San Stefano Treaty

The Preliminary Treaty of Peace,
signed at San Stefano

[SOURCE: Holland, The European Concert in the Eastern Question:335-48]

[SAC editor has amended certain spellings to conform to contemporary scholarly usage, and has put definitive terms in bold face. When the English translation presented by Holland seems out of line with contemporary meaning, the text has been altered. The most important example of that = ART. XXV where a clear word order has been substituted for a clumsy one, and where "withdrawal" has been substituted for "evacuation".]

Two nations at war [ID] met and agreed bilaterally on the terms of peace recorded here. However, great powers in "The West" grew alarmed and forced another settlement on the two parties directly involved in the conflict. Treaty clauses within double brackets below -- [[ ]] -- were superseded by the 1878jy13(NS):Treaty of Berlin which was forced on Russia and Turkey. Eighteen of the 29 articles in the treaty below were fully superseded, 2 in part.

 Table of Contents =
Bulgarian Prince elected
Turkish troops out, Russian occupation for two years only
Bulgaria pays tribute to Turkey
Bulgaria remains open to Turkish transit
Turkish property rights in the new Bulgaria
Danube River
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Crete (& other Ottoman European territories)
Turko-Persian border
Monetary indemnities, some offered in exchange for these territories =
 (1) on northwest shores of the Black Sea and
 (2) on northeast shores of the Black Sea
Rights of pilgrims
Bosphoras and Dardanelles ("the straits" between the Black and Aegean seas)
Russian troops withdraw from Turkish territory, except Bulgaria
Two maps help locate the action described in the treaty =
(1) Sketch of main fronts in the war [MAP]
(2) Detailed maps of Balkan troubles, 1912-1913 (on left map "Ger" should read "Gre") [MAPS]

Four maps were appended to the treaty =
[Source = Edward Hertslet, The Map of Europe by Treaty, 4 (London: 1891)]
(1) Montenegro [MAP]
(2) Serbia [MAP]
(3) "Big" Bulgaria [MAP]
(4) Batumi region [MAP]


His Majesty the Emperor of Russia and His Majesty the Emperor of the Ottomans, inspired with the wish of restoring and securing the blessings of peace to their countries and people, as well as of preventing any fresh complication which might imperil the same, have named as their Plenipotentiaries, with a view to draw up, conclude, and sign the Preliminaries of Peace:

His Majesty the Emperor of Russia on the one side, the Count Nikolai Ignatiev [Ignat'ev], &c., and Sieur Aleksandr Nelidov, &c.

And His Majesty the Emperor of the Ottomans on the other side, Safvet Pasha, &c, and Sadoullah Bey, &c.

Who, after having exchanged their full powers, which were found to be in good and proper form, have agreed to the following Articles

[[ART.I. In order to put an end to the perpetual conflicts between Turkey and Montenegro, the frontier which separates the two countries will be rectified, conformably to the map hereto annexed [MAP], subject to the reserve hereinafter mentioned, in the following manner

From the mountain of Dobrostitza the frontier will follow the line indicated by the Conference of Constantinople as far as Korito by Bilek. Thence the new frontier will run to Gatzko (Metochia-Gatzko will belong to Montenegro), and towards the confluence of the Piva and the Tara, ascending towards the north by the Drina as far as its confluence with the Lim. The eastern frontier of the Principality will follow this last river as far as Prijepolje, and will proceed by Roshaj to Sukha-Planina (leaving Bihor and Roghaj to Montenegro). Taking in Bugovo, Plava, and Gusinje, the frontier line will follow the chain of mountains by Shlieb, Paklen, and along the northern frontier of Albania by the crests of the mountains Koprivnik, Babavik, Bor-vik, to the highest peak of Prokleti. From that point the frontier will proceed by the summit of Biskaschik, and will run in a straight line to the Lake of Tjiceni-hoti. Dividing Tjiceni-hoti and Tjiceni-kastrati, it will cross the Lake of Scutari to the Boyana, the thalweg of which it will follow as far as the sea. Nichsich, Gatzko, Spouje, Podgoritza, Jabliak, and Antivari will remain to Montenegro.

