Provisional Government of Western Thrace
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|Garbi Trakya Hükûmet-i Müstakilesi
Prosorini Kyvernisi Dytikis Thrakis
|غربی تراقیا حكومت مستقلهسی
Προσωρινή Κυβέρνηση Δυτικής Θράκης
|Provisional, later Independent|
|Government||Provisional Government under a Republic system|
|President||Hoca Salih Efendi|
|•||Established||August 31, 1913|
|•||Disestablished||October 25, 1913|
|¹ Renamed from "Provisional Government of Western Thrace" and some researchers used term of "Republic of Gumuljina" and the "Turkish Republic of Western Thrace".|
The Provisional Government of Western Thrace (Ottoman Turkish: غربی تراقیا حكومت موقتهسی - Garbi Trakya Hükûmet-i Muvakkatesi, Greek: Προσωρινή Κυβέρνηση Δυτικής Θράκης, Prosorini Kyvernisi Dytikis Thrakis), later renamed to Independent Government of Western Thrace (Ottoman Turkish: غربی تراقیا حكومت مستقلهسی - Garbi Trakya Hükûmet-i Müstakilesi, Greek: Αυτόνομη Κυβέρνηση Δυτικής Θράκης, Avtonomi Kyvernisi Dytikis Thrakis), was a small, short-lived unrecognized republic established in Western Thrace from August 31 to October 25, 1913. It encompassed the area surrounded by the rivers Maritsa (Evros) in the east, Mesta (Nestos) in the west, the Rhodope Mountains in the north and the Aegean Sea in the south. Its total territory was c. 8.600 km².
This administration was created after the Second Balkan War when Western Thrace was occupied by the Ottoman Empire after invitation by the local Turks, Greeks and Pomaks. Greece received a similar appeal but did not commit any forces to Thrace. The "state" was officially recognized by Bulgaria, Greece and the Ottoman Empire during the period.
It was founded as an autonomous state with Ottoman support, in order to avoid Bulgarian rule after the Treaty of Bucharest, in which the Ottomans had not taken part. Under British pressure, the Balkan powers and the Ottomans signed the Treaty of Constantinople, which satisfied the Turkish claims to recognition of Eastern Thrace. The Ottomans withdrew their forces and by 25 October, the area was annexed by Bulgaria. The area remained a part of Bulgaria until 1919 when it was taken under French protectorate. It was finally annexed by Greece in 1920 and has been part of that country ever since, except for the Bulgarian occupation between 1941-1944. Its capital was Gümülcine, now Komotini, in Greece.
President : Hoca Salih Efendi.
Steering Committee : Reshid Bey, Raif Effendi, Hafous Salih Effendi, Nicodimos (commissioner of the Diocese of Maroneia, representing the Greeks), Mikirditch Tabakian (Armenian), Yaka Cassavi (Jew), Hafous Galip and Eshref Bey Kushchubasi.
As soon as independence was declared the Provisional Government of Western Thrace determined the borders of the country, put up the new flags on the official buildings, commissioned a national anthem, raised an army, published its own stamps and passports[page needed], and prepared the budget of the new country.
A Jewish citizen, Samuel Karaso, was tasked by the government with establishing an official press agency and to publish a newspaper named Müstakil ("Independent") in Turkish and French. The Ottoman Laws and Regulations were adopted without any change and the cases started to be heard by the Court of Western Thrace.
- International Affairs Agency Turkish Dossier Program, The Western Thrace Turks issue in Turkish-Greek relations, International Affairs Agency, 1992, p. 105.
- Philip Hendrick Stoddard, The Ottoman government and the Arabs, 1911 to 1918: a preliminary study of the Teskilât-ı Mahsusa, Princeton University, 1963, pp. 52-53.
- Andrew Mango, Atatürk: The Biography of the Founder of Modern Turkey, Overlook Press, 2002, ISBN 978-1-58567-334-6, p. 102.
- Mesut Uyar, Edward J. Erickson, A military history of the Ottomans: from Osman to Atatürk, ABC-CLIO, 2009, ISBN 978-0-275-98876-0, p. 259.
- Koçak, Yalçın; Özyiğit, Ertan (2014). Batı Trakya Türk Cumhuriyeti - 100. Yıl Anısına (Western Thrace Turkish Republic - In Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary). WizArt. ISBN 9786056466717.
- Constantinos Vacalopoulos (2004). Ιστορία της Μείζονος Θράκης, από την πρώιμη Οθωμανοκρατία μέχρι τις μέρες μας, History of Greater Thrace, from early Ottoman rule until nowadays. Thessaloniki: Publisher Antonios Stamoulis. p. 282. ISBN 960-8353-45-9.
- Çeçen, Anıl, Tarihte Türk Devletleri, Milliyet Kültür Yayınları, İstanbul 1986
- in Greek:Τουρκική Δημοκρατία Δυτικής Θράκης - Υπερβολή ή πραγματική απειλή, Costas Pikramenos, 14th of September 2013