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Plate 32 from Die Bulgaren in ihren historischen, ethnographischen und politischen Grenzen by Ishirkoff & Zlatarski Index no. 0048:0032
Bulgaria according to the European Conference at Constantinople (1876-1877)  —  (map from British parliamentary paper)

The green-bordered text below is is the English version of the explanatory text, from the page facing the map. Another page on this site gives the full text in German, English, French, and Bulgarian.

32. – Bulgaria according to the European Conference at Constantinople (1876-1877).

In consequence of the Servian insurrection of 1875 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, of the insurrections which the Bulgarians made in 1875 and 1876 in Thracia, and the war following between Servia, Montenegro, and Turkey in December 1876, – a conference was held at Constantnnople in order to discuss the conditions of peace and to grant independent administration to Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Bulgaria.

Concerning Bulgaria the conference decided to divide it vertically into two provinces: – an east-province with Tirnowo as capital, and a west-province with Sofia as capital, granting them self-administration and placing them under control of a general international commission. The idea of dividing Bulgaria perpendicularly was proposed by England who believed that the Turkish and Greek elements would gain the upperhand over the Bulgarian elements in the Bulgarian east-province, and that by this means Russia's road to Constantinople would be intercepted.

Special attention is deserved by the following declaration made by the Marquis of Salisbury at the session of January 8th 1877: "It was not possible to submit to the consideration of the conference, under the name of Bulgaria, the districts where the Bulgarian population did not predominate, nor those districts which have not been exposed to the bad government which gave rise to the excesses committed in the course of last summer." (See: the English Blue-Book No. 2 (1877) entitled: Correspondence respecting the Conference at Constantinople and the affairs of Turkey: 1876-1877, Page 340). That means: inside the boundaries of both these Independent provinces was not included the whole ethnological Bulgaria but only those parts of it where the Bulgarians had the majority, and which were the objects of the well-known Turkish excesses of the summer 1876. In spite of all this, both independent Bulgarias created in this way comprise – as a glance at the map shows – the whole Dobrudja, the whole district (Sandjak) of Nisch with the cities Vranja and Pirot (the latter city is not denoted on the map but it is well known that it lies east of Nisch), the whole Sandjak of Uescub (even the small town Katschanik, the gate to the Schar-planina included). and the towns Kostour (Kastoria), and Lerin (Florina) with their districts (Kaaza).

We take this fac-simile map, from the English Blue-book No. 13 (1878) entitled : "Further Correspondence respecting the affairs of Turkey. (With Maps of proposed Bulgarian Vllayets.)" – To judge by the negligence with which this map has been drawn it is not difficult to see that it is the work of diplomats whose strong side is not the art of map-drawing.

Keywords: BulgariaBulgaria

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