“Bosnia and Herzegovina”,
another Andalusia was lost by Abdulhamid II!!
While Ottoman Sultanate was described, during its last days, as “Sick Man of Europe”, political leadership of capital Istanbul, which committed the most foolish and bloodiest stupidities throughout histories, was not also excluded from such description. “Ottoman Empire” under the rule of Sultan Abdulhamid has reached the decline of its life, and its disgrace. It also quickly reached its elimination due to its wrong actions, recklessness, and the way it dealt with issues of occupied peoples which were in revolt looking for freedom that was taken from them for hundreds of years.
We will present here some – obscure – political failures which have not been tackled much because of the intense publicity conducted by supporters of new Ottoman State. Despite of its expensive cost and high price, such failures were made by Abdulhamid and his rule during international political turns.
Frequency of such failures increased after “Abdulhamid” had discovered that his Sultanate was disintegrating before his eyes. Voices and moans of peoples started to reach edges of his palace seeking to be liberated from occupation of his state.
Undoubtedly, “Bosnia and Herzegovina” will remain unresolved mystery in the history of Ottomans, and a misery in their modern history, simply because it is them who lost and deliberately concealed it from their history while being aware of the magnitude of losing it forever taking into consideration that Bosnia has been under Ottoman rule for around five centuries. However, Abdulhamid has lost “Andalusia of the East”, as did his predecessor, Bayezid II, when he lost “Andalusia of the West”.
Bosnia and Herzegovina was one the most important major failures in political and military history of Sultan Abdulhamid. It is an addition to his faltering and shameful record after he had lost Palestine and allied with global Zionism. In spite of the enormity of loss and pain that befell Bosnia after the sectarian war led by Serbs in the mid- 1990s, promoters of Ottoman culture, defenders of its failures, and those who justify its crimes deliberately ignore the story of Bosnia fall and do not tackle it although it is important as a bridge and window of the Sultanate over Europe. It is also an insulation against ambitions of Europeans.
Fall of Bosnia, Herzegovina and the country of Bulgaria “Bulgaria” was not separated from shabby political situation which was within political class in Ottoman Turkey and prompted everyone to escape from the sinking ship. In addition, Serbia and Montenegro – alike other nations – entered a war of independence due to bad legacy, and treatment of Ottomans with their peoples.
These reasons prompted European countries later to intervene in the crisis that followed war of independence of Balkan forcing Sultan Abdulhamid to accept humiliating agreements under the pretext of achieving peace among conflicting parties. Ottoman domino rolled down, thus, regions and countries fell one after another after Russian- Ottoman war 1877- 1878. This turned into conflict between Ottoman state on one hand, and forces of eastern Orthodox alliance which is consisted of Balkan countries led by Russian Empire so that northern neighbor – Russia – stood with Serbia and Montenegro in their war against Ottomans.
War enabled Russia to overthrow the prestige of Sultan Abdulhamid and claim several regions in Caucasus which are Kars, Batumi. It also led to formal declaration of independence of Serbia and Montenegro of Ottoman State after around five centuries of Ottoman domination (1396- 1878). Country of Bulgaria was reestablished over principality of Bulgaria.
On another side of weak political performance of Sultan Abdulhamid, resolutions of “Berlin” conference emphasized weakness of Ottomans. Popular and national organizations exploited this weakness. They made successive revolutions against Istanbul rule seeking independence of the occupation that lasted for centuries. Thus, political crises succeeded before Sultan Abdulhamid II after Ottoman- Russian war and Berlin conference.
As Bosnia, Herzegovina and Palestine have fell during Abdulhamid II reign, similarly, Tunisia joined regions which were lost by Ottoman State for Europe after it was occupied by France which forced “Bey Tunisia” – ruler of Tunisia – to sign treaty of Kasr Said under which France established French protectorate over Tunis.
Abdulhamid has turned his Sultanate into a big cake which was devoured by rising great powers. After Britain had occupied Cyprus, it imposed its domination over Istanbul that was burdened with debts after opening Suez Canal so that it could occupy Egypt in 1882.
In conclusion, Abdulhamid has manage his large kingdom based on humble political performance firmly believing in his intelligence and might of his forces which he, unfortunately, used against Muslims in the Arabian Peninsula, Levant, Egypt, Bosnia, and Herzegovina. When he stood helpless before Russian- English encroachment, he relinquished those regions one after another, or made fragile alliances which eliminated the rest of them.