Kruševo Republic

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Republic of Kruševo
Крушевска Република



Freedom or Death
Capital Kruševo
Government Presidency
 -  1903 Nikola Karev
Prime Minister
 -  1903 Vangel Dinu
Historical era Ottoman Empire
 -  Established 3 August 1903
 -  Disestablished 13 August 1903
Today part of  Republic of Macedonia

The Kruševo Republic was a short-lived political entity proclaimed in 1903 by rebels from the Secret Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization in Kruševo during the Ilinden–Preobrazhenie Uprising. On 3 August 1903, the rebels captured the town of Kruševo in the Manastir Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire (present-day Republic of Macedonia) and established a revolutionary government, which according to subsequent Bulgarian and Macedonian narratives, was one of the first modern-day republics in the Balkans. However, no one in 1903 actually used the term republic, giving it de jure status. The entity existed only for 10 days: from August 3, to August 13, and was headed by the Bulgarian socialist Nikola Karev. He was under strong leftist influence, rejecting the nationalism of the ethnic minorities and favouring as the alliances with ordinary Muslims against the Sultanate, as well the idea about a Balkan Federation. Amongst the various ethno-religious groups (millets) in Kruševo a Republican Council was elected with 60 members - 20 representatives from each one: Macedonian Bulgarians (Exarchists),[1] Aromanians (Vlachs) and Slav-speaking, Vlach-speaking and Albanian-speaking Greek Patriarchists.[2][3] The Council also elected an executive body - the Provisional Government, with six members (2 from each mentioned group),[4] whose duty was to promote law and order and manage supplies, finances, and medical care. The "Kruševo Manifesto" was published. Written by Nikola Karev himself, it outlined the goals of the uprising, calling upon the Muslim population to join forces with the provisional government in the struggle against Ottoman tyranny, in order to attain freedom and independence.

A photo of the squad of Pitu Guli near Birino, 1903

Initially surprised by the uprising, the Ottoman government took extraordinary military measures to suppress it. After fierce battles near Mečkin Kamen, the Ottomans managed to destroy the Kruševo Republic, committing atrocities against the rebel forces and the local population. Today an enormous monument on the hill above Kruševo marks the elusive dream of the Ilinden revolutionaries. In the area there is another monument called Mečkin Kamen. This was the place where Pitu Guli's band (cheta) tried to defend the town of Kruševo from Ottoman troops coming from Bitola. The whole band and their leader (voivode) perished. As result of the gunnery, the town was set partially ablaze.

The establishment of the short-lived Kruševo Republic is seen today in the Republic of Macedonia as a prelude to the independence of the Macedonian state.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Беше наполно прав и Мисирков во своjата фундаментална критика за Востанието и неговите раководители. Неговите укажуваньа се покажаа наполно точни во послешната практика. На пр., во ослободеното Крушево се формира градска управа составена од "Бугари", Власи и Гркомани, па во зачуваните писмени акти не фигурираат токму Македонци(!)..." Блаже Ристовски, "Столетиjа на македонската свест", Скопjе, Култура, 2001, стр. 458.
  2. ^ Tanner, Arno (2004). The Forgotten Minorities of Eastern Europe: The history and today of selected ethnic groups in five countries. East-West Books. p. 215. ISBN 952-91-6808-X. 
  3. ^ The past in question: modern Macedonia and the uncertainties of nation, Keith Brown, Publisher Princeton University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-691-09995-2, pp. 81-82.
  4. ^ We, the People: Politics of National Peculiarity in Southeastern Europe, Diana Mishkova, Central European University Press, 2009, SBN 9639776289, p. 124.