Murad I (d. 1389), Ottoman conqueror of Sofia in 1385 A.D.
The first of two recent reports by the invaluable Ned May at Gates of Vienna highlights the resurgent jihadism in the former Ottoman Muslim colony of Bulgaria. Given the predictably self-loathing reaction of Bulgaria’s prototypical Leftist media, it is well past overdue for such uninformed ignorami to understand what the yoke of the Sharia inflicted upon their noble ancestors, invoking Santayana, ad nauseum…
Bistra Tsvetkova [Cvetkova] (1926-1982) was a Bulgarian-born scholar who studied in Sofia, Cairo, and Paris, before obtaining her PhD from Leningrad University in 1972. Her doctoral thesis analyzed the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans during the early fifteenth century. Dr. Tesvetkova became a member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in 1952, and a professor at Sofia University, and concurrently, director of the Commission on Ottoman-Turkish source materials, in 1972. The Universite de Strasbourg conferred upon her an honorary degree in 1981. Tsvetkova’s major work, Les Institutions Ottomanes en Europe was published in 1978. Not long after a horrific traffic accident, during which her husband was instantly killed, and she was seriously injured, Dr. Tsvetkova committed suicide, August 16, 1982.
Here are the conclusions from her Russian essay, which translates, “Religious and ethnic discrimination in Bulgaria during the period of Turkish rule”:
The Ottoman feudal aristocracy purposely encouraged the religious fanaticism of the Muslims, and the hatred of the Muslims towards the non-Muslim reaya [raya; “dhimmis”]. By these means the ruling class intended to distract the Turkish peasantry from the ever-increasing social antagonism within the state, and to prevent them from recognizing their true class enemies and originators of their oppression and exploitation.
Ethnic and religious discrimination, inexorably linked with the burdensome regime of feudal exploitation and political oppression, stalled the development of the Bulgarian people for centuries. This discrimination, which doomed the non-Muslim reaya to enduring insults and attacks on their dignity as human beings, their life, and their personal and familial honor, also limited religious freedom and threatened coercive Islamization, and tightened the yoke of Turkish feudal oppression. Yet, over centuries, the Bulgarian people stubbornly and courageously resisted this regime of discrimination and oppression, and despite attempts at enforced assimilation, managed to preserve its national identity and culture.
Tsvetkova’s analysis of the movement to liberate Bulgarians from Ottoman-imposed dhimmitude, the so-called haiduk movement [“The Bulgarian Haiduk Movement in the 15th-18th Centuries” in East Central European Society and War in the Pre-Revolutionary Eighteenth Century, edited by G.E. Rothenberg, B.K. Kiraly, and P.F. Sugar, 1982.], included these observations, from pp. 327-28:
…[T]he haiduk movement and the spontaneous outbursts of the rayah (dhimmi Christians) were a manifestation of the subjugated Bulgarians’ national self-awareness as well as their implacable opposition to the system their oppressors had installed. Even in the scant information in official documents, the distinctiveness the Bulgarians felt comes through in the references to their clothing and appearance, both provocative to the Turks. As one element of Ottoman religious and national discrimination, the non-Muslim rayah was forbidden to wear bright or striking garments; flouting this convention would be seen as rebelliousness. Thus the Turks testifying against the haiduk, Voivode Chavdar of Sopotnica near Bitola, did not fail to mention that he wore a red cloak and feathers in his cap.
The translation of Tsvetkova’s “Religious and ethnic discrimination in Bulgaria during the period of Turkish rule,” can be read in full, here.