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Volume :9 Issue : 34 1983      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

THE EXTERNAL TRADE OF BASRA AND ITS ROLE IN THE ARABIAN GULF IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY

Auther : By: Dr. Tariq Nafi Al-Hamadani

 

          Basra was first established in the early Islamic period as a military outpost, but as time went by, it developed into a commercial center by the beginning of the sixteenth century, through the utilization of its location near Shatt Al-Arab.  However, this conspicuous development in the city’s function coincided with the emergence of Portugal as a military power and its expansion in the Orient for the primary strategic objective of monopolizing Oriental trade.  Their attempts to control all trade routes and commercial stations, in both India and the Arabian Gulf, culminated ultimately in their absolute domination of the region.  Basra and other cities in the Gulf suffered heavily and their development practically came to a halt.

          When the Ottomans first appeared on the political scene as a major power, which tried to extend its influence into the Gulf region they collided with both Persians and the Portuguese.  Their ultimate target was to dislodge the Portuguese altogether from both the Orient and the Gulf and to revive the old trade routes.  Ottoman endeavors to achieve these objective in the mid of the sixteenth century, came to absolute failure. Simultaneously, the Ottomans tried to promote amicable ties and commercial relations with the Portuguese in Hormuz, after they succeeded in controlling Basra in 1546.  Although, they repeated their attempts several times, no positive results were attained and the trade of Basra was seriously affected.  At approximately the third quarter of the sixteenth century Basra, however, restored a consideration volume of its foreign trade; a fact which was manifested in a marked increase in its exports and imports as witnessed by the descriptions of European travelers who attested to the flourishing conditions of the city.

 

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