Primary Source
International | Ottoman Empire
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International | Austria
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Denunciation by Austria-Hungary of Article XXV of the Treaty of Berlin
(Vienna) October 3, 1908.

in French. (Revue Generale de Droit International Public, xv, Doc.35-36)

In order to ensure the pacific development of the territories situated to the south of the frontier of the Monarchy, the Treaty of Berlin confided to Austria-Hungary the administration of Bosnia and Hercegovina (p.84) with, in addition, the right of garrison in the Sanjak of Novi-Bazar, reserving to the governments of Austria-Hungary to come to an understanding with each other on this subject.
This understanding was brought about by the Convention of Constantinople signed on April 21, 1870, which provided for the simultaneous presence of Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman garrisons in certain localities of the Sanjak.
The object intended by this amicable co-operation of Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman troops has been fully attained. We have succeeded in maintaining order and ensuring the peace of Europe, which a conflagration in these regions would easily have been able to endanger.
Since then, the situation has undergone a radical change. Turkey, then enfeebled by the consequences of the sanguinary war, and powerless by herself alone to ensue order and tranquility in the Sanjak, has recovered herself during the thirty years which followed the signing of the Convention of Constantinople.
Above all the political movement which is manifesting itself there at thus moment, under the auspices of His Majesty the Sultan, affirms the idea of the Ottoman State, and through that, a consolidation of the bases of the Empire itself.
In these circumstances, the Cabinet of Vienna is pleased to hope that the Ottoman Government will succeed, without other support, in maintaining order in the Sanjak and in fulfilling alone in these countries the task which there rested upon it, up till now, through the co-operation of the two Governments.
Accordingly the Imperial and Royal Government has not hesitated to inform the Sublime Porte that it renounced to make use for the future of the rights (p.95) which the Convention of Constantinople has conferred with regard to the Sanjak of Novi-Bazar.
With regard to the Imperial and Royal troops, the Ottoman Government has likewise been informed that they have received orders to evacuate the localities which they are garrisoning.
By this fact of high importance, the Cabinet in Vienna means not only to give the Imperial Ottoman Government a striking proof of its confidence and of its sincerely amicable sentiments, it opposes by this, at the same time, the most formal denial to the rumours which ascribe to it selfish ambition and territorial covetousness.
In bringing to the knowledge of the Imperial Ottoman Government its intention not to appeal to the dispositions of the Convention of Constantinople, in so far as they apply to the Sanjak of Novi-Bazar, the Cabinet of Vienna believes it necessary at the same time to make clear its point of view with regard to the other questions specified in the same Convention.
The mission which the Treaty of Berlin has confided to her in Bosnia and in Herzegovina, Austria-Hungary has fulfilled for the good of the populations, and in the interest also of the Ottoman Empire.
In fact, it is only the situation created in Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Treaty of Berlin, and maintained in a condition of stability by Austria-Hungary, that has enabled Turkey to concentrate her forces for safeguarding the territorial integrity of the Empire.
Bosnia-Herzegovina have arrived to-day - thanks to the assiduous work of the Austro-Hungarian administration - at a high degree of material and intellectual culture; accordingly the moment appears to have come to crown the work undertaken, by granting to these (p.86) provinces the benefits of an autonomous and constitutional system of government, which is ardently desired by the entire population. The Imperial and Royal Government ought, however, in order to realize these generous intentions, to regulate in a precise fashion the situation of these two provinces and to provide an effective guarantee against the dangers which would be able to menace the stability of the system established in 1878. The Cabinet of Vienna accordingly finds itself under the imperious necessity of freeing itself from the reserve contained in the Convention of Constantinople, and of recovering, with regard to Bosnia and Herzegovina, its complete liberty of action.
The Austro-Hungarian Government has taken care to inform the Sultan, through the intermediary of the Imperial and Royal Embassy at Constantinople, of the point of view herein exposed; it has at the same time expressed the hope that the relations of the two countries, freed from the uncertainty of the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in the Sanjak, will only gain by the presence of the well-defined and normal state of things which we wish to establish.


R.B. Mowat, Select Treaties and Documents 1815-1916, Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1916, pp.83-86

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