Competition south of the Red Sea - Sheikh Said and the Farasan Islands question
Keywords: Europe, Red Sea, Age of Discovery, Portugal, Ottoman
The attention of the European Powers to the Red Sea goes back to the 16th century. After the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, this attention had been transformed into a rivalry that was extended to the south of the Red Sea and the Bab-ul-Mendeb Strait. There were strategically important two areas: the land of Sheikh Said and Fersan islands where the British Empire had been in control from the beginning of 19th century and in constant contention with France, Germany and Italy since 1870. The official owner of the region, the Ottoman Empire, tried to prevent the European Powers getting control of the region as well as the rebellion of local people.