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    The 1876–1877 Constantinople Conference of the Great Powers (Britain, Russia, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy) was held in Constantinople (Istanbul) from 23 December 1876 until 20 January 1877. Following the Herzegovinian Rebellion started in 1875 and the Bulgarian Uprising in April 1876, the Great Powers agreed on a project for political reforms both in Bosnia and in the Ottoman territories with a majority Bulgarian population.


    The Great Powers agreed on a substantial Bulgarian autonomy to take the form of two new Ottoman provinces (vilayets) established for the purpose: Eastern, with capital Tarnovo, and Western, with capital Sofia.

    The conference determined that, as of the late 19th century, the Bulgarian ethnic territories within the Ottoman Empire extended to Tulcea and the Danube Delta in the northeast, Ohrid and Kastoria in the southwest, Kirklareli and Edirne in the southeast, and Leskovac and Niš in the northwest. These territories were to be incorporated into the two Bulgarian autonomous provinces as follows:

      [li]Eastern Bulgarian autonomous province, including the Ottoman sandjaks – second level administrative divisions – of Tırnova, Rusçuk, Tulça, Varna, Sliven, Filibe (bar the kazas – third level administrative divisions – of Sultaneri and Ahıçelebi), and part of the Edirne sandjak including the kazas of Kırkkilise, Mustafapaşa and Kızılağaç.

      [/li][li]Western Bulgarian autonomous province, including the sandjaks of Sofya, Vidin, Niş, Üsküp, Manastır (bar the kazas of Debre and Korça), the Nevrokop, Menlik and Demirhisar kazas of the Serez sandjak, and the kazas of Ustrumca, Köprülü, Tikveş and Kesriye.[/li]

    The Great Powers elaborated in detail the constitutional, legislative, executive, defense and law enforcement arrangements, cantonal administrative system, taxation, international supervision etc. for the proposed autonomous provinces.

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