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(War. Russia and Turkey.]
No. 140.—DECLARATION of the Porte, in Answer to the Russian Manifesto of 1 th April, 1828. June, 1828.
(Translation, as laid before Parliament.) Mex of sound judgment and upright minds know, and reflection united with experience clearly proves, that the principal means of preserving order in the world and the
repose of nations, consists in the good understanding between Sovereigns, to whom the Supreme Master, in the plenitude of His mercy, has entrusted, as servants of God, with absolute and unlimited power, the reins of government, and the administration of the affairs of their subjects. It results from this principle that the solid existence and maintenance of this order of things essentially depend upon an equal and reciprocal observation of the obligations established between Sovereigns, which ought, therefore, to be respected in coinmon and scrupulously executed.
God, all powerful, be praised for this, that the Sublime Porte has, since the commencement of her political existence, observed those salutary principles more than any other Power; and, as the confidence of the Porte is founded on the precepts of the pure and sacred law, and of the religion which Mussulmans observe in peace as well as war, and having never consulted anything but the law, even in the slightest circumstances, she has never deviated from the maxims of equity and justice, and, as is generally known, has never been placed in the situation of compromising her dignity by infringing, without any legitimate motive, Treaties concluded with friendly Powers.
It is equally well known to the whole world, and incontestible, that with regard to the Treaties, Conventions, and Stipulations, for peace and friendship, concluded under diplomatic forms with Russia, as a neighbouring Power, the Porte has constantly exercised the greatest care in respecting the duties and rights of good neighbourhood, and in availing herself of all proper means for consolidating the bonds of friendship between the two nations.
The Court of Russia has, however, without any motive, disturbed the existing Peace,-has declared War, and invaded the territory of the Sublime Porte. Russia alleges that the Sublime Porte has caused this War, and has published a Manifesto (Nos. 138, 139), in which she accuses the Porte of not having executed the conditions
(War. Russia and Turkey.)
of the Treaties of Bucharest* and Ackermann (No. 131); of having punished and ruined the Servians after having promised them pardon and amnesty ; of having demanded fortresses in Asia which were essentially necessary to Russia ; of having, without regard to the two provinces of Wallachia and Moldavia, punished with death the most distinguished men of Greece ; with having, while publicly declaring that Russia is a natural enemy of the Mussulman nation, endeavoured to provoke to vengeance, and direct against her, the bravery of all the Mussulman people; of having signed the Treaty of Ackermann (No.131) with mental reservation, seized the cargoes of Russian ships, and instigated the Court of Persia to make War upon Russia ; and finally it is made a subject of complaint, that the Pachas of the Porte 'were making warlike preparations. It is these, and other charges of the same nature, that Russia has brought forward, a series of vain inculpations, destitute of all real foundation. It will be proper to make each the subject of a reply, founded on equity and justice, as well as on the real state of the facts.
Though Russia has published that these are the principal motives for the Declaration of War, it is, however, generally known that the War which terminated with the Treaty of Bucharest was commenced by herself. In fact, before that War, the Porte had, on just and legitimate grounds, dismissed the Waivodes of Wallachia and Moldavia, and Russia then pretended that these dismissals were contrary to Treaties; and though the Sublime Porte represented in an amicable manner things under the real aspect, Russia refused to listen to the reasons advanced ; and as she continued to insist in her pretensions, the Sublime Porte, with the sole view of preserving Peace, and of maintaining the relations of friendship, did not hesitate to restore the dismissed Waivodes, without paying attention to the consequences of such a condescension. But while Russia declared herself fully satisfied, and under the ministry of Gahib Pacha, then Reis Effendi, officially notified, through the first interpreter, Councillor Fonton, that the differences and difficulties existing on that account, between the two Courts, were completely removed, she immediately and unexpectedly made an attack on the side of Chotien and Bender. According to the regular course, the Sublime Porte demanded explanations from the Russian Ambassador, who tried to deceive, and formally disavowed what had taken place, adding that Russia was in a state of Peace and friendship with the Sublime Porte; that if War had been
* (49th May, 1812.) See Appendix.
[War. Russia and Turkey.]
intended, the Ambassador must necessarily have known it; and that it could only be supposed that the Russian troops had some motive for advancing.
