Treaty of San Stefano
The Preliminary Treaty of San Stefano (Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

: Сан-Стефанский мир; Peace of San-Stefano, Сан-Стефанский мирный догово; Peace treaty of San-Stefano, Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

: Ayastefanos Muahedesi or Ayastefanos Antlaşması ) was a treaty between Russia
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 and the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 signed at the end of the Russo-Turkish War, 1877–78. It was signed on March 3, 1878 at San Stefano (now Yeşilköy
Yeşilköy is a neighborhood of the Bakırköy municipality of Istanbul, Turkey.It is located along the Marmara Sea about 11 kilometers west of Istanbul's historic city center...

), a village west of Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

, by Count Nicholas Pavlovich Ignatiev
Nicholas Pavlovich Ignatiev
Count Nikolay Pavlovich Ignatyev was a Russian statesman and diplomat...

 and Alexander Nelidov on behalf of the Russian Empire and Foreign Minister Safvet Pasha
Mehmed Esad Saffet Pasa
Mehmed Esad Saffet Paşa Ottoman Grand Vizier, in Turkish Sadr-ı Azam or Serdar-ı Ekrem He was borne in Sürmene....

 and Ambassador to Germany Sadullah Bey on behalf of the Ottoman Empire.

Although according to the official Russian position, by signing the treaty, Russia had never intended anything more than a temporary rough draft, so to enable a final settlement with the other Great Powers, this preliminary treaty almost immediately became the central point of Bulgarian foreign policy, lasting until 1944 and leading to the disastrous Second Balkan War
Second Balkan War
The Second Balkan War was a conflict which broke out when Bulgaria, dissatisfied with its share of the spoils of the First Balkan War, attacked its former allies, Serbia and Greece, on 29 June 1913. Bulgaria had a prewar agreement about the division of region of Macedonia...

 and Bulgaria's even more disastrous participation in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...


The treaty provided the creation of a Principality of Bulgaria
Principality of Bulgaria
The Principality of Bulgaria was a self-governing entity created as a vassal of the Ottoman Empire by the Treaty of Berlin in 1878. The preliminary treaty of San Stefano between the Russian Empire and the Porte , on March 3, had originally proposed a significantly larger Bulgarian territory: its...

 as autonomous, after almost 500 years of Ottoman domination. March 3, the day the treaty was signed, is celebrated as Liberation Day
Liberation Day
Liberation Day is a day, often a public holiday, that marks the liberation of a place, similar to an independence day. Liberation marks the date of either a revolution, as in Cuba, or the end of an occupation by another state, thereby differing from independence in the meaning of secession from...

 in Bulgaria. However, the enlarged Bulgaria envisioned by the treaty alarmed neighboring states as well as France and Great Britain. As a result, it was never implemented, being superseded by the Treaty of Berlin following the Congress
Congress of Berlin
The Congress of Berlin was a meeting of the European Great Powers' and the Ottoman Empire's leading statesmen in Berlin in 1878. In the wake of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, the meeting's aim was to reorganize the countries of the Balkans...

 of the same name.

San Stefano Peak
San Stefano Peak
San Stefano Peak is a rocky peak rising to 256 m, the summit of Rugged Island off the west coast of Byers Peninsula of Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica...

 on Rugged Island
Rugged Island (South Shetland Islands)
Rugged Island is an island long and wide, lying west of Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands. Surface area . The island's summit San Stefano Peak rises to above sea level. Rugged Island is located at...

 in the South Shetland Islands
South Shetland Islands
The South Shetland Islands are a group of Antarctic islands, lying about north of the Antarctic Peninsula, with a total area of . By the Antarctic Treaty of 1959, the Islands' sovereignty is neither recognized nor disputed by the signatories and they are free for use by any signatory for...

, Antarctica is named in commemoration of the Treaty.

On Bulgaria

The treaty set up an autonomous self-governing tributary principality Bulgaria
Principality of Bulgaria
The Principality of Bulgaria was a self-governing entity created as a vassal of the Ottoman Empire by the Treaty of Berlin in 1878. The preliminary treaty of San Stefano between the Russian Empire and the Porte , on March 3, had originally proposed a significantly larger Bulgarian territory: its...

 with a Christian government and the right to keep an army. Its territory included the plain between the Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 and the Balkan mountain range (Stara Planina), the region of Sofia
Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria and the 12th largest city in the European Union with a population of 1.27 million people. It is located in western Bulgaria, at the foot of Mount Vitosha and approximately at the centre of the Balkan Peninsula.Prehistoric settlements were excavated...

