Abolitionism and the African Slave Trade in the Ottoman Empire (1857–1922)
This chapter examines the history of abolitionism in the Ottoman Empire from its beginning in the mid-nineteenth century to the Empire’s demise in the early twentieth century. It presents a revised history of abolition by contextualizing it as part of growing British political and economic influence in the Ottoman Empire. It then focuses on Ahmed Sṃefik Midhat Pasha (1822–1883), one the leading Ottoman statesmen of the reform era of the nineteenth century and noted proponent of abolition. Finally, this chapter surveys general attitudes in Ottoman society about slavery and sub-Saharan Africans through an examination of late-nineteenth-century Ottoman newspapers that both reflected and informed the negative perceptions of Africans held by the readers as well as Ottoman officials tasked with policing, rescuing, and manumitting the enslaved.
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