Three Events Concerning the Bulgarian- Turkish Relations (1908-1909) and Their Reflections in Bulgarian Press

Nadezhda Vasileva Vasileva
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At the beginning of the 20th century the political situation in both neighbouring countries Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire was unstable. In Bulgaria, the government of Stefan Stambolov was overthrown from the political scene. In his place on January 16, 1908 Prince Ferdinand designated the government of the opposition forces of the Democratic Party with Prime Minister Alexander Malinov.

During the last years of the reign of Sultan Abdulhamid II his regime raised discontent among the some section of in the Ottoman Empire.  At the same time the Young Turks movement gained popularity and power, which forced the Sultan to take measures in order to maintain his authority.

Three events put a mark on the Bulgarian-Turkish relations during this period: July 3, 1908 marks the revolutionary movement against the regime of Sultan Abdulhamid II; September 22, 1908 Prince Ferdinand declared the full independence of Bulgaria; April 27 1909, Abdulhamid II is deposed and exiled to Thessalonica.

The purpose of this article is to explore the repercussions of these three events in the Bulgarian press. Did the ruling of Abdulhamid receive support among the Bulgarians and how it was expressed? How the reactions of the Turkish government and the actions of the Sultan after the independence declared was evaluated? How the news of dethronement of the Sultan and his subsequent exile was received?  Bulgarian periodicals tried closely to monitor and cover the developments in the Ottoman Empire. These publications are extremely revealing, because they covered the first reactions and evaluations of these events among Bulgarian society. Even a separate study of these issues, concerning the ruling of Abdulhamid II would be an original contribution to the Turkish and Bulgarian historiography.


Abdulhamid II, Bulgarian press

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