Strandzha Commune
Странджанска комуна
Странджанска република
Малкотърновска република
Flag of
Lokalizacja Strandży.jpg
StatusAnarchist Republic
CapitalCentered around Malko Tarnovo
Historical eraIlinden–Preobrazhenie Uprising
• Established
18 August 1903
• Disestablished
8 September 1903
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
Today part ofBulgaria

The Strandzha Commune or Strandzha Republic[1] was a short-lived anarchist commune.[2] It was proclaimed during the Preobrazhenie Uprising in 1903 by Internal Macedonian Adrianople Revolutionary Organization rebels in Strandzha, in the Adrianople Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire.[3]


By 1903, the anarchist Mihail Gerdzhikov was elected as a commander of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation's armed guerrilla wing in Thrace,[4] the so-called Mortal Combat Body which helped stage a revolt against the Ottomans in Adrianople Vilayet. In the Ilinden–Preobrazhenie Uprising Gerdzhikov's forces about 2,000 strong, facing a Turkish garrison of 10,000 well-armed troops, managed to establish a liberated zone in the Strandzha Mountains, centered in Vasiliko. This successful mass uprising, supported by militia, allowed the rebels to capture most of East Thrace, settling in Malko Tarnovo. The new "Strandzha Commune" was established and maintained for almost a month.[5] In the region, under the influence of the anarcho-communist views of Gerdzhikov and the leadership of the Odrinsk revolutionary district, a new communal management system was established where all issues were resolved by mutual agreements between the Bulgarians and Greeks.

The economy of the Strandzha Commune was based on anarcho-communist principles.[6] Most of the labor force was composed of women, who worked in the farms as men became guerilla fighters. The Turkish government was surprised by the uprising, taking extraordinary military measures to suppress it. The Ottomans managed to destroy the Strandzha Republic, committing atrocities against the rebel forces and the local population.[7] As a result of the suppression, about 30,000 refugees took refuge in Bulgaria.

See also


  1. ^ Khadzhiev 1992.
  2. ^ Vasséva, Sonia (August 2, 2013). "2 août : Insurrection de la Saint Elie et de la Transfiguration" [August 2: Insurrection of Saint Elijah and the Transfiguration] (in French). Radio Bulgaria. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  3. ^ Todorov, Nikolaĭ (1978). Освободителната борба на българите в Македония и Одринско, 1902-1904 [The liberation struggle of the Bulgarians from Macedonia and the Adrianople region, 1902-1904] (in Bulgarian). Nauka i izkustvo. p. 10. Retrieved July 7, 2006.
  4. ^ Balkanski 1982b, p. 5.
  5. ^ Balkanski 1982b, p. 6.
  6. ^ Balkanski 1982b, pp. 5–6.
  7. ^ Balkanski 1982b.


Further reading

Coordinates: 42°10′15.16″N 27°51′4.58″E / 42.1708778°N 27.8512722°E / 42.1708778; 27.8512722