The coastal region of what is today Libya
was ruled by the Ottoman Empire
from 1551 to 1912, first, from 1551 to 1864, as the Eyalet of Tripolitania
: ایالت طرابلس غرب
Eyālet-i Trâblus Gârb
) or Bey and Subjects of Tripoli of Barbary
, later, from 1864 to 1912, as the Vilayet of Tripolitania
(Ottoman Turkish: ولايت طرابلس غرب
Vilâyet-i Trâblus Gârb
). It was also known as the Kingdom of Tripoli
, even though it was not technically a kingdom, but an Ottoman province ruled by pashas
(governors). The Karamanli dynasty
ruled the province as a de facto
hereditary monarchy from 1711 to 1835, despite remaining under nominal Ottoman rule and suzerainty from Constantinople
Ottoman name of "Trablus Garb" literally means "Tripoli in the West" since the state already had another Tripoli
in the east also called Trablus conquered by Selim I after the battle at Marj Dabiq
. After Tripolitania was annexed, the names of the eyalets were changed to "Tripoli Damascus" (Trablus Şam) and "Tripoli in the West" which is Roman Tripolitania (Trablus Garb).
The Tripolitania Vilayet in 1900
By the beginning of the 16th century the Libyan coast had minimal central authority and its harbours were havens for unchecked bands of pirates. The Kingdom of Spain
in 1510, but the Spaniards were more concerned with controlling the port than with the inconveniences of administering a colony. In 1530 the city, along with Malta
, was ceded by Charles I of Spain
to the Knights of St John
as compensation for their recent expulsion from the island of Rhodes
at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. Christian rule lasted then until 1551, when Tripoli was besieged and conquered by famed Ottoman admirals Sinan Pasha
and Turgut Reis
. Declared as Bey
and later Pasha
of Tripoli, Turgut Reis submitted the tribes[clarification needed]
of the interior and several cities like Misrata
, and Gafsa
in the next decade. These efforts contributed to cement the foundations of a statal structure in what is today Libya, but control from Constantinople
remained loose at best, much like in the rest of the Barbary Coast
of North Africa
Under the Ottomans, the Maghreb
was divided into three provinces, Algiers
, and Tripoli
. After 1565, administrative authority in Tripoli was vested in a Pasha directly appointed by the Sultan in Constantinople. The sultan provided the pasha with a corps of janissaries
, which was in turn divided into a number of companies under the command of a junior officer or bey
. The janissaries quickly became the dominant force in Ottoman Libya. As a self-governing military guild answerable only to their own laws and protected by a divan
(a council of senior officers who advised the pasha), the janissaries soon reduced the pasha to a largely ceremonial role.
Karamanli dynasty and the Barbary Wars
The "Kingdom of Tripoli" (Royaume de Tripoly
) is shown as including much of modern-day Libya, with the exception of Berdoa
, on a map by Guillaume Delisle
In May 1801, Pasha Yusuf Karamanli
demanded from the United States
an increase in the tribute ($83,000) which it had paid since 1796 for the protection of their commerce from piracy when the Treaty of Tripoli
was signed. The demand was refused by third American President Thomas Jefferson
, an American naval force was sent and blockaded Tripoli, and the desultory First Barbary War
dragged on from 1801 until 3 June 1805. The Regency of Tripoli was defeated by the newly revived United States Navy
The Second Barbary War
(1815, also known as the Algerian War) was the second of the two wars fought between the United States and the Ottoman Empire's North African regencies of Algiers, Tripoli, and Tunis, known collectively as the Barbary States
On 5 September 1817, Yusuf Karamanli invited the leaders of Libyan tribe of Al-Jawazi to his castle in Benghazi
, following a dispute regarding tribute and uprising against his rule. Consequently, the Pasha ordered the execution of all attendees and chasing down the other tribe members which resulted in massacring at least 10,000 people, who eventually sought refuge in the neighboring countries, especially in Egypt
Reassertion of Ottoman authority
In 1835 the government of Sultan Mahmud II
took advantage of local disturbances to reassert their direct authority. As decentralized Ottoman power had resulted in the virtual independence of Egypt as well as Tripoli, the coast and desert lying between them relapsed to anarchy, even after direct Ottoman control was resumed in Tripoli. The indigenous Senussi
Movement, led by Islamic cleric Sayyid Mohammed Ali as-Senussi, called on the countryside to resist Ottoman rule. The Grand Senussi established his headquarters in the oasis town of Jaghbub
while his ikhwan
(brothers) set up zawiyas
(religious colleges or monasteries) across North Africa and brought some stability to regions not known for their submission to central authority. In line with the expressed instruction of the Grand Sanusi, these gains were made largely without any coercion.
It was one of the first Ottoman provinces to become a vilayet
after an administrative reform
in 1865, and by 1867 it had been reformed into the Tripolitania Vilayet.
The highpoint of the Sanusi influence came in the 1880s under the Grand Senussi's son, Muhammad al-Mahdi as-Senussi
, who was a skilled administrator and a charismatic orator. With 146 lodges spanning the entire Sahara, he moved the Senussi capital to Kufra
. Harsh Ottoman rule only fuelled the appeal of the Senussi Movement's call to repel foreign occupation. Remarkably, Mohammed al-Mahdi succeeded where so many had failed before him, securing the enduring loyalty of the Amazigh tribes of Cyrenaica
. Over a 75‑year period, the Ottoman Turks provided 33 governors and Libya remained part of the empire—although at times virtually autonomous—until Italy invaded
for the second time in 1911, as the Ottoman Empire was collapsing.
As a result of this conflict, the Ottoman Turks ceded the provinces of Tripolitania
, and Cyrenaica
to Italy. These provinces together formed what became known as Libya
A map showing the administrative divisions of the Ottoman Empire in 1317 Hijri, 1899 Gregorian, Including the Vilayet of Trablusgharb (Tripolitania).
Sanjaks of the Eyalet in the mid‑19th-century:
- Sanjak of Benghazi; became an independent sanjak in 1863, then became a province for a brief period, but was made an independent sanjak once again in 1888.
- Sanjak of Tarablusi Garb
- Sanjak of Khoms
- Sanjak of Jebel
- Sanjak of Gharbi
- Sanjak of Fezzan
Sanjaks of the Vilayet:
- Sanjak of Trablus Garb
- Sanjak of Khoms
- Sanjak of Celebi-i-Garbi
- Sanjak of Fizan
- Sanjak of Benghazi
- ^ Thomas Salmon, Modern history or the present state of all nations, vol. 3, 1746, p. 84. Archibald Bower et al., An universal history: from the earliest accounts to the present time, 1760, vol. 18, p. 479.
- ^ "Libyan tribe demands to prosecute Turkey for the massacres committed against its people, similar to that of the Armenians". horizonweekly.ca. 5 October 2016.
- ^ مذبحة الجوازي.. دماء 10 آلاف ليبي تطارد إردوغان. 3thmanly.com/ (in Arabic). 18 October 2018.
- ^ Almanach de Gotha: annuaire généalogique, diplomatique et statistique. J. Perthes. 1867. pp. 827–829. Retrieved 2013-06-01.
- ^ The three eras of Ottoman history, a political essay on the late reforms of ..., p. 75, at Google Books By James Henry Skene
- ^ Emine Ö. Evered (2012). Empire and Education Under the Ottomans: Politics, Reform and Resistance from the Tanzimat to the Young Turks. I.B.Tauris. p. 177. ISBN 978-1-78076-109-1. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
- ^ Trablus-Garb Vilayeti | Tarih ve Medeniyet
Last edited on 30 May 2021, at 23:12
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