Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca

The Treaty of Kuchuk-Kainarji Turkish: Küçük Kaynarca Antlaşması (also spelled Kuchuk Kainarji) Russian: Кючук-Кайнарджийский мир) was a peace treaty signed on 21 July 1774, in Küçük Kaynarca (today Kaynardzha, Bulgaria) between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Following the recent Ottoman defeat at the Battle of Kozludzha, the document ended the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–74 and marked a defeat of the Ottomans in their struggle against Russia.[1] The Russians were represented by Field-Marshal Count Pyotr Rumyantsev while the Ottoman side was represented by Musul Zade Mehmed Pasha.[1] The treaty was a most humiliating blow to the once-mighty Ottoman realm. It would also stand to foreshadow several future conflicts between the Ottomans and Russia. It would be only one of many attempts by Russia to gain control of Ottoman territory.

Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca 1774
Contemporary engraving related to the Kuchuk-Kainarji treaty
Ahmed Resmi Greek
Ahmed Resmî Efendi, chief Ottoman negotiator of the treaty[2]

Russia returned Wallachia and Moldavia to Ottoman control, but was given the right to protect Christians in the Ottoman Empire[3] and to intervene in Wallachia and Moldavia in case of Ottoman misrule. The northwestern part of Moldavia (which became known as Bukovina) was ceded to Austria in 1775.[4] Russia interpreted the Treaty of Kuchuk-Kainarji as giving it the right to protect Orthodox Christians in the Empire, notably using this prerogative in the Danubian Principalities (Moldavia and Wallachia) to intervene under the last Phanariote rulers and after the Greek War of Independence. In 1787, faced with increased Russian hostility, Abdul Hamid I declared war on Russia again.[4]

Russia gained Kabardia in the Caucasus, unlimited sovereignty over the port of Azov, the ports of Kerch and Enikale in the Kerch peninsula in the Crimea, and part of the Yedisan region between the Bug and Dnieper rivers at the mouth of the Dnieper.[4] This latter territory included the port of Kherson. Russia thus gained two outlets to the Black Sea, which was no longer an Ottoman lake. Restrictions imposed by the 1739 Treaty of Niš over Russian access to the Sea of Azov and fortifying the area were removed. Russian merchant vessels were to be allowed passage of the Dardanelles. The treaty also granted Eastern Orthodox Christians the right to sail under the Russian flag and provided for the building of a Russian Orthodox Church in Constantinople (which was never built).

Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca1
Commemorative plaque at the location where the treaty was signed
Fedoseev Fireworks at the Khodynka Field
Fireworks at the Khodynka Field near Moscow, a 1775 etching by Yemelyan Alekseevich Fedoseev in the National Museum in Warsaw commemorating celebrations and amusements on the occasion of the signing of the treaty

The Crimean Khanate was the first Muslim territory to slip from the sultan's suzerainty, when the Treaty of Kuchuk-Kainarji forced the Sublime Porte to recognize the Tatars of the Crimea as politically independent, although the sultan remained the religious leader of the Tatars as the Muslim caliph. This was the first time the powers of the Ottoman caliph were exercised outside of Ottoman borders and ratified by a European power. The Khanate retained this nominal independence, while actually being dependent on Russia, until Catherine the Great formally annexed it in 1783, increasing Russia's power in the Black Sea area.

The Ottoman-Russian War of 1768–74 had opened the era of European preoccupation with the Eastern Question: what would happen to the balance of power as the Ottoman Empire lost territory and collapsed? The Treaty of Kuchuk-Kainarji would provide some of the answer. After the Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699, the Ottoman Empire ceased to be an aggressive power; it had terrified Christendom for over three hundred years. From then on, it mainly fought against the overwhelming might of Christian Europe. The Habsburgs had been one of the Ottoman Empire's chief European foes, but by the middle of the century, the tsars had taken over the Habsburgs' fight against the Turks. The Russian tsars were seeking the Black Sea, the bulwark of the Ottoman capital of Constantinople. Finally, after two centuries of conflict, the Russian fleet had destroyed the Ottoman navy and the Russian army had inflicted heavy defeats on the Ottoman land forces.The Ottoman Empire's frontiers would gradually shrink for another two centuries, and Russia would proceed to push her frontier westwards to the Dniester.[5]

Treaty of Kuchuk-Kainarji
TypeCommercial treaty, peace treaty
Signed21 July 1774
LocationKüçük Kaynarca, Dobruja
LanguagesItalian, Russian, Turkish


Article I – Prescribes a ceasefire. Calls for peace, freedom and amnesty for prisoners, the return home of exiles, and the establishment of "a sincere union, and a perpetual and inviolable friendship."[3]

Article II – Addresses those who have committed capital crimes, stating that these criminals shall not be sheltered in either empire, and should be "delivered up" to the state they belong in.[3]

Article III – Russia and the Ottoman Empire acknowledge all of the Tartar peoples as free and independent nations, with freedom of religion and the freedom to be governed by their own ancient laws. Describes the withdrawal of troops from the lands they have ceded to the Tartars.

Article V – Explains the establishment of an envoy from the Imperial Court of Russia to the Sublime Porte.