A European Commission, on which the Sublime Porte and the Government of Montenegro shall be represented, will be charged with fixing the definite limits of the Principality, making on the spot such modifications in the general tracing as it may think necessary and equitable, from the point of view of the respective interests and tranquility of the two countries, to which it will accord in this respect the equivalents deemed necessary.

The navigation of the Boyana having always given rise to disputes between the Sublime Porte and Montenegro, will be the subject of a special regulation, which will be prepared by the same European Commission.]]


[[ ART.II. The Sublime Porte recognizes definitively the independence of the Principality of Montenegro.

An understanding between the Imperial Government of Russia, the Ottoman Government, and the Principality of Montenegro will determine subsequently the character and form of the relations between the Sublime Porte and the Principality as regards particularly the establishment of Montenegrin Agents at Constantinople, and in certain localities of the Ottoman Empire, where the necessity for such agents shall be recognized, the extradition of fugitive criminals on the one territory or the other, and the subjection of Montenegrins traveling or sojourning in the Ottoman Empire to the Ottoman laws and authorities, according to the principles of international law and the established usages concerning the Montenegrins.

A Convention will be concluded between the Sublime Porte and Montenegro to regulate the questions connected with the relations between the inhabitants of the confines of the two countries and with the military works on the same confines. The points upon which an understanding cannot be established will be settled by the arbitration of Russia and Austria-Hungary.

Henceforward, if there is any discussion or conflict, except as regards new territorial demands, Turkey and Montenegro will leave the settlement of their differences to Russia and Austria-Hungary, who will arbitrate in common.

The troops of Montenegro will be bound to evacuate the territory not comprised within the limits indicated above within ten days from the signature of the Preliminaries of Peace.]]


[[ART.III. Serbia ["Servia" here] is recognized as independent. Its frontier, marked on the annexed map [MAP], will follow the thalweg of the Drina, leaving Little Zwornik and Zakar to the Principality, and following the old limit as far as the sources of the stream Dezevo, near Stoilac. Thence the new line will follow the course of that stream as far as the River Kaska, and then the course of the latter as far as Fovi-Bazar.

From Novi-Bazar, ascending the stream which passes near the villages of Mekinje and Irgoviste as far as its source, the frontier line will run by Bosur Planima, in the valley of the Ibar, and will then descend the stream which falls into this river near the village of Ribanic.

The line will then follow the course of the Rivers Ibar, Sitnitza and Lab, and of the brook Batintze to its source (upon the Grapachnitza Planina). Thence the frontier will follow the heights which separate the waters of the Kriva and the Veternitza, and will meet the latter river by the shortest route at the mouth of the stream Miovatzka, which it will ascend, crossing the Miovatzka Planina and re-descending towards the Morava, near the village of Kalimanoi.

From this point the frontier will descend the Morava as far as the Kiver Vlossina, near the village of Sta'ikovtzi. Eeascending the latter river, as well as the Linberazda, and the brook Kouka-vitze, the line will pass by the Sukha Planina, will run along the stream Vrylo as far as the Nisawa, and will descend the said river as far as the village of Kronpatz, whence the line will rejoin by the shortest route the old Serbian frontier to the south-east of Karaoul Bare, and will not leave it until it reaches the Danube.

Ada-Kale will be evacuated and razed.

A Turko-Serbian Commission, assisted by a Russian Commissioner, will, within three months, arrange upon the spot the definite frontier line, and will definitely settle the questions relating to the islands of the Drina. A Bulgarian delegate will be admitted to participate in the work of the Commission when it shall be engaged on the frontier between Serbia and Bulgaria.]]

[[ART.IV. The Mussulmans [Moslems] holding lands in the territories annexed to Serbia, and who wish to reside out of the Principality, can preserve their real property by having them farmed out or administered by others. A Turko-Serbian Commission, assisted by a Russian Commissioner, will be charged to decide absolutely, in the course of two years, all questions relating to the verification of real estate in which Mussulman interests are concerned.

This Commission will also be called upon to settle within three years the method of alienation of State property and of religious endowments (Vacouf), as well as the questions relative to the interests of private persons which may be involved. Until a direct Treaty is concluded between Turkey and Serbia determining the character of the relations between the Sublime Porte and the Principality, Serbian subjects traveling or sojourning in the Ottoman Empire shall be treated according to the general principles of international law.

