Sidon Eyalet

Eyaleti Safed-Sayda-Beyrut
Eyalet of the Ottoman Empire


Sidon Eyalet in 1795
Capital Safed (1660)
Sidon (1660–1775)
Acre (1775–1841)[1]
Beirut (1841–1864)
  Established 1660
  Disestablished 1864
Today part of  Lebanon
Israel Israel

The Eyalet of Sidon (Ottoman Turkish: ایالت صیدا; Eyālet-i Ṣaydā),[2] was an eyalet (also known as a beylerbeylik) of the Ottoman Empire. In the 19th century, the eyalet extended from the border with Egypt to the Bay of Kesrouan, including parts of modern Israel, Palestine and Lebanon.[3]

Depending on the location of its capital, it was also known as the Eyalet of Safad, Beirut or Akka (Acre).[3]


Ottoman rulers considered creating the Province as early as 1585. The districts of Beirut-Sidon and Safed (encompassing much of the Galilee) were united under the rule of Ma'nid Emir Fakhr-al-Din ibn Maan.[4] The Province was briefly created during Fakhr-al-Din's exile in 1614–15, and recreated in 1660.[4][5] The province continued to be subordinated in some ways, both in fiscal and political matters, to the Damascus province out of which it was created.[4]

Despite conflicts in the 1660s, the Maan family "played the leading role in the management of the internal affairs of this eyalet until the closing years of the 17th century, perhaps because it was not possible to manage the province-certainly not in the sanjak of Sidon-Beirut-without them."[6] The Maans were succeeded by the Shihab family in ruling Sidon-Beirut from the final years of the 17th century through the 19th century.[6] The Maans were first recognized as "emirs" in 1592 when Fakhr al-Din Maan was made (honorary) governor of the sanjak of Safad, and both the Maans and the Shihabis were recognized by the Ottomans as incumbents of an only vaguely defined, only implicitly "Druze" emirate. They never actually exercised any administrative function beyond that of multazim (tax farmer) over several mountain districts in the eyalet of Sidon (the Shuf). In 1763 the Shihabis were also invested with tax farms in the eyalet of Tripoli that had formerly been held by the Shiite Hamada family, which marks the beginning of the "emirate"'s sovereignty over the whole of Mt Lebanon.

In 1775, when Jezzar Ahmed Pasha received the governorship of Sidon, he moved the capital to Acre.[7] In 1799, Acre resisted a siege by Napoleon Bonaparte.[7]

19th century

As part of the Egyptian–Ottoman War of 1831–33, Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt took Acre after a severe siege on May 27, 1832. The Egyptian occupation intensified rivalries between Druzes and Maronites, as Ibrahim Pasha openly favoured Christians in his administration and his army.[8] In 1840, the governor of Sidon moved his residence to Beirut, effectively making it the new capital of the eyalet.[9] After the return to Ottoman rule in 1841, the Druzes dislodged Bashir III al-Shihab, to whom the sultan had granted the title of emir.[8]

In 1842 the Ottoman government introduced the Double Kaymakamate, whereby Mount Lebanon would be governed by a Maronite appointee and the more southerly regions of Kisrawan and Shuf would be governed by a Druze. Both would remain under the indirect rule of the governor of Sidon.[8] This partition of Lebanon proved to be a mistake. Animosities between the religious sects increased, and by 1860 they escalated into a full-blown sectarian violence.[8] In the 1860 Lebanon conflict that followed, thousands of Christians were killed in massacres that culminated with the Damascus Riots of July 1860.[8]

Following the international outcry caused by the massacres, the French landed troops in Beirut and the Ottomans abolished the unworkable system of the Kaymakamate and instituted in its place the Mutasarrifate of Mount Lebanon, a Maronite-majority district to be governed by non-Lebanese Christian mutasarrıf, which was the direct predecessor of the political system that continued to exist in Lebanon's early post-independence years.[8] The new arrangement ended the turmoil, and the region prospered in the last decades of the Ottoman Empire.[8]


Governors of the eyalet:[10][11][12]

