The Liberation of Thessaloniki, Macedonia – October 26, 1912.

As the First Balkan War broke out, Greece declared war on the Ottoman Empire and expanded its borders. When Eleftherios Venizelos, Prime Minister at the time, was asked if the Greek army should move towards Thessaloniki or Monastiri (now Bitola, Vardarska-FYROM), Venizelos replied “Salonique à tout prix!” (Thessaloniki, at all costs!). As both Greece and Bulgaria wanted Thessaloniki, the Ottoman garrison of the city entered negotiations with both armies. On 26 October, the feast day of the city’s patron saint, Saint Demetrius, the Greek Army accepted the surrender of the Ottoman garrison at Thessaloniki. The Bulgarian army arrived one day after the surrender of the city to Greece and Tahsin Pasha, ruler of the city, told the Bulgarian officials that “I have only one Thessaloniki, which I have surrendered”. After the Second Balkan War, Thessaloniki and the rest of the Greek portion of Macedonia were officially annexed to Greece by the Treaty of Bucharest in 1913.

Invitation to HCGM “OXI” day celebration

Balkan War, November 11, 1912, In Salonica, arrival of King of Greece in town, accompanied by the crown prince and followed by sons and grand-sons of his staff. (Photo by Photo12/UIG/Getty Images)