Muzaffer Tepekaya

Keywords: Salonica, consul, Germany, France, the Ottoman Empire

Abstract

Based on German, British and Ottoman sources, this paper examines the murder of German and French consuls in Ottoman Salonica on 6 May 1876. When a Bulgarian girl wanted to convert to Islam in order to marry to a young Muslim man of Avrethisar in Salonica, she faced opposition of some Russians and Bulgarians. As a consequence of chaos and events, resulting from this incident, Eric Abbot, the German consul andjules Moulin, thc French consul, in Salonica were killed. As soon as they heard the murder, representatives of foreign powers in lstanbul, led by Ignatiev, the Russian ambassador, gathered and decided to request from their governments to occupy Salonica with both naval and field forces. And their governments complied. Faced with a possible occupation of Salonica by great powers, the Porte decided to take an action. First it dismissed Refet Pasha, the governor of Salonica; then, it arrested 54 people that were involved in the murder of consuls and executed 6. Finally, for compensation, it paid 900.000 franks to the families of consuls. Thus, it prevented occupation of Salonica by the European powers. Even though it was Bulgarians and Greeks that caused and encouragcd the events, leading to the murder of consuls, they faced neither an investigation nor a punishment. lncidents not only scared consuls and merchants off in Salonica but also pushed foreign powers to unite and take an action against the Ottoman Empire.