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Ottoman territories in Africa

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  Quote Aster Thrax Eupator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Ottoman territories in Africa
    Posted: 17-Aug-2007 at 08:44

Simple - commerical power. The Portugese had some very large military and commerical strongholds all over the Indian subcontient. When regarding Africa, the Ottoman empire unlike most other empires didn't really try to impose their own culture on their subject peoples. They used to milet system and really, as long as the subjects obeyed the whims of the local pasha and garrison, payed their taxes and didn't help Ottoman enemies, I don't think that they could much care.

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  Quote Sikander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Aug-2007 at 17:42
Originally posted by kurt

I always thought the Portuguese humiliated both the Persians and the Ottomans in both the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. It took the Safavids around a century to capture the island of Hormuz back. Not to mention Piri Reis, who was executed by the Ottoman government for his defeat by the Portuguese around 1560 in the Red Sea. What did the Portuguese want in those seas anyway?
 
The Portuguese did in fact humuliated the Ottomans and Persians in the Red Sea/Persian Gulf.
 
Their reasons were basicaly twofolded: to became a commercial power and fight the Muslims (yes, the Portuguese were Crusaders and prowd of it!)
In order to achieve and guarantee their naval supremacy and and the same time negate their foes the ability to project power in the Indian Ocean, thay had to:
1 - Destroy Muslim naval supremacy (the Battle of Diu, in 1510, took care of that);
2 - Control bottleneck positions and great naval/commercial hubs (for that effect they took Ormuz and Malaca - harbours that control straights, i.e., "bottleneck strategic places" - and took Goa, a commercial hub. Unfortunately they failed to take Aden and therefore to control the Red Sea.
 
After that, and because the Portuguese were just a handful of men (according to C.R. Boxer, at the ned of the XVIth century the Portuguese had only 5000 men in the Indian Ocean capable of carrying arms), they started to issue authorizations for indigenous commercial vessels to trade across the Portuguese waters. These were checked by Portuguese ships who generally only attacked Muslim shipping, against whom there was an almost constant state of war.
 
And you should also notice that the Persians who took Ormuz in 1622 were greatly heped by the English, so they didn't do it just by themselves.
And after the surrendering the Portuguese were transported by the Brits to a safe area but the Portuguese's Arab auxiliaries were executed on the spot by the Persian conquerors.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Aug-2007 at 21:40
Originally posted by Sikander

Originally posted by Byzantine Emperor

 
So Ottoman involvement in Somalia was that of rulers by proxy?  It would be interesting to know the details of the military aid given to the Somali warlords.  By this I mean did they send small arms, artillery, or both?  Did they send officers to act as commanders or did the Somali use their own military command?
 
It is very difficult to find any literature on the subject of the Ottomans in Africa.  I am assuming that most of it is in Turkish, which I cannot read.  Does anyone know of anything in English or French?
 
 
The Somalis received 2000 musketeers from Arabia and some 1000 Ottoman arquebusiers (perhaps provincial Janissaries) plus 10 field guns in order to counter the 400 portuguese who, with their arquebuses and guns, defeated the Somalis twice. The Ottoman fought very well but in the end the few hundreds that remained with Somalis were massacred by the vengeful Portuguese.
 
All this is beautifuly described by Miguel de Castanhoso who participated in the Portuguese expedition to Abyssinia
 

Bibliography:

Castanhoso, Miguel de (not. Neves guas). Histria das cousas que o muito esforado capito D. Cristvo da Gama fez nos Reinos do Preste Joo com quatrocentos portugueses que consigo levou, Mem Martins: Publicaes Europa-Amrica, 1988

 

 

All you need to see the propoganda in that piece of is to look at who wrote it. The Fact is Muslim Adal was forced into conquering and occuppaying  Abysinnia by the actions of Abyssinnian emperor who burned down masjids, sold some muslims into slavery. The only thing Ottomans provided to Adal was weaponary. If Ottoman had any interest in conquering Abyssinia they would have done it with ease, especially in the 16th centrury during the height of their power.



Edited by Ibrahim - 24-Aug-2007 at 21:49
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  Quote Byzantine Emperor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Aug-2007 at 22:57
Originally posted by Sikander

And you should also notice that the Persians who took Ormuz in 1622 were greatly heped by the English, so they didn't do it just by themselves.
And after the surrendering the Portuguese were transported by the Brits to a safe area but the Portuguese's Arab auxiliaries were executed on the spot by the Persian conquerors.
 
