Congress of Berlin, 1878

The 1878 Congress of Berlin saw the further weakening and dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire which had been on a slow and steady decline for much of the Nineteenth Century. This picture shows Mehmet Ali, the Turkish representative, looking on powerlessly at the extreme right of the picture whilst the great powers seal his Empire's fate. From Left to Right you can see Karolyi of Austria, Gorchackov of Russia seated, Disraeli of Britain, Andrassy of Hungary and Bismarck of Germany shaking hands with Shuavalov of Russia. The Turks lost much land in Europe, but they were able to hold on to the all important straits of the Dardanelles and Constantinople itself. For the diplomatic aid that Turkey received from Britain, they thanked the British government and ensured that Britain would remain in the region to help in future crises by transferring Cyprus to British administration.

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by Stephen Luscombe