[IMPORTANT ACCOUNT OF THE STARA ZAGORA EVENTS] Târîhçe-i vak'a-yi Zaghra. [i.e., History of the events in Stara Zagora]

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HÜSEYIN RACI EFENDI (Mufti of Stara Zagora), (?-1902), Hürriyet Printing House, Istanbul, [AH 1326] = 1910.

Original wrappers. Roy. 8vo. (23 x 16 cm). In Ottoman script (Old Turkish with Arabic letters). 185 p. Some stains on the cover and interior. The pages are clean. Faded on margins slightly. Otherwise, a good and clean copy in its original wrappers.

First edition of this scarce eyewitness and firsthand account of the occupation of Stara Zagora [i.e., Old Zagora] during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78, written by an Ottoman clergyman, who was once the mufti of Stara Zagora and returned to Istanbul with her family after the Russian occupation of the region. Huseyin Râci Efendi was a müfti (clergyman) in Stara Zagora during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. Completed by Râci Efendi in 1897 and published by Necmi Râci who was his son artillery major after Raci Efendi's death as posthumous, the work consists of three sections under the titles "History-i Vak'a-i Zagra" [i.e., History of the events in Stara Zagora], "Hercümerc-i Kıt'a-i Rumeli" [i.e., Chaos in the Rumelia Army] and "Hicretnâme" [i.e., The book of migration]. 

The first part, with a short introduction by Necmi Râci and the author at the beginning, was written in the style of "memoirs" and begins with the entry of the Russians into the Ottoman lands by crossing the Danube River on 21 June 1877; The news of the invasion reaching the Old Zagra, the anxious waiting here, the persecution of the Bulgarians during the Russian invasion, the rescue of the town by the Ottoman army under the rule of Süleyman Pasha, and it ends with the depiction of the immigration and the disasters that took place with a short account of Stara Zagora and environs.

The first part of the second chapter summarizes the military operation on the Rumelia front during the Ninety-Three War [i.e., '93 Harbi - Russko-Turetskaya Voyna 1877-1878 - Russo-Turco War 1877-78], and the mistakes made during this time and what they cost are explained. The events that took place since the beginning of January 1878, when the Russians occupied Zagra and the surrounding towns for the second time, the situation of the Muslims, and the sad scenes of the second migration are described, and parts of the articles of foreign journalists who saw this disaster are also quoted. (Source: Islam Ansiklopedisi).

This war was a conflict between the Ottoman Empire and the Eastern Orthodox coalition led by the Russian Empire and composed of Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro. Fought in the Balkans and in the Caucasus, it originated in emerging 19th-century Balkan nationalism. Additional factors included Russian goals of recovering territorial losses endured during the Crimean War of 1853-56, re-establishing itself in the Black Sea, and supporting the political movement attempting to free Balkan nations from the Ottoman Empire. The Russian-led coalition won the war, pushing the Turks back all the way to the gates of Constantinople but for the timely intervention of the Western European great powers. (Wikipedia). Roumi 1326 = Gregorian 1910.

The work, which could not be published due to the war despite the necessary permission to be published while its author was alive, was admired by those who read it before it was published, and copies were sent to well-known authors and intellectuals of the period such as Nâmik Kemal and Recâizâde Ekrem and were appreciated by them.

Özege 19975.; OCLC 27918894, 970393313.