The Serbian troops shall be bound to evacuate the territory not comprised within the above-mentioned limits within fifteen days from the signature of the Preliminaries of Peace.]


[[ART.V. The Sublime Porte recognizes the independence of Romania, which will establish its right to an indemnity, to be discussed between the two countries.

Until the conclusion of a direct Treaty between Turkey and Romania, Romanian subjects will enjoy in Turkey all the rights guaranteed to the subjects of other European Powers.]]

[[ART.VI. Bulgaria is constituted an autonomous tributary Principality, with a Christian Government and a national militia.

The definitive frontiers of the Bulgarian Principality will be traced by a special Russo-Turkish Commission before the withdrawal of Rumelia [old Ottoman administrative district, including parts of Albania, Macedonia and Thrace (northern Greece)] by the Imperial Russian army.

This Commission will, in working out the modifications to be made on the spot in the general tracing, take into account the principle of the nationality of the majority of the inhabitants of the border districts, conformably to the Bases of Peace, and also the topographical necessities and practical interests of the intercommunication of the local population.

The extent of the Bulgarian Principality is laid down in general terms on the accompanying map [MAP], which will serve as a basis for the definitive fixing of the limits. Leaving the new frontier of the Serbian Principality, the line will follow the western limit of the Caza of Wrania as far as the chain of the Kara-dagh. Turning towards the west, the line will follow the western limits of the Cazas of Koumanovo, Kotehani, Kalkandelen, to Mount Korab ; thence by the Eiver "Welestchitza as far as its junction with the black Drina. Turning towards the south by the Drina, and afterwards by the western limit of the Caza of Ochride towards Mount Linas, the frontier will follow the western limits of the Cazas of Gortcha and Starovo as far as Mount Grammes. Then by the Lake of Kastoria, the frontier line will rejoin the Eiver Moglenitza, and after having followed its course, and passed to the south of Yanitza (Warder Yenidje), will go by the mouth of the Warder and by the Galliko towards the villages of Parga and of Sara'i-keui; thence through the middle of Lake Bechik-Guel to the mouth of the Elvers Strouma and Karassou, and by the sea-coast as far as Buru-Guel; thence striking north-west towards Mount Tchaltepe by the chain of Ehodope as far as Mount Krouschowo, by the Black Balkans (Kara-Balkan), by the mountains Eschek-koulatchi, Tchepelion, Karakolas, and Tschiklar, as far as the Eiver Arda.

Thence the line will be traced in the direction of the town of Tchirmen, and leaving the town of Adrianople to the south, by the villages of Sugutlion, Kara-Hamza, Arnaout-keui, Akardji, and Enidje as far as the Eiver Tekederessi. Following the Eivers Tekederessi and Tchorlouderessi as far as Loule-Bourgaz, and thence, by the Eiver Soudjak-dere as far as the village of Serguen, the frontier line will go by the heights straight towards Hakim-tabiassi, where it will strike the Black Sea. It will leave the sea-coast near Mangalia, following the southern boundaries of the Sandjak of Toultcha, and will come out on the Danube above Rassova.]]

[[ART.VII. The Prince of Bulgaria shall be freely elected by the population and confirmed by the Sublime Porte, with the assent of the Powers. No member of the reigning dynasties of the great European Powers shall be capable of being elected Prince of Bulgaria.

In the event of the dignity of Prince of Bulgaria being vacant, the election of the new Prince shall be made subject to the same conditions and forms.

Before the election of the Prince, an Assembly of Bulgarian Notables, to be convoked at Philippopolis (Plowdiw) or Tyrnowo, shall draw up, under the superintendence of an Imperial Russian Commissioner, and in the presence of an Ottoman Commissioner, the organization of the future administration, in conformity with the precedents established in 1830 after the Peace of Adrianople, in the Danubian Principalities.

In the localities where Bulgarians are mixed with Turks, Greeks, Wallachians (Koutzo-Vlachs), or others, proper account is to be taken of the rights and interests of these populations in the elections and in the preparation of the Organic Laws.

