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City of Tidore Islands
Kota Tidore Kepulauan
Tidore Island Indonesia Daytime.jpg
Tidore Island, as seen from Ternate Island.
Lambang Kota Tidore Kepulauan.png
Toma Loa Se Banari
(The Conscience of the People)
ID Tidore.PNG
Location within Maluku Islands
Indonesia Maluku-Western New Guinea location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location in Maluku, Halmahera and Indonesia
Location map Halmahera.png
Red pog.svg
Tidore (Halmahera)
Indonesia location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Tidore (Indonesia)
Coordinates: 0°41′N127°24′E / 0.683°N 127.400°E / 0.683; 127.400
Country Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia
Region Maluku Islands
Province Flag of North Maluku.svg  North Maluku
  MayorAli Ibrahim
  Vice MayorMuhammad Senin
   City 1,703.32 km2 (657.66 sq mi)
150.12 km2 (57.96 sq mi)
 (mid 2023 estimate)
   City 118,613
  Density70/km2 (180/sq mi)
  Metro density440/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+9 (Indonesia Eastern Time)
Area code (+62) 921
Vehicle registration DG
Website tidorekota.go.id

Tidore (Indonesian : Kota Tidore Kepulauan, lit. "City of Tidore Islands") is a city, island, and archipelago in the Maluku Islands of eastern Indonesia, west of the larger island of Halmahera. Part of North Maluku Province, the city includes the island of Tidore (with three smaller outlying islands) together with a large part of Halmahera Island to its east. In the pre-colonial era, the Sultanate of Tidore was a major regional political and economic power, and a fierce rival of nearby Ternate, just to the north.



Tidore Island consists of a large stratovolcano which rises from the seafloor to an elevation of 1,730 m (5,676 ft) above sea level at the conical Mount Kie Matubu on the south end of the island. The northern side of the island contains a caldera, Sabale, with two smaller volcanic cones within it.

Soasio is Tidore's capital. It has its own port, Goto, and it lies on the eastern edge of the island. It has a mini bus terminal and a market. The sultan's palace was rebuilt with completion in 2010. [2]


Tidore was the center of a spice-funded sultanate that arose in the 15th century. It spent much of its history in the shadow of Ternate, another sultanate with which it had a dualistic relationship. [3]

Islam spread to Tidore around the late 15th century but Islamic influence in the area can be traced further back to the late 14th century. [4]

The sultans of Tidore ruled most of southern Halmahera, and, at times, controlled Buru, East Ceram and many of the islands off the coast of New Guinea. [5] Tidore established an alliance with the Spanish in the sixteenth century, and Spain had several forts on the island. There was mutual distrust between the Tidorese and the Spanish but for the Tidorese the Spanish presence was helpful in resisting the incursions of the Ternateans and their ally the Dutch, who had a fort on Ternate. For the Spanish, backing the Tidore state helped check the expansion of Dutch power that threatened their nearby Asia-Pacific interests, provided a useful base right next to the centre of Dutch power in the region and was a source of spices for trade. [6]

Although nominally part of the Spanish East Indies in the later sixteenth century and well into the seventeenth century, the Tidore sultanate established itself as one of the strongest and most independent states in the region. After the Spanish left in 1663, it continued to resist direct control by the Dutch East India Company (the VOC). Particularly under Sultan Saifuddin (r. 1657–1687), the Tidore court was skilled at using Dutch payment for spices for gifts to strengthen traditional ties with Tidore's traditional peripheral territories. As a result, he was widely respected by many local populations, and had little need to call on foreign military help for governing the kingdom, unlike Ternate which frequently relied upon Dutch military assistance. [7]

Tidore long remained an independent state, albeit with growing Dutch interference, until the late eighteenth century. Like Ternate, Tidore allowed the Dutch spice eradication program (extirpatie) to proceed in its territories. [8] This program, intended to strengthen the Dutch spice monopoly by limiting production to a few places, impoverished Tidore and weakened its control over its periphery.

