Rumelia 1879-1912

The name Rumelia was largely applied to the Ottoman possessions in Europe, for the most part in Ottoman possession since the 14th respectively 15th century. In 1878 the Berlin Congress established Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia as separate and autonomous administrative regions.
The remainder of Rumelia - Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and Western Thrace - was administratively reorganized in the Provinces (Vilayets) of Edirne, Salonica and Monastir.
In 1881, the Ottoman Empire ceded Thessaly to Greece; Thessalian Muslims emigrated, many of them to Salonica. In 1889, Salonica was connected by rail with the European railroad network. In 1890 the city suffered a major fire. Salonica was supplied with electricity in 1899; a modern port was constructed in 1901; in 1907 the city had public transportation (electric streetcar).
The Tanzimat Reform, granting the Ottoman subjects equality in front of the courts and in taxation and education, irrelevant of the relegion, was passed, but not implemented due to both the state lack of state funds and political will.
In the later part of the 19th century and into the 20th century, Rumelia saw political unrest, stirred by organizations such as IMRO striving for either the annexion of Macedonia into Bulgaria or Macedonian independence. The worst outbreak of violence were the Macedonian rising of 1893 and 1903; they were brutally suppressed.
In 1908 the Young Turk Revolution occurred in Constantinople; the Ottoman Empire now had a parliament working on political reforms. None of her Balkan neighbours were interested in seeing these reforms succeed. In 1912, Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro and Serbia declared war on the Ottoman Empire (the First Balkan War) and partitioned Rumelia among them, leaving only Eastern Thrace to the Empire.

Note : Literature, as well as documents posted, on Rumelia with its ethnically diverse population reflect a wide range of often conflicting, partially radical positions. The webmaster does not associate himself with any of the links added below; caution is advised.

Article Rumelia, from Wikipedia
Articles Elayet Monastir, Vilayet Salonica, Vilayet Kosovo, Ottoman Ioannina, Ottoman Shkoder, Edirne, from Wikipedia
Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium entry Rumelia, posted by macottrum
Identity (Trans)Formation among Bulgarian Muslims, by Maria Todorova, details on Pomak history
Dame Gruev - the Founder of IMRO, from The Tragic Peninsula by Christ Anastasoff, St. Louis 1938
The Serbs and the Macedonian Question, from Internet Library of Serb Culture
Links on Macedonian History, from Balkan Web
Macedonia and the failure of Ottoman reforms, from Twenty-Five Lectures on Modern Balkan History by Steven W. Sowards
Thessaloniki 1871-2006 : The Railway Heritage, posted by A. Gregoriou
Nuray Bozbora, The Policy of Abdulhamid II Regarding the Prizren League, in : Turkish Review of Balkan Studies 2007 pp.45-67
DOCUMENTS Map : Balkans Region, 1878-1912, from Balcanica
Lists of Kings, Prime Ministers etc. from World Statesmen by Ben Cahoon
The Three Emperors' League of 1881 pertaining to Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia, posted by Avalon Project at Yale Law School
Sultan Mehmed Reshad's Rumelia Journey of 1912, posted by Sozler Publication
Map : Europe in 1700, from euratlas. The map shows the Elayet of Rumelia including all of Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia and the Dobrudja.
Image : The Bey of Rumelia, Herald for Rumelia, from Raalamb Costume Booka manuscript of 1657-1658 kept in the Royal Library, Stockholm
Macedonia during the Turkish Rule, from The Archive of Macedonia, has numerous documents in facsimile
Article Serres (Vilayet Salonica), in Catholic Encyclopedia, 1912 edition
Article Thessalonica, in Catholic Encyclopedia, 1912 edition
Documents on the Macedonian Question, from macedoniainfo, pro-Bulgarian and anti-Greek
Map featuring the Bulgarian Exarchate, 1870-1912, from macedoniainfo
Map : The Albanian Vilayets and Sandjaks in 1881, from A Brief Historical Atlas of Albania-One-Nation-All
Ethnic map of Rumelia, by J. Cvijic, 1909, from A Brief Historical Atlas of Albania-One-Nation-All
Correspondence of Foreign Consuls in Macedonia, from Bulgaria Online, 2 documents of 1903
New York Times 1901 : Anarchy in Macedonia, in Reality Macedonia
Proposed national flag of Macedonia, 1903, from FOTW
Documents on the Struggle of the Macedonian People for Indipendence and Nation-State
The Macedonian Question, 1878-1908, 1908-1912, collection of documents posted by Mt.Holyoke (Handbook for the Diplomatic History of Europe, Asia, and Africa 1870-1914, Washington : GPO 1918)
Arthur D. Howden-Smith: An Attack on the Bashi-Bazouks, Macedonia, 1907, from Modern History Sourcebook
Macedonian Muslims During the Balkan Wars, from Habsburg Web
Adrianopel (Edirne), P.1, P.2, from Meyers Konversationslexikon, 1888-1890 edition, in German
Article Rumelia, from EB 1911
REFERENCE R.J. Crampton, A Concise History of Bulgaria, Cambridge Concise Histories 1997 pp.140-147
Andrew Mango, Atatürk. The Biography of the Founder of Modern Turkey. Woodstock : Overlook 1999

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2002, last revised on June 6th 2008

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