussed. Or to take the example of the Greeks. They formed a team of hundreds of people, the best connoisseurs of history, folklore and culture, and therefore managed to reach the agreement they made with us. We have always lacked the use of local institutions and the knowledge of science. Here is our fundamental problem, and scientists have all the facts and documents. Someone should use them, but unfortunately they are not used – concludes Chepreganov.
Source: “Илјадници документи го потврдуваат засебниот македонски идентитет”, Nova Makedonija published May 10, 2022