Foreign Affairs: The Ottoman Empire

Peter the Great and the Ottoman Empire

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  • Western Influence and trade

Needed ports. The Black sea was to be his 'Window on the West'. He followed Sophia and Golitsyn's failed 'Southern Policy' 

  • International Power

Considered less important than the smallest German state in the HRE. Russia had no embassies. 

  • Security

Crush the Tartars who were backed by the Turks and constantly raided Russia. 

  • Religious motives?

Captured Muslim fortresses. Convert people?? political excuse??

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Azov 1695

1695 failure 

  • Capture Azov

Way into the Crimean sea. Strike into heart of Tartar territory. 

  • Strength of the Turks 

Turkish naval power kept Russian army out by constant bombardment 

  • Lack of Leadership in Russian army

Command divided between Lefort, Gordon and Golovin, who all had to consult Peter before acting. The Streltsy refused to obey their western officers. 

  • Poor supply lines and technology
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Azov 1696

  • Gained Austrian and Brandenburger experts
  • Drafted peasant labour
  • Constructed shipyards at Voronezh 
  • Had single commanders

Lefort of the navy and Shein of the army

  • Also recruited engineers and supply officers 
  • Turkish reinforcements were kept at bay by new Russian fleet
  • Azov forced to surrender within 2 months 
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Great Embassy; diplomatic failure

  • Next step was to take the fortress at Kerch 
  • In 1696 Peter knew that his resources were not ready for an assault on the Crimean peninsula
  • Hoped he could get alliances to do this 
  • No one in Europe was interested in a war with Turkey
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Treaty of Carlowitz 1699

  • Peter turned his attention to the north 
  • came to terms with Turkey 
  • Russia kept Azov
  • Embassy in Constantinople 
  • Turks promised not to help the Tatars
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Outcome of Azov

  • Kick-started the Russian navy

1698 School of Navigation at Azov. Taganrog naval base. 

  • Western experts were brought in to help out in the shipyards and navy
  • Russians sent to W. Europe to master seamanship
  • Peasants moved to work on the shipyard
  • Crimean tartars were silenced 
  • Didn't achieve opening up a route into the Med. 
  • 1704 Peter had to give some land back to Turkey to prevent the Sultan supporting Sweden 
  • Embassy in Constantinople 
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Pruth Campaign

  • Turkish Sultan became more anxious about Russian power Poltava

Charles XII fled into Turkish territory persuaded the Sultan to declare war in 1710

  • 38,000 Russians faced 200,000 Turks at the river Pruth 
  • Peter was only saved by the fact the Turkish commanders wanted a quick end to the war. 
  • Peter was unprepared - last minute 
  • Unable to supply his troops properly 
  • Underestimated Turkish strength 
  • Overconfident after Poltava 
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Treaty of Adrianople 1713

  • Give up Azov and Tagenrog and abandon the fleet
  • Remove embassy from Constantinople 
  • Allow charles XII safe passage back to Sweden 
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  • By 1713 Peter lost any gain made in the South 
  • 'He considered that God had turned him, like Adam, out of paradise' - Lee
  • Was the massive labour and economic cost worth it? 
  • 'Blessing in disguise' - Peter could concentrate on the Baltic
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