Pitu Guli

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Pitu Guli
Питу Гули
PitoGuli.jpg
Born 1865
Kuruşova, Ottoman Empire (now the Republic of Macedonia)
Died August 12th, 1903
Kuruşova, Ottoman Empire
Monuments Mečkin Kamen
Other names Pitu the Vlach
Organization Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO)
Religion Eastern Orthodox christian (assumed)

Pitu Guli (Cyrillic: Питу Гули; 1865–1903) was an Aromanian revolutionary in Ottoman Macedonia, a local leader of what is commonly referred to as the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO).[1]

Life[edit]

Born to a poor family in Kruševo, he demonstrated an independent and rebellious nature early in life. He left his home in Macedonia at the age of 17 in search of wealth in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia. In 1885, he returned to Macedonia, as part of a rebel squad of the revolutionary movement against the Ottoman Empire, led by Adam Kalmikov. He was captured and exiled to eastern Anatolia for a period of eight years, seven years of which were spent in the prison in Trabzon. In 1895, he again returned to Kruševo and became a member of IMARO. From this time on, he was fully committed to the independence of Macedonia from Turkish rule. In 1902, he once again traveled to Bulgaria. On his return to Macedonia, he was injured at the border and was forced to turn back.

Pitu Guli and his squad in 1903. Source: Bulgarian Archives State Agency

In March 1903, he began commanding a revolutionary squad, crossing the Bulgarian-Ottoman border heading for Kruševo. From April to August 1903, he trained and prepared his troops for the upcoming Ilinden Uprising. He died in Kruševo.

Legacy[edit]

Pitu Guli is father of Tashko Gulev (Shula Guli), who died in 1918 as soldier of the Bulgarian 11th Macedonian Infantry Division and of the revolutionary of IMRO Nikola Gulev (Lakia Guli), one of closest people to Todor Alexandrov, killed by Serbian police in 1924.[2] Pitu Guli is also a father of Steryo Gulev (Sterya Guli), who took part in the military units formed by the Bulgarian authorities in Vardar Macedonia during World War II to fight the communist partisans. He reportedly shot himself after Bulgarian withdrawal from Macedonia in 1944, upon the arrival of Tito's partisans in Kruševo in despair over what he saw as a second period of Serbian dominance in Macedonia.[3]

Pitu Guli is a national hero in the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria, and remembered as having fought heroically at Mečkin Kamen (Bear's Rock) near Kruševo, where he was killed during the Ilinden Uprising in defense of the MacedonianKruševo Republic. A Macedonian Partisan Brigade was named after him. He is also celebrated in folk songs and poetry throughout the region of Macedonia, being mentioned in the national anthem of the Republic of Macedonia (Today over Macedonia).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brown, K. (2003) The Past in Question: Modern Macedonia and the Uncertainties of Nation (Princeton: Princeton University Press) ISBN 0-691-09995-2
  2. ^ Македонска енциклопедија, МАНУ, Скопје, 2009, стр. 415-416.
  3. ^ Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Macedonia, Dimitar Bechev, Scarecrow Press, 2009, ISBN 0810862956, p. 91.