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Ottoman Rule (1517-1798)


Although the Ottoman Turks were brilliant military strategists and developed a rich Islamic civilization, they were poor colonial administrators. They ruled Egypt from Istanbul through Pashawat who were trained in Istanbul. Their direct involvement in government rarely extended to more than enforcing tax collection.


Otherwise the Ottomans exercised minimal control over their new province and relied on the Mamluke army whose ranks continued to expand with mercenary slaves brought in from the Caucasus.


This lack of concern manifested in neglect and deterioration, which opened the way for the French invasion of Egypt in 1798.


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