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The Frontiers of the Ottoman World$
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A.C.S. Peacock

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264423

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264423.001.0001

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Ottoman Frontier Policies in North-East Africa, 1517–1914

Ottoman Frontier Policies in North-East Africa, 1517–1914

(p.225) 11 Ottoman Frontier Policies in North-East Africa, 1517–1914
The Frontiers of the Ottoman World


British Academy

This chapter suggests that insufficient attention has been paid in accounts of north-east African history to the role of the Ottoman Turks. With the capture of Egypt from its Mamluk rulers in 1517, the Ottomans established their first foothold in Africa. However, several factors drew them further into the region. First, there was a threat presented by the Portuguese, who sought to establish a monopoly on the valuable Indian Ocean trade and who challenged Ottoman control of the Red Sea and the pilgrimage routes to Mecca and Medina. Second, the Ottomans wished to secure control over Africa's valuable exports, slaves and gold. Third, in accordance with the sultans' quest for legitimacy as rulers of an Islamic empire, their long-term aim was the inclusion of all north-east Africa into Ottoman territory and hence the Dar al-Islam.

Keywords:   Ottoman Turks, Islamic empire, Dar al-Islam, pilgrimage routs, Indian Ocean trade, Red Sea

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