This document is a beyānnāme, or declaration, sent by the Ottoman reʾīsül-kuttāb (chief scribe) to Britain's ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, justifying the Ottoman declaration of war on Russia by explaining Russia's violation of treaty obligations. The document gives insight into eighteenth-century Ottoman attitudes to international law and its relationship with Islamic law. Its use of the phrase naḳż-ı ʿahd (breaking the treaty), which has its origins in a specifically Qurʾānic context illustrates one way in which war was legitimized within the Ottoman Empire. Other phrases used in the beyānnāme demonstrate how Ottoman legal plurality functioned within a martial context.
The question of the role of war in Islam is one of intense focus in the contemporary world, not least with the proliferation of jihādī groups and ideologies that place warfare at the front of discourse within and about Islam. This violent shade of the Islamic spectrum is not monochrome, with differing opinions as to permissible targets in war, from indiscriminate takfīrī groups to those advocating more focused targeting of religious and political enemies, often defined as "the West" and its allies. Although Muslim-on-Muslim violence, particularly in Iraq and Syria, has somewhat complicated popular perceptions targets of warfare in the contemporary Islamic world (even if reduced to a Sunnī-Shīʿa binary), a sense of a Huntingtonian clash of civilizations of a homogenized "Islam" and "West" still persists.
The combination of a number of events – the increasingly aggressive and assertive foreign policy of Turkey and the return of Islam to public life in that country, the territorial expansion of Dāʿish, and the centenaries of the Ottoman declaration of jihād against the Entente powers in 1914 and the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916 – has brought the Ottoman Empire back into the spotlight. As a major Muslim polity and the last widely-recognized holder of the caliphate, the Ottoman Empire and its relations with the world around it are of increasing interest to a wider audience. Yet there is still a tendency to frame the history of Ottoman foreign policy as part of an ongoing clash between Christian West and Muslim East. To simplistically describe the Ottoman Empire as an Islamic polity is rather problematic given its legal pluralism and demographic and confessional diversity. This is not to say that Islam was not central to its identity, nor that the shariʿa played no role in foreign policy processes, but that it was one of a number of legal frameworks employed within the Ottoman state.
This is particularly true of the eighteenth century, a hugely important time in the history of the Ottoman state in terms of its domestic and foreign policy institutions. It is also the century that has often been described as the start or entrenchment of Ottoman "decline" – a narrative those of us in Ottoman studies try to avoid – that saw increasing territorial losses and military defeats to European enemies. One key development during the eighteenth century was that Russia, thanks to significant modernization efforts in its armed forces and a voracious demand for new territories, emerged as Istanbul's military and political nemesis. In particular, the Black Sea, which had been an Ottoman lake thanks to Istanbul's dominion in the south and strong cooperation with its vassal territory, the Crimean Khanate, in the north, became a target of Russian efforts. When the modern Russian state invaded Crimea in 2014, Cossacks and Tartars once again entered the European vocabulary. Yet, it was another Russian invasion, that of 1768, that would prove to be a profound moment in the history of both the Ottoman and Russian empires, and would mark the beginning of the end for the political independence and even presence of Muslims in the northern Black Sea region.
An informatory declaration
The document I would like to briefly analyze here is a text sent by Recāī Efendi, the reisü'l-küttāb – literally the chief scribe, but the de facto foreign minister in the Ottoman dīvān, the imperial council of ministers – to the British ambassador John Murray in 1768. This was subsequently translated into Italian (the diplomatic lingua franca in the Ottoman realms in this period), and the original and its translation were sent to London where they were stored with the other files and correspondence dispatched from Istanbul. Below is my translation from the Ottoman Turkish original, and my transcription of the text can be found at the end of this post.
Text of the Ottoman Declaration on Russia
This is an informatory declaration that the State of Russia has violated and broken the treaty concluded with the Ever-Eternal Sublime State.
