This introductory chapter presents the case of Todor Nikolov to show the difficulties in determining whether a person is a member of a national minority of Bulgaria or Greece. Having a so-called “Greek consciousness,” Nikolov, a Bulgarian citizen, declared that he wanted to emigrate and settle in Greece. However, Bulgarian officials disputed his claim and refused to certify his declaration. Greek officials, on the other hand, defended Nikolov, saying that “he had celebrated his marriage to a Greek woman, and that in view of the fact that religion is confused with national consciousness by Greeks and Bulgarians, this was the best proof that Nikolov had ceased to have a ‘Bulgarian consciousness.’” The case demonstrates that some residents of Bulgaria and Greece were facing the problem of unstable nationality, as their respective states strove to acquire new lands that they had carved out from the Ottoman Empire.
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