Rumelija –Torbeshian cultural & scientific centre

1. According to the definition for national minority accepted in international institutions, torbeshian population in Macedonia fulfills all prerequisites in order to get minority status, with all the rights and duties that derive from relevant valid legal-politic acts including those that are lawful in the Republic of Macedonia.

2. Torbeshian population in Macedonia, along with its ethnic, religious, linguistic and cultural features deserves uniqueness and equal status in line with the other ethnic groups in Macedonia.

3. Torbeshian population in Macedonia on the basis of its actual status has its own identity, which refers to belonging to ourselves, and that identity throughout history in several stages that the population has survived has not suffered any discontinuity: the Torbeshians have always been Torbeshians no matter how were they treated from inside according to their own behaviors and attitudes and from outside-or from those around them.

4. Torbeshian population in Macedonia does not own its ethnic matrix in the others ethnic matrixes, this is found in their peculiarity, distinction or differences relative to the others. There is no need for any other special proofs from those that are already rooted in our conscience and sensibility and they speak for this population, its easily recognizable identity, which is ongoing, present and transparent in relation with the above mentioned features. The question of identity can be found inside our reality, and should not be looked for in the past. Human’s identity is inseparable from human beings. Each barrier that comes across individuals and identity results in losing the identity. Luckily Torbeshian population has maintained its identity.

5. Torbeshian population no matter how has been called in certain political environments, has stayed the way it is –Torbeshian. The consequences of the forced change of that sensibility against this population can be found in historical facts that we witness ourselves.

6. Along with excluding this population from the preamble of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia one huge injustice has been committed on a large part of the population that could be counted as third ethnic group in the country. The implications from this kind of politic dictated from the communist regime has led to problems with integrating the Torbeshians in the society. No other ethnic group has ever been in a situation to integrate any other ethnicity because the word identity in its own meaning states belonging to us and that this is a question that regards only this ethnicity. For this reason the Torbeshians in Macedonia find it a lot easier to integrate in other states than in their own state. Emptying whole Torbeshian settlements from the western part of Macedonia is a result of difficult integration of this population in the structures of the state. The ruthlessness towards this population is particularly present in the political parties, who due to some minor daily political interests have been abusing this population and attacking our identity.

7. With the insertion of the Torbeshians in the preamble of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia a huge injustice towards this population will be repaired and basic assumptions for our integration in Macedonia will be created, which is our only state. Democracy and basic human rights can be written in paper but still not respected in reality still they will never exist in reality if they are not at least written on paper. For this reason we are asking for the Torbeshians to be inserted in the preamble of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia.

Struga - Republic of Macedonia

02.01.2011

Translated by Azra Canoska