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Cultural Illegitimacy in Greece: The Slavo -Macedonian ‘Non-Minority’. Anastasia Karakasidou. Ceremony in the village Atrapos (formerly Krapeshtina ) in the Florina district of Greece on 10 August of 1959.

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cultural illegitimacy in greece the slavo macedonian non minority
Cultural Illegitimacy in Greece:

The Slavo-Macedonian


Anastasia Karakasidou

Ceremony in the village Atrapos (formerly Krapeshtina) in the Florina district of Greece on 10 August of 1959
today 200 000 macedonians in greece very rough estimate real figures unknown
Today: 200,000 Macedonians in Greece (very rough estimate – real figures unknown)






Thessaloniki / Solun




greece historical context
Greece: Historical Context
  • 1829: Greek Independence from Ottoman Empire
  • Greece becomes a Monarchy: 1st King, Otto is from Bavaria; 2nd King, George I is from Denmark
  • 1912-1913 : Balkan Wars : Epirus, southern Macedonia, Crete and the Aegean Islands were annexed into Greece (Treaty of Bucharest)
  • 1913-1935: Emigration, deportation, and refugee resettlement
  • 1919-1922: The Greco-Turkish War. Results in the population exchange of 1923. A million Greeks from Turkey were exchanged with hundreds of thousands of Muslims then living in the Greek state
  • 1923 Treaty of Lausanne reverses all Greece's gains of the treaty of Sevres. There is to be no 'Greater Hellas' with the Aegean a Greek sea and Constantinople the capital.
  • 1936 General Ioannis Metaxas comes to power with the backing of the King.
  • 1936 - 41 The Metaxas Dictatorship
  • 1946-1949 Greek Civil War.
  • 1967-1974 Military Dictatorship. King flees.
  • 1974 ”Democratic” Republic restored.
  • 1981: Greece joins European Council albeit negative “avis” from the European Commission
  • 1993: Greece lobbies the UN not to accept the “Republic of Macedonia” under its constitutional name
  • 1994: Greece insists that the there is no Macedonian nation and that the Macedonians have no right to use the name "Macedonia".
  • 1994: Greece imposes a trade embargo on Macedonia because of the Macedonian refusal to rename the country, nation, and language.
  • 1994: Greece withdraws from Greek-Macedonian negotiations monitored by the UN Special Envoy as a mediator.
macedonia historical context
Macedonia: Historical Context
  • 1389 – 1903 Macedonia is under Ottoman Rule
  • 1564-1565 The Mariovo-Prilep Rebellion
  • 1689 The Karposh Uprising follows in Skopje
  • 1828-1878 Neighboring Greece (1828), Serbia (1830) and Bulgaria (1878), gain independence from Ottoman Rule, while Macedonia only gains independence in 1903
  • 1828-1878 Greece , Serbia and Bulgaria display territorial aspirations on Macedonian territory.
  • 1878-1879 Another Macedonians rebellion. Macedonian freedom fighters adopt a Constitution.
  • 1891 Bishop Theodosius of Skopje begins a campaign for an independent Macedonian Orthodox Church and restoration of the Ohrid Archbishopric, which had been abolished in 1767. The Bulgarians effectively destroy the idea.
  • 1893 The Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (VMRO) is founded in Salonica. Slogan “Macdonia for Macedonians.” Ojectives, independent Macedonian state.
  • 1903 The Macedonian revolutionaries "Gemidzii" carry out series of attacks in Solun (Thessaloniki)
  • 1903 (August 2) VMRO launches the Ilinden Uprising against the Turks and declares Macedonian independence. Uprising crushed
  • 1903 KrsteMisirkov publishes "On Macedonian Matters“ with the principles for standardization of the Macedonian literary language.
  • 1912-1913: Two Balkan Wars . Greece, Serbia, and Bulgaria join forces, and with the help of 100,000 Macedonians to defeat the Turkish army in Macedonia. Macedonia is denied independence .
  • August 1913 Treaty of Bucharest partitions the country between Greece, Serbia, and Bulgaria.
    • Greece (51%) ,
    • Bulgaria annexes (15%)
    • Serbia (34%)
who is karakasidou and what does she want to convey through her research
Who is Karakasidou and What does she want to convey through her research?

Anastasia Karakasidou

  • Born in Greece to a father of Turkish origin (refugee) and a Greek mother
  • PhD Columbia (1992) on ethnicity, national consciousness and agrarian transformations in Greek Macedonia
  • Book 1997: “Fields of Wheat , Hills of Blood: Passages to Nationhood of Greek Macedonia 1870-1997”
  • Withdrawal from publishing, Cambridge Press, subsequently published by Chicago University
  • Scandal - Resignation of 3 Professors
  • on Cambridge Editorial Board
  • Death threats from Greek co-patriots harass Karakasidou even in the

United States.