The introduction of the new system into Bulgaria, and the superintendence of its working, will be entrusted for two years to an Imperial Russian Commissioner. At the expiration of the first year after the introduction of the new system, and if an understanding on this subject has been established between Russia, the Sublime Porte, and the Cabinets of Europe, they can, if it is deemed necessary, associate Special Delegates with the Imperial Russian Commissioner.]]

[[ART.VIII. The Ottoman army will no longer remain in Bulgaria, and all the ancient fortresses will be razed at the expense of the local Government. The Sublime Porte will have the right to dispose, as it sees fit, of the war material and of the other property belonging to the Ottoman Government which may have been left in the Danubian fortresses already evacuated in accordance with the terms of the Armistice of the 19th/31st January, as well as of that in the strongholds of Schoumla and Varna.

Until the complete formation of a native militia sufficient to preserve order, security, and tranquility, and the strength of which will be fixed later on by an understanding between the Ottoman Government and the Imperial Russian Cabinet, Russian troops will occupy the country, and will give armed assistance to the Commissioner in case of need. This occupation will also be limited to a term approximating to two years.

The strength of the Russian army of occupation to be composed of six divisions of infantry and two of cavalry, which will remain in Bulgaria after the withdrawal from Turkey by the Imperial army, shall not exceed 50,000 men. It will be maintained at the expense of the country occupied. The Russian troops of occupation in Bulgaria will maintain their communications with Russia, not only through Romania, but also by the ports of the Black Sea, Varna, and Bourgas, where they may organize, for the term of the occupation, the necessary depots.]]

[[ART.IX. The amount of the annual tribute which Bulgaria is to pay the Suzerain Court, by transmitting it to a bank to be hereafter named by the Sublime Porte, will be determined by an agreement between Russia, the Ottoman Government, and the other Cabinets, at the end of the first year during which the new organization shall be in operation. This tribute will be calculated on the average revenue of all the territory which is to form part of the Principality.

Bulgaria will take upon itself the obligations of the Imperial Ottoman Government towards the Rustchuk and Varna Railway Company, after an agreement has been come to between the Sublime Porte, the Government of the Principality, and the Directors of this Company. The regulations as to the other railways (voies ferrées) which cross the Principality are also reserved for an agreement between the Sublime Porte, the Government established in Bulgaria, and the Directors of the Companies concerned.]]

[[ART.X. The Sublime Porte shall have the right to make use of Bulgaria for the transport by fixed routes of its troops, munitions, and provisions to the provinces beyond the Principality, and vice versa. In order to avoid difficulties and misunderstandings in the application of this right, while guaranteeing the military necessities of the Sublime Porte, a special regulation will lay down the conditions of it within three months after the ratification of the present Act by an understanding between the Sublime Porte and the Bulgarian Government.

It is fully understood that this right is limited to the regular Ottoman troops, and that the irregulars, the Bashi-Bazouks, and the Circassians will be absolutely excluded from it.

The Sublime Porte also reserves to itself the right of sending its postal service through the Principality, and of maintaining telegraphic communication. These two points shall also be determined in the manner and within the period of time indicated above.]]

[[ART.XI. The Mussulman proprietors or others who fix their personal residence outside the Principality may retain their estates by having them farmed or administered by others. Turko-Bulgarian Commissions shall sit in the principal centers of population, under the superintendence of Russian Commissioners, to decide absolutely in the course of two years all questions relative to the verification of real property, in which either Mussulmans or others may be interested. Similar commissions will be charged with the duty of regulating within two years all questions relative to the mode of alienation, working, or use for the benefit of the Sublime Porte of the property of the State, and of the religious endowments (Vacouf).

At the expiration of the two years mentioned above all properties which shall not have been claimed shall be sold by public auction, and the proceeds thereof shall be devoted to the support of the widows and orphans, Mussulman as well as Christian, victims of the recent events1.]]

1 See the 'final paragraph,' at end of document


[[ART.XII. All Danubian fortresses shall be razed. There shall be no strongholds in future on the banks of this river, nor any men-of-war in the waters of the Principalities of Romania, Serbia, and Bulgaria, except the usual 'stationnaires' and the small vessels intended for river-police and Custom-house purposes.

