Bulgaria’s Liberation Day
Bulgaria celebrates its Liberation Day/ Unification Day on March 3 each year. The day marks Bulgaria’s freedom from Ottoman rule after almost five centuries of control. The day is observed to honour the Bulgarian volunteers who fought alongside Russian and Romanian soldiers in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878 to free their country from Ottoman oppression. On Liberation Day, a military parade is organized in the capital city of Sofia. The wreath-laying ceremony is held at the Monument to the Unknown Soldier.
History of Bulgaria
Bulgaria’s history can be traced back to the First Bulgarian Empire, which was formed in 681 A.D. The empire came under Ottoman rule in 1396. Two uprisings against Ottoman control in 1875 and 1876 resulted in the signing of the Treaty of San Stefano on March 3, 1878, and the recognition of Bulgaria as an independent state.
It existed till the first world war. Ottoman Empire was in decline when the world war started. And it joined Germany and Austria-Hungary in the first world war. Current Turkey and some regions around the country were once the Ottoman Empire. Earlier, the Ottoman Empire controlled northern Africa, Southeast Europe and Western Asia. They were very powerful. The Britishers chose the sea trade in the 16th – 17th century mainly because of the Ottoman empire. Not even the British could pass through them.
The Ottomans conquered Constantinople and ended the Byzantine empire in 1453. Their rule extended to the Balkans in the 14th century. Suleiman the Magnificent was one of the powerful rulers of the Ottoman Empire. He expanded the empire largely.
The Russo-Turkish war was fought between the Ottoman Empire and a coalition. The Coalition was led by Russia. It included Serbia, Romania, and Bulgaria. The war was fought in the Balkans. Russia fought the war to get back the territories it lost during the Crimean war. As you can see, Russia’s link with the Crimean peninsula goes back to the 18th-19th century. The Crimean war was fought between Russia on one side and France, Ottoman Empire, the UK, and Sardina-Piedmont on the other side. Russia lost the war and its Crimean peninsula.
Being the most important trade route, countries have been fighting over the Crimean peninsula since early times.
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