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

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

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

Source: Sofia