HomeBEYOND TURKEYAfrica: Libya Major Abdulvahid Through the Eyes of an Ottoman Major During...

Africa: Libya Major Abdulvahid Through the Eyes of an Ottoman Major During the Time of Abdul Hamid II

by Süleyman Kızıltoprak  – Sefaattin Deniz
Abdulvahid Efendi, Sultan II. He is an Ottoman officer sent by Abdulhamid to today’s Libyan lands. While the Ottoman Empire was struggling with major economic crises, political turmoil and nationalist revolts at home, it was fighting a relentless struggle against Russian attacks and colonial powers such as the British and French abroad.
Italy, which was able to complete its national unity in 1870, a date that can be considered quite late, also set its eyes on the lands of Libya, which is a very close place. On the other hand, after the occupation of Tunisia by the French in 1881 and the occupation of Egypt by the British in 1882, the province of Tripoli became an even more important place for the Ottoman Empire. ottomans,Thanks to the state officials working in the region, it continued to collect information about the Tripoli state, which still exists as a part of the state, and tried to maintain its presence in these lands, which are quite far from the center, with the reports coming from here.
One of the names providing information flow to the center in Libya is Major Abdulvahid Efendi, who served in the region at different intervals. The information poured out from the pen of Abdulvahid, who was on official duty around Tripoli and Benghazi for more than ten years, is extremely important in terms of strategies for the region. He compiled the information he collected between 1870-1881 into a report and prepared the map himself, together with the sultan of the time, Sultan II. He presented it to Abdulhamid Han.
During the time Major Abdulvahid served in Libya, the Ottoman Empire was going through hard times. He focused entirely on his own task as if there were no problems, and revealed in all details what can be done to defend Libya against possible invasions. This Ottoman officer, who fulfilled his duty here, took his unique place in history. His report not only sheds light on Libya’s recent past, but also provides valuable data on the origins of the problems the Libyan people are experiencing today. May the soul of the reporter Major Abdulvahid rest in peace!


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