This article argues that public works were a major field where local notables associated themselves with Ottoman plans during the Tanzimat period. The documents this article is built on aim at evidencing the very tangible aspect of Ottomanization when imperial interests matched local ones.
First, plans for urban modernization were wisely endorsed by the main merchants of Jeddah to enhance the port facilities. Second, Ottoman archives highlight how important this local support was for the imperial administration. The matching of imperial and local interests is conspicuous in the common language used in minutes of the city council’s sessions and the petitions dispatched to Istanbul by the merchants of Jeddah. It exemplifies how notables advocated their own scheme of public planning and made it fit the politics of Ottomanization by framing their requests in terms of two important motivations for Ottoman officials: the proceedings of the pilgrimage, and trade.
Toledano, Ehud, “The emergence of Ottoman-local elites (1700–1900): a framework for research”, in Middle Eastern Politics and Ideas, A History from Within, ed. Moshe Ma’oz and Ilan Pappé (London: I. B. Tauris, 1997), p. 159.
Ben Bassat, Yuval, Petitioning the Sultan: Protest and Justice in Late Ottoman Palestine (London: I. B. Tauris, 2013), pp. 45–61; Hanssen, “Practices of integration – center-periphery relations in the Ottoman empire”, pp. 61–3. On petitions from Ottoman Egypt in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries see Baldwin, James E., “Petitioning the sultan in Ottoman Egypt”, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 75/3 (2012), 499–524. The latter article deals with petitions about private disputes presented to the sultan.
Toledano, “The emergence of Ottoman-local elites (1700–1900): a framework for research”, pp. 145–62; Hathaway, Jane, “Rewriting eighteenth-century Ottoman history”, Mediterranean Historical Review, 19/1 (2004), 29–53.
Yerasimos, Stéphane, “À propos des réformes urbaines des Tanzimat”, in Villes ottomanes à la fin de l’Empire, ed. Paul Dumont and François Georgeon (Paris: L’Harmattan, 1992), pp. 17–32; Deringil, Selim, The Well-Protected Domains: Ideology and the Legitimation of Power in the Ottoman Empire 1876–1909 (London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 1998), pp. 12–13 and p. 31; Lafi, Nora, “Les pouvoirs urbains à Tunis à la fin de l’époque ottomane: la persistance de l’Ancien Régime”, in Municipalités méditerranéennes, Les réformes urbaines ottomans au miroir d’une histoire comparée (Moyen-Orient, Maghreb, Europe méridionale), ed. Nora Lafi (Berlin: Klaus Schwarz Verlag, 2005), pp. 240–3; Hanssen, Jens, “The origins of the municipal council in Beirut (1860–1908)”, in Lafi, Municipalités méditerranéennes, pp. 141–4.
Dubois, Colette, “The Red Sea ports during the revolution in transportation, 1800–1914”, in Modernity and Culture from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, 1890–1920ed. Leila Tarazi Fawaz and Christopher A. Bayly (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002), pp. 58–74.
Veinstein, Gilles, “La question du califat” in Le choc colonial et l’islam: les politiques religieuses des puissances coloniales en terre d’islam, ed. Pierre-Jean Luizard (Paris: La Découverte, 2006), pp. 451–69; Karpat, Kemal, The Politicization of Islam: Reconstructing Identity, State, Faith and Community in the Late Ottoman State (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), pp. 243–4. For Hamidian policy towards Hijaz see Deringil, The Well-Protected Domains, pp. 56–63.