The topic of spreading the Bulgarian ethnicity and diaspora is on the agenda again . Bulgarian-Mohammedans (Pomaks) are unknown and confused matter for the regular citizen of the country, regardless of his ethnicity. Although they are often defined by themselves and others as a separate ethnic group, these are the Slavic/Bulgarian genotype, Bulgarian as mother language and Islam as a religion. That is why the term Bulgarian-Mohammedans or Bulgarian-Muslims is used for the last time, at least as regards those living in the borders of Bulgaria. But Slavic linguistic Muslims also have in Greece, Macedonia and Albania. In these countries they are defined as Pomaks.
Originally, especially as Pomaks are identify Paulician in North Bulgaria converted to Islam, while in Rhodope has been used word Poturnyak. But by the time the term and self-determination Pomak have had the whole community. Therefore, more appropriate to talk about Pomak culture – a mix of old Balkan traditions and beliefs (often Paulician, Bogomil or “Pagan-Thracian”) refracted through Sunni Islam.
The creation of this map was aimed at defining the boundary of this culture at village land level in order to better understand the distribution of Islam among the Bulgarian/Balkan population and the link of this population with the older artifacts found in this territory.
Unfortunately, the last 120 years of history have further complicated the connections between the Pomak, the Christian population and the Turks in the Balkans, and the map presented shows their current distribution. Deportations of religious principle in wars, several “voluntary” conversions and deportation and renaming during communism have passed Pomaks from their original areas in the Rhodope Mountains and Loukovit-Teteven area and currently has communities and elsewhere in northern Bulgaria, Kazanlak, Aytos and Haskovo regions.
It will be interesting if the map finished on the other side of the border in the Greek part of the Rhodopes, so now collect such information.
Added municipalities on the territory of Greece and Turkey for which there is information about a population with Pomak roots. While we can be more detailed about the Greek Pomakohora to the level of a settlement, as in Bulgaria this culture is local, in Turkey this people on base religion is displaced 1878 – 1924 is more complicated. In many settlements in Turkey, the villages are exempt from the Bulgarian and Greek refugees, and wave reaches east to Samsun and Adana and in many places it is difficult to clarify whether a Pomak root or other Muslims from Bulgaria and Greece. It is terrible that in the “Bulgarian sources” data is only from 100-130 years ago are mentioned without updating.
The map is based on compiled information – ethnic composition from the NSI, distribution of the religions and presence of mosques, etc.for Bulgaria, pomaknews.com for Turkey and pomakohoria.blogspot.com and other sites for Greece.
If there is a mistake or a missing village write or comment here.