Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization

Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization

▪ Balkan revolutionary organization
Macedonian  Vatreshna Makedonska-Revolutsionna Organizatsiya , Bulgarian  Vŭtreshnata Makedono-Odrinska Revolutsionna Organizatsiya 

      secret revolutionary society that operated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to make Macedonia an autonomous state but that later became an agent serving Bulgarian interests in Balkan politics.

      Founded in November 1893 at Resna under the leadership of Damyan Gruev, Gotse Delchev, and Yane Sandanski, IMRO adopted the slogan “Macedonia for the Macedonians” and a program aimed at winning autonomy for Macedonia from its Ottoman Turkish rulers and at creating a Balkan federation, in which Macedonia would be an equal partner with all other Balkan states.

      Having swiftly gained widespread support among the Christian Slav populations of Macedonia, IMRO began violent anti-Turkish activities in 1897 and in 1903 staged a major but unsuccessful rebellion that was also supported by a parallel, pro-Bulgarian organization, Vzhovists. Subsequently, its organization deteriorated, and, after Macedonia was seized from the Turks and divided between Serbia and Greece (Balkan Wars, 1912–13), IMRO's terrorist bands operated in conjunction with Bulgaria's foreign policy, which was designed to force a redistribution of Macedonia. By the end of World War I, however, IMRO's indiscriminate and unprincipled use of terror had alienated both its Macedonian and Bulgarian supporters.

      Under Todor Aleksandrov, however, IMRO reestablished itself as an influential factor in Balkan politics, particularly by participating in the overthrow and assassination of Bulgaria's prime minister Aleksandŭr Stamboliyski (June 1923), who had tried to ease relations with other Balkan states. IMRO then obtained control of the Petrich (i.e., the Macedonian) district of Bulgaria and pursued its terrorist activities in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia with the unofficial approval and protection of the Bulgarian war ministry and with clandestine support from the Italian government. After Aleksandrov was assassinated (1924), however, the organization split into two rival factions, which engaged in frequent gunfights in Sofia in an effort to annihilate one another.

      In May 1934 Colonel Kimon Georgiev seized power in Bulgaria, arrested IMRO's leaders, and disarmed its members.

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Universalium. 2010.

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