OLD FOES NEW FRIENDS: BULGARIANS AND TURKS AT DOBRUDJA FRONT
Institute of Balkan Studies & Centre of Thracology
(Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
Abstract: This article highlights the Bulgarian-Turkish military cooperation during the First World War, in particular at Dobrudja Front. The issue is not well studied in the existing scholarship, and authors frequently express opposite opinions and assessments. Furthermore, it should be underlined that most of the studies of Bulgarian authors from the last two decades, which focus on the battles in Dobrudja 1916-1917, often ignore the involvement of Turkish troops at this front. At the same time, the issue of the joint operations of Bulgarians and Turks is especially interesting due to the fact that the recent enemies in the Balkan Wars – Bulgaria and Turkey, now fight as allies. Furthermore, the Third Bulgarian Army at Dobrudja Front, comprising also two Turkish corps, fought against Russian troops, which according to the traditions from the time of the Russian-Turkish War 1877-1878 are considered “liberators of Bulgaria from the Ottoman yoke”.
The article examines the diplomatic preparation for Bulgaria’s entry in the First World War, the contractual relations with Turkey, the course of the military events at Dobrudja Front, as well as the diplomatic negotiations after the end of the military actions, which significantly deteriorate the Bulgarian-Turkish relations again.
Keywords: World War One, Dobrudja Front, Bulgaria-Turkey Military Relations