Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Macedonia)

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This is a guideline on how to refer to the various geographical and political entities called "Macedonia", and in particular to the independent country of that name, the Republic of Macedonia, whose name is politically disputed.

This guideline is a result of a centralised discussion process instigated by the Arbitration Committee following the "Macedonia 2" case (see navigation sidebar for sub-pages where the discussion took place.) Its resulting consensus was determined by three administrators Fritzpoll (talk · contribs), J.delanoy (talk · contribs), and Shell Kinney (talk · contribs), who were named as referees by the Arbitration Committee.[1]

According to the arbitration decision, this guideline is meant to be binding and enforceable for the time being. Editors are reminded that all contentious edits touching upon Macedonia naming practices also continue to be subject to a 1RR restriction. In cases covered by this guideline, editors reinstating the version conforming to it are not subject to this restriction.

Main article titles[edit]

Greece-related articles[edit]

Greece-related articles will be treated no differently than other articles. The neighbouring country will be called "Macedonia" as far as this term is practically unambiguous. If there is an issue with disambiguation, the country will be referred to as "Republic of Macedonia".

Where a disambiguation contrast needs to be made particularly salient, e.g. in immediate contrast with one of the other Macedonias, additional ad-hoc qualifiers ("the neighbouring...", "the independent..." etc.) may be used (e.g. "the prefecture of Central Macedonia as well as the neighbouring Republic of Macedonia").

Additional material pointing the reader to the naming dispute will be used only where it is contextually relevant, i.e. in passages focusing explicitly on this aspect of Greek foreign policy. The naming dispute will not be referenced in places where the Republic of Macedonia is routinely mentioned, for instance in purely geographical descriptions.

International organizations[edit]

The country will be referred to in these contexts in the same manner as it is referred to elsewhere on the project. Diverging naming practices used by the organisations themselves may be reported (for instance in parentheses after the first reference to the country, or in a footnote), but will not affect usage within the article.

Other articles[edit]

  • "Republic of Macedonia", the full self-identifying official name, will be used in all contexts where other countries would also be called by their full official names (e.g. "Russian Federation", "Federal Republic of Germany", etc.)
  • "Macedonia", by itself, will be used to refer to the country in all other articles in contexts where this is practically unambiguous. Examples of contexts that are typically unambiguous:
    • Lists and enumerations of countries (including lists in article text, many navigation boxes and similar items).
    • Geographical specifiers where the reader naturally expects the name of a country, e.g. as a specifier of a placename in a biography article (e.g. "X was born in Tetovo, Macedonia")
    • Discussions dealing with international politics, economy or similar topics, where the context makes it clear that present-day countries are referred to.
    • Subsequent references in contexts where the referent has previously been established through some appropriate disambiguation.
  • "Republic of Macedonia" will be used where disambiguation with one of the other "Macedonias" is practically needed. Examples where this may be the case include:
    • articles dealing with both the modern period and earlier periods, where older Macedonian entities could be at issue.
    • articles dealing with geography, where reference to a geographical or sub-national meaning of "Macedonia" could also be plausible
    • articles that also mention the subnational divisions of Bulgaria and/or Greece
    • initial sentences in the lead of an article, where "Republic of Macedonia" is an essential part of the definition of the topic (including articles where the title itself has plain "Macedonia", as per "#Other_page_titles").
  • Other ad-hoc disambiguators may be used in addition to "Republic of", where the context demands making a disambiguating contrast even more salient.
    • This will usually only be the case where the country needs to be mentioned in direct contrast with one of the other "Macedonias". Possible examples include, but are not limited to: "the independent Republic of Macedonia as well as the wider geographical region of Macedonia", "Greek Macedonia and the neighboring Republic of Macedonia" etc. Like all disambiguating qualifiers, such additions will usually be required only once, on first introducing the relevant contrast.
    • The qualifier "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" may occasionally be used according to the same principle, in contexts where the Yugoslavian past of the area or the political events surrounding the breakup of Yugoslavia are the most salient anchor point for disambiguation. If this option is used, the wiki-linking will only comprise "Republic of Macedonia". The addition of "the former Yugoslav" will not be used mechanically every time the country is mentioned in the article, but like any other disambiguating term, it will normally be used only once. Other ways of conveying the same content, such as "once part of Yugoslavia," are also acceptable.
  • Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia or any of its abbreviations will otherwise not be used.

Other page titles[edit]

  • For sub-articles of the country, either "Macedonia(n)" or "Republic of Macedonia" will be used:
    • If a sub-article of the type "X of the Republic of Macedonia" conflicts with an existing article "X of Greek/ancient Macedonia", a regular disambiguation page pattern according to WP:DAB with no "primary topic" will be used (i.e. "X of Macedonia" will be a disambiguation page),[2] or "X of Macedonia" will be used for a common roof article covering all senses.[3] In all other cases, the country-related article can be at "X of Macedonia".
    • If a new conflict arises because a new sub-article dealing with the Greek or ancient sense is created after 1 June 2009, it will be assumed that the topic relating to the Republic of Macedonia is the "WP:PRIMARYTOPIC", and that article will therefore remain at the simple page title. A disambiguation page will be created at "X of Macedonia (disambiguation)", if needed.
  • The same rules are to be used in an analogous fashion for sub-articles containing "Macedonian(s)" as an ethnic name (e.g. "Macedonians in country X").
  • With sub-articles containing "Macedonian" as a language name, the topic related to the Macedonian language will be assumed to be primary (i.e. Macedonian dialects, Macedonian grammar, Macedonian alphabet).
  • If needed, disambiguate the meaning of Macedonia in the lead sentence.
  • No special rules will be used for international organisations which use "F.Y.R." to refer to the country.


  1. ^ See talk page for the referees' statements on determining consensus, from 8 July 2009.
  2. ^ As done currently with Flag of Macedonia
  3. ^ As done currently with Music of Macedonia and Demographic history of Macedonia