Kings of Arabia. The Rise and Set of the Turkish Sovranty in the Arabian Peninsula


Lieutenant Colonel Harold Fenton Jacob (1866‒1936) was an officer in the British Army, stationed primarily in Yemen at the turn of the 20th century. He served as British political agent at Dhala and chief political officer to the Aden Field Force. Between 1917 and 1920 he was an advisor on southwestern Arabian affairs to the British high commissioner in Egypt. The work presented here, Kings of Arabia, examines the history of the Ottoman Turkish presence in the Hejaz region of Arabia, but focuses mainly on the small Arab kingdoms of Yemen, most of which later became part of the British-controlled Aden Protectorate. The book provides detailed background on the history of Yemen from the 17th century until the aftermath of World War I, including information on the rulers of the Sherifate of Mecca and the Zaidi Imamate of Sanaa. It also recounts the Turkish and British attempts to dominate the region, especially the sea route to Asia through the Straits of Bab el Mandeb. The Ottoman Turkish presence in Yemen began in the early 16th century with the seizure of Aden and the Red Sea coast during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. However, after continued unrest in the interior, the Turks evacuated the region in 1630, leaving it in the hands of the Shiite Zaidi imams of Sanaa. Muhammad Ali, Viceroy of Egypt, established a presence in the region after he defeated the Wahhabis in Hejaz in the early 19th century. The Turks returned in 1849, establishing themselves in various cities and ports, where they remained until they surrendered to the British in 1918. Aden fell to the British in 1839. The Aden Protectorate was established at that time, and included the tribal kingdoms in the hinterland around the city that signed protection agreements with the British. The protectorate ceased to exist in 1963, and in 1967 the region declared independence and became known as the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen), which united with the North in 1990 to form present-day Yemen.

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Publication Information

Mills and Boon Limited, London

Title in Original Language

Kings of Arabia. The rise and set of the Turkish sovranty in the Arabian peninsula

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Physical Description

294 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 22 centimeters

Last updated: February 18, 2016