Palestine Under Turkish Rule: 1517-1917

The Turks ruled Palestine almost uninterruptedly for four hundred years. The only break in their rule was from 1832-1840 when Muhammet Ali, an Egyptian vassal of the Turkish Empire revolted against his patrons and conquered Palestine, Syria and parts of Asia Minor. However, with the assistance of the British and the Russians, the Ottomans regained control of the area. The price of this assistance was various capitulations to foreign governments that increasingly undermined the Turkish domination of the area. By the latter part of the century it was clear that without European assistance, the Ottoman Empire would have collapsed.

The Ottomans never controlled Palestine as a single unit. Instead they divided the immediate and surrounding areas into a number of villayets (districts) whose boundaries altered over the years.

Source: The Jewish Agency for Israel and The World Zionist Organization.