Article VI – Addresses individuals who visit the Sublime Porte in service of the Russian Minister. If that visitor has committed a crime worthy of punishment and becomes Turk for the sake of avoiding the law, all the articles that he has stolen will be returned. Those who wish to become Turk may not do so in a state of intoxication, and even after their fit of drunkenness is over, they must make their final declaration of conversion in front of an interpreter sent by the Russian Minister.

Article VII – The Sublime Porte promises constant protection of the Christian religion and its churches.

Article VIII – Subjects of the Russian Empire have the right to visit Jerusalem and other places deserving of attention in the Ottoman Empire. They will have no obligation to pay any tax or duty, and will be under the strict protection of the law.

Article IX – Interpreters who work for the Russian Ministers work for both Empires, and must be treated with the utmost kindness and respect.

Article X – If any military engagements occur between the signing of the treaty and the dispatch of orders by the military commanders of the two armies, these engagements will have no consequences nor any effect on the treaty.

Article XI – The Sublime Porte will allow the residence of consuls from the Court of Russia to reside in Ottoman territory wherever the Court deems it expedient to establish said consuls. Prescribes free and unimpeded navigation for merchant ships of both countries. Subjects of both Empires may also trade on land.

Article XII – The Sublime Porte promises to use its power and influence to assist the Court of Russia when the court has the intention of making any commercial treaty with the regencies of Africa (Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, etc.).

Article XIII – Subjects of the Ottoman Empire must evoke the title of the Empress of all the Russias in all public acts and letters. In the Turkish language, that is to say "Temamen Roussielerin Padischag." [3]

Article XIV – Grants permission to the High Court of Russia to build a public church "of the Greek ritual" in Constantinople.[3] The church will always be under the protection of the ministers of the Russian Empire.

Article XV – All cases of disagreement shall be investigated by "the Governors and Commanders of the frontiers."[3] These officials will be bound to render justice where it is due, and any disagreements or disputes in the future will not serve as a pretext for any alteration in the friendship and good-feeling established by the treaty.

Article XVI – The Empire of Russia returns Bessarabia, the fortress of Bender, Wallachia and Moldavia. The Sublime Porte promises to in no way obstruct the free exercise of the Christian religion in these areas, and to grant to families who wish to leave the country a free emigration with all their property. And, from the day the treaty is established, the Sublime Porte will require no taxes of these people for two years. At the expiration of this two-year term, the Sublime Porte promises to treat them with fairness and respect in the taxes they impose.

Article XVII – Russia returns the islands of the Archipelago to the Sublime Porte. In turn, the Sublime Porte promises to observe amnesty of all crimes committed or suspected to have been committed by these people against the interests of the Sublime Porte. The Sublime Porte also promises to not oppress the Christian religion in the area, and to observe the same tax and emigration policies as mentioned in Article XVI.

Article XVIII – The Castle of Kinburn remains under "full, perpetual, and incontestable" dominion of the Empire of Russia.[3]

Article XIX – The fortresses of Jenicale and Kertsch shall remain under "full, perpetual, and incontestable" dominion of the Empire of Russia.[3]

Article XX – The city of Azov shall belong to the Empire of Russia.

Article XXI – The Great Cabarde and Little Carbade, because of their proximity to the Tartars, are more nearly connected with the Khans of Crimea. Thus, it remains with the Khan to consent to these countries becoming subject to the Court of Russia.

Article XXII – The two Empires agree to "annihilate and leave in eternal oblivion" all the treaties and conventions they have made in the past, except the one made in 1700 between Governor Tolstoi and Hassan Bacha, governor of Atschug.[3]

Article XXIII – The fortresses conquered by the Russian armies in Georgia and Mingrelia, Bagdadgick, Kutatis, and Scheherban shall belong to those on whom they were formerly dependent. In turn, the Sublime Porte grants amnesty to those in said countries who offended it in any manner during the course of the war. The Sublime Porte promises to treat this people fairly and grant them freedom of religion, but as they are subjects of the Sublime Porte, Russia must not meddle in their affairs in any way.

Article XXIV – Details plans for a peaceful withdrawal of Russian troops from the lands the Court of Russia has ceded to the Sublime Porte, and a proper turnover of power to Turkish troops. All troops were to be out of said territories within five months of the signing of the "Treaty of Perpetual Peace" between the two empires.[3]

Article XXV – All prisoners of war and slaves in the two Empires shall be granted liberty without ransom money or redemption money. This includes those in the Empire of Russia who voluntarily quit Mahometanism in order to embrace the Christian religion, as well as those in the Ottoman Empire who have left Christianity in order to embrace the Mahometan faith.

Article XXVI – The commander of the Russian Army in Crimea and the Governor of Oczakow must communicate with each other immediately after the signing of the treaty, and within two months after the signing of the treaty, send persons to settle the handing over of the Castle of Kinburn in keeping with the stipulations of Article XXIII.

Article XXVII – In order to keep the peace and friendship between the two Empires authentic, there shall be envoys sent by both sides who will meet on the frontiers and treated with honor and ceremony. As a testimonial of friendship, they shall each bring gifts that will be "proportionate to the dignity of their Imperial Majesties." [3]

Article XXVIII – All hostilities shall cease. Couriers must be dispatched on the part of the Field-Marshal and the Grand Vizier to all the places where hostilities are being carried on. By the power granted to them by their Sovereigns, these couriers shall confirm all the articles put forth by the treaty, and sign them with the seal of their coat-of-arms, with the same force as if they had been drawn up in their presence.

