At an early age, he became associated with the ‘Internal Macedonian Adrianople Revolutionary Organization’ (IMARO) and actively participated in the revolutionary movement which was prominent in the Thrace and Macedonian regions,
Soon after he shielded the people of those regions from the despotic Turks, he arranged national courts and also trained villagers with the techniques of self-defence. This made him famous as a leader within a short span of time.
Sandanski was one of the minds behind the kidnapping of American Protestant missionary Ellen Stone and her companion Katerine Stefanova-Tsilka, who was pregnant at that time. This incident, which occurred in August 1901, was aimed at extracting a huge amount of money in order to support the ‘IMARO’ group. After about six months since the kidnap, the revolutionary group received a ransom worth fourteen thousand Turkish gold Liras.
In 1903, Yane actively participated in the ‘Ilinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising’, which was a revolt against the Ottomans. This revolution was supported by the people of Bulgarian origin, living in the central and south-western regions of the Monastir Vilayet division of the Ottoman Empire. These regions were deeply affected as a result of the revolution.
He became a supporter of the ‘Young Turks Revolution’ movement in 1908, which demanded a constitutional monarchy, and was against the tyrannical rule of the Ottomans. This revolution ended the regime of the 34th Sultan, Abdul Hamid II, as well as the autocratic rule of the Ottomans. Thus, began the ‘Second Constitutional Era’ of the Ottoman Empire and re-establishment of the ‘Ottoman Constitution’.
The same year, after the dissolution of the ‘IMARO’ group into three factions, Sandanski tried hard to form the ‘Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization’ (MORO). However, after futile attempts, he and his companion Hristo Chernopeev concentrated on establishing a new party.
Yane founded a party by the name ‘Peoples’ Federation Party (Bulgarian Section)’, along with the members of the left wing of the ‘Internal Macedonian Adrianople Revolutionary Organization’.
In 1909, the ‘People’s Federation Party’ took part in the march led by the ‘Young Turks’ revolutionists to Istanbul, where Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II was removed from the throne.
During the period 1912-13, Yane and his group participated in the ‘Balkan Wars’ as members of the ‘Bulgarian Army’.
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He was sent to Tirana in 1913 by the Bulgarian government to negotiate with the Albanians, and as reported, he agreed that the Bulgarian Army would arrange their troops and attacks.
Following this, the ‘Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization’, one of the three factions of the Macedonian liberation movement, and the Albanians of Western Macedonia jointly prepared for the ‘Ohrid-Debar Uprising’.
Sandanski as well as a few of the other factions of the Macedonian liberation movement wanted autonomy. However, other members of such groups did not want the inclusion of Macedonia in the ‘Balkan Socialist Federation’. This led to a struggle between the factions.
Possibly, Sandanski was involved in the assassination of the vojvod Michail Daev, Boris Sarafov and Ivan Garvanov. He was given a death sentence by the Centralists faction of the ‘IMARO’ for these murders.
Personal Life & Legacy
The struggle between the three factions of the Macedonian liberation movement led to the assassination of Sandanski in April, 1915. The execution was triggered by some native revolutionaries of the ‘IMARO’ group.
He is esteemed as a national hero even today by the people of Macedonian Republic, and even the national anthem of the country mentions his name in one of its verses.
The Sveti Vrach town was named after him in 1949, as a token of appreciation for his socialist views.
The East Coast of the Ioannes Paulus II Peninsula, in Antarctica has also been named after Sandanski.