It all happened in 1876, during “the Year of the Three Sultans” when a Bulgarian girl named Stephana made a journey to Salonika to convert to Islam and was subsequently abducted by a group of Christians. This event stoked tensions, and stirred outrage within the Muslim community. Public protests ensued, culminating in the murder of the French and German consuls by a Muslim mob on May 6, 1876. This ‘Salonika Incident' would consequently trigger a wave of hysteria throughout the West and among the Christian populations of the Ottoman Empire. There was fear of an ‘impending massacre of the Christians' which would never take place. A diplomatic war of words between the Sublime Porte and the Great Powers, which held the former accountable for this double crime, directly followed the incident.
Through a detailed and meticulous account of this neglected episode of Ottoman-Balkan history, this book aims to cast light on an often distorted and highly misunderstood event which is a manifestation of Western attitudes toward the Ottoman Empire during the climactic years of the Eastern Question.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
2.1 Tanzimat in the Balkans, 1839-56
2.2 Origins of Mass Violence in the Balkans
2.3 Organized Violence: Russian Expansionism and War in the Balkans
2.4 The Post-Crimean War System, 1856-1871
2.5 The Ottoman Economy Crumbles, Its Image Lies in Ruins
2.6 The Year of Three Sultans, 1876
2.7 From Apostasy to High Politics
3.1 The Abduction of Stephana, May 3, 1876
3.2Stephana Arrives in Salonika on May 5, Kidnapped Again
3.3A Crisis Looming in Salonika
3.4French and Germans Consuls Murdered by the Muslim Mob
4.1 Ambassadorial Meeting in Istanbul and the Action of the Porte
4.2Panic Among the Christians of the Ottoman Empire
4.3Consular Agent Pericles Hadji Lazzaro: Antagonist or Protagonist?