The Persians took the Hormuz in 1622?  I must have missed that!  Let me get it right, the Portuguese had taken it from the Ottomans and the Persians took it from them?  I wonder if it was entirely by sea or if there were Persian/English land forces involved.
 
I thought the English, out of all the Western European powers at the time, were on good terms with the Ottomans.  It would seem like a good thing for them to have returned the Hormuz to the Ottomans, especially if the English wanted to use it for trade.
 
Originally posted by Ibrahim

All you need to see the propoganda in that piece of is to look at who wrote it.
 
You must be talking about Miguel de Castanhoso, correct?
 
Originally posted by Ibrahim

The Fact is Muslim Adal was forced into conquering and occuppaying  Abysinnia by the actions of Abyssinnian emperor who burned down masjids, sold some muslims into slavery.
 
What are masjids
 
This is quite interesting.  Did the Abyssinians have networks with sub-Saharan slave traders or were these Muslims sent to North African markets?
 
Originally posted by Ibrahim

The only thing Ottomans provided to Adal was weaponary. If Ottoman had any interest in conquering Abyssinia they would have done it with ease, especially in the 16th centrury during the height of their power.
 
I am very interested in sources on Ottoman involvement in Africa as I stated above.  Please provide a source for this claim.  If it is in Turkish, try to summarize it for non-Turkish speakers, please.  How do you know they just sent weapons and not actual arquebusiers and artillery specialists?
 
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  Quote Decebal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2007 at 00:08
masjids are Arab assemblies/councils. I guess in this case it would be council-houses.
 
I wonder if there's a third option about the slaves: perhaps they were sold to the Portuguese, indirectly through the Indian Ocean ports...
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Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.- Mohandas Gandhi

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  Quote andrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2007 at 17:08
The Persians took the Hormuz in 1622?  I must have missed that!  Let me get it right, the Portuguese had taken it from the Ottomans and the Persians took it from them?  I wonder if it was entirely by sea or if there were Persian/English land forces involved.
 
Originally posted by Byzantine Emperor

I thought the English, out of all the Western European powers at the time, were on good terms with the Ottomans.  It would seem like a good thing for them to have returned the Hormuz to the Ottomans, especially if the English wanted to use it for trade.
 
Didn't the Persians refuse to use firearms until the English helped them remodel the military? I remember the Ottomans utterly destroyed them because the Abbasids refused to use them and preferred to fight hand to hand.
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  Quote Leonardo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Aug-2007 at 04:19
Originally posted by Legacy

 I believe the war was called 'Futah al Habesha'  (Conquest of Ethiopia)

 
 
Ironic and wishfulthinking name indeed LOL
 
 
 
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  Quote Periander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Sep-2007 at 02:20
Originally posted by Kapikulu

Sudan has remained officially under the control of Ottomans via Mehmed Ali Pasha's expedition into Sudan in 1820. Before that, Ottomans didn't move towards the huge Nubian deserts. The whole control of the region then passed on to British under the name of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, although that happened after a long war against the Mahdist uprising forces between 1884-1898....
 
Peter Mansfield has this to write about the Sudan:
 
After bloodily suppressing the resistance of the Sudanese tribes, he [Muhammad Ali] established the seat of government of an Egyptian dependency under the nominal suzerainty of the Ottoman sultan at the village of Khartoum[...]
 
(bold emphasis mine): By official, do you mean "nominal" as written above, Kapikulu, or 'total control' of the area by the Ottomans? If the latter, do you know why Mansfield wrote what he did? (Just asking, not challenging).
 
Source: Peter Mansfield, The Arabs (Penguin Books), p. 108
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  Quote Sikander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Sep-2007 at 13:40
The Portuguese didn't took Ormuz from the Ottomans, of course. They took it in the early XVIth century, don't exactly remember if from the Persians or if from a native dynasty (actually I think it's the later). So it
never belonged to the Ottomans and wouldn't be handeled to them. The English/Persians took it in 1622 in a joint task force: the English provided the ships and artillery; the Persians the cannon fodder...
 
As for Castanhosos's alleged "propaganda", I cannot see where it lies. He's accurate in everything he writes, including his description of Abyssinian life and places and in the military details. If he wanted to make sheer propaganda, why should he refer that of the 900 janissaries in Somali service in 1542, most went home except for a couple of hundreds? Woulnd't be better to say that the joint Portuguese-Abyssinian defeated an enormous Somali-Turkish force with hundreds of janissaries, thus enlarging the Portuguese victory?
Oh, and please note than even today the Abyssinians acknowledge that it was the Portuguese who shot dead the Somali leader.
 
