Lahsa Eyalet

Eyālet-i Laḥsā
Eyalet of the Ottoman Empire

Lahsa Eyalet, 1683
  Established 1560
  Disestablished 1670
Today part of  Kuwait
 Saudi Arabia

Lahsa Eyalet (Ottoman Turkish: ایالت لحسا; Eyālet-i Laḥsā)[1] was an eyalet of the Ottoman Empire. The territory of the former eyalet is now part of Kuwait and Qatar. Qatif was the main city of the eyalet, which was named after the city of Al-Hasa.

The area was occupied by Ottoman forces in the middle of the 16th century, and it would be administered by them, with varying degrees of effectiveness, for the next 130 years.[2]


The beglerbegilik of Al-Hasa was established in 1552, primarily to protect Basra's trade with India, since the Portuguese were making raids on the coasts and shipping in the Gulf.[3] By March 1552, garrisons had been introduced in Lahsa, the largest town in the region. The first land survey of the newly occupied province began before September 1553.[2] For the first few years of occupation, Lahsa was administered as a district of Basra Eyalet.[2] By 1560, the district officer was promoted to governor-general.[2]

The first attempted invasion of Bahrain from Lahsa by Ottomans was made in the summer of 1559, when an invasion force of 600-1,000 men was despatched by Mustafa Pasha, governor-general of Lahsa, who acted on his own, presumably to impress Sultan Suleiman.[2] It ended with disastrous results: the surrender of the Ottoman forces, and their withdrawal after the payment of a ransom of 1 million akçe.[2] Mustafa Pasha died (how is not explained), but the men returned to the mainland in March or April 1560.[2]

With the withdrawal of most of the garrison, the Bani Khalid leaders, the erstwhile rulers of the area, used the opportunity to rebel against the Ottomans, occupying Lahsa and establishing Mubarraz as headquarters. Order was restored with the arrival of a new governor-general and new troops.[2]

The Portuguese squadron in Hormuz then controlled all traffic in the Gulf, raiding Al-Katif in 1552, 1559 and 1573.[3] By 1566, attempts were made to establish peaceful relationships with the Portuguese in the Hormuz base.[2] In 1568 the Ottomans made further naval preparations to capture Bahrain, but the rebellion in Yemen in the same year curbed all such plans.[3]

Later on, the Ottomans made new preparations at Al-Hasa to take Bahrain, but in general they remained defensive, especially when a new war against Iran began in 1578.[3] The governor-general Ahmed Bey made himself unpopular with the people, and was overthrown in 1580 after two years of tumultuous rule.[2] Shortly after peace was signed with Shah Abbas in September 1591, the governor-general of Lahsa was granted permission to conquer Bahrain, but no action was taken by Lahsa.[2]

The Ottomans gave the shaikhs of the Banu Khalid administrative titles and salaries, but the tribe never submitted totally to the Ottoman jurisdiction.[4]

In 1669-1670, under the leadership of Barrak ibn Ghurayr ibn Uthman, the Al-Humaid section of the Banu Khalid tribe was finally able to defeat the Ottoman garrison at al-Ahsa in battle, leaving the administration no chance but to withdraw peacefully from al-Ahsa.[4] The Banu Khalid set up an independent state, the Khalidi Emirate, in 1670.[5]

Administrative divisions

Sanjaks of the Eyalet in the 16th century:[2]
  1. Sanjak of Uyun (since 1560)
  2. Sanjak of Badiye (the Desert; since 1560)
  3. Sanjak of Tuhaymiyah (after 1578)
  4. Sanjak of Cebrin (after 1578)
  5. Sanjak of Cisse (after 1573)
  6. Sanjak of Mubarraz (after 1573)
Sanjaks of the Eyalet in the 17th century:[6]
  1. Sanjak of Aiwen
  2. Sanjak of Sakul
  3. Sanjak of Negniie
  4. Sanjak of Netif
  5. Sanjak of Benderazir
  6. Sanjak of Giriz

See also


  1. "Some Provinces of the Ottoman Empire". Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Mandaville, Jon E. (1 July 1970). "The Ottoman Province of al-Hasā in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 90 (3): 486. doi:10.2307/597091.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Halil İnalcık; Donald Quataert (1994). An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire: 1300-1914. Cambridge University Press. p. 337. ISBN 978-0-521-34315-2. Retrieved 2013-06-02.
  4. 1 2 Hala Mundhir Fattah (1997). The Politics of Regional Trade in Iraq, Arabia, and the Gulf 1745-1900. SUNY Press. p. 95. ISBN 978-1-4384-0237-6. Retrieved 2013-06-02.
  5. Facts On File, Incorporated (2009). Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Africa and the Middle East. Infobase Publishing. p. 98. ISBN 978-1-4381-2676-0. Retrieved 2013-06-03.
  6. Sir Paul Rycaut (1686). The History of the Present State of the Ottoman Empire. C. Brome. p. 102. Retrieved 2 June 2013.

Further Reading

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