Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nun Napolyon Tehdidine Karşı Kurduğu Uydu Devlet: Yedi Ada Cumhuriyeti

Satellite State of the Ottoman Empire: Republic of the Seven Islands

Many states were established throughout history, and many states were destroyed for various reasons and took their place on the dusty shelves of history. However, few founding stories were as interesting as the story of the Republic of the Seven Islands. The state, which was established in 1800 under the auspices of the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Tsarist, was established to protect the interests of some European states, especially the Ottoman and Russia. The most important reason for the Seven Island Republic to appear on the stage of history was the French forces led by Napoleon Bonaparte, who were advancing at great speed. Here’s what you need to know about the Republic of the Seven Islands, which the Ottoman Empire, one of the most interesting states in history, established against the Napoleonic threat.

In 1778, news reached the Ottoman court that Napoleon was attempting to establish a magnificent navy.

However, according to the Ottoman ambassador in Paris and the French ambassador in Istanbul, the French navy was being built to attack the British. There was no cause for concern for the Ottomans. However, the landing of the French forces under the leadership of Napoleon in the Ottoman territory of Egypt proved that the situation was not at all what the Ottomans thought! French troops of about 40 thousand people, who entered Egypt from the Alexandria Port, occupied Egypt in a short time. Moreover, even when the occupation was taking place, the Ottomans were not aware of this situation! So much so that the Ottoman Sultan of the period III. In a rare way in our diplomatic history, Selim had “asshole” written on the official document for Paris Ambassador Seyyid Ali Efendi! Desperate in the face of this unexpected invasion of the French, the Ottoman Empire could not show any resistance against the occupation, and Egypt was coming under French rule day by day. Meanwhile, Napoleon was doing his best to strengthen his rule in Egypt. He was telling the people of the region that his aim was not to invade Egypt but to liberate the people…

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The Ottomans could not show any resistance to Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt. This situation did not suit the British.

For this reason, the French fleet anchored near Egypt was burned by the British! Thus, the connection of the French troops with France was cut off. Yes, Napoleon had become the new conqueror of Egypt but he was also stuck in Egypt! Therefore, from February 24, 1799, Napoleon took action towards his new goal: to conquer all Ottoman lands in the Middle East! However, the Ottoman army suffered successive defeats against the French.

Capturing strategic points such as Gaza and Jaffa at the beginning, Napoleon gained strong dominance over Ottoman lands in the Middle East.

At the same time, he was trying to revive trade in the region, establishing printing houses and universities. Napoleon was the new ruler of the Middle East! The Ottoman Empire had come to the point of accepting Napoleon’s domination in the Middle East, especially in Egypt. However, the Battle of Akka, which took place near present-day Israel, would turn things around…

Ottoman troops under the command of Cezzâr Ahmed Pasha, who was in charge of defending the Akka Fortress, had an unexpected victory over the French.

seven island republics

After this event, the Ottoman Empire would have the opportunity to implement a rather extraordinary plan against the Napoleonic threat.

In 1800, the Ottoman Empire, in cooperation with England and Russia, established the Republic of the Seven Islands!

seven island republics

The state, whose name in the Ottoman archives was the “Cezâiri seb’ai Müçtemia Republic”, was to undertake a border post to defend the Ottoman Rumelian lands against the French threat. The allied Ottoman and Russian navies captured the islands in the Gulf of Corfu, in the heart of Europe, one by one. Finally, the Republic of the Seven Islands was established on the islands of Corfu, Kefalonia, Zanta, Ayamavra, Chuka, Itaki and Pakso. The people of the region declared their loyalty to the Ottoman Empire. Venetian nobles appointed by the Ottoman Sultan assumed the administration of the country. England, Russia and the Ottoman Empire united for the same purpose! Thanks to this triple alliance, the Ottoman and Russian Empires assumed the protection of the Republic of the Seven Islands, while England attacked Alexandria to end the French domination in Egypt.

The Ottoman Empire, which established a satellite state in the center of Europe, not only gave a strong response to Napoleon’s invasions, but also had the opportunity to increase border security.

seven island republics

Of course, there were also interesting events within the borders of this interesting state. The Ottoman-Russian alliance besieged the Corfu Fortress in the region, but faced fierce resistance from the French. At the end of this, the Ottomans asked the Governor of Yanya, Tepedelenli Ali Pasha, to join the siege with the troops under his command. However, the leaders of the Republic of the Seven Islands met with the Ottoman and Russian officials and said that they were worried that a large number of Ottoman troops in the region would create sympathy for the French. For this reason, the inhabitants of the Republic of the Seven Islands offered to join the war instead of the Ottoman soldiers who were planned to be sent to the region!

The life of the Republic of the Seven Islands was not long due to the problems between the Ottoman Empire and Russia.

seven island republics

Because Russia was planning to turn the region into a Russian base by breaking the Ottoman influence on the Republic of the Seven Islands. However, the people of the region saw themselves as Ottoman subjects and were skeptical of any Russian policy. For this reason, the Russian Empire, unable to find its hopes for the new republic, attempted to destroy the republic, and after a series of political events, French dominance was restored in the region. Thus, the satellite state established by the Ottoman Empire in the center of Europe was abolished in 1807 and took its place on the dusty shelves of history.

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