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Volume :4 Issue : 13 1978      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

THE ROLE OF BASRA ON THE ARAB GULF BETWEEN 1500 – 1600 A.D.

Auther : Emad Al-Jawahry

 

         When the Arab Orient witnessed, at the close of the Middle Ages, the wane of the Arab Islamic state and the fall of the Abbasid Caliphate, the modern history of the Near East recorded the rise of the Persian Safawi Dynasty and the advent of the Portuguese to the Oriental Seas and their domination of the Indian Commerce.

         The Consequences of these occurrences were not only detrimental to the concerns of the peoples of the area, but were also injurious to the area’s biggest political and military power, namely the Ottoman state.

         The Ottomans, realizing, the extent of the efficacy of their aid to Egypt, (which they had occupied in the early 16th century), with a view to enabling it to drive the Portuguese out of the Red Sea and the Arab Sea, had the conviction that, unless they initiated a new front against the Portuguese in the Arab Gulf, they would never be able to achieve anything of a decisive character in that sphere.

         Therefore, the Ottomans realized the importance of the role which might be affected by Basra in subding the Portuguese, driving them out of the Gulf, and reopening the route already closed by the Portuguese to the Near East trade in general and the trade bound for Egypt in particular.

         So the reinforcement of the Ottoman presence in Iraq in the mid Sixteenth Century was in agreement with the Ottoman concept of the importance of the ensuing consequences in the Arab area.

         Basra successfully fulfilled the part assigned to it .  The fruits of the resistance to the Portuguese presence became clear in the new influx of trade to the Arab Orient during the last quarter of the 16th Century.  The final phase was that Basra seemed to have recovered a notable measure of its mold high commercial status during the middle Ages.

         Basra’s role did not end even there.  Forever since it became evident that the Portuguese supremacy receded in the Gulf are.  Basra played a dominant role in the preservation of security and stability, particularly against the raiders and the bandits.

         That was certainly in the interest of the Gulf’s stability and the flourishing of its trade.  The Ottoman presence in the “wilayet” of Baghdad and the rest of the Iraqi wilayet, represents a considerable weight which enabled Basra to fulfill its role in the Gulf.  Similarly Iraqi consolidation to Basra between 1500-1600 was from the point of view of historical development in agreement with the indispensability of the Iraqi role in the Gulf area.

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