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At that moment, San Stefano Bulgaria was born


Фото: Великият княз Николай Николаевич (втори ред седнали, седми от ляво на дясно, след него генерал Йосиф Гурко) с щаба на армията и чуждестранните военни агенти, на втория ред седнал, втори от ляво на дясно е Сейго Ямадзава, Сан Стефано 19 февруари 1878 г. ( Колекция Михаил Заимов, Руско-турска война (1877-1878), Цариград, военни, чужди военни  - lostbulgaria.com)

On March 3 (February 19, 1878) the preliminary peace treaty between the Russian and Ottoman Empires was signed. It is no coincidence that the Russians insist on this date - the day on which Russia celebrates the anniversary of the ascension of Emperor Alexander II.

The Bulgarian teacher in Constantinople, Blagoy Dimitrov, witnessed the announcement of the contract. His memoirs of the historic day were published in the Macedonia newspaper in February 1934.

"During the school year 1877-78 I was the only teacher of both the primary and the Bulgarian school in Fener. The director of the school, N. Shishedzhiev, had escaped by Austrian steamer through Trieste to the Russian troops in Bulgaria. They did the same. many other Bulgarians, including Govedarov, the only Bulgarian bookseller in Constantinople, so there was no place to buy textbooks for the students. way I spent the whole Russo-Turkish war in Constantinople.

February 19, 1878 fell on a Sunday. The Russian troops were in San Stefano, and because of the armistice, the willing citizens of Constantinople of all nationalities, and they were many, roamed daily between Constantinople and San Stefano. And in San Stefano you could then (and now the same) go by train, steamer and on foot.

On the morning of February 19, I and some others set off on foot from Fener, jumped over the hill of Sultan Mehmed, reached Ak Sarai and from there through Stamatya and through Aedicule, left Constantinople and headed for Makrikoy. We passed this village, crossed the demarcation line and after a while we were already in San Stefano. When we arrived in the last village, we cooked the Russian soldiers for lunch. From here it can be concluded that we walked from Constantinople to Makrikoy for more than 4 hours. We stopped in front of a group of Russian soldiers having lunch. They immediately gave us a piece of meat and a piece of bread. We thanked them and readily ate the meat and bread. We were very hungry.

San Stefano was crowded with Russian troops of all kinds of weapons and thousands of Tsarist citizens who had been drawn here by the beautiful sunny day. It struck me that in front of a three-story house, painted yellow on the outside, there was a crowd. I went there too.

I forgot to mention above that from Makrikoy I noticed the presence in the Sea of ​​Marmara of an entire English squadron, located just opposite the Russian camp at San Stefano.

Къщата на хаджи Николи, в която се помещава главната щаб-квартира на руската войска - изглед от пътя, в ляво прави: Николай Павлович граф Игнатиев и Великият княз Николай Николаевич – главнокомандващ (в бяла униформа), Горна Студена, август 1877 г.  (1800-1900, Архив ВИМ Плевен, Горна Студена, Руско-турска война (1877-1878))


Through interrogation, I learned that negotiations had been held in the Yellow House between Russians and Turks for peace. I also learned that this day, 19 February, was decisive for these negotiations.

At one time, Russian troops were ordered to be ready to march on Constantinople. We learned this from the great turmoil. Soldiers and officers rushed to find their units; there was the beating of many drums and the blowing of many trumpets; many quarry batteries ran to take positions, etc., etc.

I moved away from the Yellow House, reached the open air, and from there noticed the maneuvering of the English fleet, which was also taking on a new combat position. The formidable English battleships hovered their cannons against the Russians. It was clear that the armistice had been denounced and that hostilities had resumed. Our situation has become critical. We had to run, but there was nowhere to go. We were caught between a rock and a hard place. Without wanting to, we stayed where we were.

As we later learned, the reason for the described turmoil was the ultimatum of the Russians to the Turks, with which the latter were invited to sign an already prepared treaty, otherwise the truce was interrupted and hostilities resumed. At the last moment the Turks retreated and there was no need to continue the war. This puts an end to both the movement of Russian troops and the maneuvering of the British navy.

Shortly afterwards, from the balcony of the yellow house, Count Ignatiev announced loudly that peace had been made between Russia and Turkey. At that moment, San Stefano Bulgaria was born.

Loud "Hurray!" Covered Ignatiev's words. This "Hurray!", Which I have not heard for the second time, lasted a long time and, it seems to me, spread to the rear Russian lines and from there all the way to the Balkans and beyond. After a while, Count Ignatiev came down among the people and talked heartily and with laughter with various prominent citizens of Constantinople, known to him from before.

There was nothing more to do in San Stefano, so it was too late, my comrades and I boarded the steamer and left for Constantinople. From then until today, the date of February 19, 1878, never leaves my mind. By the way, such events are a joy and hard to forget. "

Blagoy Dimitrov, Macedonia newspaper, March 1934


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