, Pirot
Pirot is a town and municipality located in south-eastern Serbia. According to 2011 census, the town has a total population of 38,432, while the population of the municipality is 57,911...

 and Vranje
Vranje is a city and municipality located in southern Serbia. In 2011 the city has total population of 82,782, while the urban area has 54,456...

 in the Morava valley, Northern Thrace
Thrace is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east...

, parts of Eastern Thrace and nearly all of Macedonia
Macedonia (region)
Macedonia is a geographical and historical region of the Balkan peninsula in southeastern Europe. Its boundaries have changed considerably over time, but nowadays the region is considered to include parts of five Balkan countries: Greece, the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia, as...

 (Article 6).

A prince elected by the people, approved by the Sublime Porte and recognized by the Great Powers was to take the helm of the country and a council of noblemen was to draft a Constitution
Tarnovo Constitution
The Tarnovo Constitution was the first constitution of Bulgaria. It was adopted on 16 April 1879 by the Constituent National Assembly held in Veliko Tarnovo as part of the establishment of the Principality of Bulgaria...

 (Article 7). The Ottoman troops were to pull out of Bulgaria, while the Russian military occupation was to continue for two more years (Article 8).

On Serbia, Montenegro and Romania

Under the treaty, Montenegro
Principality of Montenegro
The Principality of Montenegro was a former realm in Southeastern Europe. It existed from 13 March 1852 to 28 August 1910. It was then proclaimed a kingdom by Knjaz Nikola, who then became king....

 more than doubled its territory with former Ottoman areas, including Nikšić
Nikšić is a city in Montenegro . In 2003 the city had a total population about 75,000.Nikšić is located in Nikšić plain, at the foot of Mount Trebjesa. It is the center of the municipality , which is the largest in Montenegro by area...

, Podgorica
Podgorica , is the capital and largest city of Montenegro.Podgorica's favourable position at the confluence of the Ribnica and Morača rivers and the meeting point of the fertile Zeta Plain and Bjelopavlići Valley has encouraged settlement...

 and Antivari (Article 1), and the Ottoman Empire recognized its independence (Article 2).

Serbia annexed the Moravian cities of Niš
Niš is the largest city of southern Serbia and third-largest city in Serbia . According to the data from 2011, the city of Niš has a population of 177,972 inhabitants, while the city municipality has a population of 257,867. The city covers an area of about 597 km2, including the urban area,...

 and Leskovac
Leskovac is a city and municipality in southern Serbia. It is the administrative center of the Jablanica District of Serbia...

 and became independent (Article 3).

The Porte recognized the independence of Romania (Article 5).

On Russia and the Ottoman Empire

In exchange for the war reparations
War reparations
War reparations are payments intended to cover damage or injury during a war. Generally, the term war reparations refers to money or goods changing hands, rather than such property transfers as the annexation of land.- History :...

, the Porte ceded Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

n and Georgian
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

 territories in the Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

 to Russia, including Ardahan
Ardahan is a city in northeastern Turkey, near the Georgian border.-Ancient and medieval:In Ancient times the region was called Gogarene, which is assumed to derive from the name of Gugars, who were a Proto-Kartvelian tribe...

, Artvin
-History:See Artvin Province for the history of the region.-Places of interest:* Artvin or Livana castle, built in 937There are a number of Ottoman Empire houses and public buildings including:* Salih Bey mosque, built in 1792...

, Batum
Batumi is a seaside city on the Black Sea coast and capital of Adjara, an autonomous republic in southwest Georgia. Sometimes considered Georgia's second capital, with a population of 121,806 , Batumi serves as an important port and a commercial center. It is situated in a subtropical zone, rich in...

, Kars
Kars is a city in northeast Turkey and the capital of Kars Province. The population of the city is 73,826 as of 2010.-Etymology:As Chorzene, the town appears in Roman historiography as part of ancient Armenia...

