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Naval Policy
47 okunma

Naval Policy

15 Ağustos 2015 17:58
Naval Policy



When Kanûnî Sultan Süleyman called Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha who was the Governor of Algiers to Istanbul, a new era was opened in the Mediterranean policy. Barbaros who came from Algeria to Istanbul with his 18 admirals and powerful army (27th December 1533) was declared as the Head of the Ottoman Navy (16th April 1534).
Barbaros captured Tunisia (22nd August 1534). However, the Emperor-King Charles-Quint came to the region in person and recaptured Tunisia (21st July 1535). The northern section of the country remained in the possession of the Arabians under the Spanish influence; and the central and southern sections of the country remained under the domination of the Ottoman State. However, Barbaros and his admirals did not hesitate in continuous strikes and attacks towards the lands of Spain and the regions of the Southern Italy that were under the Spanish domination. Meanwhile, the military expedition of Barbaros to Balearic Islands (August 1535) and the expedition to Italy (1537) had great effects and influence. He captured the Cyclades Islands from Venetia. Charles-Quint had understood that he would lose the party if he could not even repulse them to reasonable borders since he could not destroy the Turkish dominion in the Mediterranean Sea. Therefore, he arranged an extraordinary and enormous naval armada that had not been seen in the course of the world history until that time. Then, he sent this armada under the command of andrea Doria against the Imperial Ottoman Navy.

The two navies encountered in the open seas of Preveze in order to establish dominion in the Mediterranean Sea (28th September 1538). In this great open sea war in which minimum 120.000 people erncountered in the sea, Barbaros totally defeated the united European navy through various manoeuvres.

Charles-Quint landed troops to the city of Algiers with his armada under the command of andrea Doria in order to take revenge of Preveze defeat. Barbaroszade Hasan Bey totally defeated the army of the Emperor and the armada of andrea Doria suffered from terrible losses andcasualties as much as that in Preveze. Charles-Quint could save is life through great sacrifices (24th October 1541).

Barbaros captured the castle of Nice that had been under the domination of the emperor in the summer of the year of 1543. He spent the winter of 1543-1544 in Toulon. Charles-Quint was his principal rival in the Europe; and he gave up his hope to subdue and overwhelm France. Barbaros died in Istanbul in a dignified state and glorious fame and honour (4th July 1546). However, he had trained very talented students.

Barbaros’s son, Hasan Pasha and his stepson, the other Hasan Pasha and his friend, Salih Paşa had had important activities in the Northern Africa as the Governor of Algiers. These admirals established dominion in the Western Mediterranean region with the navy of Algiers Governorship that was a very powerful navy under their command and they frequently put to the Atlantic Ocean. Meanwhile, Salih Pasha fromÇanakkale annexed and subdued the Morocco Arabian empire to Turkey on a temporary basis (22nd September 1551-June 1556). Therefore, the Ottoman domination reached to the Atlantic Ocean and it became established in the southern regions of Gibraltar Promontory. Spain only had few bases in the Northern Africa. It could maintain its domination in these bases through great sacrifices. Meanwhile, Barbaroszade Hasan Pasha totally defeated the Spanish people in a crushing manner in Mostaganem in the course of his second governorship period in Algiers (5th September 1558).

Barbaros’ the most talented and genius student was Turgut Reis. Turgut Reis captured the Southern and Central Tunisia and played a bad game to andrea Doria in Cerbe. Then, he landed troops in Malta (July 1551). Then, he conquered Tripoli that had been under the domination of Saint-Jean Chevaliers (15th August 1551). He struck against the navy of the enemy in Ponza (5th August 1552). Then, he conquered the entire island of Corsica (17th August 1153).

While Turgut had accomplished these successes with the Turkish pirate (raider) fleet, Piyale Pasha who had become the head of the Ottoman Navy conquered the island of Elbe. Then, he landed troops in Italy (1555). He struck against the Balearic Islands and he destroyed the Western Mediterranean regions. Spain that wanted to get rid of this naval pressure arranged a large fleet with its allies and sent this fleet to the island of Cerbe. Together with the Ottoman navy, Piyale Pasha encountered with the armada of the enemy in this place. In these waters, the Turks won the greatest open seas victory that they had won pursuant to the triumph of Preveze (14th May 1560).

The armada and army of the enemies were totally destroyed, they sank deep into the waters or they were taken prisoner. In the summer of the year of 1564, Piyale Pasha organised a military expedition to Morocco. Turgut Pasha that was the governor of Tripoli organised naval expeditions despite his old age.

Although the military expedition to Malta in the year of 1565 was a large-scaled war, the island that looked like a nest of eagle could not be captured. Turgut Pasha died as a martyr in the course of the blockage of Malta (17th June).

