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“With the sabre in one hand and the Koran in the other”.: Turkish seamen in the Baltic and the decline of Swedish-Ottoman relations in the 1790s
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6849-9720
2010 (English)In: Forum Navale, ISSN 0280-6215, Vol. 66, 16-43 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sweden enjoyed friendly relations with the Ottoman empire for most of theeighteenth century. However, when Sweden signed a peace treaty with Russiain August 1790 this severed its alliance with Constantinople. Russia, a mutualenemy, had served as the glue binding the Turco-Swedish friendship. This article discusses the change in relations after Sweden’s breach of the treaty. It describes and contextualizes a little known episode following the Russo-Swedish war of 1788–90. During the war Sweden had captured a number of Turkish seamen that were fighting with the Russians in the Baltic. That European seamen and travellers were frequently seized in the Mediterranean by North African corsairs is well known. We know less about Ottoman subjects and their experiences of captivity in the hands of European powers. I will attempt to follow these sailors’ destinies as far as is possible. The Swedish king arranged for the Turkish prisoners to be sent to Constantinople in order to appease Turkey. Sweden also offered naval assistance toward the Ottoman empire’s reform of its navy. Both the transport of the Turkish sailors and the naval assistance proved difficult. I use these maritime episodes to illustrate Sweden’s role in the Mediterranean and the waning of its relationship with Turkey.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Sjöhistoriska Samfundet , 2010. Vol. 66, 16-43 p.
Keyword [en]
naval history, Ottoman-Swedish relations, Pehr Olof von Asp, Johan David Åkerblad, Mouradgea d'Ohssson
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-139811OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-139811DiVA: diva2:382113
Available from: 2010-12-29 Created: 2010-12-29 Last updated: 2015-01-19

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Thomasson, Fredrik
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