As for the reasons of the war, well, the Muslims will always blame the Christians and the Christians will always blame the Muslims. BTW, you refer the Muslims taken into captivity by Christians, but fail to mention the Christians taken as slaves by the Muslims. Any reason why? I hope you just forgot to mention it...
 
Nevertheless, what I say is that those alleged Muslim slaves weren't sold to the Portuguese as the "propagandaman" Castanhoso doesn't refer it (and believe me, in the XVIth c., a Portuguese writer would have refer it with joy!); they surely weren't sold in sub-Saharan Africa (the Muslims wouldn't buy such slaves and as for the pagans, well, they were the main "suppliers", not the buyers). So, either they were kept in Abyssinia or... or they were nonexistent, who knows!!! Wink
 


Edited by Sikander - 24-Sep-2007 at 13:45
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  Quote Byzantine Emperor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Oct-2007 at 01:09
Originally posted by andrew

Didn't the Persians refuse to use firearms until the English helped them remodel the military? I remember the Ottomans utterly destroyed them because the Abbasids refused to use them and preferred to fight hand to hand.
 
The Persians did not make sufficient use of firearms until well into the 17th century.  There does not seem to be as much outright hostility towards their use as there was in Mameluke Egypt, it is just that they did not integrate firearms into their military until much later. 
 
The ghulam cavalry was well-suited for the type of warfare that was required in the Persian east; eventually they were made into "dragoons," but were not as effective as such.  The Safavids imported artillery from Venice but not on a large scale.
 
Some interesting books that discuss Persian use of firearms:
 
Kenneth Chase. Firearms: A Global History. Cambridge University Press, 2003.
 
David Morgan. Medieval Persia, 1040-1797. New York: Longman, 1988.
 
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  Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Oct-2007 at 02:02
Hello to you all
 
I wanted to join in the conversation earlier but was pre-occupied with other things but here is my contribution.
 
Unlike what Sikander is proposing, the Portuguese's power never was extended beyond the sea cost, any attempt to occupy the interior they were defeated. Ajwad ibn Zamil and his son defeated the Portuguese on land several times. It was aftr the civil war in their Kingdom, roughly 1520s, that the Potuguese reigned supreme and even then it was short lived. Kicked out of Qatif and all the cost of Arabia except Muscat by 1560 the sea proved difficult because Portuguese had ocean going galleons while the type of ship in Arabia was the Dhow which could only carry a limited number of light cannons. Muscat proved diffiult to liberate because it natural defences, surrounded by high mountains from all sides except the sea, but eventually the were defeated by 1650 and this time in the sea too. The Omanis developed large Dhows and galleons and not only defeated the Portuguese in sea, they occupied most of the Portugese colonies in Africa except the southern part of Mozambique by the 1750s.
As for Arabs and fire arms, indeed, Arabs did refuse to use fire arms when they first come. It was only in the 19th century when semi-automatic weapons were invented that the became widely used, the most popular weapon in saudi arabia for example wasthe Martini-Henri rifle and the Colt pistols and you can see them in many homes inherited from father to son and they still work perfectly.
 
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  Quote andrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Oct-2007 at 15:59
When the Egyptians went yo stop the Wahabi revolt weren't the Arabs still using camels and not very advanced guns? That was the only reason why Egypt was able to stop the rebellion because of superior technology considering how hard it was to pacify Arabia.
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  Quote Byzantine Emperor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Oct-2007 at 16:08
Originally posted by Al Jassas

As for Arabs and fire arms, indeed, Arabs did refuse to use fire arms when they first come. It was only in the 19th century when semi-automatic weapons were invented that the became widely used, the most popular weapon in saudi arabia for example wasthe Martini-Henri rifle and the Colt pistols and you can see them in many homes inherited from father to son and they still work perfectly.
 
Wow, this is quite interesting!  Are there some Arab families who pass down weapons from before the 19th century?  It would be amazing to see a flintlock/matchlock gun on a mantle.  I assume the Arabs were using firearms before this period, just not on a large scale.
 
Originally posted by andrew

When the Egyptians went yo stop the Wahabi revolt weren't the Arabs still using camels and not very advanced guns? That was the only reason why Egypt was able to stop the rebellion because of superior technology considering how hard it was to pacify Arabia.
 
I think the bedouin tribes were still using camels in the time of Lawrence of Arabia during WWI.  I am not sure if they had repeating rifles, muskets, or a mixture of both.  Probably the latter.
 