Major implications of the treaty

Defeat had come this time not at the hands of the Habsburg Empire, one of the most powerful European rulers, but by a remote and backward country that only two generations before had itself set out on the course of autocratic Europeanizing reform. The treaty would demonstrate that if France and Austria could protect churches of their particular brand of Christianity in Constantinople, Russia could do the same for her own church. In a letter of gratitude to Count Peter Aleksandrovich Rumiantsov, her field marshal and negotiator, Catherine II expressed her thoughts on a treaty the likes of which Russia has never had before."[5]

The treaty forced the Ottomans to allow the passage of Russian ships through the Turkish Straits into the Mediterranean past the sultan's palace in Constantinople, avoiding the lengthy detour previously used. The treaty did allow the Ottoman sultan to maintain certain rights there in his capacity as 'Caliph of Muslims.' In religious affairs only did the Ottomans remain subject to the Ottoman sultan-caliph; this was the first internationally acknowledged assertion of the sultan's rights over Muslims outside the frontiers of his empire. The Crimean Tatars retained the privilege of praying publicly for the sultan; this privilege was balanced by the privilege newly accorded to the tsar to make representations on behalf of certain of the sultan's Orthodox subjects.[5]

Russia's right to build a church in Constantinople later expanded into Russian claims to protect all Orthodox Christians under Ottoman rule. The Ottomans were to pay a large indemnity to the Russians and address the Russian sovereign as padisah, the title reserved for the Ottoman sultan. The treaty acknowledged a religious role for the Ottoman sultan as caliph over Muslims, whom the treaty briefly made 'independent' before they passed under Russian rule. To the extent that the caliphal title later gained importance beyond Ottoman borders, this treaty stimulated the process. However, Ottoman loss of the Crimea and the end of the Crimean khanate caused Muslims everywhere to question the sultans' legitimacy as defenders of Islam (ghazis). Ottoman statesmen recognized that the European menace was not isolated on distant frontiers but threatened the 'heart of Islam' and the 'entire Muslim community'.

The clause relating to the Orthodox Church opened foreign interference in the empire's relations with its Christian subjects. But the defeat also posed a basic problem in statecraft, and threatened the Ottoman's traditional self-confidence, while Russia and Tsarina Catherine would be praised immensely among the Greek Orthodox of Constantinople. The increase in Russia's influence because of the new church paralleled the increase in territorial, commercial, and diplomatic status accorded to Russia by the treaty.[6] The surrender of Muslims to Christian rule put into question the rationale of a state founded on Muslim conquest of Christians, and of a religious revelation that promised to the true believer prosperity and power on earth as well as salvation hereafter. It made abundantly clear the need for reform to save the state and to reassert the true faith; and the only basis of reform could be a Muslim equivalent of Satan casting out Satan.

Languages of the treaty

Cevdet Pasa reproduced the treaty in his history. His Article 14 states that the church is to be called the dosografa church.[6] The Mu'dhedit Mecmf'asz, is the official published collection of Ottoman treaties. A copy of the text of the treaty can also be found in Basbakanlik Arsivi in Istanbul and in the series of Ecnebi Defterleri which records treaties, decorations, and consular matters.

Texts of the treaty are also found in Italian and Russian. Grand Vizier Muhsinzade Mehmed Pasa signed Turkish and Italian copies of the treaty, while Field Marshal P. A. Rumyantsev signed Russian and Italian texts. Russian, Italian, and Turkish are the only three languages that original copies of the treaty were written in, and in case of a divergence between the Russian and Turkish texts, the Italian text would control.

Bernard Lewis suggests that the choice of spelling of Turkish words in the Italian version points to a Russian author.[7]

Problems in interpretation

The treaty has been a continuing source of controversy for statesmen and scholars. The different reproductions of the treaty have led to divergences in the different languages, and thus they have been the source of some confusion. While most of the treaty is straightforward, Articles 7 and 14 have been the source of a variety of interpretations. Article 14 of the treaty concerns the church that is to be built in Constantinople. In the Russian text, article 14 states that the church will be of the 'Greco-Russian' faith. The Italian text states that the church is to be called 'Russo-Greek'. Did Russia gain the right to act as a protector of Ottoman Christians through these articles? Some say yes, some say the articles are too vague to answer the question definitively, and some say the treaty serves an example of "Russian skill and Turkish imbecility."[8]

Because of the treaty, the Russians were accorded the right to build a church in Constantinople's Galata quarter. The treaty stated that the church would be under the protection of the Russian minister, who could make representations concerning it to the Sublime Porte. In later years, the Russian government would make claims on an even broader right to protect the Greek Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox people in the Sultan's domains. The claims were exaggerated, but the connection did seem logical because of the treaty's provision concerning this church in Constantinople being built. In Cevdet Pasa's history, he makes no mention of this church that, in the English text of the treaty, is to be "of the Greek ritual," and rather states that this church is to be called the dosografa church.[6]

If the church was to be called "Russo-Greek" rather than just Greek, it would be more tenable for the Russian government to claim protection of the whole Greek church in the Ottoman Empire. The Russian draft of the treaty presented to the Turks contained an article identical to article 14 of the final treaty, which mentioned the right of Russia to construct a church of the 'Greco-Russian' faith. The English text erroneously states that the church is to be "of the Greek ritual." The construction of this church was, in fact, a violation of Islamic law because it called for the building of an entirely new church, not just the replacement of an old one. The Ottoman government had allowed Greek and Latin churches built before 1453 to survive, but no new ones could be built after the conquest of Constantinople.[6] There is a history shown here, not of faulty copying, but of faulty translation of the treaty.'Rusogrek' was mistakenly copied by a clerk as 'Rusograf.' Then, 'Rusograf' was incorrectly copied as 'Dosografa'(by Cevdet Pasa or the compiler of the collection of Ottoman treaties. It is unknown exactly who is responsible for the error).

