site.btaMacedonian Bulgarians React to Skopje's Decision against Use of Ivan Mihailov's Name
Ivan Mihailov Cultural Centre Chairman Ljupco Georgievski wrote on his Facebook page: "The latest decision of the commission on the use of names and the Justice Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia finds the name of the Ivan Mihailov Cultural Centre problematic. With this, the Republic of North Macedonia betrays the work of VMRO and the defence of Macedonians - the people who fought and died for VMRO's ideals. This decision puts an end to the life and struggle of thousands of Macedonians who died for the idea that laid the foundations of the state - VMRO and its leaders Dame Gruev, Gotse Delchev, Todor Alexandrov and Ivan Mihailov, who clearly identified themselves as Macedonian Bulgarians, were obliterated." Georgievski was commenting on a decision of North Macedonia's Justice Minister to deny approval to the use of the name of Ivan Mihailov on the grounds that it was provocative.
The Ivan Mihailov Association in Bitola wrote on its Facebook page: "A few years ago, the very word 'Bulgarian' was taboo here, and now we are fighting for human rights. Ivan Mihailov and our Cultural Centre named after him are not entered in the central registries, they are in the hearts of the people of Macedonia. We Macedonian Bulgarians are here, whether we want it or not, and we know what course Macedonia should take just as our forefathers knew it. Like them, we are fighters for justice, not victims, and we will do more and more by the day." The association said the representatives of Macedonian Bulgarians in North Macedonia will stand up for their rights in the European Court of Human Rights.