Treaty of Kucuk Kaynarca

Treaty of Kucuk Kaynarca

The Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca (also spelled Kuchuk Kainarji) 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 1768–1774 and marked a defeat of the Ottomans in their struggle against Russia.[1] The Russians were represented by Field-Marshal Rumyantsev while the Ottoman side was represented by Musul Zade Mehmed Pasha.[1]

Russia returned Wallachia and Moldavia to the Ottoman Empire, but was given the right to protect Christians in the Ottoman Empire, and to intervene in Wallachia and Moldavia in case of Ottoman misrule. Bukovina was ceded to Austria in 1775.[3] The Crimea was declared independent, but 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. 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.[3] 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 Azov Sea 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).

The treaty was a most humiliating blow to the once-mighty Ottoman realm.

The Crimean Khanate, while nominally independent, was dependent on Russia and was formally annexed into the Russian Empire in 1783. Russia interpreted the treaty as giving them the right to protect Orthodox Christians in the Empire, notably using this prerogative in the Danubian Principalities (Moldavia and Wallachia) to intervene during the last Phanariote rules and after the Greek War of Independence. In 1787, faced with increased Russian hostility, the Abdulhamid I declared war on Russia again.[3]

See also