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111 years of free and independent Bulgaria

Dear Botevists,

On today’s date 111 years ago in the Church of the Holy Forty Martyrs in Veliko Tarnovo, Prince Ferdinand read the manifesto that proclaimed Bulgaria a free and independent state.

September 22, 1908 will remain a memorable day in Bulgarian history. A day on which the native diplomacy proves its determination and steadfastness for the realization of the national ideal of Bulgaria to be an independent country recognized by the whole world.

Manifesto for the proclamation of the independence of Bulgaria

“By the will of the unforgettable Tsar-Liberator, the great fraternal Russian people, assisted by our good neighbours, the subjects of His Majesty the King of Rumania, and by the valiant Bulgarians, on the 19th of February 1878 (broke) the chains of slavery which for centuries had bound Bulgaria, once so great and glorious. Since then, for thirty whole years, the Bulgarian people, steadfastly faithful to the memory of the people’s workers for their freedom and inspired by their covenants, have worked tirelessly to settle their beautiful land and have created out of it, under my leadership and that of the late Prince Alexander, a state worthy of being an equal member of the family of civilized nations. Always peace-loving, my people today yearns for cultural and economic progress; in this respect nothing should hinder Bulgaria; nothing should stand in the way of her prosperity.

Such is the will of our people, such is their will. Let it be as he wishes.

The Bulgarian people and their head of state cannot but think alike and wish alike.

In fact, my independent state is being hampered in its normal and peaceful development by some Uzis (chains – ed.), the formal breaking of which will remove the cooling between Bulgaria and Turkey.

I and my people sincerely rejoice at the political revival of Turkey; she and Bulgaria, free and fully independent of each other, will have every opportunity of establishing and strengthening their friendly ties and of surrendering to peaceful internal development.

Encouraged by this bright work, and to meet the needs of the State and the desire of the people, I proclaim, with the blessing of the Most High, the united Bulgaria of September 6, 1885, as an independent Bulgarian kingdom, and together with my people I deeply believe that this act of ours will find the approval of the great Powers and the sympathy of the whole enlightened world.

Long live a free and independent Bulgaria!

Long live the Bulgarian people!”

Photo: the Declaration of Independence on September 22, 1908 in Veliko Tarnovo

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