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The British sea power and oil policy in the Persian Gulf 1909-1914

Üzel, Meltem
This thesis attempts to describe the role of the British Admiralty’s oil related naval policies from 1909 to 1914 in the formation of British oil diplomacy in the northern hinterlands of the Persian Gulf. On the basis of this attempt, it examines the precise beginning of oil security concerns of Britain and its articulation on the southwest Persian and Mesopotamian oil basins in light of the transition of the Royal Navy from coal to oil burning internal combustion engines. It delineates the interconnectedness of the issues relating to the significance of oil in British naval developments and naval supremacy and her clash of interests with the other Great Naval Powers, which had significant interest in oil rich Mesopotamia and southern Persia. By 1914, the Admiralty, through its exceptional relations with the Anglo-Persian Oil Company in the hinterlands of the Persian Gulf became an important actor in the government’s involvement in the oil industry. This thesis, suggests that the Admiralty was the political demand channel in the processes of British imperial expansion under the spread of new imperialism in general, and in the consolidation of fuel oil security in particular. The study will be a contribution to the academic literature on the history of naval powers in Turkey.