, Olti
Oltu is a town and district of Erzurum Province in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey. The mayor is İbrahim Ziyrek . The population is 19,969 .-History:...

, and Beyazit
Doğubeyazıt is a city and district of Ağrı Province of Turkey, and is Turkey's most eastern district, the border crossing to Iran. Elevation 1625 m. Area 2.383 km². Population 115.354 of which 69.447 live in the town of Doğubeyazıt, the remainder in the surrounding countryside...

. Additionally, it ceded Northern Dobruja
Northern Dobruja
Northern Dobruja is the part of Dobruja within the borders of Romania. It lies between the lower Danube river and the Black Sea, bordered in south by Bulgarian Southern Dobruja.-Geography:...

, which Russia handed to Romania in exchange for Southern Bessarabia (Article 19).

The Ottoman Empire promised reforms for Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia Province, Ottoman Empire
The Bosnia Vilayet was an Ottoman vilayet, mostly based on the territory of the present-day state of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as most of Slavonia, Lika and Dalmatia in present-day Croatia. It bordered Kosovo Vilayet to the south. Before the administrative reform in 1864, it was called the...

 (Article 14), Crete, Epirus
The name Epirus, from the Greek "Ήπειρος" meaning continent may refer to:-Geographical:* Epirus - a historical and geographical region of the southwestern Balkans, straddling modern Greece and Albania...

 and Thessaly
Thessaly is a traditional geographical region and an administrative region of Greece, comprising most of the ancient region of the same name. Before the Greek Dark Ages, Thessaly was known as Aeolia, and appears thus in Homer's Odyssey....

 (Article 15).

The Straits — the Bosporus
The Bosphorus or Bosporus , also known as the Istanbul Strait , is a strait that forms part of the boundary between Europe and Asia. It is one of the Turkish Straits, along with the Dardanelles...

 and the Dardanelles
The Dardanelles , formerly known as the Hellespont, is a narrow strait in northwestern Turkey connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. It is one of the Turkish Straits, along with its counterpart the Bosphorus. It is located at approximately...

 — were declared open to all neutral ships in war and peacetime (Article 24).


The Great Powers, especially British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, were unhappy with this extension of Russian power, and Serbia feared the establishment of Greater Bulgaria
Greater Bulgaria
Greater Bulgaria is term to identify the territory associated with a historical national state and a modern Bulgarian irredentist nationalist movement which would include most of Macedonia, Thrace and Moesia...

 would harm their interests in the Ottoman heritage. This prompted the Great Powers to obtain a revision of this treaty at the Congress of Berlin
Congress of Berlin
The Congress of Berlin was a meeting of the European Great Powers' and the Ottoman Empire's leading statesmen in Berlin in 1878. In the wake of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, the meeting's aim was to reorganize the countries of the Balkans...

 through the Treaty of Berlin, 1878
Treaty of Berlin, 1878
The Treaty of Berlin was the final act of the Congress of Berlin , by which the United Kingdom, Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the Ottoman Empire under Sultan Abdul Hamid II revised the Treaty of San Stefano signed on March 3 of the same year...


Romania, which had contributed significantly to the victory in the war, was extremely disappointed by the treaty, and the Romanian public perceived some of its stipulations as Russia breaking the Russo-Romanian pre-war treaties that guaranteed the integrity of Romanian territory.

Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

 was disappointed with the treaty as she failed to expand her influence in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

It is interesting to note that the Marquess of Salisbury, the British Foreign Secretary, supported the Russian position and the Treaty of San Stefano. After returning from the Congress of Berlin, Salisbury confessed that in supporting Austria-Hungary instead of Russia, the British had "backed the wrong horse."

According to British historian A. J. P. Taylor
A. J. P. Taylor
Alan John Percivale Taylor, FBA was a British historian of the 20th century and renowned academic who became well known to millions through his popular television lectures.-Early life:...

, "If the treaty of San Stefano had been maintained, both the Ottoman Empire and Austria-Hungary might have survived to the present day. The British, except for Beaconsfield in his wilder moments, had expected less and were therefore less disappointed. Salisbury wrote at the end of 1878, "We shall set up a rickety sort of Turkish rule again south of the Balkans. But it is a mere respite. There is no vitality left in them."


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