The English translation was made from a French translation of the treaty, which was made in 1775 in St. Petersburg, and printed for Parliament in 1854 with the English copy. This Russian-authorized French version of the treaty did not designate the church to be built in Constantinople as 'Russo-Greek.' Mention of the church's Russian character was omitted. 'Of the Greek ritual' may seem to have an insignificant difference from a church 'of the Greco-Russian faith.' However, this mistranslation found in the French then English text was a help to Russian pretensions of a right to protect the wider Greek Church in the Ottoman Empire. It is not in conformity with the Turkish, Russian, or Italian texts of the treaty, and may or may not be an innocent mistake, according to Roderic H. Davison. "The St. Petersburg French translation, then, by dropping any reference to the Russian character of the church, and including only reference to the Greek, was misleading. Deliberate or not, it certainly laid an advantageous base for later Russian claims."[6] Surprisingly, this church was most likely never built; it is never mentioned, even by any Russian visitors to Constantinople. Western travelers to Constantinople and residents of Constantinople are also silent on the topic of the construction of such a church. From the mistranslations and the absence of church construction, Roderic H. Davison concludes that "the 'Dosografa' church of the published Ottoman treaty text is fictitious; the church 'of the Greek ritual' in the French text of St. Petersburg is also erroneous."[6]


In 1853, the Crimean War would break out over Russian assertion of a right to protect Orthodox Christians in Turkey and the Turkish denial that there was any such right. Russia tried to extend its right to build a church in Constantinople to the right to protect all the Greek Orthodox people in the Ottoman Empire.[9]

See also


  1. ^ a b Ömer Lütfi Barkan (1985). Ord. Prof. Ömer Lütfi Barkan'a armağan (in Turkish). Istanbul University. p. 48.
  2. ^ Uyar, Mesut; Erickson, Edward J. (2009). A military history of the Ottomans: from Osman to Atatürk. ABC-CLIO. p. 116. ISBN 9780275988760. Ahmed Resmi Efendi (1700–1783) was an early example of this new generation. After classical scribal training Ahmed Resmi served as ambassador to Vienna (1757–1758) and Berlin (1763–1764). Additionally, he performed important administrative duties at the front during the disastrous Ottoman-Russian was of 1768–1774, and he was the chief Ottoman negotiator of the Kucuk-Kaynarca peace treaty. Thanks to this unique combination of experiences he witnessed the direct results of the empire's structural problems and was familiar with its military deficiencies.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Hurewitz, J.C. (1975). The Middle East and North Africa in World Politics: A Documentary Record (in Turkish). New Haven: Yale University Press.
  4. ^ a b c Hoiberg, Dale H., ed. (2010). "Abdulhamid I". Encyclopædia Britannica. I: A-ak Bayes (15th ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. p. 22. ISBN 978-1-59339-837-8.
  5. ^ a b c The Cambridge History of Islam I: The Central Islamic Lands (in Turkish). Cambridge University Press. 1970.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Davison, Roderic H. "The 'Dosografa' Church in the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca." JSTOR. JSTOR, 24 Dec. 2009. Web. 23 Nov. 2013. <>.
  7. ^ What Went Wrong?: Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response (Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 164, n. 3.
  8. ^ Davison, Roderic H. "Russian Skill and Turkish Imbecility": The Treaty of Kuchuk Kainardji Reconsidered." JSTOR. JSTOR, n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2013.>.
  9. ^ Martens, G. F. De, and Karl Friedrich Lucian Samwer. Nouveau Recueil General De Traites: Et Autres Actes Relatifs Aux Rapports De Droit International. Gottingue: Kraus Reprint, 1876. Print.
1774 in Russia

Events from the year 1774 in Russia

Ahmed Resmî Efendi

Achmet Resmî Efendi (English, "Ahmed Efendi of Resmo"), also called by some Arabic sources as Ahmed bin İbrahim Giridî ("Ahmed the son of İbrahim the Cretan"), was a Greek-Ottoman statesman, diplomat and author of the late 18th century. In international relations terms, his most important - and unfortunate - task was to act as the chief of the Ottoman delegation during the negotiations and the signature of the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca. In the literary domain, he is remembered for various works among which his sefâretnâme recounting his embassies in Berlin and Vienna occupy a prominent place. He was Turkey's first ever ambassador in Berlin.

Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Empire

The territory of Crimea, previously controlled by the Crimean Khanate, was annexed by the Russian Empire on 19 April [O.S. 8 April] 1783. The period before the annexation was marked by Russian interference in Crimean affairs, a series of revolts by Crimean Tatars, and Ottoman ambivalence. The annexation began 134 years of rule by the Russian Empire, which was ended by the revolution of 1917.

