Levant'ta Ticaret: Beyrut Liman ve Rıhtım Şirketi (1888-1914)
Güneş, Mahir Melih
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In many respects, the Ottoman Empire experienced significant changes in the nineteenth century. Especially, after the Industrial Revolution, and its technological breakthroughs such as steamships and railway transportation, the Ottoman lands and the Eastern Mediterranean ports become center of attraction for European merchants and entrepreneurs. Furthermore, as a result of the Treaty of Balta Liman (the 1838 Anglo-Turkish Trade Agreement) and its principles of customs duty, trading volume between the Ottoman Empire and Europe increased almost six times. For this reason, in the 1860s, the Eastern Mediterranean ports which were still insufficient for this volume were revised and privatized by foreign capital and Levantines. The Port of Beirut was also one of the ports which was modernised and privatized. After the 1860 Mount Lebanon civil war, there was huge necessity to built new quays for the city that were badly affected by conflicts and several bombards. Eventually, by Nafia Nezareti (Ministry on Public Works), Yusuf Matran Efendi who was a Maronite-Ottoman from Beirut was awarded the contract for building new quays and establishing a join-stock company. In this manner, maritime trade and its control mechanism was taken over by a private enterprise. On 3 July 1887, Yusuf Matran and his shareholders began construction and after the end of the construction, the port of Beirut become the most important port of the Eastern Mediterranean with its new quays and warehouses.
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