Skip to content

(DF) Bulgaria Remembers Gotse Delchev 150 Years after His Birth

February 4 (BTA) – “Gotse Delchev is an inseparable part of our common history with the people of North Macedonia,” Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov wrote in a post on the Government’s Facebook account. “He is one of the personalities that make both peoples proud,” the PM added. He described the Bulgarian revolutionary as “one of the brightest minds in our history” and “an icon of the struggle for freedom and an ideologist of the Macedonian revolutionary liberation movement.” Petkov’s remarks were prompted by Delchev’s 150th birth anniversary, which is marked on Friday. At Friday’s plenary sitting of the National Assembly, the power-sharing There Is Such a People (TISP) and the opposition GERB-UDF parliamentary groups read declarations on the same occasion. TISP said that Gotse Delchev is “both countries’ hero” and this is indisputable and called for “thinking what brings us together rather than getting overexcited about how many things set us apart”. TISP also said that they fully supported the Government’s approach and effort to reinvigorate relations with Skopje. “We are convinced that active cooperation in the economy, culture, sport and purely person-to-person relations benefit the two countries,” the declaration reads. “TISP does not contest North Macedonia’s right to identify itself the way it feels, but we do not support the deliberate distortion of history,” the declaration goes on to say, calling also for the implementation of the Goodneighbourliness Treaty that the two countries signed in 2017. The GERB declaration describes Delchev as “a major political leader, revolutionary and fighter for the freedom of Bulgarians in Adrianople Thrace” and says that “a society that falsifies history is not and cannot be part of the European family of shared values”. It recalls the handover of Gotse Delchev’s remains to the Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia by Bulgaria’s Communist government after 1944 and says that the hero “turned into a foundation stone for the newly built Macedonian identity and, to this end, the political legacy was deliberately falsified and warped, and this continues to date”. GERB further pointed out that paying tribute at Gotse Delchev’s tomb in Skopje has been a fixture on the schedule of official Bulgarian delegations visiting Skopje with the sole exception of incumbent Prime Minister Kiril Petkov. Visiting North Macedonia’s capital on January 18, Petkov laid a wreath at the Monument to the Slav enlighteners Sts Cyril and Methodius. Later on Friday, President Rumen Radev and Prime Minister Kiril Petkov took part in the observances of Gotse Delchev’s birth anniversary in the southwestern city of Blagoevgrad. Radev joined a torchlight procession from the Palace of Justice to Gotse Delchev’s Monument on Macedonia Square. “As a teacher in the Bulgarian Exarchate in Stip, as a cadet at the military school in Sofia and an activist in the revolutionary organization, Gotse Delchev dedicated his whole life to the freedom of Macedonia and the region of Easern Thrace,” Radev said in his speech during the ceremony. According to him, Gotse Delchev dedicated his life to the grand idea that once won, this freedom will be for the Bulgarians and all other nationalities living on this land. “Heroes must be honoured and their ideas and testament must be understood. That is why we must not forget that Gotse Delchev is a symbol of freedom,” Prime Minister Petkov said in his speech. “Gotse Delchev dedicated his life to the struggle against despotism. Isn’t it strange that some are trying to use precisely the homage tof this hero to sow division, is it normal for Gotse Delchev’s name to divide us, the people on the two sides of the border, after whom we proudly name our towns, streets, squares?” Petkov asked. LN, RY/LG, MY /МЙ/