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Fortifying the Bosphorus and Dardanelles: Ottoman Measures against the Russian Threat

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Julian Siebert.

The Ottoman Empire suffered from a drastic change in the balance of power in the late eighteenth century in favour of Russia. It was obliged to accept the presence of Russia in the Black Sea, long considered an “Ottoman lake”. Consequently, the security of the Ottoman imperial seat in Istanbul became an issue to be handled independently and institutionally.

This talk will first analyse the Ottomans’ rising awareness of the Russian threat on their northern frontier. Then, it will focus on the fortification of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles in order to help defend Istanbul against a potential Russian attack.

While doing so, the talk will bring various actors together, such as Ottoman administrators, French engineers and spies for Russia, and show how tension and cooperation between them shaped the Ottoman military architecture and technology at the turn of the nineteenth century.

No need to book for in-person attendance, drinks and snacks will be available from 17.45. Register here to receive zoom access details

This talk is part of the Wolfson College Humanities Society series.

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