The Sublime State has always completely observed the rules of the peace contracted between the Eternal Sublime State and the State of Russia. However, it is clear from the evidence that follows that they have not been at all observed by the State of Russia. Contrary to the signs of friendship, the State of Russia built a number of castles near to and around the border, collecting and positioning soldiers and all the [necessary] supplies, and did not subsequently withdraw them. In the year 77 (1763), the King of Poland, Augustus III, died and the Polish nation, in accordance with their rules of independence, elected a king of the Commonwealth of Poland. In this matter, by the principles of their people, the king may not be from among the officers of the military class of Poland, and no inappropriate person can be forced into the position of king.
[Russian] partiality to a particular candidate being contrary to the will of the Commonwealth, and an interference in and aggression towards all the affairs of Poland, the [Russian] agent [in Istanbul] was questioned. He said in his answer: “Because [the Poles] had requested a unit of soldiers to protect the rules of the independence of the Commonwealth of Poland, six thousand lancers and a thousand Cossacks, making a total of seven thousand, were appointed to the Realm of Poland without guns or gunpowder, and they were set to work throughout the Commonwealth of Poland. A while afterwards, an individual who was not one of the military men made a declaration, and he subsequently went to the Realm of Poland and raised armed soldiers.”
[The Russian agent] was asked why a gentleman called Poniatowski was forced to be nominated to the position of king. He said in reply: “God forbid the State of Russia should be partial to a person, and install any person as king." He said, "There has been no compulsion, and after [Poniatowski] had presented a certificate with his signature he gradually returned to the Realm of Poland with soldiers issued with guns and gunpowder. By the actions of one of the generals, the rules of independence of Poland were annulled, and the Poles did not hold an election. The crown prince was deposed and forced to be his subject, those who did not submit were killed and their goods plundered, and similar pieces of news were received that [the rebels] were beginning operations contrary to the official declaration. Such actions are the cause of and reason for disturbances of order on the borders of the Sublime State. In accordance with the requirements of old and new imperial capitulations, it is explained and required for [Russian] soldiers to be withdrawn from Poland at the time of February, and at such a time all of them withdrew and left."
After [the agent] sent a document with a petitionary declaration with a number of signatures and seals, the Russian army with cannon and guns was sent over the Islamic borders to the area of Balta and launched a surprise attack on the people of Islam [i.e., Muslims]. When news arrived that more than a thousand men, women, and children had been slaughtered; whether they were from the Sublime State or from the most noble, the most brave and esteemed khan, the ruler of the region of Crimea, the response of the State of Russia was contrary to peace and harmony by denying their blatant movements of cannon and munitions. [The Russian agent] said: “The Haidamaka (Polish-Lithuanian armed bands similar to Cossacks) caused great harm and they were punished.” This is a deceitful answer; by a special command the Haidamaka bandits did not frequently roam with cannon and munitions, and it is common knowledge that these methods are contrary to peace and harmony – and that [the Haidamaka] are a great pest.
Three or four years later, and the [Russian] soldiers have failed to leave Poland. In the provisions of the treaty of 1133 (1720) as well as that of 52 (1739), one of the articles of peace says, “Anything that does any harm to the order of the ever-lasting peace shall be immediately prohibited.” When [we] explained this [to the Russians], they denied those who were causing havoc and villainy at Balta, and did not swiftly and publicly discipline those who dared to do so. Moreover, because they did not withdraw their soldiers from the Realm of Poland contrary to the provisions of peace, the current secretary and envoy of the State of Russia residing at the Threshold of Felicity were questioned on this situation and the [Russian] agent was invited to the Sublime Abode to present a signed and sealed petitionary declaration, and was himself questioned on the aforesaid article, but he gave no answer at all. With his silence, they broke the treaty.
