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perjantai 21. huhtikuuta 2017

Bulgaria, Cool Facts #176

<= 175. Macedonia                                                                                                        177. Greece => 

1. Two Bulgarian Empires

First Bulgarian Empire 681-1018 

- Established around the year 681 when Bulgar tribes led by Asparukh moved to the north-eastern Balkans
- Several wars against the Byzantine, but also times of peace and alliance with the Byzantines
- In 864 Christianity was adopted in Bulgaria, which was influenced by Byzantium
- Bulgars confronted the Arabs in the Second Arab siege of Constantinople, preventing an Arab invasion of Southeastern Europe
- Bulgars also confronted Pechenegs, Cumans and Magyars
- In 893 Old Bulgarian was adopted as a national language
- Old Bulgarian became the lingua franca of much of Eastern Europe and it became known as Old Church Slavonic
- First Bulgarian Empire ceased to exist in 1018 when it surrendered to the Byzantine Empire

Bulgaria in the early 10th century

Second Bulgarian Empire 1185-1396 

- In 1185 the Second Bulgarian Empire was established after a major uprising organized by Asen dynasty nobles Ivan Asen I and Peter IV
- 1257 The Asen dynasty ended and the country's military and economic might declined, facing internal conflicts and constant Byzantine, Hungarian and Mongol attacks
- The empire declined in the late 1200s under constant invasions by Mongols, Byzantines, Hungarians and Serbs besides all the internal unrest and revolts
- On the eve of Ottoman conquest, Bulgaria was divided into three parts
- In 1396 Ottoman Empire conquered all Bulgarian lands south of Danube
- Many clerics and scholars emigrated to Serbia, Wallachia, Moldavia and Russian principalities after the Ottoman conquest

Second Bulgarian Empire

2. Principality of Bulgaria 1878-1908

End of Ottoman Rule
The Bulgarian Empire fell in 1396 after the Bulgarian-Ottoman Wars. Bulgaria remained a part of Ottoman Empire until 1878 and officially it was declared independent in 1908. In 1877-1878 the uprisings against the Ottoman Empire in the Balkan region escalated into the Russo-Turkish War.

De facto independence 1878
After the war Bulgaria in 1878 Bulgaria became de facto independent, but nominally vassal state of the Ottoman Empire. In the Treaty of San Stefano the proposed Bulgarian state comprised the areas of Moesia, Thrace and Macedonia. The great powers feared the establishment of a large Russian client state on the Balkans and decided to revise the earlier treaty and scaled back the proposed Bulgarian state. The autonomous principality of Bulgaria was established in the Treaty of Berlin, which was much smaller than in the first proposition. The principality annexed Eastern Rumelia in 1885 in a bloodless revolution.

Independence 1908
In 1908 Bulgaria declared independence as the Kingdom of Bulgaria.

Bulgaria and Russia relations
Bulgaria was very grateful for Russians, because the Russo-Turkish War led to the independence of Bulgaria. The Bulgarians were so grateful that they didn't declare war against Russia or Soviet Union in both of the World Wars, although they were allied with Germany in both wars. Bulgaria showed its gratefulness in their flag, which resembles the Russian flag. Bulgaria was also one of the most loyal members in the Soviet-led Comecon and Warsaw Pact

Bulgarian Principality (green), Eastern Rumelia (light green)

3. Two Balkan Wars in 1912-1913

Balkan region before First Balkan War
First Balkan War 
- Fought between October 1912 and May 1913
- The Balkan League defeated the Ottoman Empire
- The Balkan League consisted of Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Montenegro
- Almost all remaining Ottoman areas in Europe were partitioned by the League
- Independent Albania was established after the end of the war
- Bulgaria was dissatisfied with the partitioning of Macedonia, which provoked the Second Balkan War

Balkans after First Balkan War

Second Balkan War
- Fought between June 1913 and August 1913
- Bulgaria was dissatisfied with its share of the spoils of the First Balkan War and started the war
- Bulgaria attacked its former allies Serbia and Greece
- Serbian and Greek armies counter-attacked and entered Bulgaria
- Previous territorial disputes with Romania provoked Romanian intervention against Bulgaria
- The Ottoman Empire also took advantage of the situation to regain some lost territories from the previous war
- Bulgaria asked for armistice when Romanian forces approached the capital Sofia
- Two peace treaties were made
- In the Treaty of Bucharest Bulgaria had to cede parts of its First Balkan War gains to Serbia, Greece and Romania
- In the Treaty of Constantinople Bulgaria had to cede Edirne to the Ottomans

Balkans after Second Balkan War

4. Human Rights in Bulgaria 

The human rights situation in Bulgaria is not the best. Here is a list of things mentioned in the Human Rights Report of Bulgaria.

