An Ottoman administrative response to the Macedonian question: The General Inspectorate of Rumelia (1902-1909)
This study focuses on the General Inspectorate of Rumelia which was established on 29 November 1902 by Sultan Abdülhamid II. In the aftermath of the 1878 Berlin Treaty, there was a constant diplomatic pressure on the Ottoman Empire by the European Powers to implement reforms in its European territories. Hence, the Sultan introduced the Instructions for reforms in the Rumelian provinces and appointed an able statesman, Hüseyin Hilmi Pasha, as the Inspector-General to provide an administrative solution to the Macedonian Question. The Inspectorate went through a fundamental transformation in the year 1903 with the European initiated reform schemes for Ottoman Macedonia and functioned uninterruptedly until 1909. Throughout these years, with the appointment of Austrian and Russian Civil Agents, reorganization of the Gendarmerie by the European officers and the establishment of the International Financial commission, the Inspectorate turned into a complicated international mechanism led by Hüseyin Hilmi Pasha. As the highest representative of the Hamidian Regime in Rumelia, the General Inspectorate played an important role in a number of historical developments that took place in the region, as well as the rise of the Young Turks in Macedonia. This study aims to provide a monograph of this Ottoman institution and an in-depth analysis of its historical significance during the first decade of the twentieth century.