Eastern Rumelia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eastern Rumelia
Източна Румелия (Bulgarian)
Ανατολική Ρωμυλία (Greek)
روم ايلئ شرقى (Ottoman Turkish)
Autonomous Province of Ottoman Empire
(in personal union with Bulgaria from 1886)
1878–1885

Principality of Bulgaria (dark green) and Eastern Rumelia (light green) after the Berlin Congress in 1878, formally in personal union from 1886.
  •   Eastern Rumelia
CapitalPlovdiv
Population 
• 1884
975,030
Government
 • TypeAutonomous Province
Governor-General 
• 1879–1884
Aleksandar Bogoridi
• 1884–1885
Gavril Krastevich
• 1886
Aleksandar I
• 1887–1908
Ferdinand I
History 
• Established
1878
13 July 1878
6 September 1885
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Adrianople Vilayet
Principality of Bulgaria
Today part ofBulgaria

Eastern Rumelia (Bulgarian: Източна Румелия, romanizedIztochna Rumeliya; Ottoman Turkish: روم الی شرقى, romanized: Rumeli-i Şarkî; Greek: Ανατολική Ρωμυλία, romanizedAnatoliki Romylia) was an autonomous province (oblast in Bulgarian, vilayet in Turkish) of the Ottoman Empire with a total area of 32,978 km2, which was created in 1878 by virtue of the Treaty of Berlin and de facto ceased to exist in 1885, when it was united with the Principality of Bulgaria, also under nominal Ottoman suzerainty.[1] It continued to be an Ottoman province de jure until 1908, when Bulgaria declared independence. Ethnic Bulgarians formed a majority of the population in Eastern Rumelia, but there were significant Turkish and Greek minorities. Its capital was Plovdiv (Ottoman Filibe, Greek Philippoupoli). The official languages of Eastern Rumelia were Bulgarian, Greek and Ottoman Turkish.[2]

History[edit]

Eastern Rumelia was created as an autonomous province within the Ottoman Empire by the Treaty of Berlin in 1878. The region roughly corresponded to today's southern Bulgaria, which was also the name the Russians proposed for it; this proposal was rejected by the British.[3] It encompassed the territory between the Balkan Mountains, the Rhodope Mountains and Strandzha, a region known to all its inhabitants—Bulgarians, Ottoman Turks, Greeks, Roma, Armenians and Jews—as Northern Thrace. The artificial[4] name, Eastern Rumelia, was given to the province on the insistence of the British delegates to the Congress of Berlin: the Ottoman notion of Rumelia refers to all European regions of the empire, i.e. those that were in Antiquity under the Roman Empire. Some twenty Pomak (Bulgarian Muslim) villages in the Rhodope Mountains refused to recognize Eastern Rumelian authority and formed the so-called Republic of Tamrash.

The province is remembered today by philatelists for having issued postage stamps from 1880 on. See the main article, Postage stamps and postal history of Eastern Rumelia.

Unification with Bulgaria[edit]

After a bloodless revolution on 6 September 1885, the province was annexed by the Principality of Bulgaria, which was de jure an Ottoman tributary state but de facto functioned as independent. After the Bulgarian victory in the subsequent Serbo-Bulgarian War, the status quo was recognized by the Porte with the Tophane Agreement on 24 March 1886. With the Tophane Act, Sultan Abdul Hamid II appointed the Prince of Bulgaria (without mentioning the name of the incumbent prince Alexander of Bulgaria) as Governor-General of Eastern Rumelia, thus retaining the formal distinction between the Principality of Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia[5] and preserving the letter of the Berlin Treaty.[6] However, it was clear to the Great Powers that the union between the Principality of Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia was permanent, and not to be dissolved.[7] The Republic of Tamrash and the region of Kardzhali were reincorporated in the Ottoman Empire. The province was nominally under Ottoman suzerainty until Bulgaria became de jure independent in 1908. 6 September, Unification Day, is a national holiday in Bulgaria.

