1. Cheta of Stefan Kondakov, a bulgarian revolutionary from Bitola, 1903
2. The Cheta of voivode Georgi Vundov during the Balkan Wars
3. A Bulgarian Cheta in Macedonia resting
4. Vasil Levski as the Standard Barrer in Panayot Hitov’s Cheta

Armed bands known as Cheta were irregular groups that patrolled under the leadership of voivodes in the Balkans during the decline of the Ottoman Empire. Oftentimes romanticized as heroes, Cheta groups rebelled against Ottoman authority and, up until the first part of the 19th century, were seen as a tool for revolution. In several instances, the Cheta initiated armed rebellions with varying degrees of success and members of these groups occupied notable positions in anti-Ottoman revolutionary organizations. However, some of these bands were no more than criminals that harassed travelers, robbed merchants, and antagonized other Balkan Christians.  

The Cheta was active throughout the Balkans, but particularly in Macedonia and Bulgaria in the 19th century. In Bulgaria, the Cheta was the primary tool to oust the Ottoman Regime until 1868, when a former member of one of these groups, Vasil Levski, convinced his peers that organization beyond small rebellions was necessary. Nevertheless, Cheta organizations remained. In Macedonia in the period before the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913, these groups were heavily divided along ethno-religious boundaries and fought with one another as often as they fought with the Ottomans. Macedonia was a disputed territory at this time and Bulgarian, Serbian, and Greek bands fought for influence of the territory in the name of their mother countries. These men would fight as volunteer units during the Balkan Wars.  

Charles and Barbara Jalevich, The Establishment of the Balkan National States, 1804-1920
Philip Jowett, Armies of the Balkan Wars, 1912-13 

May 5 2015 - Violent protests gripped the Macedonian capital of Skopje on Tuesday over alleged government attempts to cover up the 2011 death of 22-year-old Martin Neskoski, who was killed by police during post-election celebrations. 

At least 1,000 people took to the streets of Skopje, demanding justice for Nekoski on Tuesday night. Protests turned violent hours after Macedonia’s opposition leader Zoran Zaev accused Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski of attempting to conceal Neskoski’s death, and played audio evidence of several leaders discussing the cover-up.

Police used tear gas and water cannons to clear the streets of protesters demanding the conservative government’s resignation. Meanwhile, demonstrators threw objects at police, and broke windows of various government buildings, according to local reports. “Murderers, murderers,” some protesters chanted. [video]/[article]

rriverssong asked:

what /is/ happening i am so out of the loop?

well this morning from 4 AM or smth there was an alleged “terrorist” attack in my hometown, kumanovo. and since the population here is mostly albanian and macedonian, the suspicion fell on albanian extremist groups which is something that actually happened in 2001 but it definitely did not happen today.

the thing is this “terrorist attack” came out of the blue and no one knows where they came from, what they were asking for or why they were even shooting and bombing the town. like there was literally no logical explanation as to why it was happening. the news stations (which are most of them controlled by the govt) all reported that a terrorist group from a neighboring country (it wasn’t stated which but it was heavily implied that it’s kosovo given that they pulled off another shitfest like this a month ago in a small village and said that it was terrorists from kosovo again altho why???) with about 70 ppl invaded the city

so basically there were heavy shootings and bombings (houses and schools burning, helicopters all over, some even say ppl were being taken hostage) into one of the city’s neighborhoods (which is a mixed macedonian-albanian one) for 16 fucking hours during which about 30 people were injured (policemen and special forces, we don’t know about civilians yet) out of which 5 people died. and the thing is people are trying to make it into an ethnic conflict which it isn’t! no one wants war and albanians and macedonians both were terrified and tormented by today’s events. the last thing any of us want is to turn this into a bloodbath!

also this sudden “terrorist attack” came after 10 of the biggest towns in macedonia gathered to protest against the government and searching for its resignation, as well as the 4 consecutive protests going on in skopje since tuesday. so a lot of people think that this is a thing orchestrated by the government who wanted to ethnically divide the people so we won’t all join forces together while trying to bring it down. also, they are probably trying to terrify the people so it will take away the attention from the protests and prevent them from going out to lobby for their resignation.

the worst thing is that none of the media here are being objective and they’re almost all controlled by the government, so it’s impossible to get true information. the most reliable sources are facebook and twitter but of course they’re not “credible” enough which means that the world media is getting fed the shit from our own media which is all a ruse. this leads to misinformation and doing the exact thing the govt wants to do: for people to think there are terrorists and that there is an ethnical conflict which in truth, is what they’re trying to cause!