In 1780 Tidore was forced to sign a treaty that reduced it to a Dutch vassal. The discontented Prince Nuku left Tidore and declared himself Sultan of the Papuan Islands. This was the beginning of a guerilla war which lasted for many years. [9] The Papuans, south-east Halmaherans and east Ceramese sided with the rebellious Prince Nuku. The British sponsored Nuku as part of their campaign against the Dutch in the Moluccas. Captain Thomas Forrest was intimately connected with Nuku and represented the British as ambassador. Nuku could finally take Tidore in 1797 and helped the British to conquer Ternate in 1801. [10] However, his successor Zainal Abidin was expelled by Dutch forces in 1806 and Tidore was firmly brought under colonial rule. [11]

The sultanate was abolished in the Sukarno era and re-established in 1999 with the 36th sultan. [3] Tidore was largely spared from the sectarian conflict of 1999 across the Maluku Islands. [3]


Tidore Island featured on the Indonesian 1,000-rupiah banknote Indonesia 2000 1000r r.jpg
Tidore Island featured on the Indonesian 1,000-rupiah banknote

The island, together with three smaller islands (Mare, Maitara and Filonga) and an adjacent much larger section (called "Oba") of Halmahera Island, constitutes a municipality (kotamadya) within the province of North Maluku. It is officially called the "Tidore Islands City" because it includes four islands (the main island of Tidore, plus the three nearby smaller islands of Mare, Maitara and Filonga) as well as the Oba area on mainland Halmahera (also including minor offshore islands). The whole municipality covers an area of 1,703.32 square kilometres (657.66 sq mi) and had a 2010 Census population of 90,530; [12] the 2020 Census produced a total of 114,480 [13] and the official estimate as at mid 2023 was 118,613 (comprising 60,041 males and 58,572 females). [1]

It is divided into eight districts (kecamatan), of which four constitute the island of Tidore (including the three small islands) and the other four constitute the Oba area on the 'mainland' of Halmahera. These are tabulated below with their areas (in sq km) and their populations at the 2010 Census [12] and the 2020 Census, [13] together with the official estimates as at mid 2023. [1] The table also includes the locations of the district administrative centres, the number of administrative villages in each district (totaling 49 rural desa and 40 urban kelurahan), and its post code.

Name of
English nameArea
mid 2023
82.72.01Tidore (a)(Tidore town,
or Soasio)
82.72.04Tidore Selatan (b)South Tidore42.4013,12914,67115,190Gurabati6297821
82.72.05Tidore Utara (c)North Tidore37.6414,57317,29417,895Rum10497823
82.72.08Tidore TimurEast Tidore34.007,6579,6089,772Tosa7-97822
(totals on
Tidore Island
82.72.02Oba Utara (d)North Oba376.0013,33119,55221,210Sofifi2 (e)1197827
82.72.06Oba TengahCentral Oba424.007,65910,09610,681Akelamo11397826
82.72.07Oba SelatanSouth Oba196.584,8926,6566,914Lifofa-797825
(totals on
Halmahera Island

Notes: (a) including Filonga Island to the northeast of Tidore Island. (b) including Mare Island (with an area of 11 km2), to the south of Tidore. (c) including Maitara island, to the northwest of Tidore (and between Tidore and Ternate), with an area of 2 km2 and about 3,600 inhabitants.
(d) including the town of Sofifi, which since 2010 has been the provincial capital of North Maluku. (e) Sofifi and Guraping.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Maluku Islands</span> Archipelago in eastern Indonesia

The Maluku Islands or the Moluccas are an archipelago in the eastern part of Indonesia. Tectonically they are located on the Halmahera Plate within the Molucca Sea Collision Zone. Geographically they are located east of Sulawesi, west of New Guinea, and north and east of Timor. Lying within Wallacea, the Moluccas have been considered a geographical and cultural intersection of Asia and Oceania.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">North Maluku</span> Province of Indonesia

North Maluku is a province of Indonesia. It covers the northern part of the Maluku Islands, bordering the Pacific Ocean to the north, the Halmahera Sea to the east, the Molucca Sea to the west, and the Seram Sea to the south. It shares maritime borders with North Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi and Central Sulawesi to the west, Maluku to the south, Southwest Papua to the west, and Palau and the Philippines to the north. The provincial capital is Sofifi on the largest island of Halmahera, while the largest city is the island city of Ternate. The population of North Maluku was 1,038,087 in the 2010 census, making it one of the least-populous provinces in Indonesia, but by the 2020 Census the population had risen to 1,282,937, and the official estimate as at mid 2022 was 1,319,338.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Maluku (province)</span> Province of Indonesia

Maluku is a province of Indonesia. It comprises the central and southern regions of the Maluku Islands. The largest city and capital of Maluku province is Ambon on the small Ambon Island. It is directly adjacent to North Maluku, Southwest Papua, and West Papua in the north, Central Sulawesi, and Southeast Sulawesi in the west, Banda Sea, Australia, East Timor and East Nusa Tenggara in the south and Arafura Sea, Central Papua and South Papua in the east. The land area is 57803.81 km2, and the total population of this province at the 2010 census was 1,533,506 people, rising to 1,848,923 at the 2020 census, the official estimate as at mid 2023 was 1,908,753. Maluku is located in Eastern Indonesia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ternate</span> City in North Maluku, Indonesia

