Idomeni or Eidomene (Greek: Ειδομένη, pronounced [iðoˈmeni]) is a small village in Greece, near the borders with the Republic of North Macedonia. The village is located in the municipality of Paeonia, Kilkis regional unit of Central Macedonia (Greece).
|Administrative region||Central Macedonia|
|Elevation||65 m (213 ft)|
|• Population||309 (2011)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
The village is built at an elevation of 65 meters, in the outskirts of Kouri hill. It mounts in the west bank of Axios river, close to the border with Republic of North Macedonia. The village is interwoven with a railway station, which is the first railway station that someone meets entering Greece from the north. The inhabitants of Idomeni are Macedonian Greeks/Slavophones, as well as descendants of refugees from East Thrace after the Population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1923.
Before 1926, it was also known as Sehovo (Greek: Σέχοβο, Bulgarian: Сехово, Macedonian: Сехово) or Seovo (Greek: Σέοβο), and it was renamed in 1936 to the namesake of the ancient Greek town "Idomene", which was mounted near the modern village. During the Greek War of Independence in 1821, the inhabitants of Sechovo/Idomeni (Sechovites) revolted against the Ottoman authorities, under Zafirios Stamatiades, one of the leaders who later fought in southern Greece. The village was destroyed by the Ottoman military authorities in 1824 as a retaliation for the participation in the revolt. From 1870 until the Balkan Wars, a lot of national conflicts between Greeks and Bulgarians took place in the village. In the book "Ethnographie des Vilayets d'Adrianople, de Monastir et de Salonique", published in Constantinople in 1878, that reflects the statistics of the male population in 1873, Seovo was noted as a village with 85 households and 394 Bulgarian inhabitants. After the Russo-Turkish War (1877–78) the Bulgarian school in Sehovo was closed by Greek metropolitan bishop in Strumica.
At the Macedonian Revolt of 1878 against the Treaty of San Stefano, three people from the village joined armed rebel groups: Dellios Kovatsis, Stogiannis (Stoikos) Stoides and Nicolaos Stoides. During the Greek struggle for Macedonia a lot of inhabitants of Sechovo/Idomeni distinguished for their fighting for the Greek side, such as Georgios Stamatiades, his son Zafirios Stamatiades Papazafiriou, his grandsons Georgios Papazafiriou and Gregorios Papazafiriou, and also Stylianos Kovatsis. On the other hand, а committee of Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) was founded in 1895-1896. A lot of inhabitants of Sechovo distinguished for their fighting for the Bulgarian side, such as voyvode of IMRO Argir Manasiev (1872-1932), Dimitar Dzuzdanov (1887-1929), Grigor Totev (1868-1934), Gono Balabanov etc.
Since 2014, refugees from Syria, but also from Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries of the Middle East, began to flock to Idomeni in order to cross the Greek borders and enter the Republic of North Macedonia. Both the latter and Serbia to the north are out of the Schengen Area, which is why the refugees prefer this way to reach countries such as Germany and Sweden, so entering again the Schengen Area from Serbia; in case of arrest, they will be sent back to Croatia or Hungary (closer to their desired immigration destinations, especially Germany), and not to Greece, which is farther south.
In 2015, the Republic of North Macedonia decided to guard its borders with military forces in order to prevent the refugees from entering the country, as Serbia also closed its borders.
Thus the transit camp at Idomeni, built in 2015 by Médecins Sans Frontières and the UNHCR to provide basic support for no more than 6000 refugees passing through each day, rapidly had to become a longer-term residential camp. The peak number of refugees who stayed in Idomeni numbered more than 15,000. On the 24th of May 2016, Greek authorities began relocating refugees from the Idomeni camp to processing facilities mostly in and around Thessaloniki.
- "Απογραφή Πληθυσμού - Κατοικιών 2011. ΜΟΝΙΜΟΣ Πληθυσμός" (in Greek). Hellenic Statistical Authority.
- Македония и Одринско. Статистика на населението от 1873 г." Македонски научен институт, 1995. стр. 168-169. (in Bulgarian)
- Кирил патриарх Български. Българската екзархия в Одринско и Македония след Освободителната война 1877-1878. Том първи, книга първа, стр. 13-14. (Bulgarian Patriarch Kirill. Bulgarian Exarchate in Macedonia and Edirne region after the Liberation War of 1877-1878. Vol. 1, book first, Sofia 1969, pp. 13-14.)
- in greek: Μακεδονικά Σύμμεικτα (Macedonian Compilations), Η εθνική δράση του Γεώργιου και Ιωάννου Ξάνθου (Γευγελή) και του Αλέξανδρου Ζουμετίκου (Μοναστήρι) κατά το Μακεδονικό Αγώνα (Georgios' & Ioannis Xanthos' (Gevgeli) and Alexandros Zoumeticos' (Monastiri) national activities during the Greek Struggle for Macedonia), Institute of Balkan Studies, Constantinos Apostolou Vakalopoulos
- Ioannis S. Koliopoulos (scientific editing), in greek: Αφανείς, γηγενείς Μακεδονομάχοι, Company of Macedonian Studies, Published by: University Studio Press, Thessalonike 2008, pages 92, 93, 94
- "Борбите в Македония - Спомени на отец Герасим, Георги Райков, Дельо Марковски, Илия Докторов, Васил Драгомиров", Борис Йорданов Николов, ИК "Звезди", 2005 г., стр. 55, ISBN 9549514560 (in Bulgarian)
- Николов, Борис Й. Вътрешна македоно-одринска революционна организация. Войводи и ръководители (1893-1934). Биографично-библиографски справочник, София, 2001, с. 46, 97, 168-169.(Nikolov, Boris Y. Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization. Chieftains and heads (1893-1934). Biographical and bibliographical reference book, Sofia, 2001, pp. 46,97, 168-169. - in Bulgarian)
- "Борбите в Македония - Спомени на отец Герасим, Георги Райков, Дельо Марковски, Илия Докторов, Васил Драгомиров", Борис Йорданов Николов, ИК "Звезди", 2005 г., стр. 50, 55-56, 134, ISBN 9549514560 (in Bulgarian)
- D.M.Brancoff. "La Macédoine et sa Population Chrétienne". Paris, 1905, pp. 194-195. (in French)
- "MSF help create a refugee transit camp in Idomeni". Retrieved 9 August 2017.
- Κουρουμπλής: Η Ειδομένη σύγχρονο Νταχάου - Δυσαρέσκεια για τις ερωτήσεις (in Greek). Skai.
- "Greece moves thousands of migrants from Idomeni camp". BBC News.