Unkiar Skelessi, Treaty of 1833

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Unkiar Skelessi, Treaty of (1833)


a treaty between Russia and Turkey, signed on June 26 (July 8), 1883, at the sultan’s summer residence Unkiar Skelessi (Hühkâr Ískelesi) near Istanbul. The Treaty of Unkiar Skelessi proclaimed eternal peace and friendship between the signatories and established a mutual defense alliance.

During the Egyptian crisis of 1831, the tsarist government attempted to strengthen its influence in Turkey in the belief that Russian interests would not be served by leaving a strong neighboring state to the control of the Egyptian pasha Mehemet Ali. Russia decided to grant Sultan Mahmud II the aid that Turkey had officially requested. In February 1833 a Russian squadron entered the Bosporus, and in April the Russians landed troops at Unkiar Skelessi, thus blocking the Egyptian army’s path to Istanbul. Uneasy about the Russo-Turkish rapprochement, Great Britain and France promoted a reconciliation between Egypt and Turkey in May 1833. On the eve of the Russian troops’ withdrawal, the Treaty of Unkiar Skelessi was signed.

In the treaty Russia promised to give Turkey military aid if the need arose. A secret clause obligated Turkey to close the Dardanelles to foreign warships at Russia’s request in the event of war. The Treaty of Unkiar Skelessi reflected Russia’s growing strength in the Middle East. However, the improvement in Russia’s position led to strained relations with the Western European powers. In the early 1840’s the Russian government agreed not to renew the treaty and signed the London Convention on the Black Sea straits.


Iuzefovich, T. Dogovory Rossii s Vostokom politicheskie i torgovye. St. Petersburg, 1869.
Kiniapina, N. S. “Unkiar-Iskelesiiskii dogovor 1833 g.” Nauchnye doklady vysshei shkoly: Istoricheskie nauki, 1958, no. 2.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.