The boundaries of the three last-named vilayets meet near Elbassan.
Under the present Ottoman distribution " Syria " is the province of Sham or Damascus, exclusive of the vilayets of Aleppo and Beirut and the sanjaks of Lebanon and Jerusalem, which all fall in what is called Syria is the wider geographical sense.
The political status of the country is controlled by the Ottoman Empire, of which Syria makes part, divided into the vilayets of Aleppo, Sham or Syria (Damascus), the Lebanon (q.v.) and Beirut, and the separate sanjaks or mutessarifliks of Zor and Jerusalem.
The Turkish or Ottoman Empire comprises Turkey in Europe, Turkey in Asia, and the vilayets of Tripoli and Barca, or Bengazi, in North Africa; and in addition to those provinces under immediate Turkish rule, it embraces also certain tributary states and certain others under foreign administration.
Here also, with the unimportant exception of the islands of Samos and Cyprus and the somewhat privileged district of Lebanon, all the Turkish possessions constitute vilayets directly controlled by the Porte.