Although the site of the city was occupied in antiquity, Suez was little more than a small village throughout most of its history. In the 16th cent. it became a naval and trading station under the Ottoman Turks. After the completion (1869) of the Suez Canal the city became a major port. Its economy suffered during the periods that the canal was closed following the Arab-Iraeli Wars. Suez became a tax-free industrial zone after the canal permanently reopened in 1975.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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