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File 160/1903 'Persian Gulf: El Katr; appointment of Turkish Mudirs; question of Protectorate Treaty with El Katr' [‎9v] (23/860)

The record is made up of 1 volume (425 folios). It was created in 26 Apr 1902-16 Dec 1910. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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and conjectured that tins was a Lurkish expedient for avoiding foimal with
drawal. The Consul at Basra, however, reported on 27th October, that the
\ 7 oli denied receiving such orders, and still maintained that the island
belongs to Turkey. *
El Bidaa is on the east coast of the Ivatr peninsula, and, as has already
been mentioned, the Turks have maintained a garrison there since 18 1 2. Ihen
nominal suzerainty has been tolerated, though no communication has been
made to the Porte to this effect, but attempts to extend their control have
been resisted. The garrison recently consisted of GO men and 4 guns.
From all these facts may be gathered the degree of opposition to be
expected if His Majesty’s Government announce at Constantinople their
intention no longer to observe the status quo.
(b) Wakra, Odeid, and Zobara are all on the coast of El Katr, a
promontory south of the recognised Turkish sphere. In 1902 it was
announced that all three were to be converted into administrative districts.
The British Government had already forcibly dispersed a Turkish settlement
at Zobara in 1895 as being dangerous to the safety of Bahrein ; and Odeid
had been held for at least 30 years to be the property of the Chief of Abu
Dhabi, with whom we have treaty relations. Accordingly m March 1903
Sir N.’ O’Conor warned the Turkish Government against making any admini
strative changes affecting the status quo in El Katr, and reminded them of
previous representations made by His Majesty s Government (e.< 7 ., in 1883,
1893, and 1895). In reply he was informed that the question had been
discussed at a Council of Ministers, and that there was no intention of sending
mudirs to these places. Sir N. O’Conor had been unwilling to raise the whole
question of Turkish sovereignty unless His Majesty’s Government were quite
clear as to the policy to be pursued if the Turks—as he thought they probably
would—merely reaffirmed their claims, and it was hoped that the incident
was closed. But in the meantime a Turkish official had started for Wakra,
and succeeded in establishing himself there, and His Majesty’s Government
had to press for his withdrawal. The Turks dismissed him, but appointed a
local sheikh (Abdur Rahman bin Thani) mudir in his place, and it was not
till November 1904 that His Majesty’s Government succeeded in getting the
post altogether abolished. In August last the Consul at Basra leported that
a mudiv had again been appointed to Odeid, and Sir G. Lowther (Despatch
No. 603 of 22nd August 1910) thought that this, along with their action at
Zakhnuniya, pointed to “a determination to assert and extend Ottoman
sovereignty m the neighbourhood of El Katr. He was instructed to hand
in a written protest, “ pointing out that El Odeid is in the territory of one of
“ the Trucial Chiefs wTio are under the protection of His Majesty’s Govern-
“ ment ” and requesting that the appointment might be “immediately
rescinded ” (Sir E. Grey’s telegram of 20th September). The Foreign Office
at the same time consulted the Admiralty as to whether it w ould be^ possible
to effect a landing at El Odeid for the purpose of expelling the mudir, if His
Majesty’s Government should decide to resort to forciblme easures. The
Admiralty in reply recommended that the necessary action should be taken
by Indian troops, the part of the Navy being limited to assisting in the
landing operations, and they pointed out that the employment of the Royal
Indian Marine Steamer Hardinge in connection with the blockade should
facilitate any action which might be _ necessary. The Turkish Government,
however, replied that they knew nothing of any such appointment, and had
telegraphed to the Yali of Basra not to make it, and to cancel it if it had
been made. Local enquiry left little doubt that the appointments had been
made both to Zobara and Odeid, although the new officials had not taken up
their duties ; and on 21st October Sir G. Lowther was instructed to make a
further protest, repeating that El Katr is “ outside Turkish jurisdiction.”
(c) With regard to the limitation of Turkish authority to Katif and Ujair,
Sir G. Lowther, in his despatch of 22nd August, wrote as follows : —
“ As regards Zakhnuniyeh, El Katr, and Bahrein which in a way form
one group, the active forward policy of the Young Turk Yali of Bussorah
and the Mutessarif of El Hasa (Nejd) have already brought us into sharp

About this item


This volume contains memoranda, copies of correspondence and telegrams, and minutes of letters between British officials regarding:

  • Turkish claims over El Katr (Qatar), and the creation of Turkish administrative posts on the Qatari coast, with 'mudirs' (sub-governors) being assigned during 1903 to Odeid (Al Udeid), Wakra (Al Wakrah), Zobara (Al Zubarah 18th-century town located 105 km from Doha. ), and Musalamia Island (Suwad ash Shamaliyah);
  • 'the desire of Sheikh Ahmed bin-Thani, Ruler of Qatar, to be taken under British Protection', in 1902, and a Proposed Protectorate Treaty with the Ruler of Qatar, in 1904;
  • the Ruler of Abu Dhabi's intention to occupy Odeid in 1906.

The main correspondents are: the Viceroy, the Foreign Office (Thomas Henry Sanderson), the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, Marquess of Lansdowne), and the India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. .

The volume includes a divider which gives the year that the subject file was opened, the subject heading, and a list of correspondence references contained in it arranged by year. This divider is placed at the front of the volume.

The volume also contains the translation of a Turkish press article.

Extent and format
1 volume (425 folios)

The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front of the file.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence commences at the inside front cover with 1 and terminates at the inside back cover with 428; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio. A previous foliation sequence, which is also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.

Condition: the spine is detached from the volume and preserved in a polyester sheet, on folio 427.

Written in
English in Latin script
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File 160/1903 'Persian Gulf: El Katr; appointment of Turkish Mudirs; question of Protectorate Treaty with El Katr' [‎9v] (23/860), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/4, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 23 February 2020]

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