The question of reforms in eastern Anatolia after the congress of Berlin 1878-1885 (Anadolu Islahati)

Date
1996
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Büken, Gülriz
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Bilkent University
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English
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Abstract

For the period of 1878-1885, "Anatolian Reform" (Anadolu Islahati) can be defined as the process of British efforts to make the Ottoman government introduce administrative reforms in its eastern provinces for the benefit of its Armenian subjects in order to prevent a possible Russian intervention in the region, which could endanger the British imperial route to India. The problem emerged and became an international issue after the Turco-Russian War of 1877 when the possibility of a further Russian advance threatened British communication with India after the Russian occupation of the eastern Anatolian provinces of the Ottoman Empire. As the protection of this communication was a matter of vital importance, Britain did not hesitate to put forth its sustained efforts to keep the Armenians in peace, and forced the Ottoman government to initiate administrative reforms. The Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II considered British intervention a threat to the integrity of the country and resisted the provisions of the treaties which obliged the Porte to introduce reforms. After the TurcoRussian War of 1877, the Ottoman Empire lost most of its territories in the Balkans, hence, maintaining unity in Asia Minor became the foremost goal for the Ottoman administration.

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Published Version (Please cite this version)