Main Points of the Chapter

  • Why did the people of Atrapos in particular, take this oath?
  • Why did the locals of Greek Macedonia accept, and even play a role in, changing their national consciousness?
  • What made these people become so “Greek,” to the point of swearing to never speak their mother tongue again, never to sing their songs and dance their dances?
  • How did the Greek authorities manage to convert them into “Greekdom”?
    • Through what methods?
    • Through which people and professions?
    • How long did it take?

Who were the Inhabitants of Macedonia at the end of the 19th and throughout the 20th century ?Contrasting Accounts about the Same People:

“Voulgarizondes, Bulgarians, foreign speakers from another nation, Makedones”


Who were the Inhabitants of Macedonia at the end of the 19th century and throughout the 20th century?Contrasting Accounts about the Same People:

“Slavs, Slavo-Macedonians, Skopians, foreign speakers with foreign morale, Gypsies”

how was greek national consciousness constructed nation building on the florina frontier
How was Greek National Consciousness Constructed? Nation-Building on the Florina Frontier
what methods were used to construct greek national consciousness in the florina region
What Methods were used to construct Greek National Consciousness in the Florina Region?

Role of Importers or Agents of National Consciousness: Graecoman - Imposed and Self-Perpetrated Infliction of Law and Consciousness over Rights and Identity

current context as conveyed by reports greek authorities response to reports
Current Context as Conveyed by Reports Greek Authorities Response to Reports

Official Comments of Greek Authorities on

Draft Report of European Commissioner

for Human Rights, 2008

“There is no ‘Macedonian’ minority in

Greece. In this regard, Greece

reiterates its position, that any

recommendation by UN treaty bodies

… cannot determine the existence of

a minority group or impose on States

an obligation to officially recognize a

group as a “minority.”

- Source: Report by Thomas Hammarberg, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Following his visit to Greece on 8-10 December 2008: Issue reviewed: Human rights of minorities,” Strasbourg, Strasbourg, 19 February 2009, pp. 15

United Nations Human Rights Council - Report of

the Independent Expert on Minority Issues, Gay

McDougall Addendum - Mission to Greece

(8-16 September 2008) :

“The Independent Expert met numerous individuals identifying as ethnic Macedonian. Some described themselves as fluent in the Macedonian language, having learned it within their families as it is not taught at school… Some described pressure not to display their Macedonian identity or speak Macedonian, previously banned in some villages. Despite their claim of the existence of distinct

Macedonian villages, they described a general fear to demonstrate their identity. Some recounted personal experiences of harassment including aggressive interrogation at borders. Another described being physically attacked allegedly due to his ethnic identity and membership of the Rainbow party. Another representative stated: “Greece does not trust the people who live here because they don’t feel Greek - they don’t speak Greek”.

cases at the european court of human rights strasbourg
Cases at the European Court of Human Rights - Strasbourg

Rainbow – Political Party of the Macedonians in Greece

Home of Macedonian Culture

The registration of the Home of Culture was rejected by the Court of First Instance, Florina, Greece, on the grounds that

“It considers that true object of the association is …the promotion of the idea that there is a Macedonian minority in Greece, which is contrary to the country’s national interest and consequently contrary to law.”

Source: “Case of Sidiropoulos and Others v. Greece” (57/1997/841/1047) Judgment, European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg, 10 July 1998, pp. 8

“They had affixed to the party headquarters a sign on which … the word vino-zito (rainbow) was written in Slavic language, and had thus sowed discord among the local inhabitants…”

Source: “Case of Ouranio Toxo and Others v. Greece” (Application no. 74989/01) Judgment, Strasbourg, 20 October 2005, Final 20 January 2006, European Court of Human Rights, pp. 3


“To be nobody but yourself in a world that’s doing its best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight. Never stop fighting.”- E.E. Cummings


Igor Janev: Legal Aspects of the Use of a Provisional Name for Macedonia in the UN System

