Presentation on theme: "The Young Turks’ Revolution of 1908, the further dismemberment of the Empire and the Balkan Wars (1912-1913) In the Balkan Wars, the Balkan League (Bulgaria,"— Presentation transcript:
The Young Turks’ Revolution of 1908, the further dismemberment of the Empire and the Balkan Wars (1912-1913) In the Balkan Wars, the Balkan League (Bulgaria, Montenegro, Greece and Serbia) coalitioned against the Sublime Porte in order to conquer the Macedonian territories of the Ottoman Empire. The independent kingdom of Serbia had gained substantial territory during the Russo-Ottoman War of 1877-78, while Greece had annexed Thessaly region in 1881. Bulgaria was still an autonomous principality of the Empire since 1878 and had absorbed the province of Eastern Rumelia in 1885.
All these three small monarchies as well as tiny Montenegro were aiming to annex the neighbouring Ottoman provinces in Macedonia, home of large Bulgarian, Serbian, Albanian and Greek speaking communities as well as a large Muslim population and a considerable Jewish community. Christian ethnicities’ nationalist armed bands “komitadji”s were very active in the Ottoman Macedonian provinces using also terror tactics against the Ottoman administration, civilians, and, each other.
At that time, the elite young staff officers of the Ottoman army were used to be assigned to the 3. Ottoman Army based in Macedonia fighting the komitadjis, far from the oppressive regime of Abdulhamid II (istibdat rejimi). Most of these young and activists Ottoman officers have later got involved in the Young Turks’ committees of Salonica and Monastir.
In July 1908, with great concerns about the faith of the Empire and foreign interventions, Enver and Niyazi Beys, two Young Turk officers stationned in Macedonia, revolted with their troops against the Sultan’s authority with the wish of the re-proclamation of the Constitution of 1876. Anxious about the army’s overall loyalty, Abdulhamid II agreed to restore the suspended Ottoman constitution.
Attention Although the bloodless revolution opened an era of progress and reforms, it was also perceived as a sign of internal weakness by the neighbouring states.
Austria-Hungary used the opportunity of the resulting Ottoman political uncertainty to annex the formal Ottoman province of Bosnia-Herzegovina, effectively controlled by the Dual Monarchy since 1878. Bulgaria declared itself a fully independent kingdom in October 1908. Greeks of Crete proclaimed unification with Greece although it did not effectively take place until the end of the Balkan Wars.
Frustrated by Austro-Hungarian annexation of Bosnia- Herzegovina with a large ethnic Serbian community, Serbia had even a greater desire to annex Macedonia in the first suitable occasion.
Initially under the encouragement of Russian diplomacy, a series of agreements were concluded between the Balkanic states: - Between Serbia and Bulgaria in March 1912 - Between Greece and Bulgaria in May 1912 - Montenegro also concluded agreements with Serbia and Bulgaria in October 1912. With the Ottoman Empire struggling against Italy, trying to protect Tripolitania, its last African territory, conditions for the start of the First Balkan War by the Balkanic Powers were ready.
The First Balkan War (October 8, 1912 - May 30, 1913) Montenegro started the first Balkan war by declaring war against the Ottoman Empire on October 8, 1912. The Greek army occupied Salonica, Albanians declared independence. Epirus, Macedonia and Thrace were lost to the Bulgarian, Serbian and Greek armies after crushing defeats of the Ottoman armies in all fronts. Remaining Ottoman forces were pressed to maintain the defense of Istanbul at Çatalca.
An armistice was signed between Bulgaria (representing also Serbia and Montenegro) and the Ottoman Empire on December 3, 1912. Greece continued the war aiming to capture the still- resisting Ioannina (Yanya), while it still participated in the London Peace Conference. The Treaty of London ended the First Balkan War on May 30, 1913, but disputes over the partition of the conquered territory remained unresolved. As a result, the Second Balkan War immediately followed.
The Second Balkan War (June 19 –July 31, 1913) The Second Balkan War broke out because of territorial disputes in Thrace and Macedonia between Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia immediately following the First Balkan War, as well as the Albanian independence issue, and Bulgaro-Romanian disputes over the region of Dobrudja.
By the Treaty of London, Austria-Hungary and Italy strongly supported the creation of an independent Albania. Serbia sought in return compensation from the Macedonian territories that had been overrun by Bulgaria. Bulgaria also aimed to annex the Greek-occupied city of Salonica. The former allies of the anti-Ottoman coalition all made counter claims, and Romania, which had remained neutral during the first war, also joined claims.
As a result the war resumed with Bulgarian forces attacking Greece and Serbia. The Ottoman Empire now totally led by the “Union and Progress” cabinet started an offensive to recover Edirne and Romania attacked Bulgaria from the north. Defeated by Serbia, Greece, Montenegro, the Ottoman Empire and Romania in the Second Balkan War, Bulgaria signed an Armistice on July 31, 1913. At the Treaty of Bucharest in August 1913, the final territorial adjustments in the Balkans were made, a fact paving the way for the WW I.