The Balkan Wars: 1912-1913 eBook

Jacob Gould Schurman
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 87 pages of information about The Balkan Wars.
to surrender Adrianople and Bulgaria insisted on it as a sine qua non.  The Peace Conference broke up and hostilities were resumed.  The siege of Adrianople was pressed by the Bulgarians with the aid of 60,000 Servian troops.  It was taken by storm on March 26.  Already, on March 6, Janina had yielded to the well directed attacks of King Constantine.  And the fighting ended with the spectacular surrender on April 23 of Scutari to King Nicholas, who for a day at least defied the united will of Europe.

Turkey was finally compelled to accept terms of peace.  In January, while the London Peace Conference was still in session, Kiamil Pasha, who had endeavored to prepare the nation for the territorial sacrifice he had all along recognized as inevitable, was driven from power and his war minister, Nazim Pasha, murdered through an uprising of the Young Turk party executed by Enver Bey, who himself demanded the resignation of Kiamil and carried it to the Sultan and secured its acceptance.  The insurgents set up Mahmud Shevket Pasha as Grand Vizier and made the retention of Adrianople their cardinal policy.  But the same inexorable fate overtook the new government in April as faced Kiamil in January.  The Powers were insistent on peace, and the successes of the Allies left no alternative and no excuse for delay.  The Young Turk party who had come to power on the Adrianople issue were accordingly compelled to ratify the cession to the allies of the city with all its mosques and tombs and historic souvenirs.  The Treaty of London, which proved to be short-lived, was signed on May 30.


The treaty of peace provided that beyond a line drawn from Enos near the mouth of the Maritza River on the Aegean Sea to Midia on the coast of the Black Sea all Turkey should be ceded to the Allies except Albania, whose boundaries were to be fixed by the Great Powers.  It was also stipulated that the Great Powers should determine the destiny of the Aegean Islands belonging to Turkey which Greece now claimed by right of military occupation and the vote of their inhabitants (nearly all of whom were Greek).  A more direct concession to Greece was the withdrawal of Turkish sovereignty over Crete.  The treaty also contained financial and other provisions, but they do not concern us here.  The essential point is that, with the exception of Constantinople and a narrow hinterland for its protection, the Moslems after more than five centuries of possession had been driven out of Europe.

This great and memorable consummation was the achievement of the united nations of the Balkans.  It was not a happy augury for the immediate future to recall the historic fact that the past successes of the Moslems had been due to dissensions and divisions among their Christian neighbors.

[Map:  map2.png Caption:  Map showing the Turkish Territories occupied by the Armies of Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, and Servia at the close of the War against Turkey]

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The Balkan Wars: 1912-1913 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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