By Bulent Gokay
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Extra resources for A Clash of Empires: Turkey between Russian Bolshevism and British Imperialism, 1918-1923
2 Upon withdrawing from south Arabia, Sinan entrusted the administration of WKHORZODQGV7LKPDK) from the port of Mocha to the port of Hodeida to the Imam of SDQµ¶, who in turn appointed the Shar¯I RI$EXµ$U¯VK as overseer. Sinan himself chose this ancient centre of Islamic learning as theDGPLQLVWUDWLYHKHDGTXDUWHUVRIWKH7LKPDK By their own accounts, the Ottomans did not attempt to establish 14 GAINING A FOOTHOLD AT ADEN, 1825–40 15 direct rule in Yemen because of the great distances separating it from Istanbul, the capital.
The VXOWDQ¶VJRYHUQPHQWKDGLQYHVWHG,EUK¯PZLWKWKDWRIILFHDVDUHZDUG IRUVXSSUHVVLQJWKH:DKKELV. 12 Meanwhile, reports from Captain Moresby, who commanded the India government’s survey ship Benares, indicated that Bilmez’s forces were concentrated in Mocha, where they meant to await the viceroy’s troops. Moresby’s letter from Jiddah of 26 June 1833 painted a bleak picture: the imam had died and with him the last semblance of order; Bilmez was detaining Surat ships at Mocha; and commerce was deplorable and its revival could be assured only if MuhDPPDGµ$O¯ took possession of Yemen.
Confronted with this ‘intelligence’, the viceroy contemptuously dismissed it as slanderous and untrue. 53 However, the loss of Aden was not to be overlooked by the sons of the Sultan of LahM, who had signed the instrument of transfer, or by other tribes that were neighbours to Aden. They did not need any urging by MuhDPPDG µ$O¯ to carry on an armed struggle against the British there. Repeated attempts were made — in November 1839, May 1840 and July 1841 — under the leadership of the ‘Abdali sultan to drive out the British, but to no avail: the British would not be dislodged.