Cretan Uprising 1866-1868

[ 1866 - 1868 ]

The Christians on the island of Crete regarded their Turkish rulers with hatred. Christian raids from the Sfakia in Crete's White Mountains led the Ottoman Empire to consider all cretans as hated Sfakians. When promised reforms failed to be promulgated by the Porte (Ottoman government), the Sfakians and city dwellers rose up simultaneously in 1866. Crete's pasha (governor) gained aid from Constantinople (Istanbul), but the insurgents forced the surrender of an entire Turkish army on the plain of Apokoronas in 1866. The insurgents then dispersed, and other Turks attacked the fortified monastery in Arkadi for revenge. Its powder magazine exploded and killed hundreds of refugee women and children there. Next, the Turks systematically destoyed areas in the White Mountains and then returned home in 1867. Greece and some western nations sent support to the Cretans, angering the Ottomans, who threatened on December 11, 1868, to blockade Greece if it did not desist. To avoid war, Greece complied, but the western nations, meeting in Paris in 1869, awarded Crete a measure of self-government, but too limited to forestall the Cretan Uprising of 1896.

Related Conflicts

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