The road to non-action: The Ottomans between the British Empire and Mahdiyya in the Sudan
Uçar Nurcan, Merve (2015) The road to non-action: The Ottomans between the British Empire and Mahdiyya in the Sudan. [Thesis]
The aim of the thesis is two-fold. The first one is to draw a comprehensive picture of the Mahdi revolt from an Ottoman point of view and the second one is to analyze the Ottoman perception of its distant periphery in the light of Ottoman colonialism/ orientalism debates. Although there are numerous studies regarding the British and Egyptian policy on the Sudan, the Ottoman perception of the Sudanese Mahdi had been largely ignored and studies remained limited in the literature. For this reason, this study also tries to fill the gap and add a contribution to the Ottoman-African relations from an Ottoman point of view. There are three decisive features of Abdülhamid’s policy of Sudanese Mahdi revolt: prevent spreading of revolution, non- intervention and legalism. The reasons of Abdülhamid’s indecisive attitudes could be explained in three certain points. First, military and economic resources of the empire were inadequate to afford a campaign for such a distant place. Second, minor local conflicts could become an excuse for imperialist powers to intervene in the regions. Last, spreading of any clash to the Hejaz area could give irreparable damage to the prestige of the Sultan. For these reasons, Abdülhamid II did not show a hostile attitude towards the local Muslim rulers or mutineers despite serious pressures and threats come from European powers.
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