When the fact was finally proved, the Sublime Porte was under the necessity of resisting ; but having a natural repugnance to War and the shedding of blood, she imposed on herself a sacrifice, and signed the Treaty of Bucharest. Russia did not respect the Treaty. Among other infractions, instead of evacuating the Asiatic frontier, according to the basis and the tenor of the Treaty, she unjustly annulled that Article, and regarded with indifference all the well-founded remonstrances of the Sublime Porte. Finally the Russian Plenipotentiaries at Ackermann, having altered and mis. interpreted the pure sense of the Treaty, and being no longer able to answer the convincing arguments of the Turkish Plenipotentiaries, declared that a long space of time having elapsed since the Article in question had been executed, the Fortress claimed could not be given up. To such language the Turkish Plenipotentiaries might well have replied, that if the non-execution, in due time and place, of Articles officially stipulated, warranted a total renunciation, the other Articles, the more or less prompt fulfilment of which was demanded of the Sublime Porte, might also remain in
But their instructions did not authorize them to hold a language so foreign to the Treaties, and so contrary to the law of nations. And their mission restricting them to the consolidation of the bonds of Peace they acceded. Nevertheless the Russian Declaration represents this demand of evacuation as having had no foundation in fact; and by pretending that we had already renounced it, evidently deviates from the path of truth. It was agreed that the Russian Tariff should be renewed
every two years, and the other friendly Powers have renewed their tariffs according to agreement. The Tariff of Russia, however, has undergone no change for 27 years. Since the expiration of the term the renewal has ofttimes been proposed to the Russian Envoys and Chargé d'Affaires at Constantinople, but the application was always made in vain; Russia refused to do justice to the well-founded demands of the Sublime Porte. The conduct of Russia, as well in words as in actions, in these two affairs of the evacuation and the tariff, showing so strikingly to what degree she respects Treaties and the principles of equity, how can she attribute to the Sublime Porte their violation ? and how can such an imputation ever be admitted?
(War. Russia and Turkey.]
The imperial Amnesty promised to the Servians for the part they took in the War with Russia was fully granted after the Peace; and as a consequence of the natural clemency of His Serene Highness, particular concessions assured to them their welfare and their repose. The same nation afterwards disregarded the authority of the Sublime Porte, and dared to revolt separately and by itself. As the Servians are the subjects of the Sublime Porte, and as the Ottoman Government is entitled to treat them according to their conduct, either by punishing or pardoning, the merited chastisement was inflicted, and happiness restored to the country, without the slightest injury to Russia, or infringement of the Treaty of Bucharest. This affair of Servia, , as well as other like points, distinct from Treaties, and even some events of smaller importance, which ought to be classed under natural accidents, always served as motives of complaints on the part of Russia, and she never renounced her embarrassing proceedings. However, the Sublime Porte continued to regard her as a pacific friend, to pay attention to all affairs which could have possibly any analogy with the Treaties concluded between the two States, and to observe scrupulously the rules of good understanding
Some time before the Greek Insurrection, the Russian Envoy, Baron Strogonoff, pretending that the Sublime Porte had not executed certain stipulations, insisted in a demand for Conferences relative to the Treaty of Bucharest. Positive answers and conclusive conversations made known to him at different times, that as the Articles had already been executed, or being effectively and entirely carried into execution by the Sublime Porte, while, on the contrary, Russia had yet to prove her amicable fidelity by fulfilling stipulations the accomplishment of which had been deferred on her part, there was of course no occasion for the required Conferences. However, as he persisted in exceeding the orders of his Court, the opening of the conferences was at last conceded, but on the express condition of not introducing such objects as might tend to extend the meaning of Treaties, or change the tenor of Conventions. In the course of the Conferences the Russian Minister did not fail to raise more than one unreasonable discussion. However, the Articles of the above-mentioned Treaty. were in the course of being examined, one by one, when the Greek Insurrection broke out, and it is notorious that the obstacles occasioned by that event were calculated to retard the labour in question.
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The fugitive Ypsilanti then issued from Russia to invade publicly and unexpectedly Moldavia, at the head of a troop of rebels. He spread trouble and disorder through the two Principalities. Animated by the chimerical desire of establishing a pretended Government for Greece, he excited to revolt the whole of the Greek people, who are tributary subjects to the Ottoman Empire from father to son, misled them by his áccursed Proclamations circulated everywhere, and instigated them to disown the authority of the Sublime Porte.
Every Power being authorised to arrest and punish malefactors within its own territories, and to manage all internal affairs tending to the maintenance of good order, as soon as the flame of rebellion was lit up on every side, the Sublime Porte resorted to suitable measures, sent troops against the rebels to restore tranquillity, crush rebellion, and purge the country, and labour to restore the privileges of the provinces, being far from wishing to annihilate them by the destruction of the malefactors. It is evident that no person whatever had any right to object to these and other measures which the Sublime Porte was bound to adopt, and which in such a conjecture could not be delayed. Nevertheless, the Russian Envoy invented divers objections, and originated several unreasonable differences, by discourses and proceedings little becoming the agent of a powerful friend, in the midst of affairs so important which then occupied the attention of the Sublime Porte.
Some time after, Ypsilanti, being routed, returned to Russia, and the Hospodar of Moldavia, Michael Sutzo, having also taken refuge there with all his partisans, the Sublime Porte demanded, in the terms of Treaties, that these persons shall be delivered up, or punished where they were. Though between allied Powers there can be no greater humanity than fidelity to Treaties, Russia merely gave a vague answer inconsistent with all diplomatic rules, saying that humanity opposed their delivery. She thus violated and annihilated existing Treaties and rights to protect, and perhaps pay particular attention to, these individuals.
The remains of the rebels were still in the two Principalities, and the refugees were protected by Russia. The flame of the insurrection was increasing daily, when Russia demanded the evacuation of the two Principalities by the Ottoman troops, the nomination of the Hospodars, and the modification of indispensable measures, in which circumstances permitted no change to be