Nationalists from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (F.Y.R.O.M) and her diaspora constantly claim that the Greek nation was artificially manufactured by foreign powers and that Greece's independence movement was not an indigenous grass roots phenomenon driven by Greeks themselves. An example of a nationalist who concocts such unsubstantited theories is the self styled "history expert" Risto Stefov who constantly makes the following claims:
[Anyone interested in verifying that Stefov made these claims can easily google the phrases]
There are volumes of texts, produced throughout the Ottoman era, illustrating that there were several grass roots movements amongst educated and/or elite Greeks who wanted to free Greece from the Ottoman empire. During this period many Greeks appealed for foreign help in an attempt to free Greece.
If Greece and Greeks were artificial post 19th century inventions, as Stefov shamelessly claims, why are there volumes of texts, produced throughout the Ottoman era, illustrating the will and wishes of Greeks who wanted to free Greece from the Ottoman empire?
To begin with the following letter was written in 1790 by "Deputies of the Greek Islands" to the Empress of Russia. In the letter the Greek Deputies asked the Empress for assistance to free Greece from the Turks. In return for her help they offered the Greek throne to her grandson Constantine. The authors of the letter were conscious of an ancient Greek heritage and they were conscious of the Greek nation - concepts that Stefov and his uneducated compatriots claim were artificially manufactured post 19th century! Above all this letter destroys Stefov's position that Greece was artificially manufactured since it clearly illustrates one example of a grass roots attempt to appeal for outside help to free Greece .
Also notice that in this example the Greeks were asking for help from the Russians. Stefov and his uneducated compatriots claim that Greece was artificially created to block the same Russiansfrom the Mediterranean!
An additional example of a Greek who wished to free Greece from the Ottoman empire can be found in a scholarly journal article describing the works of Demetrius Chalcondyles who was a teacher at the University of Padua during the 1400's. The excerpt quotes Chalcondyles who lamented about enslaved Greece, drew a connection between the contemporary Greeks and ancient Greece, and expressed a kinship between the Greeks in Italy and the Greeks in Greece. The words of Chalcondyles, written almost 400 years before the establishment of the Greek state, destroy Stefov's shameless propaganda which suggests that Greeks and Greece were artificial post 19th century creations!
Finally, if Greeks were an artificial post 19th century invention, as Stefov's shameless and unsubstantiated propaganda suggests, why have Greeks been recorded by foreigners for centuries and why are there volumes of texts describing Greeks in diaspora communities throughout the centuries?
To begin with, the following is an engraving depicting a Greek church in Venice that provided services for Venice's large Greek community. If Greeks and Greece are artificial creations how could there have existed a large Greek diaspora community in Venice since at least the 15th century?
An additional example of outsiders recording Greeks in foreign lands is an account authored by Edward Brown in 1739. It describes the "nationalities" that he found in Cairo during the early 18th century. Note that this excerpt was authored almost 100 years before the establishment of the Greek state and hence destroys Stefov's absurd claim that Greeks were manufactured post 1820.
Stefov and his uneducated nationalist compatriots who are blinded by their political agenda should abandon their absurd and unsupported theory that Greece and Greeks were post 19th century artificial inventions.