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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: March 2011

14 - Egypt and Syria under the Ottomans

The Muslim character of the Ottoman state was enhanced by the demographic reality that Muslims had become the overwhelming majority of the sultan's subjects for the first time in the empire's history. Selīm conquest of Syria, Egypt and the Ḥijāz greatly increased the prestige of the empire and established it as a major obstacle to the expansion of Spanish power in the Mediterranean Sea and that of the Portuguese in the Red Sea. The application of the conventional Ottoman patterns of provincial governance drew interior Syria more securely into the Ottoman political and cultural orbit than any of the empire's other Arab provinces. The inhabitants of Aleppo, Damascus, Jerusalem and Cairo were heirs to a sophisticated, Muslim urban culture that was almost a thousand years old and which, at times, could be at odds with the Ottoman understanding of their shared faith.
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The New Cambridge History of Islam
  • Volume 2: The Western Islamic World, Eleventh to Eighteenth Centuries
  • Edited by Maribel Fierro
  • Online ISBN: 9781139056151
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