Atanas Shopov in Thessaloniki

Yura Konstantinova, Le rôle du consulat bulgare à Thessalonique dans la consolidation de la communauté bulgare de la ville, Études Balkaniques-Cahiers Pierre Belon, 2017/1 (n° 22), 231-249.

The role of the Bulgarian Consulate in Thessaloniki in strengthening the Bulgarian Community in the City
The aim of the present research is to describe the problems of the Bulgarian population in Thessaloniki and the policy of the Bulgarian State during the last years of the Ottoman Rule. In the late 19th and early 20th century, the Bulgarians were about 8% of the population of the city and the fourth largest ethnic group after the Jews, the Turks and the Greeks. The protagonist of this story is Atanas Shopov, the Bulgarian diplomatic representative in the city before the Balkan Wars. Based on his actions in support of the Bulgarian community in Thessaloniki, the text’s analyses substantiates the role of the diplomats in the national differentiation of the population and the methods they used in order to support the formation of national identities. Whereas the Consuls represent the national idea and the national policy, they strive in the complex framework of the multiethnic empire, which complicates their tasks. The importance of the religious and educational institutions in the process of the formation of national identities has been repeatedly and fully researched in the historiography. However, understanding its connection with the policy of the Consulates will deepen our knowledge of this subject.