Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
Reaction From Macedonian Association Ilinden Tirana to Bulgaria39s Attempts to Impose a Bulgarian Identity on the Macedonians in Golo Brdo

Reaction From Macedonian Association Ilinden Tirana to Bulgaria's Attempts to Impose a Bulgarian Identity on the Macedonians in Golo Brdo


In the days before New Year, Bulgarian propagandists in the Republic of Albania made another attempt to "look for" Bulgarians in the villages in Golo Brdo. Namely, the consul of the Bulgarian Embassy in the Republic of Albania came bringing packages to the pupils in the "Elez Kochi" school in the village of Malo Ostreni, and to the pupils in the "Deset Pokojnici" school in Trebishte, in Golo Brdo.

Macedonians in Golo Brdo strongly denounced these activities, and the Macedonian Association Ilinden Tirana has also frequently reacted to such attempts

We find the campaign by the Bulgarian Embassy in Tirana to be despicable and inexplicable. The distribution of New Year packages to the pupils in the schools "Elez Kochi" and "Deset Pokojnici" in the villages of Malo Ostreni and Trebishte in the Golo Brdo district is another propagandist act by the representatives of the Bulgarian Embassy. The citizens of Ostreni and Trebishte say that these actions, aimed directly at their children in the villages of Golo Brdo, are an attempt to desecrate the historic truth that in the morning of March 4th 1916 it was the Bulgarian forces, during the Bulgarian occupation of Golo Brdo, who captured Elez Kochi and Kazim Duka from the village of Golemo Ostreni and, after brutal torture, buried them alive near the river flowing through the village of Vernica. Considering that one of the villages where the Bulgarian Embassy was distributing packages to Macedonian children is named precisely after Elez Kochi, a man tortured and murdered by Bulgarian brutes, the message that Bulgaria wants to send to the young generations of Macedonians in Golo Brdo is clear - we need to forget our history and forget the victims of Bulgarian viciousness.

Such actions by the Bulgarian Embassy are unacceptable and must never happen again, say the Macedonians of Golo Brdo.

The Macedonian Association Ilinden Tirana and the Ilinden newspaper, as representatives of the Macedonians in Albania, stand in solidarity with the numerous protests from the Macedonian population of Golo Brdo. We also consider it necessary to present the message of the Macedonians in Golo Brdo to the international public - the message that reflects the Macedonian sentiment of the Macedonians in Golo Brdo, who are now asked to adopt a Bulgarian identity. Macedonians in the Republic of Albania have always been Macedonians and will never become Bulgarians!

Still, even these direct declarations from the Macedonians in Albania are not enough to stop the surreptitious attempts of the Bulgarian Embassy to fool the international public and to present the Macedonians as Bulgarians. In their cheap propagandist actions, they try to use New Year's packages to try to erase the memory of the blood-thirsty killing of Macedonian patriots such as Elez Kochi and Kazim Duka by the Bulgarians.