Originally Posted by Mark Bowditch
Tony supports his N. African provenance theory with a number of features from a number of pieces, so its not really unsupported in terms or argument (he gave a very interesting talk on it at the EEWRS dinner a couple years back). His position is, as Ariel points out, the subject of debate, and certainly based on empirical observation and deduction rather than historical or local information.
There are some ways to reconcile the two, for example taking into account that Ottoman troops may have brought it with them to places like Egypt during the Ottoman Empire period, or influence going the other way via trade or population movement. I think one unanswered question is how far back the style goes, which is always an interesting question to me, as it can open up possiblities of cross-cultural influence, or exclude others that would have post-dated the earliest appearance of the style (for example in this case, if it predates Ottoman presence in N. Africa).