After changing hands several times during the Russian Civil War, Crimea was part of the Russian Soviet Republic from 1921 to 1954, and then was transferred to the Ukrainian SSR, which became independent Ukraine in 1991–92. The Russian Federation annexed Crimea in March 2014, though that annexation is not recognised internationally.

Battle of Andros (1825)

The Battle of Andros took place on 29 April 1825 between the fleets of the Ottoman Empire and Revolutionary Greece. The Greek fleet, under Georgios Sachtouris, comprising 20 warships and eight fireships, defeated the Ottoman fleet of 51 vessels by attacking and burning with two fireships the Ottoman flagship—a 66-gun ship of the line—and a 34-gun frigate. The Ottoman fleet dispersed, allowing the Greeks to capture a sloop with its crew, as well five Austrian cargo ships destined to support the Ottoman Siege of Missolonghi.

Battle of Kagul

The Battle of Kagul (Russian: Сражение при Кагуле, Turkish language:Kartal Ovası Muharebesi) was the most important land battle of the Russo-Turkish War, 1768-1774 and one of the largest battles of the 18th century. It was fought on 1 August 1770 (21 July at Julian Calendar), in Moldavia, near the village of Frumoasa (now Cahul, Moldova), just a fortnight after the Russian victory at Larga.

Under contribution of Pyotr Melissino, the Russian commander Pyotr Rumyantsev arranged his army of 40,000 soldiers in solid squares and surprisingly chose to go on the offensive against the allied forces of the Khanate of Crimea and the Ottoman Empire, which consisted of 30,000 Ottoman infantry and 45,000 Ottoman cavalry. About 80,000 Crimean Tatar cavalry were deployed within 20 km from the battlefield but they did not engage in battle.

The comparatively small Russian army assaulted the Ottomans and put them to flight. The Russian casualties were 1,000, while casualties on the Ottoman side amounted to over 20,000 soldiers killed and wounded. In the wake of this victory, the Russians captured 130 Ottoman cannons and overran all major fortresses in the region - İsmail (now Izmail), Kilya (now Kilia), Akkerman (now Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi), İbrail (now Brăila), İsakça (now Isaccea), and Bender.

In commemoration of the victory, Catherine II of Russia ordered the Kagul Obelisk to be erected in Tsarskoe Selo, while Frederick II of Prussia sent to Rumyantsev a congratulatory letter in which he compared the Russian victory to the deeds of the Ancient Romans.On the same day four years later, Russian and Ottoman empires signed the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca, ending the war.

Battle of Kozludzha

Battle of Kozludzha (also known as the Battle of Kozluca) fought on 20 June (Old Style - June 9) 1774 near the village of Kozludzha (now Suvorovo, Bulgaria) was one of the final and decisive battles of the Russo-Turkish War (1768–74). The Russians managed to rout the Ottoman army, scoring a major victory. This battle, alongside several others in this campaign, established the reputation of the Russian general Alexander Suvorov as a brilliant commander of his era.The Ottoman forces are estimated at about 40,000. Russian numbers were much lower, 8,000 men in total. The Ottoman forces were demoralized due to previous defeats and had poor logistics (including a year of withheld back pay).The Russian army under Generals Alexander Suvorov and Mikhail Kamensky encountered the Ottoman forces of General Abdul-Rezak Pasha. After scouts reported to Suvorov, he immediately ordered the attack. The Russian army, divided into four squares, attacked the Ottomans. Ottoman cavalry charges were repulsed by the Russians, while a Russian cavalry attack from the rear resulted in the capture of all of the Ottoman artillery. Russian artillery fire is also said to have been highly devastating to the Ottoman forces. Casualties were 3,000 for the Ottomans and 209 for the Russians. The Russians captured the Ottoman camp with its supplies, while the Ottomans abandoned Kozludzha and retreated to Shumla, where they were soon blockaded, suffering from further defeats and attrition.The Russian victory was one of the major reasons why a month later, on 21 July, the Ottomans were forced to sign the unfavorable Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca.

Danubian Principalities

Danubian Principalities (Romanian: Principatele Dunărene, Serbian: Дунавске кнежевине, translit. Dunavske kneževine) was a conventional name given to the Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, which emerged in the early 14th century. The term was coined in the Habsburg Monarchy after the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca (1774) in order to designate an area on the lower Danube with a common geopolitical situation. The term was largely used then by foreign political circles and public opinion until the union of the two Principalities (1859). Alongside Transylvania, the United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia became the basis for the Kingdom of Romania, and by extension the modern Romanian nation-state.In a wider context, the concept may also apply to the Principality of Serbia as one of The Principalities of the Danube which came under the suzerainty (alongside Wallachia and Moldavia) of the Porte from 1817.

Greek local statutes

The Greek Local Statutes were the local assemblies of Greece (the Charter of the Senate of Western Continental Greece, the Legal Order of Eastern Continental Greece, the Peloponnesian Senate Organization, the Provisional Regime of Crete, and the Military-Political Organization of the Island of Samos) during the Greek War of Independence who codified certain 'proto-constitutions' ratified by local assemblies with the aim of eventually establishing a centralized Parliament under a single constitution.


