Diplomacy behind the Curtain: Making the Balkan League

Stojić, Biljana (2024) Diplomacy behind the Curtain: Making the Balkan League. In: The Balkan Wars : Ottoman Perspectives. South-East European History (6). Peter Lang Publishing Inc., New York, USA, pp. 3-26. ISBN 9781433196645 (ebook)

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The Porte's most costly mistake in late September was to underestimate the Balkan states and their willingness to fight a war no matter the cost. Turkish policymakers thought that a simple demonstration of its military supremacy would frighten the four Balkan states into quiescence. On September 22, 1912, 100,000 Turkish soldiers conducted military maneuvers in the Thrace region near the Bulgarian border. Unfortunately for the Turks, the demonstration had quite the opposite effect. The Balkan states interpreted the maneuvers as a "disguised war mobilization" and responded in kind. On September 30, the four allies mobilized their forces. According to published Ottoman documents, even at that moment the Sublime Porte remained unsure whether the simultaneous mobilization was proof of some mutual agreement(s) among the Balkans states or just a coincidence. On October 1, confirmation arrived from London that Belgrade, Sofia, and Athens had formed an alliance and would submit a joint ultimatum to the Sublime Porte demanding autonomy for Macedonia.The Turks summoned the Great Powers and demanded that Paris, St. Petersburg, and London immediately dispatch their fleets to blockade the Montenegrin, Greek, and Bulgarian coasts. Gabriyel Effendi additionally requested that Austria-Hungary impose punitive measures on Serbia's land border. The Great Powers did not deploy their fleets, considering such a move to be premature. Instead, they used diplomatic tools to smooth tensions between the Balkan League and the Ottoman Empire. Mediation was mostly conducted by the French Prime Minister Raymond Poincaré, but in vain. On October 13, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Greece submitted a joint démarche consisting of nine points to the Sublime Porte that demanded fundamental reforms in the Empire's European provinces. Montenegro was not party to this final diplomatic formality and declared war on October 8. In response to the Montenegrin declaration of war and the démarche, the Sublime Porte withdrew its ambassadors from Belgrade, Sofia, and Athens and, with that, the path to war was inevitable

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: ISSN 2768-7554 (print) ISSN 2768-7562 (online)
Uncontrolled Keywords: First Balkan War, Sublime Porte, Balkan League, Serbia, Montenegro, Greece, Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire, diplomacy
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > DR Balkan Peninsula
Depositing User: Milica J
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2024 09:34
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2024 09:34
URI: http://rih.iib.ac.rs/id/eprint/1383

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