The rights, obligations, and prerogatives of the International Commission of the Lower Danube are maintained intact.]]


ART.XIII. The Sublime Porte undertakes to render the passage of Soulina again navigable, and to indemnify the private individuals who have suffered loss by the war and the interruption of the navigation of the Danube, applying for this double charge a sum of five hundred thousand francs from the amount due to the Sublime Porte from the Danubian Commission.

[[ART.XIV. The European proposals communicated to the Ottoman Plenipotentiaries at the first sitting of the Constantinople Conference shall immediately be introduced into Bosnia and Herzegovina, with any modifications which may be agreed upon in common between the Sublime Porte, the Government of Russia, and that of Austria-Hungary.

The payment of arrears of taxes shall not be required, and the current revenues of these provinces until the 1st March, 1880, shall be exclusively applied to indemnify the families of refugees and inhabitants, victims of recent events, without distinction of race or creed, as well as to the local needs of the country. The sum to be received annually after this period by the Central Government shall be subsequently fixed by a special understanding between Turkey, Russia, and Austria-Hungary.]]


[[ART.XV. The Sublime Porte engages to apply scrupulously in the Island of Crete the Organic Law of 1868, taking into account the previously-expressed wishes of the native population.

An analogous law adapted to local requirements shall likewise be introduced into Epirus, Thessaly, and the other parts of Turkey in Europe, for which a special constitution is not provided by the present Act.

Special Commissions, in which the native population will be largely represented, shall in each province be entrusted with the task of elaborating the details of the new organization, and the result of their labors shall be submitted to the Sublime Porte, who will consult the Imperial Government of Russia before carrying it into effect.]]


[[ART.XVI. As the withdrawal by the Russian troops of the territory which they occupy in Armenia, and which is to be restored to Turkey, might give rise to conflicts and complications detrimental to the maintenance of good relations between the two countries, the Sublime Porte engages to carry into effect, without further delay, the improvements and reforms demanded by local requirements in the provinces inhabited by Armenians, and to guarantee their security from Kurds and Circassians.]]

ART.XVII. A full and complete amnesty is granted by the Sublime Porte to all Ottoman subjects compromised by recent events, and all persons imprisoned on this account or sent into exile shall be immediately set at liberty.

[[ART.XVIII. The Sublime Porte will take into serious consideration the opinion expressed by the Commissioners of the Mediating Powers as regards the possession of the town of Khotour, and engages to have the works of the definitive of the Turko-Persian Boundary carried into effect.]]

ART.XIX. The war indemnities and the losses imposed on Russia which His Majesty the Emperor of Russia claims, and which the Sublime Porte has bound itself to reimburse to him, consist of—

(a.) 900,000,000 rubles for war expenses (maintenance of the army, replacing of war material, and war contracts).

(b.) 400,000,000 rubles on account of damage done to the south coast of Russia, to her export commerce, to her industries, and to her railways.

(c.) 100,000,000 rubles for injuries inflicted 6n the Caucasus by the invasion; and,

(d.) 10,000,000 rubles for costs and damages of Russian subjects and establishments in Turkey.

Total, 1,410,000,000 rubles.

Taking into consideration the financial embarrassments of Turkey, and in accordance with the wishes of His Majesty the Sultan, the Emperor of Russia consents to substitute for the payment of the greater part of the moneys enumerated in the above paragraph, the following territorial cessions

[[(a.) The Sandjak of Toultcha, that is to say, the districts (Cazas) of Kilia, Soulina, Mahmoudie, Isaktcha, Toultcha, Matchine, Babadagh, Hirsowo, Kustendje, and Medjidie, as well as the Delta Islands and the Isle of Serpents.

Not wishing, however, to annex this territory and the Delta Islands, Russia reserves the right of exchanging them for the part of Bessarabia detached from her by the Treaty of 1856, and which is bounded on the south by the thalweg of the Kilia branch and the mouth of the Stary-Stamboul.

The question of the apportionment of waters and fisheries shall be determined by a Russo-Romanian Commission within a year after the ratification of the Treaty of Peace.

(b.) Ardahan, Kars, Batumi, Bayazet, and the territory as far as the Saganlough.

