DR. STOYAN CHOMAKOV - LEADER FOR SECULAR FREEDOM
Born in the year 1819, from Koprivtiza in Orta Dag region. His linkage is from two of the most wealthy and influential families in the town: Chomakov's and Chalukov's - both authorized tax dealers on cattle trade /"beglikjii" and "dgelepjii"/. His elderly brother, Salcho Chomakov, had connections with the Sultan's court and it is owing to him that young Stoyan got reference for a job in Tzarigrad during the 60's and 70's.
After receiving his primary education in Plovdiv, in 1832 Chomakov is sent to study at Andros Island School in Cyclades Archipelagos, Aegean Sea. This is homeplace of greek revivalist Teophil Cairo /1784-1853/. The latter is famous admirer of French Rationalism and becomes founder and propagator of a heresy - teaching blaspheme and theosophy. His school is banned in 1839 from the Greek authorities. However, Stoyan Chomakov is influenced by him and later applies his studies in solution for the Bulgarian Church Question.
His next step is to study medicine. After graduating his secondary education in Athens in 1838 young Stoyan is sent to Pizza and Florence in Italy. Here he get his medical diploma and in year 1846 is transferred to Paris for a two year specialization in surgery. His stay in Paris has an utmost importance for formation of his political sympathies and antipathies. The major waves of revolution occurring in the first half of the 19th century had its repercussions in 1848. The Polish cause was led from emigration by Prince Adam Czartorysky /1770-1861/: fighting the Russian subjugation of the Poles from September 1831. Although not of Polish identity Dr. Chomakov was close to Prince Adam and his circle /i.e. Mikhail Chaikovsky and others/ and thisway is connected with the life and deeds of another great bulgarian Patriarch Neophit Bosveli /1785-1848/. Bosveli is a titan from the Bulgarian Revival and Church Independence War with the Greek Fanariote but we will refer to the question later.
Thusfar, Dr. Stoyan Chomakov is back in Plovdiv as a municipal physician. At that time in the early 50s he was the first medical doctor in the region and his work gained him the image of a skillful operator. Dr. Chomakov performed three operations in Plovdiv which were debated even from the medical circles in Tzarigrad. The topic of his work were "Ligatura Oesophagus". The same operation was reported as a case-study by Dr. Panoff in the journal "Bulgarski Knigitsi" from October 1861. Further publications are two articles on cholera in the newspaper "Vreme", in two consecutive issues from August 1865. No more materials on medical themes are printed by Dr. Chomakov, however, he is author of three books and numerous etudes on political and secular history.
The subject matter of his activities as a public figure is versatile. He opened a pharmacy which was later administrated by his brother Salcho. He donated 3000 grosh to the pedagogy school of Daskal Nayden Gerov in 1958 /N.B. I see from the register at that time - 73 grosh make a gold coin/. Last but not least is his political activity, mainly secular, in the face of his protest versus the greek bishop Chrisante who, by the way, calumniated the bulgarians for unrest against the Ottoman Government. In 1861 Dr. Chomakov is chosen for representative of Plovdiv Diocese in Tzarigrad. On his way to the new job he never presumed that this is a turning point in his life, that he would leave his gainful medical practice and would stay for 17 years in the capital to become one of the first professional politicians of modern Bulgaria.
But let us take a look at the geopolitical map of the region from that time. Turkey and her allies England, France and Piedmont won the Crimean War and by the Treaty of Paris in 1856 the Ottoman Empire was considered a European State. Same year the Reform Firman /"Tanzimat"/ was drawn up by the minister of foreign affairs - Mustafa Reshid Pasha - and signed by Sultan Abdul Mejid. The firman provided for equality between the christian and muslim subjects of the realm, but in reality it led to clashes between muslims and non-muslims which soon became an international issue, and which the minister of internal affairs - Fuad Pasha - resolved with firm measures. In the midst of that political turmoil Dr. Chomakov arrived in Tzarigrad with his two daughters. He had to arrange a big and well maintained house as was required by the Exarchate. He had to hold a reception for many foreign ministers and ambassadors which required a staff for the residency, a private secretary and also governant for his daughters. He was so busy with his job that he couldn't go back to Plovdiv to attend his sick wife which subsequently died. His brother, Salcho, also got ill and died. Meanwhile, money which were sent from the diocese were not enough to support himself and on his account a half from his expenses came out from his own pocket. Dr. Chomakov had firmly quitted medical practice so this could not have brought him any income. Even in 1865 some people from the bulgarian community protested against him on refusing to take care on cholera patients when practicing physician Dr. Karakonovsky left the town. This and many other of his behavior makes it difficult to characterize Dr. Stoyan Chomakov on a level hand. When, for instance, we speak of him on the First National Exarchate Assembly on 16 February 1872 and the choice of Exarch Antim I /1816-1888/, it is truly his radical position and he is qualified as "red". Four years later during the April Uprising Dr. Chomakov is turkofill and join the most "reactionary" circles in Tzarigrad. One way or another, his figure was often counterposed to another eminent bulgarian politician - Count Gavril Krustevich, the latter being pro-rusofill and the right hand of Russian Attache Count Ignatieff. More stuff can be written on his Tzarigrad period but this is item of other story.
In 1878 Dr. Chomakov is back to Plovdiv - capital of liberated Eastern Rumelia. While, in his own words, he went to Tzarigrad with 400 000 grosh in his pocket and on his way back he carried two truckloads of inventory and 60 golden lira from the Exarchate cashier for travel expenses. The new times are hard to live for the old political lion. An attempt to be a "gubernks" physician failed in 1978. Then he was chosen as a delegate in the National assembly of Eastern Rumelia. Meanwhile Dr. Chomakov participated in charity activities and become president of "St. Pantaleimon Charitable Society". After the Unification of Bulgaria he is people's deputy in Vth and VIth Common National Assembly; Minister of education from 28 June - 20 August 1887; Full member of the Bulgarian Literary Society, later Bulgarian Academy of Science, in 1887; Awarded medal "St. Alexander", first degree in 1888. All in all, he becomes one of the favorites in the court of Prince Ferdinant, who often made visits to Plovdiv with Dr. Chomakov. Also, his daughter Maria Chomakova was appointed a court lady. On 14 October 1893 the body of Prince Alexander Batemberg is buried on bulgarian soil. Dr. Chomakov attend the funeral in Sofia but on his way back he get ill. Nine days later he dies in piece. Premier Stambolov and Prince Ferdinant sent him on his last journey.