He was once more asked about the situation, [we] desiring to know why the soldiers of Russia would not leave Poland, [and he responded] that the soldiers of Russia would not leave Poland until the Poles were made subject to the king. As he had petitioned and made his declaration in conformity to the old and new imperial capitulations, he was asked during his speech, “Would the State of Russia abandon its interference with the Poles, and cease the pretension of introducing a new order, security, and custodianship over the realm?” He insisted in his reply: “My plenipotentiary powers are limited. This [treaty] article is known by my state.” By this means they also clearly broke the treaty.
This being evident and clear, consequently a requirement of the orthodox law necessitated a victorious imperial military expedition against the Muscovites, and the great scholars responded by issuing a noble opinion in response that they were in complete accord that a campaign against Russia was legally permissible. As a result, it was necessary to arrest the [Russian] agent in accordance with the ancient custom of the Sublime State, and he was imprisoned in the Seven Towers. To this time, there will not be found any base actions by the Sublime State contrary to friendship and the imperial capitulations. In this matter, the State of Russia acted contrary to peace and harmony by offering affronts and delays in consideration of friendship over three years, and in this way have clearly and evidently broken the treaty. This declaration is to inform and declare [this matter] to the State of Britain.
The purpose of the declaration
This document calls itself a beyānnāme, a declaration or manifesto, explaining specifically how Russia had violated its treaty with the Ottoman Empire. In this relatively short text, a number of different principles are revealed, but to understand them, a very brief bit of historical context is needed. Before the Eastern Question (the competition among European powers over what to do with a weakened Ottoman Empire) was the Polish Question, which was to result in the partitioning of the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth between Austria, Prussia, and Russia in 1772 and 1793, with a third partition in 1795 marking the end of the Commonwealth's existence. The prelude to this was a growing interference in Poland's affairs by its neighbors, particularly Russia. Poland-Lithuania was an elective monarchy, with the king a figurehead protecting but subject to a set of fundamental articles (the Articuli Hernicani). He was elected by the powerful nobility, and presided over a sovereign parliament (the Sejm).
A major power of the seventeenth century, Poland-Lithuania found its delicate political balance increasingly subject to direct Russian interventions, which reached a head in the flawed election of Stanisław August Poniatowski as King Stanisław II in 1764. Stanisław was pushed strongly by the Russian Empress Catherine II, with the Russian army invading Poland to support him. Growing resentment against this Russian interference lead to violence in 1768, with a rebellion by the Haidamaka in the border lands, and a major noble uprising by a group known as the Bar Confederation. Under the Polish-Lithuanian constitution, rebellion against an unlawful or unjust king was a key right of the nobility, but the Russians utilized this conflict to consolidate their power in the region, leading to the First Partition in 1772 that saw key territory Poland-Lithuanian split between Austria, Prussia, and Russia, and the rump state reduced to the status of a Russian protectorate.
The Ottoman Empire, as a near neighbour of Poland-Lithuania and a target of Russian aggression, had a clear stake in this situation, and the arrival of violence on its borders, and in partiuclar the Russian construction of fortifications and positioning of troops next to Ottoman territory, was in violation of earlier peace treaties. Reports of massacres of Muslims in the region by Russian troops provided further provocation and, for the Ottomans, evidence that the peace had been broken. In short, Russian attacks on Polish independence amounted to direct and indirect attacks against the Ottoman Empire and its wider interests.
What have the British got to do with all of this? From the latter part of the seventeenth century onwards, the British attempted to increase their economic and political clout with the Ottoman state by attempting to mediate peace treaties between the Ottomans and their enemies, particularly the Habsburgs. This was successfully achieved at Carlowitz in 1699 and Passarowitz in 1718. The British had also pushed hard for the mediation of the Treaty of Belgrade in 1739, but were beaten to it by the French. However, with crisis growing in the East and with a strong interest in gaining commercial access to the Black Sea, the British again tried to position themselves as the natural choice for mediator between the Ottomans and Russians in the mid-1760s. The British were therefore a crucial ally, and the Ottoman state evidently felt a need to prove that it was they who were the victims of Russian aggression. By highlighting Russian interference in and violence against Poland-Lithuania, the narrative that the Russians would also break their treaties with the Ottomans through violence was made more compelling.
