The report of Metropolitan Meleniko's Emilianos Dagoulas, on the atrocities of the Bulgarian committee, May 28, 1908

Macedonian fighters of the Tzoumaia Corps, with their characteristic uniforms.
First from the right, Iakovos I Kaftantzis, member of the secret militia, the later well-known pharmacist of Heraklia and Serres, photo from 1908

The report of 28 May 1908 by Metropolitan Melenikos Eimilianos Dangoulas describes the Bulgarian violence against the Greek population in the region of Macedonia.

  "...bulgarians rebelled after armed villagers of an unknown number, invading, at about 6 o'clock in the Turkish day, in Metochio of the holy monastery of Iberon in Athos, instead of Melenikon, they killed the priest of Metochio, Pope Meletion, aged 35 from Coming from Tenedu, the maid, aged 65-70 years Eleni Paspaloudi, called Eleni, her granddaughter, also Eleni, 8-10 years old, and a worker, called Barbara, were taking root in the vine of the stock and because of the impending rain, they entered a

"...Bulgarian rebels with the help of armed villagers, an unknown number, invaded around 6 o'clock in the Turkish day (that is, around 11 in the morning) in Metohi of the Holy Monastery of Iberon on Athos, instead of Melenikon. They shot and killed its priest Metohiou, Papa Meletio, aged 35, from Tenedo. They also killed the maid, Eleni Paspaloudis, aged 65-70, and her granddaughter Eleni, also aged 8-10, as well as a worker, named Varvara, which was in the vine of Metochius and entered into it because of the impending rain."

The report demonstrates the brutal violence carried out by Bulgarian groups against the Greek population of the area.

The situation in the areas of Petritsi, Sidirokastro and Melenikos during the period of the Macedonian Struggle (beginning of the 20th century) was particularly difficult due to violent proselytization and attacks by the corps of komitazis (Bulgarian guerilla groups). The komitazis sought to consolidate their rule and advance Bulgarian interests in the region, often by force.

The period of the Macedonian Struggle was full of tension and conflict, with Turkish authorities and European officials protesting the killings carried out by the warring camps, which led to a temporary lull in hostilities. However, the racial struggle flared up and culminated in the Young Turk revolution and the establishment of the Turkish constitution in July 1908.

The study of consular correspondence reveals the leading role of two officers, Stylianos Mavromichalis and Demosthenes Florias, who organized the two National Centers in Eastern Macedonia, specifically in Kavala and Serres. These officers worked tirelessly to develop the national spirit of the country people by setting up special national committees and drafting regulations. Their presence boosted the morale of the villagers, who regained courage and were ready to sacrifice themselves for the motherland.

The revival of national sentiment, the elevation of education, the armed organization of the localities, the repulsion of the Bulgarians to the north of Drama and the Serres, their economic exclusion from the large markets of the cities and the extension of the armed struggle to Western Thrace were achievements. of these officers.

Demosthenes Florias, pillar of the National Center of Serres, was recalled to Athens in April 1908 at the request of the Turks, leaving behind an established work that was continued by his replacement Vasilios Kapsampelis, known by the pseudonym Katsimanis. In Kavala, Stylianos Mavromichalis was replaced in March 1909 by Vice-Captain Konstantinos Typaldos, who after three months returned to his service denouncing corruption and exploitation.

The terrorism practiced by the Bulgarians failed to achieve their goals and instead organized Hellenism into armed resistance. The Macedonian Struggle was a great success in Eastern Macedonia, stopping the Bulgarian penetration into Western and Central Macedonia and giving breathing space to the areas that received the first attacks.

The Macedonian Struggle highlighted the virtues and sacrifices of the Greeks, connecting the nation to the traditions of Greek Levantia and leading to the successful outcome of the Balkan Wars.