Historical Primary Sources: A Legal and Diplomatic Justification of the Ottoman Declaration of War Against Russia, 1768

This document is a beyānnāme, or declaration, sent by the Ottoman reʾīsül-kuttāb (chief scribe) to Britain’s ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, justifying the Ottoman declaration of war on Russia by explaining Russia’s violation of treaty obligations. The document gives insight into eighteenth-century Ottoman attitudes to international law and its relationship with Islamic law.

Contributed by Dr. Michael Talbot.

Read here.