The Black Sea region from 1768-1830s has traditionally been characterized as a theater of warfare and imperial competition. Indeed, during this period, the Ottoman and Russian empires engaged in four armed conflicts for supremacy in the Balkans, the Caucasus, and on the Black Sea itself. While not discounting geo-strategic and ideological confrontation between the Ottoman and Russian empires, this article - by adopting the Black Sea region as its primary unit of historical and political analysis - will emphasize the considerable amount of exchange that took place between the Ottoman and Russian empires in the Black Sea region in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Building upon a case study of Bulgarian migration between the Ottoman and Russian empires and as part of a broader discussion on Ottoman-Russian Black Sea diplomacy this article will detail joint Ottoman-Russian initiatives to control their mutual Black Sea borderland.
Guthrie MariaA Tour Performed in the Years 1795-1796 Through the Taurida or Crimea the Ancient Kingdom of Bosphorus the Once-powerful Republic of Tauric Cherson and All the Other Countries of the North Shore of the Euxine Ceded to Russia by the Peace of Kainardgi and Jassy (London: Nichols and Son1802) p. 10. Guthrie had been the acting directress of the Imperial Convent for the Education of the Female Nobility of Russia.
GrekБългарските доброволци (волунтери) pp.16-19. Along these same lines in late 1832 and early 1833 Pavel Kiselev (the recently-appointed Russian governor-general of the Danubian principalities) dispatched trusted agents into northern Rumeli to act as his intermediaries with Ottoman provincial administrators. Fearing the potential collapse of Ottoman central authority (and the subsequent increase in the activities of “bands of undisciplined Bulgarians”) Kiselev directed his agents to prepare – in consultation with their Ottoman counterparts – plans to ensure governmental continuity in Ottoman lands bordering the Danubian principalities. At the same time Kiselev moved to strengthen the Russian observation corps along the northern shore of the Danube River. Zablotskii-Desiatovskii A.P. Граф П.Д. Кисёлев и его время [Graf P.D. Kiselev and His Time] (Saint Petersburg: Tipografia M.M. Stasiulevicha 1882) p. 403.
Özveren Eyüp“A framework for the study of the Black Sea world, 1789-1915”Review of the Fernand Braudel Center20 (Winter 1997) pp. 77-113. According to Özveren “Istanbul relied on Moldavia Wallachia and the Crimea for its regular provisioning of above all grain but also livestock and other animal by-products as well as metals and wood for construction and heating” Özveren p. 84. For more on the importance of the Black Sea region to the Ottoman state’s overall provisioning system in the early modern period see Kortepeter Carl Max “Ottoman imperial policy and the economy of the Black Sea region in the sixteenth century” Journal of the American Oriental Society 86 (1966) 86-113 and Murphey Rhodes “Provisioning Istanbul: the state and subsistence in the early modern Middle East” Food and Foodways 2 (1988) 221-38.