Akkerman, Convention of

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AKKERMAN, CONVENTION OF

By the mid-1820s, the Balkans and the Black Sea basin festered with unresolved problems and differences, including recurring cycles both of popular insurrection and Turkish repression and of various Russian claims and Turkish counterclaims. Most blatantly, in violation of the Treaty of Bucharest (1812), Turkish troops had occupied the Danubian principalities, and the Porte had encroached on Serbian territorial possessions and autonomy. On March 17, 1826, Tsar Nicholas I issued an ultimatum demanding Turkish adherence to the Bucharest agreement, withdrawal of Turkish troops from Wallachia and Moldavia, and entry via plenipotentiaries into substantive negotiations. An overextended and weakened Sultan Mahmud agreed to negotiations beginning in July 1826 at Akkerman on the Dniester estuary.

On October 7, 1826, the two sides agreed to the Akkerman Convention, the terms of which affirmed and extended the conditions of the earlier Bucharest Treaty. Accordingly, Turkey transferred to Russia several settlements on the Caucasus littoral of the Black Sea and agreed to Russian-approved boundaries on the Danube. Within eighteen months, Turkey was to settle claims against it by Russian subjects, permit Russian commercial vessels free use of Turkish territorial waters, and grant Russian merchants unhindered trade in Turkish territory. Within six months, Turkey was to reestablish autonomy within the Danubian principalities, with assurances that the rulers (hospodars ) would come only from the local aristocracy and that their replacements would be subject to Russian approval. Strict limitations were imposed on Turkish police forces. Similarly, Serbia reverted to autonomous status within the Ottoman Empire. Alienated provinces were restored to Serbian administration, and all taxes on Serbians were to be combined into a single levy. In long-term perspective, the Akkerman Convention strengthened Russia's hand in the Balkans, more strongly identified Russia as the protector of Balkan Slavs, and further contributed to Ottoman Turkish decline.

See also: bucharest, treaty of; serbia, relations with; turkey, relations with

bibliography

Jelavich, Barbara. (1974). St. Petersburg and Moscow: Tsarist and Soviet Foreign Policy, 18141974. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Seton-Watson, Hugh. (1967). The Russian Empire 18011917. Oxford: At the Clarendon Press.

Bruce W. Menning

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