Ternate, also known as the City of Ternate, is a city in the Indonesian province of North Maluku and an island in the Maluku Islands. It was the de facto provincial capital of North Maluku before Sofifi on the nearby coast of Halmahera became the capital in 2010. It is off the west coast of Halmahera, and is composed of eight islands: Ternate, the biggest and main island of the city, and Moti, Hiri, Tifure, Mayau, Makka, Mano, and Gurida. In total, the city has a land area of 162.20 square kilometres and had a total population of 185,705 according to the 2010 census, and 205,001 according to the 2020 census, with a density of 1,264 people per square kilometre; the official estimate as at mid 2023 was 204,920. It is the biggest and most densely populated city in the province, as well as the economic, cultural, and education center of North Maluku, and acts as a hub to neighbouring regions. It was the capital of the Sultanate of Ternate in the 15th and 16th centuries, and fought against the Sultanate of Tidore over control of the spice trade in the Moluccas before becoming a main interest to competing European powers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sofifi</span> City and capital of North Maluku, Indonesia

Sofifi is a town on the west coast of the Indonesian island of Halmahera, and since 2010 has been the capital of the province of North Maluku. It is located in North Oba District of the city of Tidore Islands. At the 2020 Census, the town had a population of 2,498, while North Oba District had a population of 19,552. Previously, Ternate had been the province's capital.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sultanate of Tidore</span> Sultanate in Southeast Asia

The Sultanate of Tidore was a sultanate in Southeast Asia, centered on Tidore in the Maluku Islands. It was also known as Duko, its ruler carrying the title Kië ma-kolano. Tidore was a rival of the Sultanate of Ternate for control of the spice trade and had an important historical role as binding the archipelagic civilizations of Indonesia to the Papuan world. According to extant historical records, in particular the genealogies of the kings of Ternate and Tidore, the inaugural Tidorese king was Sahjati or Muhammad Naqil whose enthronement is dated 1081 in local tradition. However, the accuracy of the tradition that Tidore emerged as a polity as early as the 11th century is considered debatable. Islam was only made the official state religion in the late 15th century through the ninth King of Tidore, Sultan Jamaluddin. He was influenced by the preachings of Syekh Mansur, originally from Arabia. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Sultans tended to ally with either Spain or Portugal to maintain their political role but were finally drawn into the Dutch sphere of power in 1663. Despite a period of anti-colonial rebellion in 1780–1810, the Dutch grip on the sultanate increased until decolonization in the 1940s. Meanwhile, Tidore's suzerainty over Raja Ampat and western Papua was acknowledged by the colonial state. In modern times, the sultanate has been revived as a cultural institution.

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The Nuku Rebellion was an anti-colonial movement that engulfed large parts of Maluku Islands and Western New Guinea between 1780 and 1810. It was initiated by the prince and later sultan of Tidore, Nuku Muhammad Amiruddin, also known as Prince Nuku or Sultan Nuku. The movement united several ethnic groups of eastern Indonesia in the struggle against the Dutch and was temporarily successful, helped by an alliance with the British East India Company. After the demise of Nuku it was however defeated, and Maluku was restored under European rule. In modern time, Nuku was officially appointed a National Hero of Indonesia.

Sultan Hairun Jamilu was the 6th Muslim ruler of Ternate in Maluku, reigning from 1535 to 1570. During his long reign, he had a shifting relation to the Portuguese who had a stronghold in Ternate and tried to dominate the spice trade in the region. This ended with his assassination at the hands of a Portuguese soldier in 1570.

Sultan Mudafar Syah I, also spelt Muzaffar Syah, was the ninth Sultan of Ternate who ruled from 1606 to 1627. He reigned during an important transitional phase, when the Dutch East India Company gained ascendency in the Maluku Islands and began to regulate the commerce in spices. This was the beginning of the colonial subordination of Maluku that would accelerate during his successors.

Ciri Leliatu (Ciriliyati) or Sultan Jamaluddin (fl. late 15th/early 16th century) was the first Sultan of Tidore in Maluku Islands, who reigned at a time when Islam made advances in this part of Indonesia because of contacts brought about by the increased trade in spices. He is also sometimes credited with the first Tidorese contacts with the Papuan Islands.

Sultan Al-Mansur was the second Sultan of Tidore in Maluku islands, who reigned from at least 1512 until 1526. Certain legends associate him with the beginnings of Tidore's rule over the Papuan Islands and western New Guinea. During his reign the first visits by Portuguese and Spanish seafarers took place, which led to grave political and economic consequences for the societies of eastern Indonesia. Trying to preserve his realm in the face of Western encroachment, he finally fell victim to Portuguese enmity.

