Bulgaria is celebrating the 138th anniversary of its Liberation from Ottoman rule on March 3.
March 3rd is the date commemorating the signature of the Treaty of San Stefano that ended the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. San Stefano was a village west of Istanbul and was signed by the Russian Counts Nicholas Pavlovich Ignatiev and Alksandr Nelidov.
As a result of the treaty, In March 1878 Bulgaria became autonomous, under Ottoman suzerainty, to become fully independent following the annexation the Eastern Rumelia province in 1885. This accounts for the “special relationship” Russia and Bulgaria have, founded on the state’s national narrative of independence.
The event is celebrated across the country with various cultural, as well as national parades across Bulgaria, including the Shipka Peak mountain, and a service at the St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in the capital city Sofia in Sofia.
Polish diplomats in Bulgaria have gone as far as reciting a poem by Hristo Botev “Hadji Dimitar”, the reaction over the Bulgarian Internet is overwhelmingly positive.
The Treaty was revised only months later upon British and Serbian insistence in July 1878 with the Treaty of Berlin.
The borders of San Stefano provided for a Bulgarian state stretched from the Danube to the Black and Aegean seas, including nearly all the region of Macedonia stretching today across Bulgaria, Greece, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. In addition, it included sizable parts of Eastern and Northern Thrace, today part of Greece and Turkey.