BULGARIANS IN THE URBAN POLITICAL LIFE OF EUROPEAN TURKEY IN THE IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH OF THE YOUNG TURK COUP
Institute of Balkan Studies & Centre of Thracology
(Bulgarian Academy of Sciences) Bulgaria
Abstract: The Young Turk Coup of July 1908 unleashed an unsuspected social energy and a previously unseen livening of urban social and political life in European Turkey. The negative trends in relations between the Bulgarian Revolutionary Organisation and the Young Turk Committees mobilised wider public circles and new political figures to seek adequate forms of political expression. The Union of Bulgarian Constitutional Clubs developed as the most popular national party, formed in accordance with the European model in the spirit of modern political liberalism. Leftist international ideas of consolidating all democratic forces in the Empire based on a unified radical platform made a second line, albeit fainter, in Bulgarian political activity. With their numerous programme documents and journalistic materials in a colorful ideological and political palette, Bulgarians left a specific trace in the new political life, which despite the efforts of the Young Turks to channel and unify it, in reality replicated the national fragmentation of the urban public space existing up to 1908.
Keywords: Young Turk Coup, Bulgarians, Urban Political Life
GREECE’S CRETAN MOTIVE ON THE ROAD TO A BALKAN ALLIANCE AND WAR (1908-1912)
Institute of Balkan Studies & Center of Thracologie
(Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
Abstract: The present study traces the evolution of Greece’s Balkan policy and the public sentiments in the Kingdom under the pressure of the escalating Young Turk revanchism on the Cretan question. The inconsistent, mutually contradictory positions of the Great Powers, performing as they were a balancing act between Constantinople and Athens, pushed the case of Crete into a cul-de-sac. The European declarations guaranteeing the Ottoman sovereignty over the island encouraged the Sublime Porte to seek a revision of the status of Crete. At the same time, their efforts to preserve the status quo after 1898, when the rights of the Sultan were reduced to a token suzerainty, fueled the unremitting struggle of the Cretan Greeks for enosis (unity). Caught between the rock of the Young Turks’ aggressive policy and the hard place of the Cretan people’s untamed aspirations for finalizing their unification with Greece, the Greek governments had no other option but to travel the long and bumpy road from the utterly pro-Ottoman, anti-Bulgarian position of G. Theotokis to Greece’s accession, under E. Venizélos, to the anti-Ottoman alliance of Slavic nations.
Keywords: Cretan Question, Greece’s Balkan Policy, The Young Turks’ Policy, Great Powers