  • Abidin Pasha (1685)
  • Kavanoz Ahmed Pasha (1691/92 – 1694/95)
  • Qublan Pasha al-Matarji (1700–1703)
  • Arslan Pasha al-Matarji (1703–1706)
  • Bashir Pasha al-Matarji (1706–1712)
  • Uthman Pasha Abu Tawq (1712–1715)
  • Bashir Pasha al-Matarji (1715–1717)
  • Uthman Pasha Abu Tawq (1717–1718)
  • Genç Ahmed Pasha (1716–1718)
  • Damat Hafiz Ahmed Pasha (November 1722 – 1723/24; 1st term)
  • Ahmad Pasha Abu Tawq (1723–1725)
  • Uthman Pasha Abu Tawq (1725–1726)
  • Köprülü Abdullah Pasha (1726/27–1728)
  • Sulayman Pasha al-Azm (1728–1730)
  • Ahmad Pasha Abu Tawq (1730–1734)
  • Sa'deddin Pasha al-Azm (1734–1737)
  • Ibrahim Pasha al-Azm (1737–1741)
  • As'ad Pasha al-Azm (1741–1742)
  • Yaqub Pasha (1742)
  • Ibrahim Pasha al-Azm (1742–1744)
  • Sa'deddin Pasha al-Azm (1744–1748)
  • Uthman Pasha al-Muhassil (1748–1750)
  • Mustafa Pasha al-Qawwas (1750–1752)
  • Sa'deddin Pasha al-Azm (1752–1753)
  • Mustafa Pasha al-Qawwas (1754–1755)
  • Mustafa Pasha al-Azm (1755–1756)
  • Sa'deddin Pasha al-Azm (1756–1759)
  • Nu'man Pasha (1760–1763)
  • Muhammad Pasha al-Azm (1763–1770)
  • Darwish Pasha al-Kurji (1770–1771)
  • Zahir al-Umar (1771–1775) (de facto)
  • Rajab Pasha (1772) (de jure)
  • Malak Muhammad Pasha (1775) (de jure)
  • Jezzar Pasha (1775–1804)
  • Sulayman Pasha al-Adil (1804–1819)
  • Bashir Shihab (1819) (de facto)
  • Abdullah Pasha (1820–1822)
  • Darwish Mehmed Pasha (1822) (de jure)
  • Mustafa Pasha (1822-1823) (de jure)
  • Abdullah Pasha (1823-1832)
  • Egyptian rule (27 May 183210 October 1840)
  • Köse Ahmed Zekeriya Pasha (November 1840 – March 1841)
  • Eneste/Haseki Mehmed Selim Pasha (March 1841 – December 1841)
  • Izzet Ahmed Pasha (December 1841 – July 1842)
  • Mustafa Pasha (1842)
  • Selim Pasha (1842)
  • Ömer Pasha (Mihaylo Lattas) (1842 – 7 December 1842)
  • Ayasli Asad Mehmed Muhlis Pasha (August 1842 – 9 April 1845)
  • Yozgatli Mehmed Vecihi Pasha (9 April 1845 – January 1846)
  • Mühendis Mehmed Kamil Pasha (January 1846 – September 1847)
  • Mustafa Sherifi Pasha (September 1847 – July 1848)
  • Salih Vamık Pasha (August 1848 – September 1851; 1st term)
  • Pepe Mehmed Emin Pasha (September 1851 – September 1852)
  • Salih Vamık Pasha (September 1852 – March 1855; 2nd term)
  • Mahmud Nedim Pasha (March 1855 – December 1855)
  • Salih Vamık Pasha (December 1855 – July 1857; 3rd term)
  • Arnavud Mehmed Kurshid Pasha (June 1857 – 17 July 1860)
  • Fuad Pasha (17 July 1860 – 9 June 1861)
  • Charles-Marie-Napoléon de Beaufort d'Hautpoul (16 August 1860 – 5 July 1861; de facto as part of the French expedition in Syria)
  • Kayserili Ahmed Pasha (1860–1863)
  • Mehmed Kabuli Pasha (1863–1864)
  • Mehmed Kurshid Pasha (1864–1865)

Administrative divisions

Sidon Eyalet consisted of two sanjaks in the 17th century:

  1. Sidon-Beirut Sanjak
  2. Safad Sanjak

Sidon Eyalet consisted of seven sanjaks (districts) in the early 19th century:[14]

  1. Acre Sanjak
  2. Beirut Sanjak
  3. Sidon Sanjak
  4. Tyre Sanjak
  5. Nablus Sanjak
  6. Nazareth Sanjak
  7. Tabariah Sanjak

See also


  1. Macgregor, John (1850). Commercial statistics: A digest of the productive resources, commercial legislation, customs tariffs, of all nations. Whittaker and co. p. 12. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
  2. "Some Provinces of the Ottoman Empire". Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  3. 1 2 McLeod, Walter (1858). The geography of Palestine. Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, & Roberts. p. 52. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
  4. 1 2 3 Winter, Stefan (2010-04-30). The Shiites of Lebanon under Ottoman rule, 1516–1788. Cambridge University Press. p. 120. ISBN 978-0-521-76584-8.
  5. Kais Firro (1992). A History of the Druzes. BRILL. p. 45. ISBN 978-90-04-09437-6. Retrieved 2013-02-25. the sanjaq of Ṣafad, which was part of this province, remained under the suzerainty of Druze amīrs until 1660, when the Ottomans reorganized the province.
  6. 1 2 Abu-Husayn, Abdul-Rahim (1992). "Problems in the Ottoman Administration in Syria During the 16th and 17th Centuries: The Case of the Sanjak of Sidon-Beirut". International Journal of Middle East Studies. 24 (04): 665–675 [673]. doi:10.1017/S002074380002239X. Retrieved 2011-04-11.
  7. 1 2 Gabor Agoston; Bruce Alan Masters (2009). Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire. Infobase Publishing. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-4381-1025-7. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Gabor Agoston; Bruce Alan Masters (2009). Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire. Infobase Publishing. p. 330. ISBN 978-1-4381-1025-7. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
  9. Gabor Agoston; Bruce Alan Masters (2009). Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire. Infobase Publishing. p. 87. ISBN 978-1-4381-1025-7. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
  10. World Statesmen — Lebanon
  11. Mehmet Süreyya (1996) [1890], Nuri Akbayar; Seyit A. Kahraman, eds., Sicill-i Osmanî (in Turkish), Beşiktaş, Istanbul: Türkiye Kültür Bakanlığı and Türkiye Ekonomik ve Toplumsal Tarih Vakfı
  12. Joudah, Ahmad Hasan. Revolt in Palestine in the Eighteenth Century: The Era of Shaykh Zahir Al-ʻUmar. (1986) Kingston Press
  13. Rood, Judith Mendelsohn (2004). Sacred Law in the Holy City: The Khedival Challenge To The Ottomans As Seen From Jerusalem, 1829-1841. BRILL. p. 96.
  14. System of universal geography founded on the works of Malte-Brun and Balbi — Open Library (p. 647)

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