Since the beginning of the 19th century they have been bigoted Wahhabis, though previously regarded by their neighbours as very lax Mahommedans; during Mehemet Ali's occupation of Nejd their constant raids on the Egyptian communications compelled him to send several punitive expeditions into the district, which, however, met with little success.
Burckhardt at Taif in 1814 and those of the French officers with the Egyptian expeditions into the country from 1814 to 1837.
In place of the movements of great fleets to a single end, we have a nine years' story (1805-1814) of cruising for the protection of commerce, of convoy, of colonial expeditions to capture French, Dutch or Spanish possessions and of combined naval and military operations in which the British navy was engaged in carrying troops to various countries, and in supporting them on shore.
Selim, the late sultan's nephew, who succeeded, made strenuous preparations for continuing the war, but his generals were incompetent and his army mutinous; expeditions for the relief of Bender and Akkerman failed, Belgrade was taken by the Austrians, Izmail was captured by Suvorov, and the fall of Anapa completed the series of Turkey's disasters.
Expeditions against the Yemen and Cyprus were successful, but the loss of Cyprus, accompanied as it was by the barbarous murder of the Venetian commander, Marco Antonio Bragadino, by the seraskier pasha Mustafa's orders, in violation of the terms of the capitulation of Famagusta (August 1571), roused the bitter resentment of the Venetians, previously incensed by Turkish raids on Crete.