The disorganization and anarchy in the Turkish empire at the beginning of the 19th century gave the Serbs their opportunity, and the people rose en masse against its oppressors (January 1804).
So far as geographical description is concerned, the separate articles on Asia Minor, Albania, Armenia, and other areas mentioned below - constituting the Turkish Empire - may be consulted.
Eastern Rumelia was constituted an autonomous province of the Turkish empire by the Berlin treaty of 1878; but on the 18th of September 1885, after a bloodless revolution, it was united with Bulgaria (q.v.).
Up to 1888 the only railways existing in the Turkish Empire (exclusive of Egypt) were, in Europe, the Constantinople-Adrianople-Philippopolis line and the SalonicaMitrovitza line (finished in 1872); and in Asia Minor, the SmyrnaAidin (completed in 1866), the Smyrna-Cassaba (completed in 1866), the Constantinople-Ismid (completed in 1872), the MersinaAdana (completed in 1886).
The ambitions of Mehemet Ali of Egypt were not yet fully revealed; but Ali of Jannina, who had marched to the aid of the sultan against the rebellious pasha Pasvan Oglu of Widdin, soon began to show his hand, and it needed the concentration of all the forces of the Turkish empire to effect his overthrow and death (1822).
Jellinek has suggested this classification (Die Lehre von den Staatenverbindungen, p. 58): (a) Unorganized associations, including - (1) treaties; (2) occupation of the territory of one state and administration by another, as in Bosnia and Cyprus; (3) alliances; (4) protectorates, guarantees, perpetual neutrality; (5) Der Staatenstaat, the feudal state, of which Jellinek gives the Turkish Empire and the old Holy Roman Empire as examples.
He regarded the treaty of Unkiar Skelessi which Russia extorted from the Porte in 1832, when she came to the relief of the sultan after the battle of Konieh, with great jealousy; and, when the power of Mehemet Ali in Egypt appeared to threaten the existence of the Ottoman dynasty, he succeeded in effecting a combination of all the powers,who signed the celebrated collective note of the 27th of July 1839, pledging them to maintain the independence and integrity of the Turkish Empire as a security for the peace of Europe.
At the time of his death the Turkish Empire extended from near the frontiers of Germany to the frontiers of Persia.
The total population of the Turkish Empire in 1910, including Egypt and other regions nominally under the sultan's suzerainty, was 36,323,539, averaging 25 to the square mile; in the provinces directly under Turkish government, 25,926,000.
THE EASTERN QUESTION, the expression used in diplomacy from about the time of the congress of Verona (1822) to comprehend the international problems involved in the decay of the Turkish empire and its supposed impending dissolution.