Was Cyprus a Mamluk protectorate? Mamluk policies toward Cyprus between 1426 and 1517

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Author: Albrecht Fuess
Date: Jan. 2005
From: Journal of Cyprus Studies(Vol. 11, Issue 28-29)
Publisher: Eastern Mediterranean University Press
Document Type: Article
Length: 6,726 words

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Abstract

This paper examines the policies of the Mamluk Empire toward the Kingdom of Cyprus during the years 1426-1517 and explains the relations possible between a Muslim Empire and a post-Crusader Christian Kingdom. In doing so, the author demonstrates that it is quite appropriate to use the modern term "protectorate" for the Mamluk-Cypriot relationship after 1426, when the Mamluks managed to subdue the island militarily and took the Cypriot king as prisoner to Cairo. After this event, it is argued, the relationship between the two fulfils the requirements of the definition of a protectorate. Mamluk-Cypriot relations were outlined after 1426 through a mutual treaty. In return for its annual tribute, the Kingdom of Cyprus, the controlled state, retained domestic autonomy and control over most of its internal affairs, but lost its independence in diplomatic relations. A clear indication of this fact is that the Cypriots were required to help the Mamluks by taking measures against pirates threatening Mamluk shores in the 15th century and to serve as a naval base during the Mamluk expeditions against Rhodes. Cyprus remained a Mamluk protectorate until 1489 when the island came under the control of the Venetians.

Keywords: Mamluk, Cyprus, Crusaders, Protectorate, Eastern Mediterranean

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Ozet

Bu calisma Memluk Imparatorlugu'nun 1426-1517 yillari arasinda Kibris Kralligi'na karsi yuruttugu politikalari incelerken, Musluman bir Imparatorlukla Hacli-sonrasi Hristiyan bir Krallik arasindaki olasi iliskileri aciklamaktadir. Bunu yaparken yazar, 1426'da Memluklarin adayi askeri acidan ele gecirmeyi basarip Kibris kralini esir olarak Kahire'ye goturmelerinden sonra Memluk-Kibris iliskileri icin "himaye" terimini kullanmanin uygunlugunu ortaya koymaktadir. Bu olaydan sonra ikili iliskilerin "himaye" tanimindaki gereklilikleri yerine getirdigi iddia edilmektedir. 1426'dan sonra Memluk-Kibris iliskileri karsilikli antlasmalar uzerinden yurutulmustur. Odedikleri yillik harac karsiliginda Kibris Kralligi, yani kontrol altindaki devlet, icislerindeki kontrolunun buyuk kismini ve ic ozerkligini korumus, ancak diplomatik iliskilerdeki bagimsizligini yitirmistir. Bunun acik bir gostergesi, Kibrislilarin 15. yuzyilda Memluk sahillerini tehdit eden korsanlara karsi onlem alma zorunluluklari ve adanin Memluklarin Rodos cikarmasi sirasinda deniz ussu olarak kullanilmasidir. Kibris, 1486'da ada Venediklilerin kontrolu altina girene dek Memluklarin himayesi altinda kalmistir.

Anahtar Kelimeler: Memluklar, Kibris, Hacli Seferleri, Himayecilik, Dogu Akdeniz.

Unlike contemporary international relations between formally independent nation-states that interact with each other through an elaborate set of legal rules and regulations, territories in many regions of the early modern world dealt with each other on a more case-by-case basis, and their mutual relations appear more ambivalent as modern notions of sovereignty and rule had not yet taken root. Especially interesting is the contact between those regions that potentially shared common geopolitical and economic interests but were set against each other due to fundamental differences in their historic and cultural backgrounds and their divergent religious beliefs.

In examining the policies of the Mamluk Empire toward the Kingdom of Cyprus in the years from 1426-1517, this paper explains what kind of relations were possible between a Muslim Empire and a post-Crusader Christian Kingdom. It shows that our common views of the medieval lord-vassal relationship need to be modified if we intend to apply them to the interaction of these...

Source Citation

Source Citation
Fuess, Albrecht. "Was Cyprus a Mamluk protectorate? Mamluk policies toward Cyprus between 1426 and 1517." Journal of Cyprus Studies, vol. 11, no. 28-29, 2005, p. 11+. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.
  

Gale Document Number: GALE|A144051591