The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in the Ottoman Period


WHEN May 3, 2023
6:30-8 PM WHERE NYUAD Campus, West Forum (C2 Building) Part of "Environment and the Middle East" WHO NYU Abu Dhabi Institute Open to the Public

By 1535, the Ottoman Empire gained control of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers from mountain to sea. This talk discusses the ramifications of this drastic political transition in the history of the longest rivers in West Asia. Above all, the unification of the Tigris and Euphrates allowed the Ottomans to rebalance a deep natural resource disparity along their eastern frontier, enabling them to move grain, metal, and timber from upstream areas of surplus in Anatolia to downstream areas of need in Iraq. This imperial system of waterborne communication, the talk argues, anchored the Ottoman presence in the river basin.

Image Credit: Delineatio Regionis Bassora cum Pagis. (Asia, Middle East, Ottoman Empire, Mesopotamia, Tigris River, Euphrates River, Basra, Regional Map).

  • Faisal Husain, Assistant Professor of History, Penn State University

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