War and Diplomacy

The Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878 and the Treaty of Berlin

Combining different disciplinary perspectives, War and Diplomacy argues that the key events that portended the beginning of the end of the multiethnic Ottoman Empire were the The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 and the Treaty of Berlin. The essays in this volume analyze how the war and the treaty permanently transformed the political landscape both in the Balkans and in the Caucasus. The treaty marked the end of Ottoman hegemony in the Balkans by formally recognizing the independence or de facto sovereignty of Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro, and the autonomy of Bulgaria. 

By introducing the unitary nation-state as the new organizing concept, the treaty planted the seeds of future conflict, from the Balkan Wars of 1912–1913 and the First World War to the recent civil wars and ethnic cleansing in former Yugoslavia. The magnitude of the defeat of the Ottoman Empire by Russia—and eventually by the other great powers—and the human, material, and territorial losses that followed proved fatal to the project of Muslim liberal reform and modernization that the Ottoman state had launched in the middle of the 19th century.
War and Diplomacy offers the first comparative examination of the treaty and its socio-political implications for the Balkans and the Caucasus by utilizing the theoretical tools and approaches of political science, sociology, history, and international relations. Representing the latest scholarship in the field of study, this volume documents the proceedings of a conference on the Treaty of Berlin that was held at the University of Utah in 2010. It provides an important contribution to understanding the historical background of these events. 

War and Diplomacy documents the proceedings of the first of three conferences:
1878 Treaty of Berlin (in 2010)
Balkan Wars (in 2011)
World War I (in 2012)
Proceedings of the final two conferences will also be published by the University of Utah Press.

M. Hakan Yavuz is a professor of political science at the University of Utah. He is the editor of The Emergence of a New Turkey: Democracy and the AK Parti (University of Utah, 2006.)

Peter Sluglett is professor of history at the University of Utah.

Table of Contents:

List of Illustrations
A Note on Transliteration
Introduction: Laying the Foundations for Future Instability,
M. Hakan Yavuz and Peter Sluglett

Part I. European Diplomacy and the Exclusion of the Ottoman “Other”

1. The Transformation of “Empire” through Wars and Reforms: Integration vs. Oppression, M. Hakan Yavuz

2. European Equilibrium or Asiatic Balance of Power?: The Ottoman Search for Security in the Aftermath of the Congress of Berlin, Feroze A. K. Yasamee

3. Benevolent Contempt: Bismarck’s Ottoman Policy, Sean McMeekin

4. The Ottoman Eastern Question and the Problematic Origins of Modern Ethnic Cleansing, Genocide, and Humanitarian Interventionism in Europe and the Middle East, Mujeeb R. Khan

Part II. The Emergence of the Balkan State System
5. Muslim and Orthodox Resistance against the Berlin Peace Treaty in the Balkans, Mehmet Hacisalihoglu

6. The Establishment of Serbian Local Government in the Counties of Niš, Vranje, Toplica, and Pirot after the Congress of Berlin, Miroslav Svircevic

7. The Ottoman Wrong Horse?: The Question of Bosnia and Hercegovina in the Last Phase of the Eastern Crisis, Edin Radušic´

8. The Berlin Treaty, Bosnian Muslims, and Nationalism, Aydin Babuna

9. Agents of Post-Ottoman States: The Precariousness of the Berlin Congress Boundaries of Montenegro and How to Define/Confine People, Isa Blumi

10. A Reassessment of the Macedonian Question, 1878–1908, Gül Tokay

Part III. The Beginning of the End in Eastern Anatolia: The Massacres of Armenians

11. Patterns of Conflict and Violence in Eastern Anatolia Leading Up to the Russo-Turkish War and the Treaty of Berlin, Brad Dennis

12. From Millet-i Sadika to Millet-i Asiya: Abdülhamid II and Armenians, 1878–1909, Garabet K. Moumdjian

13. Template for Destruction: The Congress of Berlin and the Evolution of Ottoman Counterinsurgency Practices, Edward J. Erickson

14. The Hamidiye Light Cavalry Regiments: Abdülhamid II and the Eastern Anatolian Tribes, Bayram Kodaman

Part IV. Ethno-religious Cleansing and Population Transfers in the Balkans and the Caucasus

15. Ignoring the People: The Effects of the Congress of Berlin, Justin McCarthy

16. The Treaty of Berlin and the Tragedy of the Settlers from the Three Cities, Mustafa Tanriverdi

17. Two Different Images: Bulgarian and English Sources on the Batak Massacre, Tetsuya Sahara

18. The Rhodope Resistance and Commission of 1878, Ömer Turan

Conclusion: On the Road Back from Berlin, Frederick F. Anscombe

Chronology of Ottoman History (1828–1909)
List of Contributors

Praise and Reviews:

“This book makes an important contribution to the study of the 1877–78 Ottoman-Russian War and the Treaty of Berlin. It argues that the war and the treaty mark a new beginning in the Balkans by promoting a nation-state system at the expense of the centuries-old multiethnic imperial system. By taking an interdisciplinary approach to the socio-political consequences of the war and the treaty, the book sheds new light on the origins of contemporary conflicts in the Balkans.”—Kemal Silay, Indiana University, Bloomington

"A well-rounded book. It goes beyond a diplomatic history, which has been the conventional way of approaching the 1878 treaty. For the first time in the field, different faces of the Treaty of Berlin—namely military, diplomatic, constitutional, economic, and social aspects—are analyzed in a comprehensive compilation.”—Ali Yaycioglu, Stanford University

“This book represents a new understanding about the human ‘cost’ of the nation-state buildings in the Balkans. The volume shows the socio-political implications of the collapse of cosmopolitan Ottoman polity in terms of mass population movements, ethnic and religious cleansings, and radicalization of ethnic identities. It provides new insights about the dark side of modernity and challenges the established views on the Treaty of Berlin.”—Dr. Sukru Elekdag, parliamentarian at the Turkish Grand National Assembly and Turkey’s former ambassador to the United States

“This remarkable volume reconsiders the role of the Treaty of Berlin (1878) as the most important treaty of the late Ottoman Empire. The essays in this work—the first comprehensive volume dealing with the beginning of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire—push the boundaries of the historiography on many important and controversial topics such as the Hamidiye Regiments, the Macedonian question, and the Armenian insurgency during the reign of Abdulhamid II. The essays in this volume, well grounded in new archival research and drawing upon different disciplines, provide a fascinating narrative about pan-Islamism, the political origins of the Balkan nation-state system, and many other important topics. This volume is a must read for anyone who wishes to understand many long-neglected aspects to the legacy of the Treaty of Berlin.”—Uli Schamiloglu, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"This volume offers good food for thought and provides an interesting and informative examination of both the Eastern Question and the history of the late Ottoman Empire. It is a very useful source for scholars as well as an easily understandable acount for the lay public."—Middle East Journal