Turkish Genocides: Macedonian Speech by Georg Brandes 1902
“While the class struggle as a fight for bread rages in the highest civilized countries of Europe and America, the less civilized countries are at the onset of the 20th century in a state more usually associated with the Middle Ages, with daily humiliations and killings, arson, rape and every kind of torture. The horrors caused by Muslim Turkey in Macedonia, and the disgrace against the Jewish population in Romania are, day by day, becoming increasingly incriminating, but at the same time Europe, being witness to the extermination of the Armenians, become increasingly indifferent to what happens in Macedonia and Romania in front of everyone. (countries conquered by the Islamic Ottoman Empire and forcibly being assimilated into the caliphate, controlled by violence and subversion).
In the spring the Macedonian intelligentsia launched the French bi-weekly “Le Mouvement Macedonien”, which has reported the Turkish rule of horror week for week. Several times this magazine attached illustrations to the text, as in July the picture of Macedonian leaders hanged at the bid of the Turks, and in August the picture of Turkish military police who, standing with their sabres, proudly were photographed in Monastir with cut-off heads of captured Macedonians on a little table in front of them.
In parts of the European press there has been a trend, supported by the Turkish representatives, to portray the violence committed by regular and irregular Turkish troops against the Christians as a retaliations for their criminal raids. Thus the desperate defence of the suppressed are depicted as provocations. The rebellious flocks, which currently cover Macedonia, are not formed by order of the revolutionary committees.
Some farmer, whose wife had been raped by the Muslims before his eyes while tied aback, or whose children had been subjected to hours of torture, or subjected to bastonade (beating under the feet) to the edge of death, collects a group of equally minded victims, who wish to take revenge. Some shepherd, whose flock they have abducted and who owns nothing but his gun, which he buried deep in the forest just in case, assembles a small selection of other desperates around him. More frequently yet a young teacher or doctor is persecuted by the Turkish police, escapes into the mountains, because he prefers death to the torture that awaits him in prison. Around him assembles a dozen others persecuted or threatened like himself, young men who have been chained and whipped like everyone who fell in the hands of the Turkish Muslims.
Who can wonder about their savagery, when they escape the torture? Five farmers in the village of Eksjisu, and the teacher in Zelemitsje, Natsef, were after being whipped under their feet subjected to the torture that consists in the skull being squeezed with tongs until it squeaks. Then buried to their necks in garbage to remain in this state for three days, then hung up heads down. Two of them died thereof, the four others were taken to Monastir and escaped. Scenes like these take place literally on a daily basis all year round, all over Macedonia. When the magazine “The Macedonian Movement” in recent weeks not has been published, it is probably explainable by the country being completely ablaze. Through the Austrian magazine “Die Zeit” we are being kept updated on the most important matters in the Macedonian issue.
The first thing undertaken by Turkish troops when arriving to a Macedonian village is to demand the delivery of all weapons. If you are scared into delivering them, the soldiers start the pillage. Thus the unhappy population survives under a regime of terror. The battle between the soldiers and the guerrillas is conducted with a passion and disregard for danger unprecedented in military history.
In Kadion near Perlepe a small group of rebels were surprised by the Turks in an old tower. They defended themselves an entire day and part of the night, and when they had exhausted their supply of gunpowder killed themselves with potassium cyanide. When the Turks entered the tower at dawn, they found seven bodies. Leader of the group was Metodi Patsjef, a young teacher from Ukrida, lively, energetic, loud, known for being outspoken against the Muslim rule, and sentenced three years prison for murder, in spite of his innocence and the presence of an alibi. When he was released from prison, where he had met others innocently jailed like himself, he had only the single wish to take revenge on his executioners. He found death trying. Will the same happen to all other brave leaders against the Muslim occupation that happened to him? Will we see the Macedonians share the fate of the Armenians?”
No European popular movement was strong enough to make their governments interfere. While the population were taken by the dawning Christian awakening, the politicians were of a different kin. For them only cold calculations and realpolitik were taken into consideration. The political calculations won, and in particular the distrust towards Russia. Russia had repeatedly intervened with force to protect one Christian population after another, when the massacres became too violent, but the secularized European governments would not let religion influence them. They were worried that the Tsar and Russia would have too great influence over the Christians in the Balkans, in Greece and in Turkey. England and France repeatedly forced the Russian relief troops back with threats of interventions and talk of the good intentions of Turkey.
To what extent the political calculus was decisive can be seen from the British Bluebook-Turkey 1876, which is a reply from the British representative in Constantinople (Istanbul), Sir Henry Elliot, to the British minister of foreign affairs. His words reveal with no hesitation the terrible truth of the so-called civilized European policies. This Bluebook is written on the occasion of the indignation among the Christians in the British population after the killings in Bulgaria.
He writes: “We can and should feel enraged over the useless and dull hardness with which the Bulgarian liberation movement was crushed; but the forced position in which England finds itself, demanding to refrain from any changes detrimental to ourselves, must not let us influence by the question of how many lives were lost in Bulgaria; the terrible atrocities cannot be enough reason to give up our policies, which should rightly be followed out of regard to our welfare.”
It was this policy of closed eyes towards the transgressions of Islam, conquests and slaughters, that made possible for one genocide to follow another on European soil: Serbs, Jews, Greeks, Macedonians, Bulgarians, Armenians. And the same can be heard today, when apologists, being indifferent to the Islamic genocides, praise the openness and tolerance of Islam as well as the beauty of the Quran.