This is Episode Number 7 of Payitaht Abdülhamid, Indeed, even as exchanges were in progress at the Istanbul Conference (December 1876-January 1877) and the Ottoman parliament met (March 1877) to actualize the changes, the Russians made dynamic arrangements for war. The Czar purchased the impartiality of the Austria-Hungary Empire by promising them the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina and authority over Serbia. The Austrian military unforeseen positioned in Rumania since 1854 was pulled back, making room for a Russian development upon Istanbul through Rumania and Bulgaria The British as well, flagged their nonpartisanship in case of a Russian-Turkish war by proclaiming that they would not meddle as long as the status of the Straits or Istanbul was unaltered. Germany, whose key distraction was evasion of war among Austria and Russia, obliged Austrian nonpartisanship. Therefore the street was cleared for the Czar's military to attack the domains of its neighbor toward the south.
The Russians started the war in May 1877 with an assault on the Ottoman eastern territories. The next month, in June 1877, they opened a second front in the west over the Danube River. The Russian attack was in clear infringement of the Treaty of Paris, marked in 1856 at the finish of the Crimean War, by which the European forces had all things considered ensured the trustworthiness of the Ottoman Empire. Be that as it may, this was the period of expansionism. Every arrangement that the Europeans marked with the Ottomans was nevertheless a stratagem to subvert and involve an extra Ottoman area.
The Russian target in the east was a quick drive on the city of Erzurum, from where they could carve a swath through southern Anatolia and Syria to the Mediterranean, confining the Turkish heartland. In the west, the objective was a fast drive on Istanbul through Rumania and Bulgaria to compel the Turks to surrender before the European forces altered their perspective on their purported lack of bias. The Ottomans, despite the fact that they had spent enormous wholes on combat hardware since the Crimean War, were hampered by an absence of prepared officials. The Czar, through apt publicity as oneself announced defender of the Eastern Orthodox Church, exploited the alienation of the enormous Christian populace in the Balkans. In the eastern area as well, he instigated the up to this point tranquil Armenians to badger the Ottoman armed forces.
Helped by nearby Christians, the underlying development of the Russian militaries was quick. Ardahan fell in May 1877; the Ottomans lost a sizable number of men and material. On the western front, the battalion town of Sistova fell in June. Advance contingents of Russian troops crossed the Shipka Pass, caught Sofia and Nicopolis and compromised Erdirne.
Enormous scale slaughters of Muslim workers pursued every one of the Russian triumphs. The Russians disseminated weapons and ammo caught from the withdrawing Ottomans to the nearby Christians who turned on their Muslim neighbors. A great many towns saw ghastliness scenes of mass killings. The worn down overcomers of the butcher spilled towards Istanbul. More than 250,000 displaced people entered Istanbul and Anatolia in the initial three months of the Russian battles. Throughout the following two years (1877-1879), this number multiplied, forcing a huge weight on Ottoman assets. This was the first of the huge scale slaughters of Balkan Muslims, which forged ahead and off for in excess of a hundred years, coming full circle in the Serbian slaughters of Bosnians in 1990-1992.
These early switches stunned the Ottomans. The Porte spoke to the European powers under terms of the Paris Treaty to weight the Russians to pull back. The answers from Austria and Germany were unclear. The British bureau issued similarly dubious proclamations and did nothing to dissuade the Czar. Password for this Episode is PaBdurdUdUbb07.
Meanwhile, the Russian aggression had to be met. The Sultan’s response was characteristically Islamic. He took out the Prophet’s mantle from the Topkapi palace, declared the resistance to Russia a jihad, proclaimed himself a ghazi after the example of the early Ottoman Sultans and appealed to Muslims worldwide for support. This pattern of appeal to the global Muslim community was to be repeated, time and again, during the reign of Abdul Hamid.
The response from the Turks, Arabs and Albanians was overwhelming. Men came out in droves to join the armed forces. Women offered their jewelry to finance the war effort. The Sultan selected the best available generals for the defensive campaigns. Ahmed Muhtar Pasha was appointed the commander of the eastern forces. Muhtar reorganized his troops, dispersed over the eastern districts, and stopped the Russian advance at Kars. On the western front, Sulaiman Pasha was appointed the commander, while the defense of the Bulgarian passes was delegated to Osman Pasha. Sulaiman brought reinforcements by sea to Alexandropolis, swiftly moved north through western Bulgaria and drove the Russians back across the Shipka Pass. The Russians regrouped and with a large horde of over 100,000 men, backed by the main Romanian regiments, made a thrust at the strategic town of Plevna. Meanwhile, Osman Pasha had reinforced the town, built a fortress, dug trenches and had brought in heavy guns to defend the surrounding terrain. From this bastion, he held off repeated assaults by the combined Russian-Romanian forces, earning for himself and his men the admiration of Europeans and the gratitude of his fellow countrymen. The Sultan, in recognition of this heroic defense, conferred the title of ghazi on Osman Pasha.
The front lines were stable throughout the summer of 1877. But with the passage of time, the weight of the vast Russian Empire and of their Christian sympathizers within the Ottoman Empire, began to be felt. By October 1877, the Ottoman lines began to crack. On the eastern front, Kars fell in November, although Mohtar Pasha was able to withdraw the bulk of his forces to Erzurum. Azerbaijan, Armenia and eastern Anatolia were in Russian hands. On the western front, the heroic defense of Plevna continued. The Russians surrounded the garrison and cut off the supplies of food, hoping to starve the defenders into submission. Despite the lack of food and the harsh winter, the Ottomans held on, hoping for fresh reinforcements from Istanbul. But the Russian juggernaut tightened. In December, Osman Pasha ordered his troops to fight their way out. In hand to hand combat, over 30,000 Ottoman troops died. Thousands more perished in the icy mountainous terrain. Plevna surrendered. Showing no mercy, the Russians and their Romanian comrades butchered the survivors in the city.
With the fall of Plevna, the bulk of the Russian army was free to move southward. Sofia and Erdirne fell in rapid succession. An advanced detachment under Grand Duke Nicholas reached the outskirts of Istanbul. The capital city, already swollen with hundreds of thousands of refugees, braced for an assault. The rapid advance of the Russian armies towards Istanbul caused an alarm in Vienna and London. Should the Russians occupy the empire, the Ottomans would default on their loans to the European bankers. Panic set in in the London financial markets. Realizing the threat to its financial interests and its imperial interests in Egypt, the British cabinet issued a stern warning to the Russians not to advance on the Straits. A humbled Sultan Abdul Hamid wrote to Queen Victoria asking her to arrange an armistice and requesting the British fleet to anchor in Istanbul as insurance against Russian occupation. The Czar, exhausted from his campaigns against the Turks, was in no position to wage a wider war with Britain and Ausstria-Hungary. He wrote to the Sultan assuring him that the Russians had no intention of occupying Istanbul.