When the document describes the consequences of Russian actions, it uses one particular phrase that is repeated at key moments: naḳż-ı ʿahd (breaking the treaty). This idea of the breaking of a treaty has its origins in a specifically Qurʾānic context. The Arabic words naqḍ (breaking or rescinding, which becomes naḳż in Ottoman Turkish) and ʿahd (covenant, pact, or treaty) appear together in the sacred text on a number of occasions, usually chastising those who break God's covenant (e.g. 2:27, 13:25, 16:91). One verse that is of particular interest for us here is from Surat al-Anfāl verses 55-56 (translation taken from Ṣaḥīḥ International):
(55) Indeed, the worst living creatures in the sight of Allah are those who have disbelieved, and they will not [ever] believe - (56) The ones with whom you made a treaty but then they break their pledge every time, and they do not fear Allah.
The idea of those who 'break their treaty every time' (yanquḍūna ʿahdahum fī kulli marratin] transferred into Ottoman legal parlance (via an as yet untraced journey) to become a standard phrase – naḳż-ı ʿahd – describing the unjust breaking of peace treaties by erstwhile allies.
The use of a Qurʾānic phrase to justify Ottoman war makes sense when we consider the legal process that legitimized military campaigns. Warfare had to be legally approved by the Islamic jurists, the ʿulemā, and so had to be justified in terms of Islamic jurisprudence, fiqh. The jurisprudential process followed by Ottoman scholars in accordance with the precepts of the Ḥanafī madhhab (school of jurisprudence) relied on a number of sources: the text of the Qurʾān; the sunna, the words and deeds of the Prophet Muḥammad; ijmāʿ, consensus reached among the first generation of Muslims; istiḥsān, a preference for particular rulings within Islamic law; and ʿurf, a consideration of the customs of the people. In this case, describing the violation of a treaty as naḳż-ı ʿahd gave the scholars' opinion the greatest possible weight, as they took the highest possible source, the Qurʾān, as their evidence and reasoning. Three key moments in this declaration are when this phrase is invoked, rhetorical flourishes emphasizing Russian guilt and the appropriateness of Ottoman military action: 'With his silence, they broke the treaty' (sükūtu naḳż-ı ʿahd eyledikleri); 'By this means they also clearly broke the treaty' (bu ṣūret ile daḫi naḳż-ı ʿahd ʿārını irtikāb eyledikleri); 'In this way have clearly and evidently broken the treaty' (bu vechile naḳż-ı ʿahdı irtikāb ve işʿār eylediği).
The framework of friendship and peace
Aside from Islamic law, the Ottoman justification for war provides a number of phrases that give us an interesting insight into Ottoman legal pluralism. The first major term, which describes Russia's actions and provides the overarching framework for diplomatic law, is that they had acted 'contrary to the signs of friendship (muġāyir-i emāre-ʾi dostu)'. Friendship was a fundamental tenet of the treaties between the Ottoman state and its allies, and the rhetorical and physical demonstration of friendship, i.e. through words and deeds, was crucial in its maintenance. This had developed from the earliest treaties of the Ottoman state, and was a key regulator of interactions. Acting in an unfriendly manner by going against the text or spirit of treaties was a justifiable cause for censure or even war. This was supported by the textual corpus of capitulations (ʿahdnāme, the unilateral and largely commercial agreements given by the Ottoman state to foreign powers) and peace treaties that formally defined interactions, and these were a cumulative and interreferential body, so that the terms of the capitulations granted by the Ottomans to France or Britain were equally applicable to Spain or Prussia. Similarly, older versions of treaties, unless specifically repealed, were valid. Therefore, the Russians had to act 'in accordance with the requirements of the old and new capitulations (ḳadīm ve cedīd ʿahdnāme-ʾi hümāyūn mūceblerince)'. Unfriendly actions were consequently both 'contrary to the provisions of the peace treaty (muġāyir-i şurūṭ-u muṣālaḥa)' and 'contrary to peace and harmony (muġāyir-i ṣulḥ ve ṣalāḥ)'. The declaration made a specific reference to an article that had been broken from the 1739 Treaty of Belgrade, which had ended an earlier Ottoman-Russian conflict:
In the provisions of the treaty of 1133 (1720) as well as that of 52 (1739), one of the articles of peace says, “Anything that does any harm (ḫalel verecek) to the order of the ever-lasting peace shall be immediately prohibited.”