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  Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Oct-2007 at 17:45

Hello to you all

Actually the Saudi egyptian wars were fairly brutal and lots of bloodshed occured but in general the Saudis did use primative cannons and muskets but they preferred to use swords especially during engagements with the enemy. Early in the first campaign Tusun was defeated several times in Hejaz and Qassim (my tribe massacred the poor devils after luring them to well which they already poisned) and most famously by the tribe of Buqum who were lead by a woman. The last incident was the last straw and Ibrahim was put into command. Saudi's were very innovative in these wars but unfortunately their innovation only increased the reprisals after defeat. In the Siege of Unaizah, a tunnel was dug directly beneath the camp of the egyptians and it was filled with gunpowder (they ran out of cannon balls and the devil stopped shelling so that they can not use the balls falling on them against his). The explosion took over 1000 men dead immediatly and when the city fell Ibrahim Pasha allowed his men to rape women and children and to this day you can see people from Qassim with blue and green eyes and brown hair.
I have pictures of old arsenals that belong to several tribal leaders and ordinary men but I do not have a scanner to upload them.
 
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  Quote andrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Oct-2007 at 18:46
Originally posted by Al Jassas

Hello to you all

Actually the Saudi egyptian wars were fairly brutal and lots of bloodshed occured but in general the Saudis did use primative cannons and muskets but they preferred to use swords especially during engagements with the enemy. Early in the first campaign Tusun was defeated several times in Hejaz and Qassim (my tribe massacred the poor devils after luring them to well which they already poisned) and most famously by the tribe of Buqum who were lead by a woman. The last incident was the last straw and Ibrahim was put into command. Saudi's were very innovative in these wars but unfortunately their innovation only increased the reprisals after defeat. In the Siege of Unaizah, a tunnel was dug directly beneath the camp of the egyptians and it was filled with gunpowder (they ran out of cannon balls and the devil stopped shelling so that they can not use the balls falling on them against his). The explosion took over 1000 men dead immediatly and when the city fell Ibrahim Pasha allowed his men to rape women and children and to this day you can see people from Qassim with blue and green eyes and brown hair.
I have pictures of old arsenals that belong to several tribal leaders and ordinary men but I do not have a scanner to upload them.
 
AL-Jassas
 
Al Jassas, Ibrahim Pasha used Egyptians and Black Africans instead of Turks in the army. Egypt, at that time brought about the modernization by Muhammad Ali Pasha, made Egypt a world power and a big contestant to the Ottoman Empire at that time. We used advanced French military and engineering techniques which gave us a decisive advantage against the Middle East, even under the Ottomans who modernized along German lines.
 
Also, the Ottomans used the Egyptian empire as puppeteer to fulfill their demands. They knew a war against the Arabs would lead to bloodshed into what was already a backwards empire so they used used us to do their dirty work. When we realized that they were weak after we had to do all the winning in the Greek War of Independence we nearly took Istanbul and if it had not been for the miraculous help of the Russian courts to save the Ottomans Egypt would've been the dominant power in the Middle East.
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  Quote Beylerbeyi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Oct-2007 at 19:30
When we realized that they were weak after we had to do all the winning in the Greek War of Independence we nearly took Istanbul and if it had not been for the miraculous help of the Russian courts to save the Ottomans Egypt would've been the dominant power in the Middle East.


Real dominant power in the Middle East was the Great Powers. They would never allow Egypt to become powerful. And they did not.

As to Istanbul, it was impossible to take for Egypt. Russian intervention was not miraculous, Istanbul is an important place, and Great Powers intervened whenever it was threatened. Not even a Great Power could have taken Istanbul, because the others would prevent it.

Also, Egyptian military was not powerful enough to take Istanbul, even without Great Power intervention. Taking Istanbul is easier said than done. In history whenever someone defeats the Ottomans, they start dreaming about marching to Istanbul. This has happened after Lepanto, Vienna, 1770s war with Russia. But it never happened.

Istanbul is very very easy to defend, and that is not a coincidence. That's one reason why it was chosen as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Constantine. Even the allies failed to take it in World War I, let alone Egypt. Only Russia in 19th century was capable of doing that.
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  Quote andrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Oct-2007 at 19:43
Originally posted by Beylerbeyi

When we realized that they were weak after we had to do all the winning in the Greek War of Independence we nearly took Istanbul and if it had not been for the miraculous help of the Russian courts to save the Ottomans Egypt would've been the dominant power in the Middle East.


Real dominant power in the Middle East was the Great Powers. They would never allow Egypt to become powerful. And they did not.