Government[edit]

According to the Treaty of Berlin, Eastern Rumelia was to remain under the political and military jurisdiction of the Ottoman Empire with significant administrative autonomy (Article 13). The law frame of Eastern Rumelia was defined with the Organic Statute which was adopted on 14 April 1879 and was in force until the Unification with Bulgaria in 1885.[8] According to the Organic Statute the head of the province was a Christian Governor-General appointed by the Sublime Porte with the approval of the Great Powers. The legislative organ was the Provincial Counsel which consisted of 56 persons, of which 10 were appointed by the governor-general, 10 were permanent and 36 were directly elected by the people.

Map of subdivisions of Eastern Rumelia Vilayet in 1907, as shown on an Ottoman Atlas

Arkady Stolypin was the Russian civil administrator from 9 October 1878 to 18 May 1879. The first governor-general was Prince Alexander Bogoridi (1879–1884), a Bulgarian aristocrat, who was acceptable to both Bulgarians and Greeks in the province. The second governor-general was Gavril Krastevich (1884–1885), a Bulgarian historian.

During the period of Bulgarian annexation Georgi Stranski was appointed as a commissioner for South Bulgaria (9 September 1885 – 5 April 1886), and when the province was restored to nominal Ottoman sovereignty, but still under Bulgarian control, the prince of Bulgaria was recognized by the Sublime Porte as the governor-general in the Tophane Agreement of 1886.

Governors-general[edit]

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office
Took office Left office Duration
1 Knyaz Aleksandar Bogoridi
(1822–1910)
18 May 1879 26 April 1884 4 years, 344 days
2 Gavril Krastevich
(1813–1898)
26 April 1884 18 September 1885 1 year, 145 days
3 Knyaz Aleksandar I of Bulgaria
(1857–1893)
17 April 1886 7 September 1886 143 days
4 Knyaz Ferdinand I of Bulgaria
(1861–1948)
7 July 1887 5 October 1908 21 years, 90 days

Administrative divisions[edit]

Map of the administrative divisions of Eastern Rumelia before annexation by the Principality of Bulgaria.

Eastern Rumelia consisted of the departments (called in Bulgarian окръзи okrazi, in Ottoman terminology sanjaks) of Plovdiv (Пловдив, Filibe), Tatarpazardzhik (Татарпазарджик, Tatarpazarcığı), Haskovo (Хасково, Hasköy), Stara Zagora (Стара Загора, Eski Zağra), Sliven (Сливен, İslimye) and Burgas (Бургас, Burgaz), in turn divided into 28 cantons (equivalent to Bulgarian околии okolii, Ottoman kazas).[9]

The cantons were:

Population and ethnic demographics[edit]

Pre 1878[edit]

The following is a district-by-district population extract from the 1876 Ottoman salname for the Vilayet of Adrianople, which is in turn based on the vilayet-wide census of 1875.[10][11] As is common for Ottoman statistics, figures refer to males only (figures at the bottom are male-female aggregated estimates):

