COPY OF A 500 YEARS OLD LETTER OF CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN BORNO EMPIRE AND THE OTHMAN EMPIRE (TURKEY/ISTANBUL)
Below is an image of the letters between Sultan Murad and Mai Idriss Alooma in 16th century. Translation of some parts of the letter reads as :part of correspondence from Sultan Murad to Mai Alooma in 23th May, 1577 reads as follows:
“We have promulgated and dispatched it (the letter)……a unique salutation the fragrance of which spreads over the lands….greetings…to the most noble, the most illustrious, the most magnificent, the rightly guided, the one aided by God, the helper of the warriors among the believers, the supporter of the great men among the adherents of the unity of God…..the possessor of the sovereignty and sanctity, the ruler of the state of Borno at present King Idris may God prolong his prosperity and make his aims successful.” In view of the above we can say that the First mission of Borno to the Balkans and also establishment of diplomatic tie to Istanbul was around five hundred years back during the reign of Idris Alauma.
Mai Alooma was not ready for bifurcation of power, and needed repatriation. But he decided to use diplomacy. So that Mark's the beginning of correspondence between the Othman empire (Constantinople also known as Turkey/Istanbul) that resulted in correspondence between the two Empire. So it started when Idris Alauma sent a six-man delegation including scribes to Sultan Murad in Istanbul. This would be a welcome development for Sultan Murad as well, because Bornu was one of the biggest powers in the region they did not have control over and it was sine qua non to have an alliance with the kingdom.
Why Bornu and how important is Bornu?
For the Othman Empire which was considered as the World's super power for around five hundred years including the time of Mai Alauma until her fall in 1918 (First World war ) which resulted in emergence of Russia and America as the new global superpowers ,meaning during the friendship ties that existed between Bornu and Othman Empire, the following countries were under the rule of the Othman Empire namely ;Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, Cyprus, Israel, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon and Kuwait in the Middle East and also European countries include Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, Ukraine, Romania, Kosovo , Moldova, Hungary and Bosnia, ... despite this might and influence of the Othman Empire, but amazingly Turkey choose to friend Borno instead of invading her.
Some historians said this was because of the natural love that existed between the two (Bornu and Turkey) and others argued that it was because of the influence of Bornu in the African region that could not be overemphasized. Apart from its military strength, a trans-Saharan trade route geographical advantage cannot be possible without Bornu. This led to a mutual relationship between the Ottoman Empire and Kanem-Bornu in late 1500s, and Bornu established an embassy in Istanbul. Although some records seem to show that Bornu was taken by the Ottomans as an obedient vassal, the diplomatic procedure between the two states however, was just like any other foreign state and most of the requests from Bornuans were granted with proper decorum.