Macedonia and its fight for justice

Many people don’t know what is happening right in  Macedonia right now. Hell, many don’t even know where Macedonia is. To make it clear, we are a small country on the Balkan peninsula, with just over 2 million people, and right now we are fighting for our lives.

Our current government has treated our country badly for many years. From rebuilding our capitol Skopje into the world’s most ugliest city, to destroying our healthcare and justice system. But, all of that doesn’t matter now. Because now, now they’ve crossed a line that cannot be brought back.

For the past few months, the opposition has been unveiling audio content from conversations between the main people in our government, including our prime minister, about how they cheated on the elections, about how they falsify trial verdict, about how they emptied our freakin’ budget without anyone on the outside knowing.

Nobody really did anything about it, because the people were scared. They threatened us with our jobs, our family… Anything, really. However, the made one small mistake. They didn’t realize they couldn’t threaten the youth. The students started protesting against the government when they decided they would make reforms within the universities (something that isn’t allowed by law). We protested and protested, we slept on campus for day, and we won. Somehow, they gave us what we wanted. Now, that legacy continues with the high school students, who are sleeping in front of the Ministry of Education for days, because they want to stop all the bad reforms in our educational system.

That isn’t all. Yesterday, an audio clip surfaced about the murder of a young man, Martin Nehskovski, a 22-year-old man, who was beaten to death by a police officer during a post-election celebration in 2011. By someone from the special forces. In the clips, it turns out that everyone from the government knew what happened and they tried to put it under the rug. They even talked about the boy like he deserved to die die, because apparently he was a junkie. (Mind you, Martin didn’t do anything, he was just in the wrong place, at the wrong time).

The people are now angry. Yesterday was filled with protests in front of the government building. People shouted “Murderers”, “Murderers”, calling for the resignation of Nikola Gruevski and his cabinet.. Even a policeman left the cordon and joined the people.  Soon, the police started to attack the protesters. They defended their brutality with more brutality. Many ended up in the hospital. Some of the special forces went into the town library and harassed the students there, claiming that they were protesters and the had no right being in the library at midnight. “Who even studies for their exams at midnight?” one of them asked.

It’s time to end the police brutality before it escalates any further. The protests will continue, and we will fight for our rights and our country.

I ask you to signal boost this, please. People need to know what is happening. The media here is controlled by the government and they don’t even talk about what is happening right now. They just show turkish soap operas, like everything is great here.


Jürgen Horn & Mike Powell
Germany & USA
Sony A7

You travel the World 3 months at a time. Why in particular 3 months? What do you hope to achieve in this time?

There are a few reasons that three months sounded good. Primarily, because we thought it would give us enough time to truly become familiar with a country. Also, three months is short enough, that we never have a chance to get bored. Before any disenchantment sets in, we’re gone! Three months allows us to get to four places a year, which sounded perfect. And crucially, visas are often issued for a maximum of 90 days. (In these cases, we don’t quite make it to 91!)

Three months is usually enough time for us to thoroughly explore our new homes, learn about the history, culture and cuisine, and even make some friends. At the end of our time, we almost always feel like we’re leaving home; we’ve been to 14 destinations so far, and have a personal connection with each one.

What has been the best 3 months of this project, in your opinion and why?

That’s almost impossible to say; each location has had its positives and negatives, and each has surprised, impressed and disappointed us in different ways. For nature, Iceland was probably the best. For history, Istanbul. For excitement, Tokyo. And so on. I could easily move permanently to Buenos Aires, and just thinking about the food and wine of Palermo makes me want to start planning my return.

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A Female Protester Gives A New Meaning To Red Revolution.
So the story behind this picture is:
Thousands of people in my country, Macedonia, started protesting because our prime minister hid the circumstances behind the murder of a 22-year old guy, who was murdered by a cop. The protest was violent and the picture was taken in the midst of it. 
The woman is now considered a national heroine. 


Šarena Džamija

Šarena Džamija, (Macedonian: Шарена Џамија; Albanian: Xhamia e Pashës; Turkish: Alaca Cami) meaning Decorated Mosque in English, is a mosque located near the Pena River in Tetovo, Macedonia. Unlike the traditional Ottoman ceramic tile decorations in mosques, the Šarena Džamija has bright floral paintings, which is how it got its name. The mosque was originally built in 1438 and the architect behind it was called Isak Bey. Most mosques of the time had sultans, beys or pashas financing their constructions, but the Šarena Džamija, however, was financed by two sisters from Tetovo.
Abdurrahman Pasha, a great enthusiast of art who was fond of Tetovo, reconstructed the Šarena Džamija in 1833.