Ethnoconfessional Groups per Kaza in the Future Eastern Rumelia in 1876 Based on the 1875 Adrianople Vilayet Census[10]
Kaza (District)
Islam millet % Bulgar & Rum millet % Ermeni millet % Roman Catholic % Yahudi millet % Muslim Roma % Non-Muslim Roma % Total %
Filibe/Plovdiv 35,400 28.1 80,165 63.6 380 0.3 3,462 2.7 691 0.5 5,174 4.1 495 0.4 125,767 100.00
Pazarcık/Pazardzhik 10,805 22.8 33,395 70.5 94 0.2 - 0.0 344 0.7 2,120 4.5 579 1.2 47,337 100.00
Hasköy/Haskovo 33,323 55.0 25,503 42.1 3 0.0 - 0.0 65 0.1 1,548 2.6 145 0.2 60,587 100.00
Zağra-i Atik/Stara Zagora 6,677 20.0 24,857 74.5 - 0.0 - 0.0 740 2.2 989 3.0 90 0.3 33,353 100.00
Kızanlık/Kazanlak 14,365 46.5 14,906 48.2 - 0.0 - 0.0 219 0.7 1,384 4.5 24 0.0 30,898 100.00
Çırpan/Chirpan 5,158 23.9 15,959 73.8 - 0.0 - 0.0 - 0.0 420 1.9 88 0.4 21,625 100.00
Ahi Çelebi/Smolyan1 8,197 57.8 5,346 37.7 268 1.9 - 0.0 - 0.0 377 2.7 - 0.0 14,188 100.00
Sultanyeri/Momchilgrad1 13,336 96.9 262 1.9 - 0.0 - 0.0 - 0.0 159 1.2 - 0.0 13,757 100.00
Filibe sanjak subtotal 105,728 33.07 194,785 60.92 477 0.15 3,642 1.14 2,059 0.64 11,635 3.64 1,421 0.44 319,747 100.00
İslimye/Sliven 8,392 29.8 17,975 63.8 143 0.5 - 0.0 158 0.6 596 2.1 914 3.2 28,178 100.00
Yanbolu/Yambol 4,084 30.4 8,107 60.4 - 0.0 - 0.0 396 3.0 459 3.4 377 3.2 13,423 100.00
Misivri/Nesebar 2,182 40.0 3,118 51.6 - 0.0 - 0.0 - 0.0 153 2.8 - 0.0 5,453 100.00
Karinâbâd/Karnobat 7,656 60.5 3,938 31.1 - 0.0 - 0.0 250 2.0 684 5.4 125 1.0 12,653 100.00
Aydos/Aytos 10,858 76.0 2,735 19.2 19 0.1 - 0.0 36 0.2 584 4.1 46 0.3 14,278 100.00
Zağra-i Cedid/Nova Zagora 5,310 29.4 11,777 65.2 - 0.0 - 0.0 - 0.0 880 4.9 103 0.6 18,070 100.00
Ahyolu/Pomorie 1,772 33.7 3,113 59.2 - 0.0 - 0.0 - 0.0 378 7.2 2 0.0 5,265 100.00
Burgas 4,262 22.1 14,179 73.6 46 0.2 - 0.0 4 0.0 448 2.3 320 1.6 19,259 100.00
Islimiye sanjak subtotal 44,516 38.2 64,942 55.7 208 0.2 - 0.0 844 0.6 4,182 3.6 1,887 1.6 116,579 100.00
Male Population Islimiye & Filibe sanjak 150,244 34.43 259,727 59.53 685 0.16 3,642 0.83 2,903 0.67 15,817 3.63 3,308 0.76 436,362 100.00
Total Population3 Islimiye & Filibe sanjak 300,488 34.43 519,454 59.53 1,370 0.16 7,284 0.83 5,806 0.67 31,634 3.63 6,616 0.76 872,652 100.00
Kızılağaç/Elhovo2[11] 1,425 9.6 11,489 89.0 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 12,914 100.00
Manastir/Topolovgrad2[11] 409 1.5 26,139 98.5 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 26,548 100.00
Eastern Rumelia GRAND TOTAL3 302,322 33.15 557,082 61.08 1,370 0.15 7,284 0.79 5,806 0.64 31,634 3.47 6,616 0.72 912,114 100.00
1Kaza to remain in the Ottoman Empire.
2Figures available for total population and for Islam millet and Bulgar millet/Rum millet only.
3 Male/female aggregated figures presuming equal number of men and women, as suggested by Ubicini and Palairet.[12]

Post 1878[edit]

Ethnic composition map of the Balkans by the German-English cartographer E. G. Ravenstein in 1870
Ethnic composition map of the Balkans by A. Synvet in 1877, a French professor of the Ottoman Lyceum of Constantinople. It was considered as pro-Greek by later historians.[13]
Ethnic composition map of the Balkans from Andrees Allgemeiner Handatlas, 1st Edition, Leipzig 1881
Ethnic composition map of the Balkans by the German geographer and cartographer Heinrich Kiepert in 1882

According to a British report before the 1877–1878 war, the non-Muslim population (consisting mostly of Bulgarians) of Eastern Rumelia was about 60%, a proportion that grew due to the flight and emigration of Muslims during and after the war.[14] The 1878 census show a population of 815,946 people- 573,231 Bulgarians (70.29%), 174,759 Muslims (21.43%), 42,516 Greeks (5.21%), 19,524 Roma, 4,177 Jews, and 1,306 Armenians.[15]

