The Macedonian Association Ilinden Tirana strongly condemns the anti-Macedonian two-day visit of the Bulgarian Vice President Iliyana Yotova to the Republic of Albania, where she was accompanied by Bulgarian university professors and academics, all on the eve of the census in the Republic of Albania.
The program of their action "Bulgarians in Albania" envisages the opening of a "Bulgarian-language Sunday school in Elbasan", and a promotion in Tirana of Spas Toshev's book "Bulgarians in Albania", as well as the opening of a Bulgarian-language Sunday school in the village of Golemo Ostreni, Golo Brdo. Macedonians in Golo Brdo and Elbasan, as well as the entire Republic of Albania, strongly react to such Bulgarian activities.
According to the reactions of the citizens of the village of Golemo Ostreni and the entire area of Golo Brdo, this subverts the historic truth that, on the dawn of March 4, 1916, the Bulgarian army, during the Bulgarian occupation of Golo Brdo, captured Elez Kochi and Kazim Duka from the village of Golemo Ostreni. After brutal torture, the two were buried alive near the river in the village of Vernica, Golo Brdo. Considering that the school Yotove opened in Golemo Ostreni is named after Elez Kochi, who was murdered by the Bulgarian brutes, the message is clear that the Bulgarians want to tell the young generation of Macedonians from Golo Brdo that they should forget their history and the victims of the Bulgarian atrocities . According to the Macedonians in Golo Brdo, such an act is unacceptable and must not be repeated.
The Macedonian Association Ilinden Tirana, as a representative of the Macedonians from the Republic of Albania, stands in solidarity with the numerous reactions of the Macedonian population in Golo Brdo. At the same time, we consider it necessary to convey to the world public the message of the Macedonians from Golo Brdo, and clearly declare the Macedonian sentiment of the Macedonians from Golo Brdo. They were asked on a number of occasions to declare themselves to be Bulgarians. Macedonians in the Republic of Albania say that they have always been Macedonians and will never be Bulgarians.However, even this clear protestation of the Macedonians in the Republic of Albania did not stop the extremely vile intent of Bulgaria to mislead the world public that the Macedonians in the Republic of Albania are actually Bulgarians. At the same time, using a cheap propaganda action, they are trying to erase the memory of the bloody Bulgarian actions, during which patriots like Elez Kochi and Kazim Duka were killed.
The promotion of the campaign "Bulgarians in Albania" aims to distort the truth and portray the Macedonian population in the Republic of Albania as Bulgarians. We realize that this action is necessary for the Bulgarians who want to justify their assimilationist actions in the Republic of Albania before the countries of the European Union, aware that their behavior is absolutely unacceptable coming from a member of a democratic union. On the other hand, such a "visit" of high Bulgarian representatives to the Republic of Albania should "remind" the Albanian authorities that in the upcoming census in the country they should make sure to increase the number of Bulgarians, compared to the previous census, in which there was not a single self-declared Bulgarian in the Republic of Albania. The blackmail of the Bulgarians against the Albanian Government links the accession of the Republic of Albania to the European Union, and the Macedonians in the Republic of Albania are supposed to pay the price.
Such violent actions of the Bulgarian political elite, aimed at the assimilation of the Macedonians in Albania, are doomed from the start, because the Macedonians will not be forced into declaring themselves as Bulgarian.
Macedonian Association Ilinden Tirana, President Nikola Gjurgjaj
Macedonian Association Ilinden Tirana - Golo Brdo branch, President Fatri Fetahu
Coordinator of the Macedonian Association Ilinden Tirana for Elbasan District, Elsa Jelili