Department 6

The revolutionary year of 1903 during the Ilinden Uprising

Востаничката 1903 година за време на Илинденското востание

Regardless of the duration of the Ilinden uprising, it was different in various parts of Macedonia and it ran during August, September and October, and the entire 1903 was marked by the Uprising, starting from the decision to raise an uprising at the Thessaloniki Congress of the SMRO held from January 2 to 4 the same year, the discussions over this decision, the preparations and proclamation of the Krusevo Republic, until its suppression and the consequences of the uprising. Many events have occurred that year, and several of them have become synonyms of the unwavering determination of the Macedonians to put their best efforts for the admirable ideal they aspired: dismissal of the Ottoman rule and attaining political and national freedom and their own state. The leading position holds the Ilinden Uprising and the Krusevo Republic, including the self-sacrifice of the young Macedonian Gemidzii who surprised and stirred the city of Thessaloniki with their bombings, and also the Ottoman and the whole European public. The collective memory of the Macedonian people deeply retains the tragic end of Gotse Delchev and other leaders and revolutionaries, warlords, rebels of the SMRO and the insurgents who died in armed battles with the Ottoman army.


THE KRUSHEVO REPUBLIC (August 3, 1903 – August 13, 1903) 

Actually, the Republic of Krushevo was the established local rebel interim government of the freed territory during the Ilinden uprising in the area of Krushevo. The highest body of the insurgent government was the Council of the Republic and Nikola Karev was elected President of the Krushevo Republic, including the election of a six-member interim government, headed by Dinu Vangeli (Vangel Dinu) who was an activist of Vlach origin. Each member of the provisional government was in charge of a particular department: Dinu Vangeli of the judiciary, Gjorgji Chachev for requisition, Teohar Neskov of finance, Hristo Kjurchiev of Interior, Dimitar Sekulov for food and Nikola Balju for sanitary issues. Within the provisional government existed Commissions as subsidiary bodies of the Government and the Insurgents Headquarters represented the military power in the town of Krushevo.

Читање на крушевскиот манифест

Delivering the Krushevo Manifesto

The Krushevo Manifesto was a proclamation document drafted prepared by the insurgent power in the city. It contained an explication of the goals of the struggle aimed at the liberation of Macedonia, and it also urged the civilian Muslim population to join the rebels in the fight which was not directed against them but against the unbearable regime of the Turkish sultan. In order to neutralize and invite the civilian Muslim population, following the release of Krusevo, the insurgent government distributed the Krushevo Manifesto to all the surrounding Muslim villages. As a result of that, some of these villages with predominantly Turkish population remained neutral during the Ilinden Uprising. Several Muslim dignitaries from the villages nearby Krusevo have sent, to the authority of the Krushevo Republic, letters of support and understanding for the purpose of the fight of the insurgents, regarding them as just and correct.
НИКОЛА КАРЕВ (1877-1905) NIKOLA KAREV (1877-1905)

He was a teacher, a warlord, a socialist and a revolutionary activist of the MRO. He participated as a delegate at the Smilevo Congress in May 1903, where he expressed his disagreement to the decision to raise an uprising at that moment, because he felt that the preparations for weapons supply were not fully complete. After the liberation of Krushevo, he was elected President of the Krushevo Republic. He was killed during a clash with an Ottoman military troop in 1905.

Црешово топчеCreshovo Topche (Cherry Gun)

During the preparation of the uprising, a significant role had the manufacture and repair of weapons for which several clandestine workshops were organized throughout the country. Particularly important was the production of the primitive cannon made of cherry wood, the so- called “Cherry Gun” that will become a symbol of the uprising in 1903.

Битката на Мечкин Камен, Крушево, 1903 година The Battle at Mechkin Kamen (Bear’s Rock), Krushevo, 1903

The squad of the warlord Pitu Guli, on August 12, 1903 took part in the defense of the ten-day old Krushevo Republic at the locality Mechkin Kamen, located right above the town of Krushevo. Until the evening, the squad was successfully defending the town Krushevo from the attacks by the Ottoman army and mercenaries, while protecting the withdrawal of a larger part of the rebel forces and civilians. Most of the squad members were killed alongside the warlord Pitu Guli.

ПИТУ ГУЛИ (1865-1903)
PITU GULI (1865-1903)
He was a Macedonian revolutionary of Vlach origin, commander of the squad from the Krushevo area, and member of the Highland Rebel Command in that area during the Ilinden Uprising, who was against the decision for the abovementioned withdrawal of the rebel forces from Krushevo and its surrounding area, and he got killed in the Battle of Mechkin Kamen in 1903.
GEMIDZII or THE SALONICA ASSASSINS (April/May 1903): Jordan Pop Jordanov – Orceto, Marko Boshnjakov, Ilija Trchkov, Dimitar Mechev, Konstantin Kirkov and Vladimir Pingov
They were young Macedonian anarchists, most of them enrolled in studies in Switzerland where were infused with the Russian anarchism. The main leader of this “gemidzii” group was Jordan Pop Jordanov – Orceto, and the most prominent of the 23 group members were: Pavel Shatev, Georgi Bogdanov, Milan Arsov and others. The main goal was to cause only material damage in order to blow the European capital, however, to avoid harm to innocent people. In fact, the goal was through the attacks, to draw attention of the European policy to the unresolved Macedonian issue. Thus, the targeted facilities were: the Ottoman Bank, the French ship “Guadalquivir”, the gas pipeline station, the German club and other buildings.