Evidence of Macedonia in the Ottoman Period

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The establishment of Ottoman Turkish Rule in Macedonia, which took place at the end of 14th century, had two main consequences of a lasting nature for Macedonia and its population.

The first consequence was that in the following five hundred years, up to the end of the Ottoman Turkish rule in 1912, there occurred as never hitherto not thereafter an interruption in economic, cultural and general communications over the entire territory. The name of that particular territory, Macedonia, was never questioned in the course of the numerous administrative and territorial changes which took place in the course of Ottoman Turkish rule. One of the strong proofs and indications of this was the "Sketch of the Territory of Macedonia" (rezsm-i memleket- Makedonya) published on page 277 of the well known work of the equally well known Turkish historian, geographer and travel-writer of the mid 17th century, Hadzi Kalfa Mustafa or Katib Celebija (Katib Celebi, Cuhannuma, 277). Here the territory of the Republic of Macedonia is marked as Macedonia, separately from neighboring Greece, Albania, Serbia and Bulgaria.

The Venetian captain Gio Mario Del' Angiolelo, traveling from south towards Salonica, wrote in his diary for August 10th: " . . . a large river called the Vardar which flows through Macedonia . . ." (Istanbul, Basbakanlik Arsivi, Rumeli Mufetisligi Tasnifi, Sadaret ve Bashkitabet Evraki, 4/398). It should be noted that he did not say river Axios. Also Vardar does flow through the Republic of Macedonia, and consequently the territory of the Republic of Macedonia is a part of Macedonia, according to Angiolelo.

In a telegram of April 7th, 1903, from the Grand Vizier's Office is written: "Information concerning the Sultan's command that in all addresses to and announcements in connection with the Rumeli vilayets [Skopje, Bitola and Salonica vilayets]: form henceforth the local names are to be used and under no circumstances the name Macedonia . . . ". This was a...