The Russian persistence in committing violence and interference in Poland-Lithuania was therefore a clear breach of the peace. A specific example given here was that the Russians 'did not swiftly and publicly discipline' (ʿalenen teʾdībe taʿcīl eylemeyüb) the Cossacks committing brutalities on the border. Treaties provided rules of friendship that were key to maintaining peace and harmony in the world, and in this case, the Ottoman state argued, the Russians had been decidedly unfriendly through their interference in the affairs of Poland-Lithuania and attacks on Muslim subjects.
The legal culture of Poland-Lithuania
In raising their objections to Russian political and military interference in Poland-Lithuania, the Ottoman state demonstrated a key understanding of that state's political institutions, processes, and ideologies. These were something quite distinct from their own institutions. Above all, the declaration above emphasises the importance of the Polish constitution. The Poles elected a king in conformity to 'the rules of their independence' (şurūṭ-u serbestiyetleri), and the person elected king should not be a military commander in accordance with 'the principles of their people' (fī’l-āṣıl ʿırḳ). Partiality towards a particular candidate, especially by a foreign power, was contrary to 'the will of the Commonwealth' (irāde-ʾi cumhūr)'. These very specific terms and ideas demonstrate an understanding of legal principles of the elective monarchy, and that the Ottoman state would therefore be able to discern when it was being abused. In the eyes of the Sublime State, guilt had been very firmly established, and therefore it had to be proven within the bounds of its legal framework to justify its own military involvement, and to sell such actions to allies like Britain.
Islamic and customary law
Two legal frameworks formed the main narrative body of this declaration explaining the permissibility for Ottoman war against Russia in 1768: the Russian violation of friendship and the treaties that enshrined it; and the Russian violation of the constitution of Poland-Lithuania. The Ottoman response to these Russian actions was to declare war. The process described in the document above reveals how a state of war was formalized once the fact that the Russians had broken the treaty (naḳż-ı ʿahd) had been proved as 'evident and clear' (işkār ve iẓhār).
The great scholars issued a noble opinion in response that they were in complete accord that the campaign against Russia was legally permissible (ʿulemā-ʾı ʿaẓām fetvā-yı şerīfe ile cevāb buyurmalarıyla ittifāḳ-ı ārā ile Rusiya üzerine sefer muḥaḳḳaḳ olduġundan)
The first response was to rule whether or not a military expedition was necessary. This was argued for within the bounds of ‘the orthodox law’ (şerʿ-i ḳavīm), that is, the Ḥanafī interpretation of sharīʿa to which the Ottoman state subscribed. In other words, the military campaign had to conform to the basic precepts of the sharīʿa, which underpinned the different forms of sultanic law (ḳānūn) that governed a number of areas of legal life including foreign policy. The decision to go to war was taken by the imperial dīvān, the council of senior financial, bureaucratic, military, and religious/judicial ministers. However, in order for that decision to be valid, it had to be approved as legally – i.e. religiously – permissible by the ʿulemā, the Islamic scholars and jurists. On consideration of the facts and evidence, they deemed this a legally permissible campaign (sefer muḥaḳḳaḳ olduġundan). Most importantly, this decision was made unanimously (ittifāḳ-ı ārā), so that there could be no argument against the legality of the war. Therefore, the decision to go to war by the state using the sultan’s authority through the dīvān was only valid due to the approval by the formal legal opinion (fetvā) of the ʿulemā in conformity to the legitimate precepts of the sharīʿa.
