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Cyprus Convention (1878)

CYPRUS CONVENTION (1878)

agreement to let the british occupy ottoman-held cyprus in return for promise of military aid.

The RussianOttoman War of 1877 to 1878 ended with the Treaty of San Stefano, forced on the defeated Ottoman Empire by Russia's czar and his minister Nikolas Ignatiev. San Stefano, however, was not to the liking of Britain's prime minister, Benjamin Disraeli. He offered to support the Ottomans and seek a revision of the treaty. In return, he demanded the island of Cyprus. The British had been looking for a naval base in the eastern Mediterranean, and Cyprus was ideally situated. By the Cyprus Convention of June 1878, the Ottoman sultan allowed the British to occupy Cyprus in return for a British guarantee of military aid if Russia refused to withdraw from the eastern Anatolian provinces occupied during the war. It took some time for the details to be arranged to the satisfaction of both parties, and the final terms of the convention were not settled until 3 February 1879. With the tentative agreement in hand by 4 June 1878, however, Britain engineered a drastic revision of the San Stefano treaty in favor of the Ottoman Empire at the Congress of Berlin in July 1878.

see also berlin, congress and treaty of; ignatiev, nikolas pavlovich; san stefano, treaty of (1878).


Bibliography

Hurewitz, J. C., trans. and ed. The Middle East and North Africa in World Politics, 2d edition. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1975.

Shaw, Stanford, and Shaw, Ezel Kural. History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey. 2 vols. Cambridge, U.K., and New York: Cambridge University Press, 19761977.

Zachary Karabell

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