The results of the first Regional Assembly elections of 17 October 1879 show a predominantly Bulgarian character: Of the 36 elected deputies, 31 were Bulgarians (86.1%), 3 were Greeks (8.3%) and two were Turks (5.6%).[16] The ethnic statistics from the censuses of 1880 and 1884 show a Bulgarian majority in the province. In the discredited[17] census of 1880, out of total population of 815,951 people some 590,000 (72.3%) self-identified as Bulgarians, 158,000 (19.4%) as Turks, 19,500 (2.4%) as Roma, and 48,000 (5.9%) belonged to other ethnicities,[18] notably Greeks, Armenians and Jews. The repetition of the census in 1884 returned similar data: 70.0% Bulgarians, 20.6% Turks, 2.8% Roma and 6.7% others.[19]

The Greek inhabitants of Eastern Rumelia were concentrated on the coast, where they were strong in numbers,[20] and certain cities in the interior such as Plovdiv (known in Greek as Philippopolis), where they formed a substantial minority. Most of the Greek population of the region was exchanged with Bulgarians from the Greek provinces of Macedonia and Thrace in the aftermath of the Balkan Wars and World War I.

Eastern Rumelia was also inhabited by foreign nationals, most notably Austrians, Czechs, Hungarians, French people and Italians.

The ethnic composition of the population of Eastern Rumelia, according to the provincial census taken in 1884, was the following:[19]

Ethnicity (1884 census) Population Percentage
Bulgarians 681,734 70.0%
Turks 200,489 20.6%
Greeks 53,028 5.4%
Roma (Gypsies) 27,190 2.8%
Jews 6,982 0.7%
Armenians 1,865 0.2%
Total 975,030 100%

The population's ethnic composition in the Bulgarian provinces of Pazardzhik, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora, Haskovo, Sliven, Yambol and Burgas, which have approximately the same territory as Eastern Rumeliad according to the 2001 census is the following:

Ethnicity (2001 census)[21] Population Percentage
Bulgarians 2,068,787 83.7%
Turks 208,530 8.4%
Roma (Gypsies) 154,004 6.2%
Armenians 5,080 0.2%
Russians 4,840 0.2%
Greeks 1,398 0.1%
Jews 251
Others 8,293 0.3%
Unspecified 21,540 0.9%
Total 2,472,723 100%

Property rights[edit]

Turkish refugees from Eastern Rumelia, 1885 – The Illustrated London News, author: Richard Caton Woodville, Jr.

Property abandoned by Muslims fleeing the Imperial Russian Army during the 1877–1878 war was appropriated by the local Christian population. The former owners, mostly large landholders, were threatened with trial by military court if they had committed crimes during the war so that they would not return. Two Turkish landowners who did return were in fact sentenced to death thus preventing others from desiring to come back. Those Turkish landowners who were not able to take possession of their land were financially compensated, with the funds collected by the Bulgarian peasants, some of whom were indebted as a result. For those who did return a 10% property tax was issued, forcing many to sell off their property in order to pay the tax.[22][23] Michael Palairet claimed that land rights of Muslim owners were largely disregarded, despite being guaranteed by the great powers, and the de-Ottomanization of Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia led to economic decline in the region.[24] Though this is contradicted by many other authors, who show rapid growth of the economy as well as rapid industrial development and growth of exports in Bulgaria after 1878.[25][26][27]

Notes and references[edit]

Notes[edit]