2. Customary law
In accordance with the ancient custom of the Sublime State (ʿādet-i ḳadīme-i Devlet-i ʿAliye üzere)
Once war was approved by the ʿulemā, the Ottoman state in this period treated the diplomats of their new enemy in a rather different way to what was expected elsewhere in Europe. As the representative of an unfriendly state, the ambassador would be arrested and imprisoned in the fortress prison of the Seven Towers. The text describes this action not in terms of international law or Islamic law but as an ancient custom (ʿādet-i ḳadīme) of the Ottoman Empire. Much of Ottoman legal practice beyond the sharīʿa and the ḳānūn was based on the precedent established by custom. There was no explicit fetvā (legal opinion) or hüküm (imperial ruling) justifying such an action, but the practice of centuries provided a distinct legal realm. Yet this was only possible after the empirical legal grounds had been established by the sharīʿa, and was therefore not an arbitrary action.
This declaration to the British government justifying the Ottoman declaration of war against Russia contained a sentence that harked back to the comport of the Qurʾānic verse noted above:
[Up] to this time, there will not be found any base actions by the Sublime State contrary to friendship and the imperial capitulations (Ve Devlet-i ʿAliye ṭarafından bu vaḳta gelince dostluġuñ ḫilāfı ve ʿahdnāme-i hümāyūnuñ muġāyiri ednā ḥareket vuḳūʿ bulmayub).
The Ottoman Empire was not the one to violate the treaty, but their enemies who, as the Qurʾān warned, broke their treaties every time. The process for arriving at war with the Russians in 1768 was complex and legally diverse. Russian aggression against Muslim subjects in the borderlands, and its interference in Polish politics, was deemed sufficiently detrimental to the maintenance and continuance of Ottoman-Russian friendship. This body of evidence was ultimately sanctioned by the opinion of the ʿulemā in conformity to the sharīʿa, and accompanied by practices established in customary law. This eighteenth-century example shows that the Ottoman Empire was conscious of its actions being legitimate both in terms of the international community and its own state administration and subjects. This required the interplay of Islamic law with a variety of other legal frameworks and understandings, and demonstrates a legally sophisticated state asserting its rights and interests in an entangled international field.
Primary source text
The National Archives, London: State Papers 97/44, fol. 139
Ottoman Turkish text
