Friday, October 26, 2012

Thessaloniki - One Hundred Years of Independence

The city of Thessaloniki celebrates tomorrow 100 hundred years of independence from the Turks. October 27th 1912 is the date in which the Greek troops entered Thessaloniki.

Thessaloniki 100 Years of Independence

But that didn't just happen over night. Taking advantage of a wick and unorganized Ottoman Empire due the revolution that started in its interior in 1908, the Balkan states decided to take back from their occupied territories and, why not, more.This was the spark that started the First Balkan War.

Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria and Greece made an alliance, called the Balkan League, to fight together against the Turks and retrieve their territories. The League underestimated the Greek army's strength considering it weak after being defeated by the Turks so easily in the Greek-Turkish war from 1897 but they were in dire need of their fleet. Leaving the sea unguarded for the Ottoman Empire to transport troops from Asia to Greece could have cost them the war.

In October 1912 allies start moving towards the boarder releasing territories from under Turkish occupation. The Greek prime minister at that time, Eleftherios Venizelos understood the the aim of their Bulgarian allies, which was to gain access to the sea buy occupying Aegean Macedonia so he insisted that the Greek troops make haste towards the city of Thessaloniki.

On the 27th of October 1912 the Greek troops enter victoriously in the city of Thessaloniki. A few day later the Bulgarian troops reach the city also but they were not granted access in it. 

Even before the Treaty of London from May 1913, that marked the end of the First Balkan War, the Bulgarians expressed their dissatisfaction regarding the way the territories were shared and they were prepared to intervene military against their ex allies. That set the stage for the next war in the Balkans, that were known at the time as the "gunpowder barrel of Europe".

I found this National Geographic documentary on YouTube if anyone is interested in more historical details. It's called "National Geographic - The Doubling of Greece 1912-1913" and it has 6 parts ( Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six)

No comments:

Post a Comment