Kaynardzha (Bulgarian: Кайнарджа, pronounced [kajnarˈdʒa], Romanian: Cainargeaua Mică, Turkish: Kaynarca; also transliterated Kajnardža) is a village in northeastern Bulgaria, part of Silistra Province. It is the administrative centre of Kaynardzha Municipality, which lies in the easternmost part of Silistra Province, in the historical region of Southern Dobruja, close to the Romanian border.

The village is known as the location of the signing of the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca on 21 July 1774 between Count Pyotr Rumyantsev, representative of Empress Catherine the Great of the Russian Empire and Musul Zade Mehmed Pasha, representative of Sultan Abdul Hamid I of the Ottoman Empire. The treaty put an end to the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774, which was devastating for the once-mighty Ottoman realm.

The village was liberated from Ottoman rule in 1878, following the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. After the Balkan Wars, it was ceded by the Kingdom of Bulgaria to the Kingdom of Romania along with all of Southern Dobruja; as part of the interwar Durostor County, it was known as Cainargeaua Mică, a translation and adaptation of the older Ottoman Turkish name, Küçük Kaynarca ("small spa place"). Per the Treaty of Craiova of 1940, all of Southern Dobruja was returned to Bulgaria.

Since October 2017, Kaynardzha has been linked with the neighbouring commune of Lipnița in Romania via the Kaynardzha-Lipnița border crossing.

Kefe Eyalet

The Eyalet of Kefe or Caffa (Ottoman Turkish: ایالت كفه; Eyālet-i Kefê‎) was an eyalet of the Ottoman Empire. The eyalet stretched across the northern coast of the Black Sea with the main sanjak (Pasha sanjak) being located in the southern coast of Crimea. The eyalet was under direct Ottoman rule, completely separate from the Khanate of Crimea. Its capital was at Kefe, the Turkish name for Caffa (modern Feodosiya in Russia).

Khodynka Field

Khodynka Field (Russian: Ходынское поле, Khodynskoye pole) is a large open space in the north-west of Moscow, at the beginning of the present day Leningradsky Prospect. It takes its name from the small Khodynka River which used to cross the neighbourhood. Major constructions on the field included the 19th century military barracks and the Botkin Hospital, the largest in Moscow at the time of its inauguration in 1910.

Khodynka was the site of the first Russian powered flight, and became a regular airfield, in use through the late 1980s. The Russian National Air & Space Museum is at Khodynka.

Khodynka Field (up to the 17th century "Khodinskiy Meadow") has been known as such since the 14th century. The first mention of this name dates back to 1389, when Knyaz Dmitry Donskoy bequeathed Khodyinsky Meadow to his son Yuri Dmitrievich.

For a long time the field was undeveloped, placed it on arable land Tver coachmen settlement. At the beginning of the 17th century, the army of Tsar Vasili IV fought here against the troops of False Dmitry II.

During the reign of Catherine the Great, in 1775, the field was the scene of grand festivities on the successful conclusion of the war with Turkey with the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca.

In the 19th century, Khodynka was used to celebrate state occasions. In June 1883, the coronation of Alexander III was celebrated here. The event was co-ordinated by Mikhail Lentovsky and included four theatres, a circus, puppet shows, choirs, and orchestras. The climax was an allegorical procession entitled Spring is Beautiful. In May 1896, the site was used for the ill-fated coronation of Tsar Nicholas II. Rumours about a shortage in food and that the coronation mugs contained a gold coin resulted in a stampede in which more than 1000 (some sources say 1500) people were trampled to death (see Khodynka Tragedy).

Manhush, Donetsk Oblast

Manhush is an urban settlement (town) in Donetsk Oblast (province), located in the industrial region of the Donets Basin. It is an administrative seat of Manhush Raion. In 1946 to 1995 it was known as Pershotravneve or Pershotravnevy (in Russian).

The settlement was founded by Crimean Greeks (out of Mangup) who were deported (around 800 people) by Alexander Suvorov's troops.

National awakening of Bulgaria

Bulgarian nationalism emerged in the early 19th century under the influence of western ideas such as liberalism and nationalism, which trickled into the country after the French revolution, mostly via Greece, although there were stirrings in the 18th century. Russia, as fellow Orthodox Slavs, could appeal to the Bulgarians in a way that Austria could not. The Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca of 1774 gave Russia the right to interfere in Ottoman affairs to protect the Sultan's Christian subjects.

Peace of Zsitvatorok

The Peace of Zsitvatorok (or Treaty of Sitvatorok) was a peace treaty which ended the Fifteen Years' War between the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg Monarchy on 11 November 1606. The treaty was part of a system of peace treaties which put an end to the anti-Habsburg uprising of Stephen Bocskay (1604–1606).

The treaty was negotiated between 24 October and 11 November 1606 ad Situa Torock, at the former mouth of the Žitava River (Hungarian: Zsitva), which flows into the Danube in Royal Hungary (today part of Slovakia). This location would later become the small settlement of Žitavská Tôňa (Hungarian: Zsitvatorok), a part of the municipality of Radvaň nad Dunajom (Hungarian: Dunaradvány).

