This study analyzes the Plovdiv (Bulgaria) based Ottoman language newspaper Balkan between 1910 and 1911, when confrontations between the successor Balkan states over Ottoman Macedonia radicalized. As a propaganda organ of the Ottoman Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), this medium aimed to undermine Bulgarian state`s moral claims over Macedonia and to foster Young Turk governance’s legitimization in the eyes of different Muslim communities through its coverage consumed by a vast Muslim readership both in Bulgaria, Macedonia and other provinces of the Ottoman Empire.
To these ends, Balkan laid a wide surveillance mechanism over the Muslims in Bulgaria and Macedonia by employing readers` letters to report on Bulgarian infringements in their respective localities. It further sought to politically and socially educate Muslims to enable their opposition to the Bulgarian state and secure their loyalty to the Ottoman Empire and the CUP. Yet, this project did not remain uncontested as deep cleavages existed among Bulgaria`s Muslims in terms of cooperation with Bulgarian political parties, conservative religious attitudes and support to the CUP regime. Overall, this research delineates the continuation of imperial networks in sovereign nation states and their usage as ideological tools.