The Balkan Wars, 1912–1913
The repressive Turkish nationalist policies of the Young Turks played into the hands of the Balkan nationalists, eventually permitting them to overcome briefly their mutual animosities and to form an anti-Turkish military alliance in 1912. (See Map 37.) They were encouraged by Russia. Knowing that Russia supported a Serb-Bulgarian alliance, and taking advantage of the Turks’ involvement in a war with Italy over Tripoli (1911), Serbia and Bulgaria hammered out a military treaty of mutual assistance in early 1912. A secret annex dealt with the future fate of Balkan regions still under Turkish control. The Sandjak of Novi Pazar, Kosovo, and a large strip of northern Macedonia were to go to Serbia. Western Thrace was ceded to Bulgaria. The bulk of Macedonia was to be formed into an autonomous province. Should the autonomous province prove unworkable, the secret provision provided for its further division, with Bulgaria and Serbia each receiving additional territories and the remaining areas subject to Russian arbitration as to their final allotment. Soon thereafter, a Greek-Bulgarian, anti-Turk military alliance was signed, in which no territorial issues were defined since both states desired the important Macedonian port of Thessaloniki, and Montenegro signed alliances with both Serbia and Bulgaria.