Monday, 18 December 2017 | News today: 14

Professor Stephan E. Nikolov: Bulgaria is obsessed with Macedonia

“I do not accept these theses, which are representing all Macedonians as Bulgarians, or the unreasonable taking pages from history books and presenting them as Bulgarian, Serbian and Greek history. Just like a decision made by people far in steaming political cabinets – from the line that all, with exception of the Turks and Roms, are Macedonians”, says Professor Nicholov in the interview for the weekly newspaper “Republica”.

How much is Bulgaria obsessed with Macedonia and the Macedonian question, and what are the reasons for it?

Nikolov: Yes, the correct word is obsession with Macedonia, and the Macedonian question. And the reason is historical. In practice, there is no Bulgarian family that has not any close relative that comes from Ohrid, Kulkus, Thessaloniki … that cannot be ignored or separated, regardless of historical circumstances or political changes. There is no other way, it is impossible for any Bulgarian to feel Macedonia as something strange and distant – just as a tourist destination and natural beauty. That, however, is an obsession with Macedonia – the pretension for happening of that, the emotion to be forgotten (or forbidden), to remove rows from historical manuscripts, from poetry, from literature, where words are recognized as unacceptable thing from the point of view of contemporary political doctrines. Macedonian question will stand over our heads much longer, and it will not result with a simple answer any time soon. And do we even need such a simple answer, which excludes any other alternative?

Professor Stephan E. Nikolov is a senior scientific researcher at the Institute of Sociology in the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. In the period from 2000 to 2003 he lectured at the “South East European University” in Tetovo. He is author of many scientific studies, and one of his latest works is “Perceptions of ethnicity in Bulgarian political culture: misunderstanding and distortion”, which is published in the book of Victor Roudometof – “Macedonian question: culture, historiography and politics.”