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Turkish Republic of Thrace

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Turkish Republic of Thrace

Garbi Trakya Hükûmet-i Müstakilesi
Prosorini Kyvernisi Dytikis Thrakis
غربی تراقیا حكومت مستقله‌سی
Προσωρινή Κυβέρνηση Δυτικής Θράκης
Provisional, later Independent

1913

Flag

Location of Independent Government of Western Thrace
Capital Komotini
Government Republic
President Hoca Salih Efendi
History
 -  Established August 31, 1913
 -  Disestablished October 25, 1913
¹ Renamed from "Provisional Government of Western Thrace" and some researchers used term of "Republic of Gumuljina" and the "Turkish Republic of Western Thrace".

The Provisional Government of Western Thrace[1][2][3] (Ottoman Turkish: غربی تراقیا حكومت موقته‌سی - Garbi Trakya Hükûmet-i Muvakkatesi, Greek: Προσωρινή Κυβέρνηση Δυτικής Θράκης, Prosorini Kyvernisi Dytikis Thrakis), later renamed to Independent Government of Western Thrace[1][4] (Ottoman Turkish: غربی تراقیا حكومت مستقله‌سی - Garbi Trakya Hükûmet-i Müstakilesi, Greek: Αυτόνομη Κυβέρνηση Δυτικής Θράκης, Avtonomi Kyvernisi Dytikis Thrakis), was a small, short-lived unrecognized republic established in Western Thrace from August 31 to October 25, 1913. It encompassed the area surrounded by the rivers Maritsa (Evros) in the east, Mesta (Nestos) in the west, the Rhodope Mountains in the north and the Aegean Sea in the south. Its total territory was c. 8.600 km². The population of the state was 500.000, of which 50% (250.000) were Greeks and the rest were Turks, Pomaks, Gypsies, Armenians, Jews and few Bulgarians.[5]

This administration was created during the Second Balkan War by a joint rebellion of Turks, Greeks and Pomaks against the withdrawing Bulgarian forces who had recently annexed the region. It survived for 3 months, between two Balkan treaties; between the May 1913 Treaty of London and the August 1913 Treaty of Bucharest that ended the Second Balkan War.

It was founded as a provisional state, in order to avoid Bulgarian rule. However, before the celebration of Saint Demetrius, the area was captured by Bulgaria, according to the terms of the Treaty of Bucharest (1913).[5] The area remained a part of Bulgaria until 1919 when it was taken under French protectate. It was finally annexed by Greece in 1920 and has been part of that country ever since, except for the Bulgarian occupation between 1941-1944. Its capital was Gümülcine, now (Greek: Κομοτηνή, Komotini), in Greece.

Overview

President : Hoca Salih Efendi.
Army: Standing force of 29,170, largely infantry. Commander of the Armed Forces [6][page needed] was Süleyman Askerî Bey.
Steering Committee : Reshid Bey, Raif Effendi, Hafous Salih Effendi, Nicodimos (Greek Orthodox pontifical commissioner of Maronia diocese), Mikirditch Tabakian (Armenian), Yaka Cassavi (Jew), Hafous Gali and Eshref Bey Kushchubasi.[7]

As soon as independence was declared the Provisional Government of Western Thrace determined the borders of the country, put up the new flags on the official buildings, commissioned a national anthem, raised an army, published its own stamps and passports[6][page needed], and prepared the budget of the new country.

A Jewish citizen, Samuel Karaso, was tasked by the government with establishing an official press agency and to publish a newspaper named Müstakil (Independent) in Turkish and French. The Ottoman Laws and Regulations were adopted without any change and the cases started to be heard by the Court of Western Thrace.

Bulgaria, after a brief period of control over the area following the Istanbul Convention, passed the sovereignty of Western Thrace to Greece at the end of the World War I, when Greece entered the war against the Central Powers. The Republic was revived between 1919-1920 under French (occupied the region from Bulgarian in 1918) protectorate before Greece took over in June, 1920. The Muslim population of Western Thrace was excluded from the population exchange of the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, and enjoys a legal minority status in Greece.

See also

External links

  • Panayotis D. Cangelaris - The Western Thrace Autonomous Government "Muhtariyet" Issue (1913)

Sources

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