Skip to main content

Bulgarian Horrors


phrase coined by british politician gladstone to describe the atrocities perpetrated by the turks in putting down the revolt of the bulgarians in 1876.

In 1875, a revolt began in Bosnia and Herzegovina that spread to neighboring Bulgaria the next year. Public opinion in Serbia and Montenegro soon caused them to declare war against the Ottoman Empire in an effort to intervene on behalf of their fellow Slavs. Meanwhile, eyewitness reports revealing that more than 10,000 Christians had been slaughtered in Bulgaria by Turkish irregulars reached England, which had fought the Crimean War to preserve the Ottoman Empire and was intensely interested in the conflict. A wave of moral indignation swept over the country, fired by the revelations of the liberal press, the high point of which was an indictment by William Ewart Gladstone of Turkish rule in his pamphlet, "Bulgarian Horrors and the Question of the East." In it he argued passionately in favor of autonomy for the empire's Christian subjects, with little effect.

Although Gladstone was successful in rallying public opinion in Western Europe on behalf of the Bulgarians, the situation there was not resolved until after Russia attacked Turkey in 1877. In the following year, the treaties of San Stefano and Berlin established Bulgaria as an autonomous principality under Turkish sovereignty.


Harris, David. Britain and the Bulgarian Horrors of 1876. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1939.

John Micgiel

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Bulgarian Horrors." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . 20 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Bulgarian Horrors." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . (March 20, 2019).

"Bulgarian Horrors." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Retrieved March 20, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.