From Florina, Konstantinos Christou ‘Kapetan Kottas’ (1863 – September 27, 1905) was a Captain and Fighter during the Greek Struggle for Macedonia (1904-08).
He was a leading figure in the Slavic-speaking community of Macedonia who identified themselves as Greeks and remained loyal to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
There are many examples of these people having a Bulgarian Komitatzi knife at their throat and being told to renounce their Greek Nationality. They would respond in Bulgarian “Na Sme Gartsi” – “We are Greeks” and then have their throat slit.
Kapetan Kottas initially was a member of the VMRO and fought with the Bulgarians against the Turks. But when he discovered the Bulgarian plans and intentions against the Greeks, he changed allegiances and joined the Greek struggle.
As a result, he made it his duty to hunt down and bring down as many Bulgarian Komitatzi as he could, in retaliation to the numerous atrocities committed by the Bulgarians against the Greek civilians.
In this endeavour, he managed to kill one of the most important VMRO Leaders – Lazar Poptrajkov.
When Kapetan Kottas was finally captured by the Turks in 1905, he was sent to the gallows, where his last words were “Da Zive Gartsia, Slovoda Ili Smrt” – “Long Live Greece, Freedom or Death”.