The Ottoman History of Egypt

The Mamluk Reign ended with the Ottoman conquest of Egypt under Sultan Selim I who defeated the Mamluk forces at ar-Raydaniyah . From that time , Egypt became a province under the Ottoman Empire . Selim I left behind him Khair Bey as the sultan's vassal to rule Egypt . Khair Bey kept his court in the Citadel , the ancient residence of the rulers of Egypt . Under the next sultan , Suliman I , two chambers were created , in which , both the army and the religious authorities were represented to aid the Pasha by their deliberations . These two champers were called the 'Greater Divan' and 'Lesser Divan' .
Selim I's and his successors' attempts to extinguish the power and the influence of the Mamelukes in Egypt all went in vain . The Ottoman Turks ruled Egypt from Istanbul through Pashas whose rule did not exceed collecting taxes . The Ottomans relied on the Mamluk army whose ranks continued to expand with mercenary slaves brought in from the Caucasus .
During the latter decades of the sixteenth and the early seventeenth centuries , a series of revolts by various elements of the garrison troops broke out . In 1604 , the governor Ibrahim Pasha was murdered
by the soldiers , and his head set on the Bab Zuwaylah . During these years , there was also a revival within the Mamluk military structure . By the middle of the seventeenth century , political supremacy had passed to the beys .
In 1760 , Ali Bey El Kabir assumed the office of Sheikh El Balad (Ruler of the Country) . He gained control of the army and allied with Sheikh Daher El Omar in Palestine against the Ottoman Sultan and expelling the Ottoman Wali and announcing Egypt's independence . He issued firmans (decrees) in his own name , redirected the state revenues to his own use , and attempted to recreate the Mamluk Empire by invading Syria . He also managed to extend his influence to Hijaz and Yemen and sent an army under the leadership of Muhammad Bey Abu El-Dahab . In addition , Ali Bey tried to strengthen trade ties with Europe by encouraging trade and attempting to open the Port of Suez to European shipping . Ali Bey ruled only briefly and his successors , especially Muhammad Bey , continued his policies . In 1786 , an expedition was sent by the Porte to restore the Ottoman supremacy in Egypt . After the death of Muhammad Bey , there was a struggle upon
dominance among the beys . Ibrahim Bey and Murad Bey succeeded in asserting their authority and shared power in Egypt and both continued in power until the French Invasion in 1798 .


Close-up of Mycherinos Pyramid (looking up)



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