In its general outline, the frontier line, leaving the Black Sea coast, will follow the crest of the mountains which separate the affluents of the River Hopa from those of the River Tcharokh, and the chain of mountains to the south of the town of Artwin up to the River Tcharokh, near the villages of Alat and Bechaget; thea the frontier will pass by the peaks of Mounts Dervenikghek, Hortchezor, and Bedjiguin-Dagh, by the crest which separates the affluents of the Rivers Tortoum-tcha'i and the Teharokh by the heights near Zaily-Vibine, coming down at the village Vihine-Kilissa to the River Tortoum-chai; thence it will follow the Sivridagh Chain to the pass (col) of the same name, passing south of the village of Noriman ; then it will turn to the south-east and go to Zivine, whence the frontier, passing west of the road which leads from Zivine to the villages of Ardost and Horassan, will turn south by the Saganlough Chain to the village of Gilitchman ; then by the crest of the Charian-Dagh it will arrive, ten versts south of Hamour, at the Mourad-tchai defile ; then the line will follow the crest of the Alla-Dagh and the summits of the Hori and Tandourek, and, passing south of the Bayazet Valley, will proceed to rejoin the old Turko-Persian frontier to the south of the lake of Kazli-gueul.]] The definitive limits of the territory annexed to Russia, [[and indicated on the map hereto appended [MAP],]] will be fixed by a Commission composed of Russian and Ottoman delegates.

This Commission in its labors will take into account the topography of localities, as well as considerations of good administration and other conditions calculated to insure the tranquility of the country.

(c.) The territories [[mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b)]] are ceded to Russia as an equivalent for the sum of one billion, two hundred million rubles. As for the rest of the indemnity, apart from the 10,000,000 rubles intended to indemnify Russian interests and establishments in Turkey—namely,  300,000,000 rubles1the mode of payment and guarantee of that sum shall be settled by an understanding between the Imperial Government of Russia and that of His Majesty the Sultan2.

1 Cf. the definitive Treaty of Peace of 8th February, 1879
2 This was done by the Convention of 14th May, 1882

(d.) The 10,000,000 rubles claimed as indemnity for the Russian subjects and establishments in Turkey shall be paid as soon as the claims of those interested are examined by the Russian Embassy at Constantinople and handed to the Sublime Porte3.

3 Cf. ibid. The sum is not to exceed 27,750,000 francs.


ART.XX. The Sublime Porte will take effective steps to put an amicable end to the lawsuits of Russian subjects pending for several years, to indemnify the latter if need be, and to carry into effect without delay all judgments passed 4.

4 Cf. Art. 9 of the definitive Treaty of Peace.


ART.XXI. The inhabitants of the districts ceded to Russia who wish to take up their residence out of these territories will be free to retire on selling all their real property. For this purpose an interval of three years is granted them, counting from the date of ratification of the present Act.

On the expiration of that time those of the inhabitants who shall not have sold their real property and left the country shall remain Russian subjects.

Real property belonging to the State, or to religious establishments situated out of the localities aforesaid, shall be sold within the same Interval of three years as shall be arranged by a special Russo-Turkish Commission. The same Commission shall be entrusted with determining how the Ottoman Government is to remove its war material, munitions, supplies, and other State property actually in the forts, towns, and localities ceded to Russia, and not at present occupied by Russian troops.

[[ART.XXII. Russian ecclesiastics, pilgrims, and monks traveling or sojourning in Turkey in Europe or in Asia shall enjoy the same rights, advantages, and privileges as the foreign ecclesiastics of any other nationality.

The right of official protection by the Imperial Embassy and Russian Consulates in Turkey is recognized, both as regards the persons above-mentioned, and their possessions, religious houses, charitable institutions, &c., in the Holy Places and elsewhere.

The monks of Mount Athos, of Russian origin, shall be maintained in all their possessions and former privileges, and shall continue to enjoy in the three convents belonging to them and in the adjoining buildings the same rights and privileges as are assured to the other religious establishments and convents of Mount Athos.]]


