London and Istanbul, hand in hand, used every means to deceive the Armenian people and lead them to the path of autonomy. In fact, their aim was to disrupt Armenian-Russian relations, to revise the territorial integrity points in Berlin and most importantly to change the form and content of Article 16. Sultan Abdülhamit knew about the Armenian autonomy plan and the Armenian delegation went to Berlin with his knowledge and permission. Days and months passed after the signing of the Ayastefanos peace treaty, but final legal recognition was not achieved. On the terms of the Russian-Turkish compromise 

A delicate and complex diplomatic struggle ensued.  Its main content was the efforts of the Western European powers aimed at undermining the victory of Russian arms in the Balkans and Armenia in order to make the most of the legacy of the Ottoman Empire.

It would be strange, of course, if the leading capitalist powers, fighting for the colonization of the East, were really interested in the question of freeing Armenians from the Turkish yoke or improving their situation, contrary to their own interests. 

The Turks did not create anything, nor did they learn anything from the ancient civilization. They did not learn because this civilization interfered with their mode of immigration. Instead of creating architectural-Muslim monuments, they preferred to turn existing Christian monuments into mosques at best.

As stated in Volume 6 of the History of the Armenian People, “Neither the Ottoman Empire, nor the colonial states, nor Tsarist Russia had any desire to grant autonomy or independence to the Armenian people. The demand for Armenia’s autonomy, put forward or defended on various occasions by the Great Powers, was nothing but a hoax in pursuit of one goal or another.”

Article 16: Considering that the withdrawal of Russian troops from the territories occupied by them in Armenia, to be returned to the Ottoman Empire, may lead to conflicts and disturbances therein, which would be detrimental to the good relations between the two States, The Sublime Porte  undertakes to immediately implement the reforms and improvements arising from the local needs of the regions inhabited by the Armenians and to protect the security of the Armenians from the Kurds and Circassians.

Article 17: The Sublime Porte  fully and unconditionally pardons all Ottoman subjects who participated in the recent events and all those who were imprisoned or exiled as a result will be released immediately.

Article 27: The Sublime Porte undertakes not to persecute or allow persecution of Turkish subjects who were connected with the Russian army during the war, and if some of them want to leave with their families following the Russian troops, the Ottoman authorities will not oppose them.

Article 28: Immediately after the ratification of the preliminary peace treaty, prisoners of war shall be returned to each other through special commissioners appointed by both parties, who shall go to Odessa and Sevastopol for this purpose.

The Ottoman Government shall pay the expenses of the maintenance of prisoners of war, according to the accounts drawn up by the said commissioners, in eighteen equal periods of six months for the maintenance of prisoners of war, and the prisoners of war shall be returned to that Government.

Article 29: This Convention shall be ratified by His Majesty the Emperor of All Russia and the Ottoman Emperor, and the instruments of ratification shall be exchanged at St. Petersburg at intervals of fifteen days or, if possible, earlier. There they shall also mutually agree on the time and place at which the terms of this Convention shall be formalized in the usual ceremonial manner for a treaty of compromise.

As witnesses, the two parties signed and sealed this agreement.

February 19 (March 3), 1878 in San Stefano.

Signatories: – Count N. Ignatov

– Safvet

– Nelidov