Courtesy Reuters

The Macedonian Organization Yesterday and Today

THE Macedonian Organization has again made itself talked about, both by its terrorist activities and by the manifestoes which it has been issuing frequently to the European and American press. But very few people know the history of this Organization or understand its real political tendencies and objectives. I therefore purpose explaining briefly its past and present activity in relation to the general problem of Balkan peace, which, as we have seen during more than a century, is an integral part of the wider question of world peace.

The fight for independence against Turkish oppression makes up the whole history of the Balkans during the Nineteenth Century and the first dozen years of the Twentieth. First of all, in 1805, the Serbs under the leadership of Kara George rose against the Sultan; then, in 1822, it was the turn of the Greeks. Two small new states were formed -- modern Serbia and modern Greece. Later (1875-76) the Serbs of Bosnia and Herzegovina revolted at the same time as the Bulgars; but in spite of the armed assistance of Serbia and Montenegro these revolts failed, though not without having stirred up western opinion and provoked the intervention of the Russian Army. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 liberated Bulgaria and reduced the possessions of the Ottoman Empire in Europe to Albania, Old Serbia, Macedonia and Thrace (Bosnia-Herzegovina came under the protectorate of Austria).

Only the rivalry of the different European powers allowed Turkey still to keep a part of the Balkan peninsula. Everywhere it was recognized that the solution put forward by the Congress of Berlin was to be of short duration and that Turkey-in-Europe was headed towards final liquidation. In consequence, a struggle commenced in Macedonia and in Thrace where the Slav population was under Bulgarian influence. The first Balkan insurgents called themselves haidouci in Slav and kleftis in Greek. Later the Turks began to call them comitadjis because they were under the orders of a revolutionary committee. The Bulgarian comitadjis in Macedonia took

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