(1) Devlet-i ʿAliye-ʾi Dāʾimü’l-ḳarār ile olan muṣālaḥayı Rusiya devleti fesḫ ve naḳż-ı ʿahd eylediğini müşʿir beyān-nāmedir (2) Devlet-i ʿAliye-ʾi Ebed-Devām ile Rusiya Devleti beyninde münʿaḳid olan muṣālaḥanıñ (3) şerāʾiṭine Devlet-i ʿAliye ṭarafından bi-tamāmihā riʿāyet olunub lakin Rusiya Devleti ṭarafından (4) ʿadem-i riʿāyete delāʾil-i vāżıḥa budur ki Rusiya Devleti muġāyir-i emāre-ʾi dostu ḳurb ve cevār-ı (5) ḥudūdda müteʿaddid-i ḳalʿeler binā ve derūnlarına ʿasākir ve mühimmāt cemʿ ve tertīb eylemekden bir ān ḫālī (6) olmadıġından başḳa yetmiş yedi senesinde Leh ḳıralı Aġostos-u s̲ālīs̲ fevt olduḳda Lehlü ṭāʿifesiniñ (7) şurūṭ-u serbestiyetleri üzere Cumhūr-u Leh’iñ kıral intiḫāb eylemleri ḥuṣūṣunda fī’l-āṣıl ʿırḳında (8) ḳıral olmuş olmayub aḥād-ı ṭavāʾif-i ʿaskeriye-ʾi Leh żābıṭānından ve ḳrallıġa nā-şāyān olan (9) kimesneyi cebren ḳıral naṣb ve irāde-ʾi cumhūra muġāyir öyle şaḫṣa ṭarafgīrlik ve kāffe-ʾi umūr-u Leh’e (10) müdāḫale ve taʿarruż eytmekle ḳapıketḫüdāsından suʾāl olunduḳda Leh Cumhūru şurūṭ-u serbestiyetlerini (11) muḥāfaẓa żımnında bir miḳdār-ı ʿasker ṭaleb eylediler ṭobsuz ve cebehḫānesiz altı biñ nefer süvārı ve biñ nefer (12) ḳazaḳ ki mecmūʿyu yedi biñ nefer eder aṣl-ı Leh Memleketi’ne taʿyīn ve iʿmālını daḫi Leh Cumhūru’na tefvīż (13) eylemişlerdir bundan ziyāde ferd-i vāḥid-i ʿaskerīsi olmadıġını beyān ve baʿdehu Memleket-i Leh’e ziyāde ve müsellaḥ (14) ʿasker taʿyīn ve Bonyatovski nām kibārınıñ oġlunu ḳıral naṣb eylemek üzere niçün cebr olundu (15) deyü suʾāl olunduḳda Rusiya Devleti ḥāşā bir kimesneyi ilzām ve fılān şaḥṣı ḳıral naṣb eden deyü (16) cebr eylediği yoḳdur demekle mumżā taṣdīḳnāme verdikden ṣoñra yine Memleket-i Leh’e peyderpey ṭoplu (17) ve cebhḫānelü ʿasker taʿyīn ve iʿmāllarını kendü ceneralları yediyle olub şurūṭ-u serbestiyet-i Leh ilġā (18) ve Lehlü’nüñ intiḫāb etmedikleri ve ḳıralzāde olmayan şaḫṣa ittibāʿ içün cebr ve tabʿiyet eylemeyenleri (19) ḳatıl ve emvālların nehb eylemek mis̲illü işāʿa eylediği beyān-nāmeye muġāyir ḥarekāta taṣaddī (20) olunduġu mesmūʿ ve bu mis̲illü ḥareket iḫtilāl-ı niẓām serḥadāt-ı Devlet-i ʿAliye’ye bāʿis̲ ve bādī olub (21) ḳadīm ve cedīd ʿahdnāme-ʾi hümāyūn mūceblerince Leh’den ʿaskeriniñ iḫrācı tavṣiye ve tefhīm olunduḳda (22) kah- ı şubāṭda ve gāh-ı fılan vaḳıtda cümlesi iḫrāc oluna çıḳdır deyü müteʿaddid-i mümżā ve maḫtūm (23) taḳrīr kāġıdları gönderdikden ṣoñra ḥudūd-u İslāmiye’den Balṭa nām maḥalle ṭob ve tüfenk ile (24) Rusiya ʿaskerī gönderüb ehl-i İslām üzerine baġteten hücūm ve biñ neferden ziyāde ricāl ve nisvān (25) ve ṣıbyānı ihlāk eylediğiniñ ḫaberi geldikde gerek Devlet-i ʿAliye ṭaraflarından ve gerek fermān-revā-yı (26) iḳlīm-i