Italy's Relations with the Ottoman Empire

720 WordsFeb 1, 20183 Pages
Through the 1500th to the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire and Italy colonized Libya to reap the economic benefits offered by the colony. The market and goods appealed to Italian colonizers because of their long standing commercial interests in Libya, “The Facists figured that in Cyrenaica alone, ten million sheep would provide the best wool for Italy’s factories; twenty million olive trees, the purest oil; and an unlimited number of vines, the tastiest grapes and wine in the world”. The Saharan Trade Route was also a dependable source of profit because it linked Europe, the Middle East and West Africa which was a powerful advantage over European competitors. Libya was a prosperous trade port for slaves as well. In 1551, Turgut Reis enslaved almost the entire population of the Maltese island of Gozo,he sent nearly 6,300 slaves to Libya. Libya’s location was, overall, desirable since it was close to Italy. In 1871, the unification of Italy created a surge of Italian nationalism which led the Italians to believe they deserved their own overseas empire, alongside European powers, and an ideal that Italy was the successor state to the Roman Empire, called mare nostrum. Italy viewed Libya as a chance to redeem themselves from their sense of isolation from European powers and emerge as a colonial power. Italy had previously considered colonizing the French province of Tunisia. In 1879, Italy finally considered annexing Tunisia but by then, France had already shown interest in
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