- Bulgaria is the most corrupt country in Europe (Corruptions Perceptions Index, 2016)
- Intolerance and marginalization towards Romani minority peoples
- Discrimination against other ethnic groups and LGBTI people
- Elections fraud
- Human trafficking
- Online anti-semitism
- Religious discrimination and harassment
- Problems with refugee integration, processes and policies
- Violence against children
- Violence and discrimination against women

Protest in Bulgaria

5. Unesco World Heritage Sites in Bulgaria 

There are nine historical and natural objects in Bulgaria, that have been included in the list of Unesco World Heritage Sites.

Cultural sites (7)

Boyana Church
Madara Rider
Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo
Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak
Ancient City of Nesebar
Rila Monastery
Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari

Natural sites (2)

Pirin national park

500BC Persians conquered most of present-day Bulgaria
480BC Many Thracian tribes were united in the Odrysian kingdom by king Teres
46 Romans conquered the Odrysian kingdom
395 Roman Empire is divided into two and Bulgaria came under Byzantine rule
500s South Slavs started gradually settling in the region
600s Bulgars, Turkic nomadic tribe from Middle Asia, arrived to the region
681 First Bulgarian Empire was established after a battle against the Byzantium
864 Paganism was abolished under Boris I
971 Seizure of the capital Preslav by the Byzantine army
1018 Byzantium ended the First Bulgarian Empire 
1185 Second Bulgarian Empire was established after a major uprising organized by Asen dynasty nobles Ivan Asen I and Peter IV
1257 The Asen dynasty ended and the country's military and economic might declined, facing internal conflicts and constant Byzantine, Hungarian and Mongol attacks
1396 Ottoman Empire conquered all Bulgarian lands south of Danube
1598 and 1686 Tarnovo uprisings against the Ottoman Empire
1688 Chiprovtsi Uprising
1689 Karposh's Rebellion
1876 April Uprising in which 30,000 Bulgarians were killed as Ottoman authorities put down the rebellion
1878 The autonomous principality of Bulgaria was established after the Turko-Russian War
1885 The Bulgarian principality won a war against Serbia and incorporated the semi-autonomous Ottoman territory of Eastern Rumelia
1908 Bulgaria declared itself an independent state
1912 Bulgaria joined Serbia, Greece and Montenegro in the war against Turkey, which they won in the First Balkan War
1913 Bulgaria lost the Second Balkan War against its former allies
1914-1918 Bulgaria joined the losing side Central Powers in World War I
1918-1943 Royal authoritarian dictatorship of Tsar Boris III
1923 Prime minister Alexander Stamboliyski was murdered in a military coup
1934 Military coup after which King Boris III was given rights of an absolute ruler
1941 Bulgaria entered World War II as a member of the Axis but declined to participate in Operation Barbarossa and saved its Jewish population from deportation to concentration camps
1943 Boris III died
1944 Soviet Red Army occupied Bulgaria and the communist-dominated Fatherland Front took the power in Bulgaria and joined the Allied side for the rest of the war
1946 The one-party people's republic was established in Bulgaria
1984 An assimiliation campaign was launched in order to erase the identity of the ethnic Turks, which included closing mosques and forcing ethnic Turks to adopt Slavic names
1989 The communist rule in Bulgaria ended
1990 First free elections were won by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (the freshly renamed Communist Party)
2001 Economic, political and geopolitical conditions started improving greatly
2001 Former King Simeon II won the parliament elections and became the Prime Minister
2004 Bulgaria joined Nato
2007 Bulgaria joined European Union 

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