Today in European history: a bad day for the Ottomans (1912)

In general, the year 1912 was a pretty bad year for the Ottomans. We’ve already talked about that year’s Albanian Revolt, which ended with Albania having won substantial autonomy within the empire. The Italo-Turkish War ended in October 1912 with a victorious Italy in control of Libya and the Dodecanese islands (which now belong to … Continue reading Today in European history: a bad day for the Ottomans (1912)

Advertisements

Today in European History: the Russians capture Plevna (1877)

If relations between Russia and Turkey seem volatile nowadays, consider that they’ve pretty much always been that way. The Russian Empire, one of the precursors of modern Russia, and the Ottoman Empire, the precursor of modern Turkey, fought a whopping 12 wars against one another between the second half of the 16th century and World … Continue reading Today in European History: the Russians capture Plevna (1877)

Today in European History: the Russians capture Plevna (1877)

and that's the way it was

If you think the state of Russo-Turkish relations is bad these days…well, actually it’s kind of good lately. But historically that hasn’t always been the case. Consider that the Russian Empire, one of the precursors of modern Russia, and the Ottoman Empire, the precursor of modern Turkey, fought a whopping 12 wars against one another between the second half of the 16th century and World War I (which, of course, brought about the end of both empires). The Russians, who were on the ascendance for most of this period, won most of these wars, while the Ottomans, who were not so ascendant, needed help from Britain and France to win their biggest victory against the Russians, in the Crimean War.

By 1877, both empires were in pretty steep decline. What was on the rise was Balkan nationalism. All those Christian and/or European provinces and peoples that had been part…

View original post 1,255 more words

Today in European history: the Battle of Varna (1444)

and that's the way it was

Of all the 15th century Ottoman battles in the Balkans (or Rumelia, as the Ottomans called their European possessions) prior to the conquest of Constantinople, the most important was probably the Battle of Varna in 1444, particularly if you pair its effects with those of the (second) Battle of Kosovo in 1448. Varna broke a major Hungarian-Polish alliance that had been formed to counter the Ottoman threat, so major in fact that it had been given the Crusader imprimatur (the “Crusade of Varna,” also known as “the Long Campaign”) by Pope Eugenius IV (d. 1447). The Ottoman victory here, combined with Kosovo, suppressed the Hungarian threat long enough to give the Ottomans time to focus on Constantinople, the big prize.

John Hunyadi’s campaigns, including Varna (I know, it’s in Hungarian, but you get the idea)

The Crusade of Varna, or the Long Campaign if you prefer, was a…

View original post 1,411 more words

This date in history: January 16

A handful of relatively minor Middle East-related things happened on this date in history. Well, OK, the Shah leaving Iran wasn’t “relatively minor,” but the actual fact of his departure was pretty anti-climactic, and anyway you’re not getting a detailed recap of the Iranian Revolution today, sorry. I hope you enjoy this recap of the day’s events that I wrote last year instead.

and that's the way it was

I don’t have a long tale to share today, but January 16 is the anniversary of a few important days in Middle East-related history that should be commemorated.

  • On this date in 929, Abd al-Rahman III declared that his Emirate of Cordoba was no more, and in its place he created the Caliphate of Cordoba. This move restored the Umayyad dynasty to the (well, “a”) caliphate, at least on paper, and (more importantly) theoretically raised Abd al-Rahman’s position to an equal level with the Abbasid caliph, Al-Muqtadir, and the Fatimid caliph, Al-Mahdi. We could dig deeper into this, but the fact is that we’re almost there in our Islamic History series and I’d rather tackle it there in due course.
  • In 1956, Gamal Abdel Nasser pledged to “liberate” Palestine. Whatever your definition of “liberate” might be in this context, he, ah, didn’t, so there’s really not much more to say…

View original post 658 more words

Today in European history: a bad day for the Ottomans (1912)

In general, the year 1912 was a pretty bad year for the Ottomans. We've already talked about that year's Albanian Revolt, which ended with Albania being granted substantial autonomy within the empire. The 1911-1912 Italo-Turkish War ended in October of that year with a victorious Italy in control of Libya and the Dodecanese islands (which … Continue reading Today in European history: a bad day for the Ottomans (1912)

Today in European history: the Albanian Revolt of 1912 ends

Albania finally declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire on November 28, 1912, during the First Balkan War. But the outcome of the ~8 month long 1912 Albanian Revolt, which ended on September 4, 1912, with the Ottomans acceding to almost all of the the rebels’ demands, was the immediate cause of that First Balkan … Continue reading Today in European history: the Albanian Revolt of 1912 ends