The beginning of the Ottoman-British relations started at the beginning of the 1580s and lasted until 1914. We can say that the Ottoman-British relations had been practiced in almost every period. The Levant Company was one of an English chartered company formed in 1592.
Its purpose was to regulate English trade with the Ottoman Empire and the Levant. The company remained its existence until it was supplanted in 1825. A member of the company was known as a Turkey Merchant.
Its charter was approved by Elizabeth I of England as a result of the union between the Venice Company and the Turkey Company. The one was carrying agricultural products from Venice’s overseas empire and the other one was carrying silks and finished luxuries from the Ottoman Empire. There were many attempts to explain the merger as reflecting a regionalist approach to Mediterranean trade.
There were some complex explanations of the Levant Company. The currant was very popular edible in both Tudor and Stuart England. It can be used in baked goods and also eaten fresh. It provided a valuable source of sweetness at this time because sugar was seen as a luxury. There were only two islands in Europe where currants be acquired but both of them were under the control of Venice. Currants began to be shipped in English during the Spanish embargo.
Also, a monopoly was established over this trade by the Venice Company. The royal treasury was best served by this arrangement. Elizabeth was convinced that an open arrangement was more to her benefit. The Venice merchants seemed to be agreed with Elizabeth since they had been working out the charter priviliges. The currant trade was so much profitable. At the same time, the merchants of Turkey Company were confronting an opposite problem. According to the terms of their charter, they had to maintain an agent in Constantinople. He took on the functions, and financial obligations of an official ambassador.
Whereas the Turkey trade itself might be quite profitable, the organization of that trade under a chartered company appeared unsustainable because of the corporate political obligations that attached. The legation in Constantinople was essential for the protection of English merchants trading in the Mediterranean, and also their trading priviliges within the Ottoman Empire. At a time when Spain wanted to hurl its whole military power against the shores of England, the expert negotiations of the Turkey Company ambassador prevented a peace between Ottoman and Spanish and also kept valuable Spanish ships bottled up in the Mediterranean.