The peace was signed for a term of 20 years and has been interpreted in different ways by diplomatic historians. Differences between the Ottoman Turkish and the Hungarian texts of the treaty encouraged different interpretations, e.g. the Hungarians offered 200,000 florins as a once-and-for-all tribute (instead of the annual tributes of 30,000 guldens given before the war), whereas the Ottoman text foresaw that the payment was to be repeated after three years. The treaty prohibited Ottoman looting campaigns into the territory of Royal Hungary, and stipulated that Hungarian settlements under Ottoman rule could collect taxes themselves by means of village judges. The Ottomans also acknowledged the tax-free privilege of nobles. However, the Ottomans never really complied with these terms.

The treaty was signed by Sultan Ahmed I and Archduke Matthias of Austria on behalf of the Holy Roman Empire. On 9 December, Matthias's brother the Emperor Rudolf II ratified the treaty. The Ottomans' inability to penetrate further into Habsburg territory (Royal Hungary) during the long war was one of their first geopolitical defeats. However, the Treaty stabilized conditions on the Habsburg-Ottoman frontier for half a century for the benefit of both parties. The Habsburgs would face serious domestic opposition during the following years; and the Ottomans, apart from internal rebellion, had open conflicts in other parts of their frontiers (Poland and Iran).

At Zsitvatorok, for the first time, the Ottoman sultan recognized the equality of status of the Holy Roman Emperor by titling him Padishah, which was the sultan's own title. Before this, the Holy Roman Emperor was regarded as mere kıral (king) of Vienna in Ottoman diplomacy. The next European ruler to be conceded this level of respect was Catherine the Great of Russia in the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca of 1774.The treaty explicitly included the Crimean Khanate, as a vassal of the Ottoman Empire.


The Rumyantsev family (Румя́нцевы) were Russian counts prominent in Russian imperial politics in the 18th and early 19th centuries. The family claimed descent from the boyar Rumyanets who broke his oath of allegiance and surrendered Nizhny Novgorod to Vasily I of Moscow in 1391.

The first Rumyantsev to gain prominence, Alexander Ivanovich (1680–1749), served as ordinary of Peter the Great in the Preobrazhensky regiment. In 1720 he married Countess Maria Matveyeva, daughter and heiress of Count Andrey Matveyev. Peter's daughter Elizabeth recalled Rumyantsev to active service and made him a hereditary count as well as Governor of Kiev.

Their son Pyotr Alexandrovich (1725-96) took his name from that of the ruling Emperor and was rumored to have been his natural son. In 1761 he besieged and took the Prussian fortress of Kolberg, thus clearing for Russian armies the path to Berlin. During Catherine II's reign he served as Governor General of Little Russia, or Ukraine. After crossing the Danube River into Bulgaria and signing the advantageous Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca with the Turks in 1774, Rumyantsev was promoted Field Marshal and was given the victory title of Zadunaisky (literally, "Transdanubian").

His sister, Praskovja Bruce (1729–85), was the confidant and lady-in-waiting of Catherine the Great, who entrusted her with her private affairs and was known in history as the so-called "l'éprouveuse" (= "the (lovers) tester").

During the Napoleonic wars, Zadunaisky's son Nikolay Petrovich (1754–1826) held the highest offices of state, including those of Minister of Commerce (1802–11), President of the State Council (1810–12), Foreign Minister (1808–12), and Chancellor of the Russian Empire. On receiving the news of Napoleon's invasion of Russia (1812), he suffered a stroke and lost his hearing. He died childless, and the family became extinct soon thereafter.

Treaty of Jassy

The Treaty of Jassy, signed at Jassy (Iași) in Moldavia (presently in Romania), was a pact between the Russian and Ottoman Empires ending the Russo-Turkish War of 1787–92 and confirming Russia's increasing dominance in the Black Sea.The treaty was signed on 9 January 1792 by Grand Vizier Koca Yusuf Pasha and Prince Bezborodko (who had succeeded Prince Potemkin as the head of the Russian delegation when Potemkin died). The Treaty of Jassy formally recognized the Russian Empire's annexation of the Crimean Khanate via the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca of 1783 and transferred Yedisan (the territory between Dniester and Bug rivers) to Russia making the Dniester the Russo-Turkish frontier in Europe, and leaving the Asiatic frontier (Kuban River) unchanged.

Yakov Bulgakov

Yakov Ivanovich Bulgakov (Russian: Яков Иванович Булгаков; 15 October 1743 – 7 July 1809) was a Russian diplomat best remembered as Catherine II's emissary in Constantinople in the 1780s.

Of noble parentage, Bulgakov attended the gymnasium of the newly founded Moscow University. His class fellows included Ippolit Bogdanovich, Denis Fonvizin, and Grigory Potemkin. It was Bulgakov who was sent to notify Augustus III about the demise of Empress Elizabeth. A year later, he was dispatched to Vienna to inform Maria Theresa of Austria about the coup d'état that brought Catherine II to the throne.

Together with his patron, Prince Nicholas Repnin, Bulgakov was active in Warsaw, where he served as a secretary at the Russian mission. After the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca, he accompanied Repnin to Constantinople, where they persuaded the Sultan to acknowledge the independence of Crimea. In 1777 Repnin and Bulgakov proceeded to the Congress of Teschen, which concluded the War of the Bavarian Succession. Four years later, Bulgakov went to Ukraine, charged with the task of delineating the new border with Poland.

