Jacobus Kann
forgotten founder of Tel Aviv

Visit Emperor William II / Kaiser Wilhelm II to the Ottoman Empire in 1898


official goal: pilgrimage, but visit was meant to increase influence and holdings in Ottoman Empire, Germany was already big suplier pof weapons and training of soldiers.

In this article they show coverage of Arab Press, Egyptian (under British Occupation): critical, Syria, under full Ottoman control, 100% Ottoman official version

Arabic papers paid attention to the Emperor’s personality andhis dynasty. He was characterized as “one of the greatest monarchs of the world 

German – Ottoman friendship was another important subject discussed andcommented by the press. William II was presented as “the best friend ofthe great Sultan  “ and “ the most sincere and loyal monarch in hisfriendship towards the Sublime and Imperial Majesty  “11 and this through “word and action.

The Egyptian newspaper al-Mu’ayyad regarded the journey as “analliance”  between William II, being “the greatest ruler of the West and thedean of Europe  “, and ‘Abd al-Hamid, being “the prince of all believers andthe dean of all Muslims .

This Policy happened to take place at a time when European Powers were working on the dismemberment of the Ottoman territories

From the beginning, Sultan ‘Abd al-Hamid had declared his willingness tobear all expenses of the journey and place it under Ottoman supervision,this being in conformity with Oriental hospitality. However, the GermanEmperor refused this offer and preferred to charge the company ThomasCook and Son with all the journey’s necessities

Likewise, inPalestine communications were improved and constructed; thus, for example, a new road was built between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives so that the Emperor’s coaches be able to pass. Many old houses were pulled down in Jerusalem, Beirut and Baalbek in order to widen the streets for the visitor’s convoy

The first stop of the Emperor’s tour through the Orient was the Ottomancapital Istanbul. From there he went by sea to Palestine to visit its mainplaces, going on with yacht to Beirut and from there by train to Damascusand Baalbek. Finally, he returned via Beirut to his home country. The whole journey lasted from 16 October to 12 November.

In the afternoon of the same day, William IIcame to the David’s Tomb to receive there a piece of land “Coenaculum  “81 granted to him from the Sultan. On this occasion, the Emperor promisedto build a church on this ground for his Catholic countrymen.82 Thispromise was meant to express the Emperor’s policy of equality towards hispeople, treating adherents of Protestantism and of Catholicism in the sameway.