Ḳırım olan şehmānetlü celādetlü ḫān-ı ʿālīşān ṭaraflarından bu mādde Rusiya Devleti’nden suʾāl (27) olunduḳda muġāyir-i ṣulḥ ve ṣalāḥ ṭob ve ḫumbara ile aşikāre ḥareketi inkar ve Ḥaydamaḳ ṭāʾifesi (28) bir miḳdār ḫasāret eylemişler teʾdīb olunurlar deyü cevāb-ı nā-ṣavāb irādı bā-ḫuṣūṣ Ḥaydamaḳ eşḳiyāsı ṭob ve ḫumbara ile geşt ve güzār edegelmediği maʿlūm-u ʿālemiyān iken (29) bu gūne muġāyir-i ṣulḥ ve ṣalāḥ ḥarekete sebeb ve ʿillet nedir ve üç dört seneden berü Leh derūndan (30) ʿaskeriñ ʿadem-i iḫrācı biñ yüz otuz üç tārīḫinde olan muṣālaḥa şurūṭuna ve gerek (31) elli iki tārīḫinde vuḳūʿ bulan muṣālaḥa mevāddında ṣulḥ-u müʾebbediñ niẓāmına ḫalel verecek (32) şeʾy olur ise der-ḥāl menʿ oluna deyü muṣarraḥ iken Balṭa’ye eyledikleri ḫasāret (33) ve ġadrī inkār ve cesāret edenleri ʿalenen teʾdībe taʿcīl eylemeyüb ve muġāyir-i şurūṭ-u muṣālaḥa (34) Leh Memleketi’nden ʿaskerīni iḫrāc eylemediğiniñ sebeb ve ʿilleti suʾālı içün Āsitāne-ʾi Saʿādeti’nde muḳīm Rusiya Devleti’niñ (35) bi’l-fiʿil müsteşīr ve muraḫḫaṣı olub bu isimle mümżā ve memhūr taḳrīrler veren ḳapıḳetḫüdāsı Der-ʿAliye’ye (36) daʿvet ve mevādd-ı merḳūme kendüden suʾāl olunduḳdan ḳaṭʿā cevāb verememekle sükūtu naḳż-ı ʿahd (37) eyledikleri iḳrārı maḳāmına ḳāʾim olduġundan ġayrī Leh’den ʿasker-i Rusiya’nıñ ʿadem-i ihrācı keyfiyeti (38) istifsār olunduḳda bi’l-cümle Lehlü’yü ḳırala tabʿiyet etdirmedikce Rusiya ʿaskerī derūn-u Leh’den (39) iḫrāc olunmayacaġını taḳrīr ve beyān eyledikde ḳadīm ve cedīd ʿahdnāme-i hümāyūn mūceblerince Rusiya Devleti (40) Lehlü’ye ve memleketine müdāḥaleden ve niẓām-ı cedīd ve kefālet ve żāminlik idiʿāsından ferāġat (41) eder mi deyü ḫıṭāb olunduḳda benim muraḫḫaṣlıġı maḥdūddur bu māddeyi ol-ṭarafda devletim bilir deyü (42) cevābda ıṣrār ve bu ṣūret ile daḫi naḳż-ı ʿahd ʿārını irtikāb eyledikleri işkār ve iẓhār (43) eylediğine bināʾen bir muḳteżā-yı şerʿ-i ḳavīm Mosḳovlu üzerine sefer-i hümāyūn-u ẓafter-nümūn iḳtiżā eylediğini (44) ʿulemā-ʾı ʿaẓām fetvā-yı şerīfe ile cevāb buyurmalarıyla ittifāḳ-ı ārā ile Rusiya üzerine sefer muḥaḳḳaḳ (45) olduġundan nāşī ḳapıketḫüdāsınıñ ol-vechile ḥapsi lāzım gelmekle ʿādet-i ḳadīme-i Devlet-i ʿAliye üzere (46) Yedi-Ḳule’de meks̲ etdirildiği ve Devlet-i ʿAliye ṭarafından bu vaḳta gelince dostluġuñ ḫilāfı ve ʿahdnāme-i hümāyūnuñ muġāyiri ednā ḥareket vuḳūʿ bulmayub bu mādde üç sene miḳdārı (47) dostluġa bināʾen iġmāż ve imhāl olunmuşken Rusiya Devleti’niñ muġāyir-i ṣulḥ ve ṣalāḥ bu vechile (48) naḳż-ı ʿahdı irtikāb ve işʿār eylediği İngiltere Devleti’niñ maʿlūmu olmaḳ içün ifāde ve (49) beyān ḳılındı
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