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The Treaty of Hünkâr İskelesi (less correctly spelled as Unkiar Skelessi) was a treaty signed between Russia and the Ottoman Empire in 1833, following the Russo-Turkish War, 1828-1829.


Muhammad Ali of Egypt, ostensibly only a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire, had taken his newly-reformed military into a war against the Ottoman Sultan, Mahmud II, in late 1831 seeking to increase his personal power and gain control over Palestine, Syria and Arabia. He had easily overridden Turkish forces and threatened Constantinople itself. While Britain and France were sympathetic to Muhammad Ali, Nicholas I sent a Russian army to the assistance of the Turks. This intervention brought about peace by May of 1833, which left Muhammad Ali in control of Syria and Arabia.

The Treaty

On July 8, 1833, the Russians and Ottoman Turks signed the Treaty of Hünkâr İskelesi. This promised mutual assistance should either be attacked by a foreign power. A secret article exempted Ottoman from sending military forces; instead, they were to close the Dardanelles to all non-Russian ships[1]

Britain and France were suspicious of the treaty, fearing that Ottoman has given Russia freedom of action to send warships through the Dardanelles. These doubts were however quelled in 1841 by the London Straits Convention.


  1. ^ Efraim Karsh (2001). Empires of the Sand: The Struggle for Mastery in the Middle East. Harvard University Press. p. 35.  


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