  • 1991 Independence from Yugoslavia
  • 1993 Application for Membership to the UN
  • UN Security Council Resolution 817 (1993) :
    • “Recommends to the General Assembly that the State whose application is contained in document S/25147 be admitted to membership in the United Nations, this state being provisionally referred to for all purposes within the United Nations as the “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” pending settlement of the difference that has arisen over the name of the state.”
conditions for admission to membership to the united nations
Conditions for Admission to Membership to the United Nations
  • United Nations Charter, Article 4, paragraph 1:
  • “Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peaceloving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgement of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations.”
conditions for admission to membership to the united nations1
Conditions for Admission to Membership to the United Nations
  • UN General Assembly Resolution 113 (1947):
  • Asks the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to give an advisory opinion on whether a Member State of the UN is juridically entitled to place conditions on an applicant State – conditions that are not expressly provided for in Article 4, Paragraph 1 of the UN Charter.
conditions for admission to membership to the united nations2
Conditions for Admission to Membership to the United Nations
  • International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion
  • 5 Conditions: (1) be a state; (2) be peace-loving; (3) accept the obligations of the UN Charter; (4) be able to carry out these obligations; (5) be willing to do so.
  • These conditions are exhaustive in character. They are also explicit, and require prior fulfillment and recognition.
  • Thus, no, a Member is NOT juridically entitled to put conditions other than those in Article 4.
arguments of the international court of justice
Arguments of the International Court of Justice
  • UN Charter is a multilateral treaty whose provisions impose obligations on its members
  • Text of Article 4, paragraph 1 fixes conditions of admission and determines reasons for non-admission
  • Enumeration is exhaustive, for if it were not, it would lead to indefinite and unlimited power of Member States to impose new conditions
arguments of the international court of justice1
Arguments of the International Court of Justice
  • Article 2, paragraph 4 (political power), and Article 24 (maintenance of peace) of the UN Charter do NOT give the General Assembly or Security Council the right to impose conditions.
  • “The political character of an organ cannot release it from the observance of the treaty provisions established by the Charter when they constitute limitations on its powers or criteria for its judgment.”
general assembly resolution 197 iii of 1948
General Assembly Resolution 197 (III) of 1948
  • “Each member of the Security Council and of the General Assembly, in exercising its vote on the admission of new Members, should act in accordance with the foregoing opinion of the International Court of Justice.”
  • This resolution and the ICJ’s Advisory Opinion have direct legal relevance to the issue of the admission of Macedonia to membership in the UN, since they interpret the UN Charter in a manner that limits the power of the UN organs to impose conditions on admission.
security council resolution 817 1993
Security Council Resolution 817 (1993)
  • Preamble: “The Security Council…
  • Noting that theapplicant fulfills the criteria for membership in the United Nations laid down in Article 4 of the Charter,
  • Noting however that a difference has arisen over the name of the State, which needs to be resolved in the interest of the maintenance of peaceful and good-neighborly relations in the region,
security council resolution 817 19931
Security Council Resolution 817 (1993)

1. Urges the parties to continue to co-operate with the Co-Charimen of the Steering Committee of the International Conference of Former Yugoslavia in order to arrive at a speedy settlement of the difference;

2. Recommends to the General Assembly that the State whose application is contained in document s/25147 be admitted in the United Nations, this state being provisionally referred to, for all purposes within the United Nations, as the “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,” pending settlement of the difference that has arisen over the name of the State;”

contradictions and conditions
Contradictions and Conditions
  • Contrary to the usual wording of Security Council resolutions recommending admission of a state, Resolution 817, after recognizing the fulfillment of the conditions in Article 4, contains an additional consideration…
  • This condition…which is found in the introductory part of the resolution, is reflected in its paragraph 2, which recommends the admission of the applicant state to membership in the United Nations.
contradictions and conditions1
Contradictions and Conditions
  • The Macedonian Government strongly objected to the use of this provisional name, stating that “under no circumstances” was it prepared to accept that designation as the name for the country.
  • Nevertheless, the text of the resolution remained unchanged. As a consequence, the imposed obligation to accept this provisional denomination and the closely related obligation to negotiate over the name f the country served as additional conditions that it was requred to satisfy so as to gain admission to the UN.
contradictions and conditions2
Contradictions and Conditions
  • Logically inconsistent in that SC already recognized that the applicant had fulfilled the criteria for membership, and recommended to GA to admit it;
  • Extraneous to the limited list in Article 4;
  • Transcends the act of admission in time
  • Contradictory because if fulfilled the “peace-loving” criteria then no need to resolve the difference in the interest of peaceful and good-neighborly relations
  • UN Charter, Article 2, paragraph 7:
  • “Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the UN to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter.”
principle of separability of domestic and international jurisdiction
Principle of Separability of Domestic and International Jurisdiction
  • Greek allegation that the name of the applicant implies “territorial claims” has no legal significance:
  • The name of a state, which is a subject of that state’s domestic jurisdiction, does not create international legal rights for the state that adopts the name, nor does it impose legal obligations on other states.
legal identity of a state
Legal Identity of a State
  • Inherent right of a state to have a name derives from the necessity for a juridical personality to have a legal identity.
  • In the absence of such an identity, the juridical person (state) could lose its capacity to conclude agreements and independently enter into and conduct relations with other persons.
  • Thus, the name of a State is an essential element of its juridical personality and its statehood.
  • Principle of sovereign equality of states and inviolability of their juridical personality lead to the conclusion that the choice of an name is an inalienable right of the state.
  • States have no exclusive rights to names under international law.
  • The additional conditions in Security Council 817 related to the name of the State constitute violations of the Charter!