Ömer Turan

Keywords: Bulgaria, Turks, Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878), Treaty of Berlin, Ottoman, Anatolia

Abstract

Muslims constituted 27% of the population of the Bulgarian principality established in the wake of the Russo-Ottoman war of 1877-8 in Eastern Rumelia. Those who had for centuries been the masters and rulers now were obliged to maintain their existence as a minority group. They were wholly unprepared for their new status. The present article examines the position of the Turks and/or Muslims during what is here termed the Principality period of Bulgaria between 1878 and 1908. Aspects surveyed comprehend the restrictions imposed on their right to be candidates for office and voting rights and the obstacles confronted in the elections for deputies and local administrators. The discussion goes on to present those who managed to become elected despite the difficulties and to what extent they were able to come into possession of their rights. In conclusion, this piece treats of their efforts to coalesce as a political group in the context of the educational and supporting associations established by themselves and their activities.