Open main menu

Provisional Government of Western Thrace

The Provisional Government of Western Thrace[1][2][3] (Ottoman Turkish: غربی تراقیا حكومت موقته‌سی - Garbi Trakya Hükûmet-i Muvakkatesi, Greek: Προσωρινή Κυβέρνηση Δυτικής Θράκης, Prosorini Kyvernisi Dytikis Thrakis, Turkish: Batı Trakya Geçici Hükûmeti),[4][5] later renamed to Independent Government of Western Thrace[1][6] (Ottoman Turkish: غربی تراقیا حكومت مستقله‌سی - Garbi Trakya Hükûmet-i Müstakilesi, Greek: Αυτόνομη Κυβέρνηση Δυτικής Θράκης, Aftonomi Kyvernisi Dytikis Thrakis), was a small, short-lived unrecognized republic established in Western Thrace from August 31 to October 25, 1913. It encompassed the area surrounded by the rivers Maritsa (Evros) in the east, Mesta (Nestos) in the west, the Rhodope Mountains in the north and the Aegean Sea in the south. Its total territory was c. 8.600 km².[7]

Garbi Trakya Hükûmet-i Müstakilesi
Prosorini Kyvernisi Dytikis Thrakis

غربی تراقیا حكومت مستقله‌سی
Προσωρινή Κυβέρνηση Δυτικής Θράκης
Flag of Independent Government of Western Thrace
Independent Government of Western Thrace.png
StatusProvisional, later Independent
GovernmentProvisional Government under a Republic system
• 1913
Hoca Salih Efendi
• Established
August 31 1913
• Disestablished
October 25 1913
Currency40 paras = 1 piaster
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of Bulgaria
Kingdom of Bulgaria
¹ Renamed from "Provisional Government of Western Thrace" and some researchers used term of "Republic of Gumuljina" and the "Turkish Republic of Western Thrace".

The whole of Western Thrace was captured by Bulgaria during the First Balkan war and awarded to the country by the Treaty of London. During the Second Balkan War the Greek Army captured most of the area between Skecha and the Maritsa river south of Soflu without encountering resistance by the weak Bulgarian army which retreated to the southern slopes of the Rhodope mountains (several kilometers to the north of Skecha and Gyumyurdzhina) while the Ottoman forces occupied the regions of Soflu, Dimotika and Ortakyoy. After the Second Balkan War the treaty of Bucharest was signed which returned the area to Bulgaria and the Greek army withdrew from Western Thrace. Thereupon local Muslims and Greeks petitioned, with the encouragement of the Greek authorities refused to recognize the Bulgarian control of the area and petitioned the Ottoman army to occupy Western Thrace. On their invitation, the region was then occupied by small Ottoman forces, largely irregulars. While the area had been returned to Bulgaria by the Bucharest treaty, the Bulgarian army wished to conflict with the Ottomans and retreated to a line coinciding with the pre-Balkan war border up to Aydomush and from there along a ridge of the Rhodope mountains running west of Daridere and east of Madan up to the Bulgarian-Greek border.[8]

After the retreat of both the Bulgarian and Greek armies, an autonomous state was declared with Ottoman support, in order to avoid Bulgarian rule after the Treaty of Bucharest, in which the Ottomans had not taken part. Under British pressure, the Bulgaria and the Ottomans signed the Treaty of Constantinople, which satisfied the Turkish claims to recognition of Eastern Thrace and recognized Western Thrace as part of Bulgaria. The Ottomans withdrew their forces and by 25 October, and the area was returned by Bulgaria.[9] The southern part of the former Provisional government was occupied in 1918 by French forces. This area was finally annexed by Greece in 1920 and has been part of that country ever since, except for the Bulgarian occupation between 1941–1944. The northern part of the former Provisional Government remained part of Bulgaria after 1919.

The capital of Provisional Government of Western Thrace capital was Gümülcine, now Komotini, in Greece.


President: Hoca Salih Efendi.

Army: Standing force of 29,170, largely infantry. Commander of the Armed Forces [10][page needed] was Süleyman Askerî Bey.

Steering Committee: Reshid Bey, Raif Effendi, Hafous Salih Effendi, Nicodimos (commissioner of the Diocese of Maroneia, representing the Greeks), Mikirditch Tabakian (Armenian), Yaka Cassavi (Jew), Hafous Galip and Eshref Bey Kushchubasi.[11]

As soon as independence was declared the Provisional Government of Western Thrace determined the borders of the country, put up the new flags on the official buildings, commissioned a national anthem, raised an army, published its own stamps [12] and passports[10][page needed], and prepared the budget of the new country.

A Jewish citizen, Samuel Karaso, was tasked by the government with establishing an official press agency and to publish a newspaper named Müstakil ("Independent") in Turkish and French. The Ottoman Laws and Regulations were adopted without any change and the cases started to be heard by the Court of Western Thrace.

Currency 40 Paras = 1 Piaster [12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b International Affairs Agency Turkish Dossier Program, The Western Thrace Turks issue in Turkish-Greek relations, International Affairs Agency, 1992, p. 105.
  2. ^ Philip Hendrick Stoddard, The Ottoman government and the Arabs, 1911 to 1918: a preliminary study of the Teskilât-ı Mahsusa, Princeton University, 1963, pp. 52-53.
  3. ^ Andrew Mango, Atatürk: The Biography of the Founder of Modern Turkey, Overlook Press, 2002, ISBN 978-1-58567-334-6, p. 102.
  4. ^ Belgeselin bu bölümünde Batı Trakya Geçici Hükümeti konu ediliyor (Metin Edirneli Rodop Hükumetleri ile ilgili olarak, TRT)
  5. ^ Türkkaya Ataöv, Çatışmaların kaynağı olarak ayrımcılık, A.Ü. S.B.F. İnsan Hakları Merkezi Yayınları, Ankara, 1996
  6. ^ Mesut Uyar, Edward J. Erickson, A military history of the Ottomans: from Osman to Atatürk, ABC-CLIO, 2009, ISBN 978-0-275-98876-0, p. 259.
  7. ^ "Panayotis D. Cangelaris – The Western Thrace Autonomous Government "Muhtariyet" Issue (1913) Philatelic Exhibit". Retrieved 2016-09-25.
  8. ^ The Destruction of Thracian Bulgarians in 1913, Lybomir Miletich, 1918, p. 205
  9. ^ Constantinos Vacalopoulos (2004). Ιστορία της Μείζονος Θράκης, από την πρώιμη Οθωμανοκρατία μέχρι τις μέρες μας, History of Greater Thrace, from early Ottoman rule until nowadays. Thessaloniki: Publisher Antonios Stamoulis. p. 282. ISBN 960-8353-45-9.
  10. ^ a b Çeçen, Anıl, Tarihte Türk Devletleri, Milliyet Kültür Yayınları, İstanbul 1986
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-10-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ a b "Western Thrace, Autonomous Government (1913) » Dead Country Stamps and Banknotes". Retrieved 2016-09-25.

External linksEdit