ART.XXIII. All Treaties, Conventions, and agreements previously concluded between the two High Contracting Parties relative to commerce, jurisdiction, and the position of Russian subjects in Turkey, and which had been abrogated by the state of war, shall come into force again, with the exception of the clauses affected by the present Act. The two Governments will be placed again in the same relation to one another, with respect to all their engagements and commercial and other relations, as they were in before the declaration of war 1.

1 Cf, Art. 10 of the definitive Treaty of Peace.


ART.XXIV. The Bosphoras and the Dardanelles shall remain open in time of war as in time of peace to the merchant-vessels of neutral States arriving from or bound to Russian ports. The Sublime Porte consequently engages never henceforth to establish at the ports of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, a fictitious blockade (blocus fictif), at variance with the spirit of the Declaration signed at Paris on the 4/16th April, 1856.

[[ART.XXV. Within three months after the conclusion of the definitive peace between His Majesty the Emperor of Russia and His Majesty the Sultan, the Russian army will withdraw completely from European territories of Turkey, with the exception of Bulgaria.

In order to save time, and to avoid the cost of the prolonged maintenance of the Russian troops in Turkey and Romania, part of the Imperial army may proceed to the ports of the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmora, to be there shipped in vessels belonging to the Russian Government or chartered for the occasion.]]

The withdrawal from Turkey in Asia will be effected within the space of six months, dating from the conclusion of the definitive peace, and the Russian troops will be entitled to take ship at Trebizond in order to return by the Caucasus or the Crimea.

Withdrawal operations will begin immediately after the exchange of ratifications.


ART.XXVI. As long as the Imperial Russian troops remain in the localities which, in conformity with the present Act, will be restored to the Sublime Porte, the administration and order of affairs will continue in the same state as has existed since the occupation. The Sublime Porte will not participate therein during all that time, nor until the entire departure of all the troops.

The Ottoman forces shall not enter the places to be restored to the Sublime Porte, and the Sublime Porte cannot begin to exercise its authority there until notice of each fortress and province having been evacuated by the Russian troops shall have been given by the Commander of these troops to the officer appointed for this purpose by the Sublime Porte.


ART.XXVII. The Sublime Porte undertakes not to punish in any manner, or allow to be punished, those Ottoman subjects who may have been compromised by their relations with the Russian army during the war. In the event of any persons wishing to withdraw with their families when the Russian troops leave, the Ottoman authorities shall not oppose their departure 1.

1 Cf. Arts. 8 and 9 of the definitive Treaty of Peace.


ART.XXVIII. Immediately upon the ratification of the Preliminaries of Peace, the prisoners of war shall be reciprocally restored under the care of special Commissioners appointed on both sides, who for this purpose shall go to Odessa and Sebastopol. The Ottoman Government will pay all the expenses of the maintenance of the prisoners that are returned to them, in eighteen equal installments in the space of six years, in accordance with the accounts that will be drawn up by the above-mentioned Commissioners.2

2 Cf. Art. 6 of the definitive Treaty of Peace.

The exchange of prisoners between the Ottoman Government and the Governments of Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro will be made on the same basis, deducting, however, in the account, the number of prisoners restored by the Ottoman Government from the number of prisoners that will have to be restored to that Government.


ART.XXIX. The present Act shall be ratified by their Imperial Majesties the Emperor of Russia and the Emperor of the Ottomans, and the ratifications shall be exchanged in fifteen days, or sooner if possible, at St. Petersburg, where likewise an agreement shall be come to as to the place and the time at which the stipulations of the present Act shall be invested with all the solemn forms usually observed in Treaties of Peace. It is, however, well understood that the High Contracting Parties consider themselves as formally bound by the present Act from the moment of its ratification.

In witness whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have appended their signatures and seals to the present Act.

Done at San Stefano, the 19th February/3rd March, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-eight.

NELIDOV.                  SADOULLAH.

[[Final paragraph of Article XI of the Act of the Preliminaries of Peace signed this day..., which was omitted, and which should form an integral part of the said Article

The inhabitants of the Principality of Bulgaria when traveling or sojourning in the other parts of the Ottoman Empire shall be subject to the Ottoman laws and authorities.]]

[The same signatures.]

San Stefano, February 19/March 3, 1978


[Hypertext link to 1875jy13(NS):Treaty of Berlin which gutted the bilateral San Stefano Treaty]