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File 757/1909 'Persian Gulf:- Turkey and Turkish aggression (Occupation of Zakhnuniyeh Island. Attitude in piracy cases. Mudirs at Zubara, Odaid and Wakra) British Relations with Turkey in Persian Gulf' [‎17v] (39/495)

The record is made up of 1 volume (245 folios). It was created in 1909-1911. 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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PRINTED AT THE FOREION OFFICE BY J. W. HARRISON.— 2/5/1911.
Sheikh of Koweit’s territory. The entrance to the Shatt-el-Arab is only guarded by a
small fort at Fao, the capture of which would offer little difficulty; but it would seem
desirable to avoid entering territory indisputably Turkish, or attacking Turkish forces
unless these had invaded the Sheikh’s territory.
It is, of course, possible that the Turks might anticipate us by occupying Koweit,
over which they are understood to claim suzerainty, but such action, besides being
damrerous in the face of the opposition of the Arabs, especially the Muntifik and other
tribes west of the Euphrates, who are always in a state of partial revolt against Turkish
rule, would be of so unfriendly a nature that it may be doubted whether the Turks
would take it.
Our occupation of Koweit might lead to the reinforcement of the Turkish garrison
in and around Bussorah, but it may be that no deliberate attempt to turn us out of
Koweit would be made. Moreover, there is no reason to suppose that even a
comparatively small British force would be unable to hold its own in circumstances
peculiarly favourable to defence, especially if supported by the Navy from the sea, and
by the Arabs inland.
The force to he dispatched from India should be as small as is consistent with safety,
the climatic conditions in 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. during the summer months being unfavourable.
It might perhaps suffice to send two battalions of native infantry and a native mountain
battery, together with personnel for a small camel corps, the camels being purchased on
the spot. The opinion of the Indian military authorities should, however, be obtained
as to the strength and composition of the force. It would also seem prudent that an
adequate reinforcefnent should be held in readiness in India, and that arrangements
should be made for its early dispatch should an emergency occur.
It must be understood that the occupation of Koweit is only suggested as a means
of temporarily putting pressure on Turkey without the use of actual force. The
occupation is not suggested as the first step in an offensive campaign, nor should it be
regarded as a preliminary to further operations in the direction of Bussorah or Bagdad.
Such operations would not meet the contingency of a war with Turkey, and it is not
proposed that in the event of war the British line of advance should ascend the valley
of the Euphrates.
As regards the possible effect of our occupation of Koweit in other directions, the
Turkish countermove might take the form of a concentration of Turkish troops upon the
eastern frontier of Egypt. Although the Turkish army is not just now in a position to
undertake offensive operations upon a large scale, owing partly to the reorganisation
which has only recently been begun, and partly to the troubles in Albania, with the
Druses and in the Yemen, it is possible that a concentration on a moderate scale might
be effected. This measure and a consequent stirring up of unrest in Egypt are not
improbable, if we put pressure oh Turkey at Koweit or elsewhere. It seems important,
therefore, that if it be decided to occupy Koweit we should be ready to reinforce the
British garrison in Egypt, which at present is only sufficient for the preservation of
internal order.
It may be added that on its present footing, and pending the completion of the
scheme of reorganisation now in pr ogress, the Turkish Army is calculated to provide
29 army corps of 1st line troops (18 cavalry brigades, and 58 divisions, of an aggregate
strength of 25,000 cavalry, 580,000 infantry, and 1,600 guns).
When the reorganisation is completed, the number of army corps will he increased
to 38, with 20 reserve divisions in addition, giving a total of 14 cavalry brigades, and
92 divisions, of an aggregate strength of 25,000 cavalry, 920,000 infantry, and
2,200 guns.
It is anticipated that the reorganisation will be completed in 1915 ; it will involve
heavy expenditure on personnel and materiel, and it is possible that the requisite funds
may not be forthcoming.
The rank and tile of the Turkish Army are of excellent quality, and the training of
the troops, especially in Europe, has greatly improved under their German instructional
staff. Hitherto the w^eak spot in the army has been the officers, but here also a marked
improvement has taken place both in the junior and in the senior ranks.
Im'perial General Staff, War Office,
May 1, 1911.

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Content

The volume comprises telegrams, despatches, correspondence, memoranda, and notes, relating to the Turkish occupation of Zakhnuniyah Island, the Ottoman attitude towards piracy cases, and the appointment of officials in Zubara, Odeid and Wakra.

The discussion in the volume relates to the Turkish occupation of a disused fort (built by Shaikh Ali bin Khalifah, Ruler of Bahrain) on Zakhnuniyah Island and the placing of Ottoman officials in Zubara, Odeid and Wakra. Correspondence reflects British concerns over Turkish claims to sovereignty in the coastal area of the Qatar Peninsula and how these could best be resisted, particularly in the strategic context of the construction of the Berlin to Baghdad railway. In discussing Zakhnuniyah, reference is made to typed extract of the relevant page (1937) of Lorimer's 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. Gazetteer (Geographical and Statistical Volume) which describes how the Dawasir tribe halted there, during the course of their emigration from Najd (see folio 236).

Further discussion surrounds Turkish obstruction of the investigation of cases of piracy in 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. and the proposed visit of H M S Redbreast to Al Bidaa.

Included in the volume are copies of the Committee for Imperial Defence papers 'Turkish Agression in 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. " and 'Local Action in 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. ' (ff 12-15).

The principal correspondents in the volume include the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Sir Edward Grey); the Viceroy of India; the ruler of Bahrain; the Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. , Kuwait (Captain William Henry Irvine Shakespear); the British Ambassador to Constantinople; His Britannic Majesty's Acting Consul for Arabistan (Lieutenant Arnold Talbot Wilson); the Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. in 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. (Lieutenant-Colonel Percy Zachariah Cox); the Secretary to the Government of India in the Foreign Department.

Extent and format
1 volume (245 folios)
Arrangement

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

The subject 757 ( 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. . Turkish Aggression) consists of 1 volume IOR/L/PS/10/162.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence commences at the first folio with 1 and terminates at the last folio with 241; these numbers are written in pencil and are located at the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio.

The foliation sequence does not include the front and back covers, nor does it include the two leading and ending flyleaves.

A flap is pasted to the verso The back of a paper sheet or leaf. of folio 188.

Written in
English in Latin script
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File 757/1909 'Persian Gulf:- Turkey and Turkish aggression (Occupation of Zakhnuniyeh Island. Attitude in piracy cases. Mudirs at Zubara, Odaid and Wakra) British Relations with Turkey in Persian Gulf' [‎17v] (39/495), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/162, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100030529666.0x000028> [accessed 23 October 2019]

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