The Ottoman-British trade relations were established in
this period as Queen Elisabeth I sent two ambassadors to Istanbul and addressed Sultan
Murad III as the “Great Turk”. The Sultan responded the Queen
as; “We are not only an ally of the federation of England but also the protector of the
The first English ambassador William Harborne entered
the presence of Sultan Murad III in April 24, 1583 and presented gifts to him. Until this
time Genoise, Venetian, Dubrovnic and French merchants had the right for trading in the
Ottoman harbours due to the capitulation given in 1569. Elisabeth I was sent the
ambassador in order to have a capitulation for merchandising in the Ottoman lands.
The countries without capitulation were entering the
Ottoman seas with a French flag. But, the Ottoman Government estranged the Catholics
following the blood-bath of St. Bartholomew in 1572. In order to break the war equipment
embargo imposed by the Pope, the Ottomans designed firm relations with Protestant England.
Consequently, English-French rivalry in the Mediterranean had began and the Ottoman Empire
had benefited from this rivalry.