ISSN: 0041-4255
e-ISSN: 2791-6472

Zafer Gölen

Keywords: Ottoman Empire, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnian, Montenegro, Serbia, Austria Hungary Empire


Nineteenth Century was truly a long century, in fact the longest one of the Ottoman empire as described by İlber Ortaylı. lncessant reforms and nationalist rebellions left their marks on the century. Especially in Balkans anarchy has not ceased mostly due to its nationalist structure and being a target field for the as Düvel-i Muazzama or the Great Powers, viz. England Russia, France, Austria-Hungary and later on Prussia. The anarchy mostly affected Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was under the influence of especially Austria-Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia. The government initiated some reforms beginning with the century in order to protect its territories against the assaults and to keep pace with the modern age. Bosnians reacted to these reforms on the ground that they were useful not for them but for for other nations. Observing the developments in Greece, Serbia and Montenegro and being afraid that the same thing could happen for them, they developed a solid conservatism. Neither they understood the government, nor did the government understand them. The first half of the century passed with the clash of two sides. In 1857, Christians came into the scene. The government tried to cope with them for about 30 years and eventually in 1878 the province was lost. Bosnians started to live with their 200-year nightmare. They were politically organized towards the end of the century and developed a national identity similar t to other nations. They entered the XXth century under these circumstances. However, throughout the Austrian occupation and annexation (1878-1918), Bosnians never lost their hope that the Ottoman Government would save them. The Ottoman Government may not have been not able to save them but it was always a safe shelter for them. The Republic of Turkey has also embraced this heritage. Turkish-Bosnian brotherhood has lived until present day.