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File 160/1903 'Persian Gulf: El Katr; appointment of Turkish Mudirs; question of Protectorate Treaty with El Katr' [‎59r] (122/860)

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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the new regime, and the recent action of the authorities at Bagdad in the matter of the
arbitrary demolition of Lynch’s premises and their intention of unnecessarily running a
road through the grounds of His Majesty’s consulate-general are only instances in point.
One cannot help sympathising with the desire of a regained consciousness of national
independence to assert itself, but the present mental attitude of the Young Turks is
rather destructive and devoid of a feeling of give and take. Given this frame of mind
it would seem only prudent of us not to remind them either in the public press or
privately of our commercial or political predominance in Irak or the Gulf, as such
assertions only nerve them to further attempts to diminish our prestige and undermine
our predominance.
The external manifestations of our special position in those regions which wound
their susceptibilities are, apart from the general situation in the adjoining districts of
South Persia, the size of our residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. buildings and grounds at Bagdad, the sepoy
guard, the R.I.M.S. “ Comet,” the British flag flown by two of Lynch’s steamers on
Turkey’s internal waters, the status of the Sheikh of Ivoweit, and^ his influence and
position as regards the Mumtefik, Ibn Saoud, &c., Bahrein, and El Katr, if not, indeed,
the Trucial Coast The historic term used by the British to refer to the Gulf coast of Trucial Oman, now called United Arab Emirates. and Muscat. _ .
The sepoy guard and the u Comet,” which are the survival of a state of things
which is passing away in proportion as Bagdad becomes^ accessible to^tbe outside
world, are in a wny incompatible with an effective assertion of turkeys territorial
sovereignty, and give a certain legitimate ground for umbrage to the Turkish
authorities ; but until the new regime is able to stand alone without the prop of martial
law in the capital, if not, indeed, until the time comes to do away with the Capitula
tions, it would seem premature to consider any suggestion towards abolishing them,
except, perhaps, as part of a general bargain or liquidation of our position vis-a-vis of
Turkey in the upper reaches of the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. . - 4 ?
After the revival of the constitution an attempt was made to settle tho question ox
the British flag on Lynch’s steamers by fusing the latter with the Mehrieh Ottoman
Company, and, had Kiamil Pasha or Hilmi Pasha retained power, the scheme would
doubtless have been sanctioned; but, as will be remembered, a section of the committee
took up an uncompromising attitude, the project fell through, and it only remains or
the present to endeavour to protect Lynch’s acquired rights, but the possibility o±
friction ending in an anti-Lynch boycott cannot be excluded. .
As regards Koweit and Sheikh Mubarek’s sphere of _ influence, His Majesty s
Government in 1902 contended that he had always been independent, and that his
father had specially stipulated such independence when he allowed B'^sh Moops to
cross liis territory during Midhat Pasha’s expeditions to El Hasa (called Nejd by the
Turks) The Turks maintained that Koweit was an integral portion of the Ottoman
Empire and pointed to the Turkish flag flown there, and the grade of pasha accepted
bv the sheikh. To this latter argument my predecessor replied that these were mere y
emblems of the sheikh’s spiritual dependence on the Caliph, and the status quo basis
was agreed to, but the Turks interpreted it as meaning that Koweit was an Integra
part of their territory. In their mind England’s interference there was^ due to our
rivalrv with Germany over the terminal section of and point of the Bagdad Rai vwy,
and they expect to get the question settled favourably to their contention when final
arrangements are made for the completion of that enterprise.
As regards Zakhnuniyeh, El Katr, and Bahrein which m a way form one group, the
active forward policy of the Young Turk Yali of Bussorah and the Mutessarif of
FI Hasa (Nejd) have already brought us into sharp conflict, and there seems no doub
tharwe sS insist on Turkish exclusion from the district south of Omir If the
Minister for Foreign Affairs, after studying the question of Zakhnuniyeh and Odied an
consulting his colleagues, does not give categorical instructions for the non-mter eren
ofX Turkish local authorities, it would seem necessary, subject to the views o£ His
Matsty’s Government, to take a strong line. For, to the Turkish mind Zakhnuniyeh
onnexed Gwadur, in South Baluchistan, and sailed up the Gulf, compe l ^ <
SSrt S»o,;iri f tie sovoreigiity o£ k
,,eo»J dttim i. Of eomse » kWpM g**
and is a strange derogation from the much-vaunted principle of Ottomamsm,

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' [‎59r] (122/860), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/4, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 20 October 2019]

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