The Sultan Abdülhamid II ascended to the throne in 1876. As he was seen as one of the most shrewd politicians in modern history, he came to realize the importance of Sheikh Jassim and his policy in a short period of time. For this reason, he did neither give attention to the continuing complaints submitted by Basra and Al-Ahsa servants nor the reports consistently made by the British against Sheikh Jassim. Despite the incitation of the British and particular interested servants in some cases, both shrewd politicians did not fall into this trap. This can be seen in several events. For example, the Basra Wali (Governor) submitted a complaint against Sheikh Jassim to The Sultan Abdülhamid concerning the measures taken by Sheikh Jassim following the differences rose between traders in the region and the people of Qatar in 1883 AD, but no action was taken in response to this complaint. During the following year, when Sheikh Jassim was determined to go to the Hajj ” pilgrimage”, the Basra Wali decided to take advantage of this opportunity and proposed to assign another Qaemakam “District Commissioner” in Qatar while Sheikh Jassim away in Hajj. However, The Sultan Abdülhamid II rejected this proposal. But the ill-intentioned people would not refrain from communicating lies and misinformation about Sheikh Jassim to Istanbul. Subsequently, lengthy discussions took place in the Shura Council “Council of State” in Istanbul in 1886 AD, during which such information was evidenced to be untrue, and whereby an extensive report was submitted to the Sultan. As a result, The Sultan Abdülhamid II deposed Nazih Beck who had been reporting against Sheikh Jassim, and at the same time, expressed his great confidence in the Sheikh Jassim.
Another example showing that the relationship between The Sultan Abdülhamid II and Sheikh Jassim was based on appreciation and reverence, is that despite the complaints raised by servants working in the area who persuaded – by use of their pseudo reports – the Acting Governor of Ahsa who in turn submitted to Istanbul where they were plotting strongly to overthrow Sheikh Jassim. However, The Sultan Abdülhamid II, after had considered the matter, issued this time a Decree in favor of Sheikh Jassim. What’s more and in order to show his admiration of the subtle political ability of Sheikh Jassim, The Sultan Abdülhamid honored him with the rank of “Qubogy Bashi” which would only be given to the senior-level personalities of the State as well as expressed his sincerest appreciation thereto.
The previous two examples show that Sheikh Jassim was seen by the Ottoman Empire as an indispensable figure, particularly when we take into account that several disagreements took place between many of the princes of the region and the Ottoman Empire during different periods which resulted in painful events.
Been different from other leaders in the region, Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani was able to create a balance between the Ottoman Empire and the British, therefore he had never surrendered his leadership to the British. For this reason and despite the strong opposition by the British, the Ottoman Empire insisted on incorporating the amendments realizing Qatar independence into the Anglo-Ottoman Treaty signed in 1913.
According to the personal accounts given by witnesses who came to know Sheikh Jassim in person, he was described as a courageous, generous and compassionate person as well as was characterized by such qualities required for any prince. Nevertheless, we must not forget that the Ottoman Empire was not only interested in those qualities, but also focused on his insightful knowledge and political view of the area affairs, where he had a role in the events that occurred in the region either by way of mediation with the Ottoman Empire or by preventing them from direct intervention, and thus prevented bloodshed of many Muslims and protected honor of their Caliph. Sheikh Jassim governed under three Sultans of the Ottoman Empire and won the discretion of each of them. For, he was one of the ever exceptional princes. Therefore, it goes without saying that his prudent policy paved the way for the emergence of the modern State of Qatar. The Anglo-Ottoman Treaty signed in 1913 on the organization of Basra Gulf affairs (Arabian Gulf), evidences that it was the Emirate of Qatar that was only defended by the Ottoman Empire concerning right to self-determination, where the British were forced to accept it based on the belief that the Sheikh of Qatar and its people had the ability to undertake that role. In other words, such Ottoman determination made it possible for Qatar to emerge as a modern State in the international arena.
This material is quoted from a research titled “The Relationship of Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani with the Ottoman State” which was delivered by Dr. Zakaria Korhun, Head of the Department of History at the University of Marmara in Istanbul and a specialist in the political history of the Middle East, as well as a Member of the Turkish History Association, the Association of Turkish Military History and President of the Society of Researchers of the Studies of the Middle East and Africa in Turkey – in the Founder Symposium, National Day Celebrations 2008.