Heritage of Ottoman Cicilization in Sudan Sawakin

Creative Commons License

Benli G.

III. Uluslararası Osmanlı İzleri Sempozyumu, Edirne, Turkey, 23 - 24 November 2023, pp.109-120

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: Edirne
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.109-120
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Sawakin Island is an island situated on the Red Sea coast of Sudan, connected to the city of Portsudan. It is renowned for being built on world-famous coral reefs. Sawakin has served as a significant port city on the trade route between the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean for many centuries and remained under Ottoman rule for approximately 400 years. Following Yavuz Sultan Selim's conquest of Egypt in 1517, Sawakin became part of Turkish territory and later served as the center of the Habesh State in 1555. Until the 19th century, Sawakin was located within the borders of the Ottoman Empire's Habesh State, which encompassed present-day Eritrea, Djibouti, and northern Somalia. The island of Sawakin houses Ottomanera

artifacts, with most of these structures constructed using coral reefs obtained from the vicinity of the island. The Ottoman period structures on the island of Sawakin constitute the original data source of the paper. The island has been home to various buildings over time, including residences, mosques, a bank, a hospital, stores, a customs building, and a harbor. The Ottoman-era buildings on Sawakin Island constitute the original data sources for this article. Although numerous structures from the Ottoman era are known to exist on the island, two mosques, a customs building, and a port were restored in 2014 by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) of the Republic of Türkiye. Within the scope of the results of the paper, the structures remaining from the Ottoman civilization on the island, their architectural features and evaluations of their current situation will be expressed.