On 20 May 1781, the Empress appointed Bulgakov her emissary at the Sublime Porte. His mission was to prepare and smooth the Russian annexation of Crimea. A free trade agreement, concluded between the powers in 1783, was his notable success. When the last Crimean khan submitted to Catherine's authority, there were fears that the Russian resident would be mobbed and lynched. However, Bulgakov did not allow himself to be entrapped by the intrigues of the French ambassador and, on 28 December, wrested from Sultan a grudging recognition of the occupation of Crimea, which effectively precluded a new war between the countries.

When Catherine visited Novorossiya in 1787, Bulgakov went to confer with her in Crimea. Upon his return to Constantinople, he was thrown into the dungeon of the Castle of Seven Towers, where he translated French authors and wrote letters to his monarch. The Russo-Turkish War (1787–92) erupted, but Bulgakov still managed to be useful to the Russian government, so much so that he succeeded in obtaining a plan of the Turkish naval offensive, drafted by the French ambassador Comte de Choiseul-Gouffier. Contrary to recommendations of British, Swedish and Prussian diplomacy, the Sultan found it prudent to set "the obnoxious Russian" free (24 November 1789) and to deport him from his dominions.

Bulgakov declined to be transported to Russia on a French frigate, instead sailing to Trieste, from where he travelled to Vienna, where he met the dying Joseph II. Passing through Iași (where Potemkin was negotiating a peace treaty with the Sultan), Bulgakov arrived to St. Petersburg. The Empress commended his service and awarded him with extensive estates in newly acquired Belarus. Thereupon he was dispatched as minister plenipotentiary to Warsaw, where he spent four years orchestrating the Polish–Russian War of 1792.

Following Catherine's death, Bulgakov administrated the governorates of Vilno and Grodno until 1799, when he finally retired on account of bad health. He was elected into the Russian Academy in 1795. The remainder of his life was spent in retirement in Moscow.

Zaporozhian Sich

The Zaporozhian Sich (Ukrainian: Запорозька Січ, Запорізька Січ, Zaporoz'ka Sich, Zaporiz'ka Sich; Polish: Sicz Zaporoska; Russian: Запорожская Сечь) was a semi-autonomous polity and proto-state of Cossacks in the 16th to 18th centuries, centred in the region around today's Kakhovka Reservoir and spanning the lower Dnieper river in Ukraine. In different periods the area came under the sovereignty of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Ottoman Empire, the Tsardom of Russia, and the Russian Empire.

In 1775, shortly after Russia annexed the territories ceded to it by the Ottoman Empire under the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca (1774), Catherine the Great disbanded the Sich. She incorporated its territory into the Russian province of Novorossiya.

The term "Zaporozhian Sich" can also refer metonymically and informally to the whole military-administrative organisation of the Zaporozhian Cossack Host.

Çenebaz Osman Efendi

Çenebaz Osman Efendi (Osman Efendi the Chatterer or the Loudmouthed), formally named as Yenişehirli Osman Efendi (either from Yenişehir near Bursa, or from Giannitsa, now in Greece, which was also called "Yenişehr-i Fener" in Ottoman times) in Ottoman sources, was an Ottoman diplomat who was the first plenipotentiary in the first peace conference, held in Focşani, today in Romania, starting August 19, 1772, among the several that were organised during the ten-month truce (May 10, 1772 – March 21, 1773) in the course of the Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774). His Russian counterparts were Grigory Grigoryevich Orlov, Catherine II's lover and counsellor, and Aleksey Mikhailovich Obreskov (1720–1787), Russia's peacetime ambassador in İstanbul.

His name remains a byword to this day, thanks to his highly original perception of international relations and the unusual methods he developed while conducting diplomatic negotiations. He regained notoriety in Turkey's everyday culture from an anecdote about him related in a book by the Turkish novelist Kemal Tahir.

He started by burying an amulet into the ground on the way the members of the Russian delegation were to walk each day to render themselves to the conference hall. He also kept by his side a large sack full of gold coins at all times during the pourparlers, shuffling the coins noisily and gazing at his interlocutors with meaningful eyes, to the great puzzlement of the Russian negotiators. Proud of his rhetorical skill, he thought he could wear down the Russians with his diatribe of words and he sometimes just shouted at them meaninglessly to keep the pace of his speech. A first-hand Ottoman witness, named below, wrote that, in the end, the Russians had got used to listening to him as they would listen to a kaval.

Russian Field-Marshal Count Pyotr Rumyantsev noted in his memoirs: "If we say this efendi is crazy, it would be improper, so let us just say that he is smart but his is not like any other intelligence, we have ever experienced.". In his account of the war, Ahmed Resmi Efendi, a fervent advocate of immediate peace, placed the blame for the failure of the first round of negotiations, centered on the question of Crimea, squarely on Çenebaz Osman Efendi's shoulders.

The same Ahmed Resmi Efendi was to be the one to appose his signature on the 1774 Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca, disastrous for the Ottomans, at the end of the second round of the war resumed in March 1773.

Rise (1299–1453)
Classical Age (1453–1566)
Transformation (1566–1703)
Old Regime (1703–1789)
Modernization (1789–1908)
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