Turkey (Ottoman Empire) ruled most of the Balkans at the start of this century. This part of Europe was called “the sick man of Europe” because it was so weak. All the major surrounding power wanted to increase their influence in the area were looking for an opportunity to take the Balkans. Russia - ports on the Mediterranean. Austria-Hungary – ports on the Mediterranean and crush the rebellious Slavs. Germany – A Berlin to Baghdad Railway Italy – Land on the other side of Adriatic. In 1908, a group called the “young Turks” caused chaos everywhere in Turkey. Austria- Hungary takes advantage. They seized the provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Most of the people were Serbs and did not want to be a part of Austria-Hungary. They wanted to be part of Serbia. Now Serbia was an enemy of Austria - Hungary. Italy attacked Turkey in 1911, beating them easily. Turkey was now very week. The other Balkan countries (Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Montenegro) joined together in 1912 to form the “Balkan League”. The Balkan League attacked Turkey and won. They were given all the land that Turkey owned in the Balkans. King Ferdinand (Bulgaria) wanted more land. 1913 Ferdinand attacks Serbia and Greece. This was a disaster for Bulgaria. They ended up being attacked from 4 sides. (they lost) Serbia came out the best after both Balkan wars. After all of this the Austrian Serbs gained an even stronger desire to join Serbia. The Balkans were now seething with hatred, resentment and unrest.