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Slavic toponyms for Greek places

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Slavic toponyms for Greek places

Many settlements in the Macedonia region in Northern Greece had Greek and non-Greek forms. Most of those names were in use during the multinational environment of the Ottoman Empire. Some of the forms were identifiably of Greek origin, others of Slavic, yet others of Turkish, Vlach or Albanian origin. Following the First World War and the Graeco-Turkish War which followed, an exchange of population took place between Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Turkey (Treaty of Neuilly, between Greece and Bulgaria and Treaty of Lausanne, between Greece and Turkey). The villages of the exchanged populations (Bulgarians and Muslims) in Greece were resettled with Greeks from Asia Minor, and the Balkans (mainly from Bulgaria and Yugoslavia).

As Greece transformed rapidly from a multi-ethnic to a mono-ethnic state[1] the Greek government renamed many places with revived ancient names, local Greek-language names, or translations of the non-Greek names.[2] The non-Greek names were officially removed.[3] Although the bulk of the population was Greek[4][5][6] the renaming was considered a way to establish a collective ethnic consciousness.[7] A lot of historical Greek names from Asia Minor were also introduced in the region mainly by the resettled refugees. Many Demotic Greek names were also replaced by a Katharevousa Greek form, usually different only morphologically. This process started in 1926 and continued into the 1960s.[3]

According to ongoing research being carried out at the Institute of Neohellenic Research in Athens, between 1913 and 1996, the names of 4,413 settlements were legally changed in Greece. In each case, the renamings were recorded in the official Government Gazette.

The regional breakdown in renamings is: Macedonia: 1,805 renamings; Peloponnese: 827 renamings; Central Greece: 519 renamings; Thessaly: 487 renamings; Epirus: 454 renamings; Thrace: 98 renamings; Crete: 97 renamings; Aegean Islands: 79 renamings; Ionian Islands: 47 renamings.[8]

The toponyms are divided by Greek prefecture:

External links

  • List compiled by the Institute for Neohellenic Research

See also

References

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