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The Chech region in Bulgaria and Greece.
Chech (Bulgarian: Чеч) or Chechko (Bulgarian: Чечко) is a geographical and historical region of the Balkan peninsula in southeastern Europe in our days Bulgaria and Greece. Most of its population inhabits about 60 villages and is almost completely Pomaki.
The Chech region is situated in the much larger region of Macedonia and covers the western Rhodope Mountains and the northern slopes of Falakro with most of its territory in our days Greece. It is divided in two: Drama Chech and Nevrokopi Chech. The first one and partially the second one is in Greece.
According to Vasil Kanchov the eastern border of Chech is the Dospat River and the western one is the river of Dabnitsa. Then the Chech comprises the municipalities: Satovcha, Dospat and the villages in the valleys of the Dospat River and Satovska Bistritsa river. Then all villages in the Bulgarian Chech are populated by pomaks except the villages of Satovcha and Dolen which are partially inhabited by Bulgarian Christians. The villages in the Greek Chech are organized in the Kato Nevrokopi municipality and in the Sidironero community. The Pomaki population of the Greek Chech was expelled into Turkey, Western Thrace and Bulgaria in the 20s and their homes and land were given to Greek refugees from Turkey.
Settlements in Bulgaria
Satovcha Municipality: Bogolin, Dolen, Fargovo, Godeshevo, Kochan, Kribul, Osina, Pletena, Satovcha, Slashten, Tuhovishta, Vaklinovo, Valkosel, Zhizhevo
Dospat Municipality: Barutin, Brashten, Chavdar, Dospat, Kasak, Ljubcha, Tsrancha, Zmeitsa
Garmen Municipality: Dabnitsa, Debren, Dolno Drianovo, Garmen, Hvostiane, Krushevo, Oreshe
Hadzhidimovo Municipality: Ablanitsa, Beslen, Blatska, Hadzhidimovo, Teplen
Velingrad Municipality: Sarnitsa
Settlements in Greece
Sidironero community: Oropedio (Vladikovo), Kalikarpo (Lovcha), Skaloti (Liban), Sidironero (Osenitsa), Papades (Popovo Selo)
Nevrokopi municipality: Ahladea (Blachen), Potami (Borovo), Delta (Vitovo), Mikroklisura (Gorna Lakavitsa), Ahladomilia (Debredzik), Mikromilia (Ostitsa), Persama (Stranen), Pagoneri (Chereshovo), Volaks (Volak)
As of 15 December 2007, the population of the Bulgarian Chech is 48 970 - mostly Pomaks. As of 2001, the population of the Greek Chech is 2553 - mostly Greek Christians. According to Vasil Kanchov, the population of Chech as of 1900 was as follows: 5897 Bulgarians, 5667 Muslim Bulgarians, 1151 Turks, 23 Vlachs, 10 Gipsies - a total of 12 748.