^a From 1885 Eastern Rumelia was de facto part of the Principality of Bulgaria
^b The western part of this canton refused to recognize the authority of Eastern Rumelia, formed the so-called Republic of Tamrash and in 1886 was ceded back to the Ottoman Empire by the Tophane Agreement
^c The canton of Kardzhali was ceded back to the Ottoman Empire by the Tophane Agreement
^d Burgas, Haskovo, and Pazardzhik provinces also include territory that was not part of Eastern Rumelia, while other parts of Eastern Rumelia are now in the provinces of Sofia, Smolyan and Kardzhali. The de facto independent Republic of Tamrash, which is now divided between the provinces of Smolyan and Plovdiv, did not participate in the 1884 census.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Statelova, Elena (1999). История на България. Том 3 [History of Bulgaria. Volume 3]. София: Издателска къща „Анубис“. p. 16. ISBN 954-426-206-7.
  2. ^ "Art 22 in The Organic Statute of Eastern Rumelia, promulgated in the three equally valid language versions: Bulgarian, Greek and Osmanlica (Ottoman Turkish)". Saedinenieto.bg (in Bulgarian). 1879. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  3. ^ Luigi Albertini (1952), The Origins of the War of 1914, volume I (Oxford University Press), 20.
  4. ^ Balkan studies: biannual publication of the Institute for Balkan Studies, Volume 19, 1978, p.235
  5. ^ Emerson M. S. Niou, Peter C. Ordeshook, Gregory F. Rose. The balance of power: stability in international systems, 1989, p. 279.
  6. ^ Stanley Leathes, G. W. (George Walter) Prothero, Sir Adolphus William Ward. The Cambridge Modern History, Volume 2, 1908, p. 408.
  7. ^ Charles Jelavich, Barbara Jelavich. The establishment of the Balkan national states, 1804–1920, 2000, p. 167.
  8. ^ See Hertslet, Edward (1891), "Organic Statute of Eastern Roumelia", The Map of Europe by Treaty; which have taken place since the general peace of 1814. With numerous maps and notes, vol. IV (1875–1891) (First ed.), London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, pp. 2860–2865, retrieved 28 December 2012
  9. ^ "Historical data about administrative-territorial structure of Bulgaria after 1878". National Statistical Institute of the Republic of Bulgaria.
  10. ^ a b KOYUNCU, Aşkın (1 December 2013). "1877-1878 Osmanlı-Rus Harbi Öncesinde Şarkî Rumeli Nüfusu" [The Population of Eastern Rumelia Before the 1877-1878 Russo-Turkish War] (in Turkish). p. 191.
  11. ^ a b c Köse, Muhammed. "İngiltere Konsolosluk Raporlarında 1878 Yılında Türkiye Avrupa'sının Demografi k Yapısı" [Demographic Structure of Turkey in Europe in 1878 in British Consular Reports*] (PDF) (in Turkish). p. 158.
  12. ^ Palairet, Michael (1997), The Balkan Economies c. 1800-1914: Evolution without Development, New York: Cambridge University Press, p. 25
  13. ^ Robert Shannan Peckham, Map mania: nationalism and the politics of place in Greece, 1870–1922, Political Geography, 2000, p.4: "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2009. Retrieved 2 April 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ Studies on Ottoman social and political history: selected articles and essay, Kemal H. Karpat, p.370
  15. ^ Bŭlgarii︠a︡ 1300-institut︠s︡ii i dŭrzhavna tradit︠s︡ii︠a︡: dokladi na tretii︠a︡ Kongres na Bŭlgarskoto istorichesko druzhestvo, 3–5 oktomvri 1981, p. 326
  16. ^ Делев, "Княжество България и Източна Румелия", История и цивилизация за 11. клас.
  17. ^ "Council of Europe, Ministers' Deputies, 6.1 European population committee (CDPO), Section 3". Wcd.coe.int. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  18. ^ "Eтнически състав на населението в България. Методологически постановки при установяване на етническия състав" (in Bulgarian). MIRIS – Minority Rights Information System. Archived from the original on 15 July 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
  19. ^ a b "6.1 European population committee (CDPO)". Council of Europe. p. II. The Demographic Situation of Ethnic/minority Groups 1. Population Size and Growth.
  20. ^ A Short History of Russia and the Balkan States, Donald Mackenzie Wallace, 1914, p.102
  21. ^ "POPULATION AS OF 01.03.2001 BY DISTRICT AND ETHNIC GROUP". Nsi.bg (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  22. ^ Jelavich, p. 164.
  23. ^ The Balkans since 1453; Leften Stavros Stavrianos, Traian Stoianovich; p. 442
  24. ^ Palairet, Michael R. (1997). The Balkan Economies C.1800–1914: Evolution Without Development. pp. 174–202. ISBN 9780521522564.
  25. ^ An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire, Volume 2; Halil İnalcık, Donald Quataert; 1997; p. 381
  26. ^ The Balkans Since 1453; Leften Stavros Stavrianos; 2000; p.425
  27. ^ Mikulas Teich, Roy Porter, The Industrial Revolution in National Context: Europe and the USA, 1996, p.300

Sources[edit]

  • Делев, Петър; Валери Кацунов; Пламен Митев; Евгения Калинова; Искра Баева; Боян Добрев (2006). История и цивилизация за 11. клас (in Bulgarian). Труд, Сирма.

External links[edit]