The issue of nationality for displaced Macedonians sparks ethnic debates in FYROM

The issue of nationality for displaced Macedonians sparks ethnic debates in FYROM

IBNA Special Report

Skopje, October 23, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Naser Pajaziti

The incentive of the associations of the so called Muslim Macedonians to grant nationality to all Muslim Macedonians  and who have been displaced decades ago to Turkey, has sparked debates and reactions.

The Association of Muslim Macedonians displaced to Turkey, have asked to be given back their Macedonian nationality and the same thing for their children. These associations have started to gather signatures in order to submit their incentive to Parliament with the aim of amending the law.

But, this issue has caused reactions and debates among Albanians and Albanian lawyers, who say that this law must also apply to Albanians who have moved and live in Turkey. According to them, the incentive of Macedonians aims at only including Macedonian emigrants and no other entities.

Analyst and expert of demographic developments in FYROM, Nijazi Muhamedi told IBNA that the incentives must apply to all emigrants, regardless of their ethnicity and not to discriminate in order to increase the number of Macedonians in FYROM after the birth rate crisis.

“This right automatically applies to Albanian too, if it applies to Macedonians. The law cannot apply only for one category, but for all the citizens. If we decide to change the law and adapt it for Macedonians only, then the result will be the same as the one with the third child. It’s Albanians who must not tolerate and accept such changes, says analyst Muhamedi. According to him, this discrimination must be ended by Albanian MPs in parliament.

The same opinion is also shared by expert of legal and constitutional issues, Osman Kadriu, according to which, there cannot be exclusions, because the law is equal for everyone.

“Such incentive must benefit all those nationals and citizens of Macedonia, who at a given period, have left the territory of Macedonia. Now, with the changes that we have in political systems in all the countries of the socialist bloc, those Macedonians and Albanians who are now in Turkey, all have the right to demand a nationality in Macedonia”, says expert on legal issues, Osman Kadriu. He says that such changes of the law on nationality are hard to be ratified by parliament. According to him, this law is more of a political, than e legal issue.

As far as the proposal of Macedonian associations is concerned, changes in the law must not be made based on the origin of the state, but ethnic origin, meaning that only Macedonian ethnics must be included and no other ethnic groups. This incentive holds the signature of an ultra nationalist Macedonian association called World Macedonian Congress and League of Muslim Macedonians from Turkey. They are expected to send their petition to the government, which will then propose it to parliament.

Todor Petrov, head of the World Macedonian Congress says that their proposal will demand the abrogation of the current legal disposition, based on which, nationality is given based on the origin of nationality and to reinstate the criteria that existed before 1993, based on which, nationality was given based on the ethnic origin.

Analyst Nijazi Muhameti explains the dilemmas surrounding the ethnicity of a community so called Muslim Macedonian, which, according to him, are an artificial creation of the former Yugoslav regime.

“The issue of Muslim Macedonians, Gorans, are a historical issue manipulated by all other countries such as Serbia, Bulgaria and now Macedonia wants to do this too. Those who are here as Muslim Macedonians, are claiming that they are assimilated Albanians. Even those who have been displaced, had they been Macedonians, they would not have been displaced, but they would have occupied the lands of Albanians. They were displaced by the regime, while Macedonians were part of that regime”, says analyst Nijazi Muhamedi. /ibna/