30/08/2012 General, Bulgaria, Greece & Islands, Turkey
An artificial name, created by British delegates to the Congress of Berlin 1878, given to the area south of the Balkan Mountains previously known as Northern Thrace.
Stamps of Turkey were handstamped "R.O." then "Roumelie Orientale", for use in the new area before exclusive designs were printed in Constantinople, that closely resembled Turkish stamps. They included the inscription "EMP. OTTOMAN".
A region within the Ottoman Empire, it was supposed to have significant administrative autonomy, but proved to be unstable with a revolt in 1885 in favour of union with Bulgaria. This led to Eastern Roumelian stamps being overprinted with the Bulgarian Lion and words in cyrillic for SOUTH BULGARIA; these stamps were issued at Philippolis (the main town) in September 1885. Bulgarian stamps were in use in that area from the 1st October. Although the area remained part of the Ottoman Empire until 1908, it was under Bulgarian control from that 1885 revolt period, and now forms part of Bulgaria.