After Greece Beefs, BBC Clarifies Macedonian Minority Story

Workers remove a road sign that reads ''Republic of Macedonia'' as the other sign reads in Greek "Hellas-Greece" in the southern border with Greece, near Gevgelija, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)

Greece’s torrid criticism of a story saying there was a Macedonian minority in the country led the BBC to add a disclaimer stipulating that only a Muslim minority in Thrace is recognized.

The British news outlet also included a note that said the Greek government regards Macedonian Slavs Greece’s Macedonia region as a linguistic rather than a national group.

The clarification also added that the nationality of the people of the newly-named North Macedonia is “Macedonian/citizen of the Republic of North Macedonia” and makes no presumption about the existence of a Macedonian ethnicity.

The BBC was quick to make the revision after Greece’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Dimitris Karamitsos-Tziras, complained about the news story which he said contains “important historical inaccuracies and distortions against Greece” and “does not do justice” to the agreement by attempting to raise a “non-existent issue,” said Kathimerini.

The article, headlined Greece’s Invisible Minority – the Macedonian Slavs said the agreement changing the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to end a 28-year-ong dispute means “Greece has implicitly recognised the existence of a Macedonian language and ethnicity.”

But the Ambassador and Greece said the deal recognizes a Macedonian nationality but not a Macedonian ethnicity, the difference being nationality the relationship between a person and the political state to which he belongs or is affiliated and ethnicity identifying someone with a particular racial, cultural, or religious group.

The distinction is critical especially as it has political ramifications in an election year with two-thirds of Greeks opposed to the deal that anti-nationalist Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras made with now North Macedonian Premier Zoran Zaev, earning them a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.

The agreement does not recognize an ethnicity, but a nationality, the ambassador said, adding that while Greece recognizes equality before the law, the country recognizes only one minority – Muslims – who are referred to as Muslim Greeks and not Turks although they are Turkish.

“Greece maintains the right to refer to the people who belong to the majority ethnic group residing in the neighboring country as it has done to date, while the citizens of that ethnicity retain the right to self-determination,” he said in the letter.

5 Comments

  1. The majority of Muslims in Greece aren’t “Turkish” as this article falsely claims. Their are Turks, Pomaks, Afghans, Syrians, Palestinians, and many others.

    The reason why Greece does not recognize minorities other than Muslim relates to the treaty of Luasanne (which Turkey signed I would add). It was to discourage anyone that identified as Turkish from staying in Greece. This document was signed when Turks were ethnic cleansing Greeks to keep together a crumbling Ottoman empire (e.g. Constantinople which was once Greek, now has virtually no Greeks). Greeks had to be certain that Turkish influence in Greece was kept to a minimum. Thus Greece ended up recognizing no minorities but Greek.

    Greece is no alone in this. France also does not recognize minorities as well as several other countries.. It’s the right approach. As they say.. when in Rome.

    The self-annoitted far left “human rights” groups obsess over official state recognition of minorities — but then flip flops on their own alleged principles when it deconstructs ethnic groups as just “imagined communities”. One of the justification for foreign nationalists claiming Skopians are “Macedonians” was that names are just names.So which was is it going to be leftists? Are ethnic groups “real” or not?

  2. Why does this article claim Skopians are “Macedonian Slavs”? Half of them now claim they are ancient Macedonians and NOT Slavs… and that it is “racist” to call them Slavs… while the nations that offensively called them “Macedonians” evade.

    The far leftist”Greeks” that agreed to call Skopians “Macedonians” are treasonous cowards. Since so many nations called Skopians “Macedonians” the unprincipled cowards switched tunes and agreed they are “Macedonian”. They now demonize the majority of Greeks as “nationalists’ for refusing to call Skopians “Macedonians”… a skopian position

    Our Marxism PM that supported this deal argues that irredentism has stopped and that they will no longer pooch Greek history…. yet another one of deluded communist Tsipras fantasy narratives. Skopian news organizations, Skopian companies, Skopian lobby groups”, AND the majority of Skopians continue to call themselves “Macedonia” and promote ancient Macedonian fantasies.

    You see the majority of Skopians have no reason to change their behavior because so many nations looked the other way as they tried to narrate themselves into “ancient Macedonians”. SDSM does not have the power to enforce his name change on Skopians. He can only change things on official level… and that can be changed back later when SDSM eventually loses power.

    In short… “Greek” leftists are MORONS that betrayed Hellenism for the sake of their extreme left ideology (also see leftist treason…

  3. This is such false information.
    Of course there is a Macedonian minority in Greece. Just by Greece not wanting to acknowledge reflects that they are threatened.
    Anyone knowing at least some history will know that when Macedonia was partitioned in 1913, what does Greehe think happened to the Macdonians in this partition. Greece should be ashamed. How many thousands were tortured and killed because they refused to assimilate. One day – very soon, all Macedonians will be recognized by every country. Greece will have to answer for their atrocities.
    MACEDONIAN FOREVER!

  4. a country that has so much to offer to the world….. has worst economy, wasted water-related activities,few families running the country….greatest source of democracy, & some of the finest people in the world… is worried that the macedonians will unite with south macedonia. what a kick in the pants!

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