German Attempts to Use the Farasan Islands – South of the Red Sea – in the Light of Ottoman Archive Documents (1900- 1902)

Suheyl Sapan


Under the increased attempts of he European powers to take over Ottoman territory, the Ottomans tried to keep the territory left to them through diplomatic channels. The Farasan Islands provide a unique example of this competition.
The importance of the subject derives from the strategic importance of the Farasan Islands and the attempts of the European powers allied to the Ottoman Empire to occupy them, citing their desire to build coal stores for their warships sailing to southeast Asia. The Ottomans were put in a critical position with their allies, but the Ottomans refused to let their allies occupy the islands due to their strategic importance and knowing that if a foreign power were to get onto those islands, they would never leave easily.
A large number of documents in the Ottoman archives are connected with German attempts towards the Farasan Islands and record much correspondence between the Bab-i Ali and the Ottoman administrative authorities in the region on one side and the German embassy in Istanbul and the Ottoman ministry of foreign affairs on the other side, especially between 1900 and 1902.


Ottomans, Germany, Sea Red, Farasan Islands

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