The things you own end up owning you.

Treaty of Berlin – Aftermath


The Treaty of Berlin was a complete blow to the Ottoman diplomacy.  The Congress also signified that the Ottoman Empire could no longer take British commitment for granted, and was forced to face a powerful Russia and continuing separatist movements in all sides of the Empire.

The new Sultan Abdülhamit took the British and the Tanzimat bureuacrats responsible for the disaster. The Eastern Question was on the table once again, and this time the stakes were high.  Britain took first Cyprus then Egypt and Sudan though on paper since 1914 they were Ottoman provinces.  The former principalities of Bulgaria was divided into three parts, principality of bulgaria, autonomous East Rumelia, and Ottoman Macedonia. Bosnia-Herzegovina and Novi Sancak was annexed by the Austri-Hungary.

The Congress was also the  very  apogee of Bismarck. The Pax-Britannica was slowly fading away, and Germany realised that it can no longer stay aloof as a satisfied power in the extremely fragile international order. The demise of the Pax-Britannica meant the demise of the former agreed norms and rules on the Ottoman Empire. With the rising tide of colonial imperialism, the Eastern Question could no longer be left unsolved. However, following the Congress, the Sultan sidelined the Sublime Porte and began to rule the Empire from his Yildiz Palace. Abdulhamit attempted to change the form of state, that of a subordinate bureaucracy sided with the Levantine population and the foreign investors, plus the comprador Greek and Armenian merchants and investors, noting the Galata bankers.  Instead, Abdulhamit tried to establish a “hobbesian state” aimed at creating a loyal bureaucracy which would at times play crucial roles.


March 24, 2008 - Posted by | Ottoman Empire

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