Mole Majimun was the seventh Sultan of Tidore in Maluku Islands, who reigned from 1599 to 1627. He was also known as Sultan Jumaldin or Kaicili Mole. In his time the transition to the hegemony of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) began in eastern Indonesia, though Tidore held on to its traditional alliance with the Spanish Empire.

Sultan Saidi was the tenth Sultan of Tidore in Maluku islands. He was also known as Magiau and ruled from 1640 to 1657. His reign saw intermittent hostilities with Tidore's traditional rival, the Sultanate of Ternate, which included interference in an anti-Dutch rebellion in Ternate and Ambon and attempts to increase Tidorese territory in Maluku. By the time of Saidi's reign Tidore had gained a political position in parts of the Papuan territories.

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Sultan Saifuddin, also known as Golofino was the eleventh Sultan of Tidore in Maluku islands. Reigning from 1657 to 1687, he left Tidore's old alliance with the Spanish Empire and made treaties with the Dutch East India Company (VOC), which now became hegemonic in Maluku for the next century. Tidore was forced to extirpate the clove trees in its territory and thus ceased to be a spice Sultanate. In spite of this, Saifuddin and his successors were able to preserve a degree of independence due to the trade in products from the Papuan Islands and New Guinea.

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Nuku was the nineteenth Sultan of Tidore in Maluku Islands, reigning from 1797 to 1805. He is also known under the names Sultan Muhammad al-Mabus Amiruddin Syah, Saifuddin, Jou Barakati, and Kaicili Paparangan. He led a resistance against Dutch colonialism in Maluku and Papua from 1780 which was eventually successful. Being a leader with great charisma, he gathered discontents from several ethnic groups and strove to restore Maluku to its pre-colonial division into four autonomous kingdoms. Nuku used global political conflict lines by allying with the British against the French-affiliated Dutch and helped them conquer the Dutch stronghold in Ternate in 1801. In modern Indonesia he is commemorated as a pahlawan nasional.

Sultan Zainal Abidin was the twentieth Sultan of Tidore in Maluku Islands. He inherited the anti-Dutch movement that had been built up by his brother Nuku, succeeding him as ruler in 1805. However, he was not capable of resisting renewed attacks by the Dutch colonial power and was forced to flee from Tidore Island in 1806. In the following years he tried using allied populations in Halmahera and Papua to fight the Dutch, with limited success, until his demise in 1810. He was the last independent Sultan of Tidore, since his successors were firmly under British or Dutch control.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sultanate of Jailolo</span>

The Sultanate of Jailolo was a premodern state in Maluku, modern Indonesia that emerged with the increasing trade in cloves in the Middle Ages. Also spelt Gilolo, it was one of the four kingdoms of Maluku together with Ternate, Tidore, and Bacan, having its center at a bay on the west side of Halmahera. Jailolo existed as an independent kingdom until 1551 and had separate rulers for periods after that date. A revivalist Raja Jailolo movement made for much social and political unrest in Maluku in the 19th century. In modern times the sultanate has been revived as a symbolic entity.

Gurabesi was a legendary Papuan leader from Biak in West New Guinea, present-day Indonesia, who had a large role in tying part of the Papuans to the Islamic Sultanate of Tidore. He is commonly believed to have flourished in the 15th or early 16th century, although other sources point at a later date. His story symbolizes the beginnings of communication between the Malayo-Islamic and Papuan cultures.


  1. 1 2 3 Badan Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 28 February 2024, Kota Tidore Kepulauan Dalam Angka 2024 (Katalog-BPS 1102001.8272)
  2. Kompas
  3. 1 2 3 Witton, Patrick (2003). Indonesia. Melbourne: Lonely Planet. pp. 827–828. ISBN   1-74059-154-2.
  4. Azra, Azyumardi (2006). Islam in the Indonesian World: An Account of Institutional Formation. Mizan Pustaka. pp. 39–40. ISBN   978-979-433-430-0.
  5. Leonard Andaya (1993) The world of Maluku. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, p. 99-110.
  6. Leonard Andaya (1993), p. 169-74.
  7. Leonard Andaya (1993), p. 190-2.
  8. Muridan Widjojo (2009) The revolt of Prince Nuku: Cross-cultural alliance-making in Maluku, c. 1780-1810. Leiden: Brill, p. 33-7.
  9. Muridan widjojo (2009), p. 55-8.
  10. Muridan Widjojo (2009), p. 75-88.
  11. Muridan Widjojo (2009), p. 88-94.
  12. 1 2 Biro Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2011.
  13. 1 2 Badan Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2021.