Sidon Eyalet

The Eyalet of Sidon (Ottoman Turkish: ایالت صیدا, Eyālet-i Ṣaydā‎)[2] was an eyalet (also known as a beylerbeylik) of the Ottoman Empire. In the 19th century, the eyalet extended from the border with Egypt to the Bay of Kesrouan, including parts of modern Israel and Lebanon.

Eyaleti Safed-Sayda-Beyrut
Eyalet of the Ottoman Empire
Sidon Eyalet, Ottoman Empire (1795).png
The Sidon Eyalet in 1795
CapitalSafed (1660)
Sidon (1660–1775)
Acre (1775–1841)[1]
Beirut (1841–1864)
• Established
• Disestablished
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Damascus Eyalet
Beirut Vilayet
Syria Vilayet
Today part of Lebanon

Depending on the location of its capital, it was also known as the Eyalet of Safad, Beirut or Akka (Acre).[3]


Ottoman rulers considered creating the Province as early as 1585. The districts of Beirut-Sidon and Safed (encompassing much of the Galilee) were united under the rule of Ma'nid Emir Fakhr-al-Din ibn Maan.[4]



The Province was briefly created during Fakhr-al-Din's exile in 1614–15, and recreated in 1660.[4][5] The province continued to be subordinated in some ways, both in fiscal and political matters, to the Damascus province out of which it was created.[4]

Despite conflicts in the 1660s, the Maan family "played the leading role in the management of the internal affairs of this eyalet until the closing years of the 17th century, perhaps because it was not possible to manage the province-certainly not in the sanjak of Sidon-Beirut-without them."[6]

Late 17th to 18th centuriesEdit

The Maans were succeeded by the Shihab family in ruling Sidon-Beirut from the final years of the 17th century through the 19th century.[6] The Maans were first recognized as "emirs" in 1592 when Fakhr al-Din Maan was made (honorary) governor of the sanjak of Safad, and both the Maans and the Shihabis were recognized by the Ottomans as incumbents of an only vaguely defined, only implicitly "Druze" emirate. They never actually exercised any administrative function beyond that of multazim (tax farmer) over several mountain districts in the eyalet of Sidon (the Shuf). In 1763 the Shihabis were also invested with tax farms in the eyalet of Tripoli that had formerly been held by the Shiite Hamada family, which marks the beginning of the "emirate"'s sovereignty over the whole of Mt Lebanon.

In 1775, when Jezzar Ahmed Pasha received the governorship of Sidon, he moved the capital to Acre.[7] In 1799, Acre resisted a siege by Napoleon Bonaparte.[7]

Early and mid 19th centuryEdit

As part of the Egyptian–Ottoman War of 1831–33, Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt took Acre after a severe siege on May 27, 1832. The Egyptian occupation intensified rivalries between Druzes and Maronites, as Ibrahim Pasha openly favoured Christians in his administration and his army.[8] In 1840, the governor of Sidon moved his residence to Beirut, effectively making it the new capital of the eyalet.[9] After the return to Ottoman rule in 1841, the Druzes dislodged Bashir III al-Shihab, to whom the sultan had granted the title of emir.[8]

In 1842 the Ottoman government introduced the Double Kaymakamate, whereby Mount Lebanon would be governed by a Maronite appointee and the more southerly regions of Kisrawan and Shuf would be governed by a Druze. Both would remain under the indirect rule of the governor of Sidon.[8] This partition of Lebanon proved to be a mistake. Animosities between the religious sects increased, and by 1860 they escalated into a full-blown sectarian violence.[8] In the 1860 Lebanon conflict that followed, thousands of Christians were killed in massacres that culminated with the Damascus Riots of July 1860.[8]


Following the international outcry caused by the massacres, the French landed troops in Beirut and the Ottomans abolished the unworkable system of the Kaymakamate and instituted in its place the Mutasarrifate of Mount Lebanon, a Maronite-majority district to be governed by non-Lebanese Christian mutasarrıf, which was the direct predecessor of the political system that continued to exist in Lebanon's early post-independence years.[8] The new arrangement ended the turmoil, and the region prospered in the last decades of the Ottoman Empire.[8]


Governors of the eyalet:[10][11][12]

Administrative divisionsEdit

Sidon Eyalet consisted of two sanjaks in the 17th century:

  1. Sidon-Beirut Sanjak
  2. Safad Sanjak

Sidon Eyalet consisted of seven sanjaks (districts) in the early 19th century:[14]

  1. Acre Sanjak
  2. Beirut Sanjak
  3. Sidon Sanjak
  4. Tyre Sanjak
  5. Nablus Sanjak
  6. Nazareth Sanjak
  7. Tabariah Sanjak

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Macgregor, John (1850). Commercial statistics: A digest of the productive resources, commercial legislation, customs tariffs, of all nations. Whittaker and co. p. 12. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
  2. ^ "Some Provinces of the Ottoman Empire". Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  3. ^ McLeod, Walter (1858). The geography of Palestine. Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, & Roberts. p. 52. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
  4. ^ a b c Winter, Stefan (2010-04-30). The Shiites of Lebanon under Ottoman rule, 1516–1788. Cambridge University Press. p. 120. ISBN 978-0-521-76584-8.
  5. ^ Kais Firro (1992). A History of the Druzes. BRILL. p. 45. ISBN 978-90-04-09437-6. Retrieved 2013-02-25. the sanjaq of Ṣafad, which was part of this province, remained under the suzerainty of Druze amīrs until 1660, when the Ottomans reorganized the province.
  6. ^ a b Abu-Husayn, Abdul-Rahim (1992). "Problems in the Ottoman Administration in Syria During the 16th and 17th Centuries: The Case of the Sanjak of Sidon-Beirut". International Journal of Middle East Studies. 24 (4): 665–675 [673]. doi:10.1017/S002074380002239X.
  7. ^ a b Gabor Agoston; Bruce Alan Masters (2009). Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire. Infobase Publishing. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-4381-1025-7. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Gabor Agoston; Bruce Alan Masters (2009). Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire. Infobase Publishing. p. 330. ISBN 978-1-4381-1025-7. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
  9. ^ Gabor Agoston; Bruce Alan Masters (2009). Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire. Infobase Publishing. p. 87. ISBN 978-1-4381-1025-7. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
  10. ^ World Statesmen — Lebanon
  11. ^ Mehmet Süreyya (1996) [1890], Nuri Akbayar; Seyit A. Kahraman (eds.), Sicill-i Osmanî (in Turkish), Beşiktaş, Istanbul: Türkiye Kültür Bakanlığı and Türkiye Ekonomik ve Toplumsal Tarih Vakfı, ISBN 9789753330411
  12. ^ Joudah, Ahmad Hasan. Revolt in Palestine in the Eighteenth Century: The Era of Shaykh Zahir Al-ʻUmar. (1986) Kingston Press
  13. ^ Rood, Judith Mendelsohn (2004). Sacred Law in the Holy City: The Khedival Challenge To The Ottomans As Seen From Jerusalem, 1829-1841. BRILL. p. 96. ISBN 9004138102.
  14. ^ System of universal geography founded on the works of Malte-Brun and Balbi — Open Library (p. 647)