Author(s): Şenay ÖZDEMİR GÜMÜŞ

This study analyzes the Russian privateers activities in the Mediterranean in the Ottoman-Russo War of 1787-1792. Having given the permission of privateering for attacking to the Ottoman ships and coastline settlements of the Ottoman State, Russia profited from the service of these ships in this war. In contrast to the Ottoman-Russo War of 1768-74, Russia was not able to send her navy to the Mediterranean, in this particular war in question, thus, it was far more important for the Russia to profit from the service of the privateers in the area. Russia significantly threatened the Ottoman waters throughout the war with the help of the privateering ships whose population was mostly composed of the Ottoman subjects of the Mediterranean. However, these privateering ships not only attackted to the Ottoman ships but also attacked to the ships of the neutral nations and continued of attacking to the Ottoman ships after the war ended. This in turn, left Russia in a difficult situation against these states. Hence, in addition to the Russian privateers, the increasing attacks of the pirates led the Ottoman State to take additional measures in the Mediterranean. This paper discusses the Russian privateering activites and the support given to them, as well as the attitudes of the Ottoman State against the privateering and the piracy during this war. This paper also stresses that the line between the privateering and the piracy activities in the period was very thin.


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