1832-1897 Greece 1914-1918

Crete 1897-1908

The Establishment of Cretan Autonomy . In 1896 a rebellion against Ottoman rule erupted on the island of Crete, also called Candia in Italian. The Graeco-Ottoman War of 1897 followed; Greek troops landed on Crete. The Protecting Powers imposed a blockade on Crete (1897) and, following Ottoman approval, established control. Fighting on Crete ceased. The last Ottoman forces withdrew in November 1898.
The island was given autonomous status within the Ottoman Empire. Crete was to have a christian governor; positions in the administration were to reflect the population structure, i.e. to be filled by Christians and Muslims in the relation 2:1.

Autonomous Crete and the Protecting Powers, 1898-1908 . The powers (Britain, Russia, France, Italy (Germany and Austria-Hungary had cancelled their participation) landed 3,000 troops and divided Crete into four zones, in which the respective power was to guarantee the status quo being kept (1898). Prince George of Greece was appointed High Commissioner of the Powers. An exodus of the Muslim population of the island (mainly Greek-speaking Muslims) set in; the Muslim community declined from about 1/3 to 1/9 of the population.
Within the Greek population of Crete, many favoured ENOSIS, unification with Greece, a desire which repeatedly was supported by High Commissioner Prince George, but being in violation with the island status, was rejected by the powers. A Cretan parliament was created.
A coup in April 1905 resulted in the proclamation of unification with Greece; the powers reacted by declaring the act void and placing the island under martial law.
In 1897/1898 the occupying powers Russia and Britain issued stamps for their respective zones. During the decade of Cretan autonomy (1898-1908) Crete had its own currency and postage stamps. The capital was Hania (Chania).
In 1900, Arthur Evans took charge of the excavations at Knossos, which had been begun in 1894 and then interrupted by the Ottoman authorities.

Crete 1908-1912 . When the Young Turk Rebellion in Istanbul changed matters in the Ottoman Empire, the Cretan parliament again proclaimed unification with Greece; Eleftherios Venizelos headed a commission which was to rule Crete until unification was achieved (1908; internationally recognized only in 1913). Italy had long opposed the unification of Crete with Greece, as did the Ottoman Empire. The Protecting Powers withdrew their troops in July 1909. In 1909-1910, tension over the status of Crete was such that the powers contemplated the reoccupation of the island.

Hania, from interkriti.org
First Graeco-Turkish War of 1897, from OnWar.com
The Cretan Question, by William Yale (1958), posted by Tughranet
Biography of Eleftherios Venizelos, from stigmes
Entry Crete, from Footnotes to History, by James L. Erwin
Wladimir Giesl von Gieslingen, from Austrian Commanders; he was Austrian Consul on Crete in 1897
Article Arthur Evans, from Wikipedia
Austrian Forces on Crete 1897-1898, from Austro-Hungarian Army
M.U. Ekinci, The Origins of the 1897 Ottoman-Greek War - A Diplomatic History, masters thesis Bilkent University 2006
Coins from Crete, from Greek Numismatics - Modern Coins
Milutin Labovic, The Montenegrin hat was the first blue helmet, from Montenegrina, account of Montenegrin soldiers on Crete 1897
Seaforth Highlanders, from British Armed Forces and National Service (Crete 1897)
Mission Abroad, from Arma Carabinieri
DOCUMENTS Flag of the Principality of Crete 1898-1913, from FOTW
The Cretan Question 1897-1908, from Handbook for the Diplomatic History of Europe, Asia, and Africa 1870-1914. Government Printing Office, Washington, 1918; posted by Mt.Holyoke
Caricatures Greece / Crete 1897, posted by INAF
Flag of the Principality of Crete, from FOTW
Governors of Crete, from World Statesmen : Greece by Ben Cahoon, scroll down for Crete
Article Candia, from Catholic Encyclopedia 1908 edition
Events on Crete, from The Great Round World and What is Going on in it Vol.1 No.17, March 1897, Vol.1 No.18, March 1897, Vol.1 No.18, March 1897, Vol.1 No.19, March 1897, Vol.1 No.20, March 1897, Vol.1 No.21, April 1897, Vol.1 No.22, April 1897, Vol.1 No.23, April 1897, Vol.1 No.24, April 1897, Vol.1 No.25, April 1897, Vol.1 No.36, July 1897, Vol.1 No.38, July 1897, Vol.1 No.40, August 1897, Vol.1 No.41, August 1897, Vol.1 No.46, September 1897, Vol.1 No.52, November 1897, Vol.1 No.54, November 1897, Vol.1 No.56, December 1897, Vol.1 No.57, December 1897, posted by Gutenberg Library Online
Order of Battle, Austro-Hungarian contingent during the blockade of Crete 1897-1898, posted by Austro-Hungarian Army
W. Liebknecht, Crete and Social Democracy (1897), posted by Marxists Internet Archive
Cretan Banknotes, from Greek Banknotes
Article Crete, from Jewish Encyclopedia 1901-1906
REFERENCE Richard Clogg, A Concise History of Greece, 1992
Article : Crete, in : Statesman's Year Book 1901 pp.1148-1149, 1905 pp.1245-1247 [G]
Article : Crete, in : International Year Book 1898 pp.229-230 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on March 22nd 2002, last revised on October 20th 2007

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