As to Istanbul, it was impossible to take for Egypt. Russian intervention was not miraculous, Istanbul is an important place, and Great Powers intervened whenever it was threatened. Not even a Great Power could have taken Istanbul, because the others would prevent it.

Also, Egyptian military was not powerful enough to take Istanbul, even without Great Power intervention. Taking Istanbul is easier said than done. In history whenever someone defeats the Ottomans, they start dreaming about marching to Istanbul. This has happened after Lepanto, Vienna, 1770s war with Russia. But it never happened.

Istanbul is very very easy to defend, and that is not a coincidence. That's one reason why it was chosen as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Constantine. Even the allies failed to take it in World War I, let alone Egypt. Only Russia in 19th century was capable of doing that.
 
After the Battle of Ridaneyah the Ottoman capital was left undefended. All Egypt had to do was walk into Istanbul and take it. The Imperialist powers realized Egypt's growing power and the Ottomans had to give up Syria in order for Egypt not to take Istanbul, it was more then a possibiltiy. The Ottomans looked to diplomacy for a reason, had they been able to defend Istanbul they would've but they needed help and strangely enought their traditional enemy, the Russians, did help them. After the British defeat in the first Anglo-Egyptian war in 1806 they realized Egypt really was no cupcake.WinkSmile
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  Quote Beylerbeyi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Oct-2007 at 20:01
Back to the subject, the book I am reading now details the economic reasons behind the Ottoman expansion to the south and the east.

The main resource of Stefanos Yerasimos is Fernand Braudel, the famous 'longue duree' analyst. Braudel writes that for ages, the main source of gold fuelling the Mediterranean trade came from Africa through the Sahara desert. It arrived in Northern African states and entered the trade from there.

By the time Ottomans first came around, the Italian city states dominated the Med trade. However, the Portuguese (who don't have a coast on the Med) reached Western Africa and soon the gold started to flow to the Portuguese ports in W. Africa, rather than through the Sahara to the Med. This caused a major poblem for Med trade.

Only place which still had some gold income was Egypt, due to the gold coming from Sudan. And Ottomans knew that. That's the main reason why they turned south after consolidating the Black Sea trade in the 15th century.

However, after the Ottoman's expansion into Egypt (by 1520), the Portuguese troublemakers took Hormuz this time, and closed the straits. This action disrupted the Med trade to no end. So the Ottomans expanded to Basra and the Red Sea, and challenged the Portuguese in the Indian Ocean. Ottomans were not very successful in sending the Portuguese packing for good, but the campaign managed to break their hold on the Eastern trade through Basra and the Red Sea.

Soon afterwards, the long suffering trade in the Med flourished and reached record levels. Suddenly domination of Med became very important, and the rival powers led by Spain joined their forces against the dominant power in the med, the Ottoman Empire.

To sum it up, Ottoman expansion to the south and east was driven by the desire for gold and to keep the trade routes open. It is a huge lie that the Ottomans were blocking the Med trade so that the Europeans had to find new trade routes. In reality, Ottomans were trying to vitalise the Med trade, while non-Med countries such as Portugal, England and Netherlands were trying to undermine it.

Also, Ottoman campaigns in the Indian ocean were not total failures. In fact they achieved their objective of breaking the Portuguese block and resuming the eastern trade. However, this success costed them their dominance in the Med, as it caused Spain to turn its attention to the Med to create a huge anti-Ottoman alliance.
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  Quote Byzantine Emperor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Oct-2007 at 21:29
This topic has been re-opened.  I have cleaned up the offensive material from the incident that occurred the other day.  At the same time, however, I have tried to preserve the integrity of the discussion that preceeded the incident by leaving the original posts.  I would ask that everyone be respectful of each other and each other's level of understanding of the topic at hand.  If we do this, I believe that we can all learn something and ultimately have a more fruitful discussion.  Thanks! Smile
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  Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Oct-2007 at 00:35
Hello Andrew
 
Sorry but the historical accounts by historians who witnessed the invasion say otherwise and the people who were left also indicate otherwise. In the south of the Country in Asir region in the beautiful city of Al-Namas there is a large tribe called Bani Shahr. one of their biggest clans are knows as "Al-Asasblah" "العسابلة". These are the descendents of Turkish soldiers who invaded that country with Ibrahim and since they are not Arab, they were forbidden to marry into other tribes or to marry their daughters to other tribes which made them inbreed and keep their distinct features until today, Blue eyes, a minority green, and Blond hair. These people take pride for being "Turks" but their features are more in line with Germanic types than Slavic. Descendents of raped women in other places still possess distinct feautures only found in Europe.
 
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