Kuchuk Kainarji, Treaty of [key], 1774, peace treaty signed at the end of the first of the Russo-Turkish Wars undertaken by Catherine II of Russia against Sultan Mustafa III of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey). It was signed at the village of Kuchuk Kainarji, now Kaynardzha, NE Bulgaria, in the Dobruja, near the Danube and SE of Silistra. The treaty ceded Kerch and several other Black Sea ports in the Crimea to Russia and declared the rest of the khanate of Crimea independent. Russian trading ships were allowed to navigate in Turkish waters. Moldavia and Walachia were restored to the suzerainty of the sultan, but Russia obtained the right of intervening with the Sublime Porte (the sultan's court) on behalf of those two principalities. Russia furthermore acquired certain rights of representation on behalf of the Greek Orthodox subjects of the sultan. By a separate treaty (1775) Turkey ceded Bukovina to Austria. The Treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji facilitated the eventual Russian annexation (1783) of the Crimea and was the basis of the later claims of Russia as protector of the Christians in the Ottoman Empire. The Russian ascendancy over Turkey, of which the treaty was a symptom, made the Eastern Question acute. Varied spellings include the forms Kutchuk and Kainardji.
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