Kanuni Sultan Suleyman attached also great importance to the Turkish naval policy in the Indian Ocean. The Turkish fleets started to appearand wander about the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Sea of Oman, the Persian Gulf and the high seas of the ocean in the beginning of the century XVI. Pursuant to the military expedition of Selman Reis towards the Sea of Oman (1525), his nephew, Mustafa Bey organised a military expedition to Gucerat in India and captured Aden.

On the other hand, Ozdemir Pasha had accomplished great conquests in Sudan and Abyssinia and he captured the western coasts of the Red Sea. This sea was also turned into a Turkish Inland Sea. Upon the Afla pitched battle (August 1542), Abyssinia was under the domination of Turks. Abdurrahman Bey defeated the Portuguese navy in the open seas of Aden (October 1544). Then, Piri Reis came to the Indian Seas (1552) and he conquered Oman (Muscat). This was followed by the captainship of Murat Reis in the Indian Seas (1552-1553). The great scholar Seydi Ali Reis fought with the Portuguese navies in the open seas battles of Hürmüz (9th August 1554) and Muscat (25th August). Then, he went to India. In the end of the century, the military expeditions of Ali Bey towards the East Africa expanded the Turkish domination towards Kenya, Tanganyika and Mozambique and this domination surpassed the south of Equator. Pursuant to the governorship of Ozdemir Pasha in Abyssinia (1555-1562), his son, Osman Pasha accomplished great conquests in Abyssinia and Yemen.

In the period of Selim II that was Kanûnî’s son and successor (1666-1574), this naval development carried on. The military expedition organised by Kurdoğlu Hızır Hayreddin Reis towards Sumatra with a fleet of him (1568-1569) was not the first and the last military expeditions of the Ottoman State towards Indonesia-Malaysia. However, this expedition was the most famous one. Therefore, the Ottoman domination reached to the Pacific Ocean following the Indian Ocean.

Similarly in the period of Selim II, it was planned to open the Suez Channel and to connect the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea and the Indian Sea. However, this plan was not put into practice. The attempt for the excavation of the channel anal was discontinued. This would be Don-Volga Channel and it would connect the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Therefore, the barrier of Iran would be surmounted and the relations with Turkestan could be established. Meanwhile, a military expedition was organised towards Astrahan (1569). However, the delta of Volga could not be maintained. The conquest of Cyprus (1st July 1570- 1st August 1571) was rather a naval movement. The island under the domination of Venetia was besieged by the navy that was under the command of Piyale Pasha. Pursuant to this blockade, Lala Mustafa Pasha captured this island. The conquest of Cyprus led to the arrangement of a new Crusade armada. This armada defeated the Imperial Ottoman Navy in Inebahti due to the inattention of some Turkish statesmen (7th October 1571). However, the empire mobilised all of its facilities in order so build and arrange a more powerful naval fleet in the following year. This defeat caused the loss of lands, and also it eradicated the conviction that the Turks were undefeated. In this period, Kılıç Ali Pasha who was the Head of the Ottoman Navy maintained the Turkish dominion and the superiority in the Mediterranean Sea.

Another significant event in the period of Sultan II was the conquest of Moscow by the Crimean Khan, Taht-Alan Devlet Giray Khan (24th May 1571). The capture of the city of Tunis from Spain was the last great victory that was included within the sultanate period of this ruler. In the military expedition towards Tunisia (15th May- 30th November 1574), the commander of the army was Kiliç Ali Pasha.

Overseas policy was maintained in the period of Selim II’s son and the caliph Murad III (1574-1595). As a result of this policy, the Morocco Empire was submissive to the protection of Turkey (9th March 1576). As a consequence of the victory of Vadi’s-Seyl (4th August 1578), this important Arabian state that covered most of the countries within the North-West Africa was submissive totally or partially to the Ottoman State until the middle of the century XVII. In this pitched battle, Ramazan Pasha had annihilated the large Portuguese army and he had also worn out the Portugues-Spanish armada in a terrible manner. The victory of Vadi’s-Seyl had abolished Portugal that was one of the biggest states of the century.

Turkey had advocated England against the Spanish imperialism. It had endeavoured great efforts to prevent the collapse of England against Spain like France.

The Poland (Lehistan) kingdom and the Great Dukedom of Lithuania were submissive to Turkey between the years of 1575 and 1592. The ruler had appointed the kings of Poland, and therefore, the Turkish influence had reached to the coasts of the Baltic Sea.

The world state that had been handed down by Kanuni Sultan Suleyman in the year of 1566 was not cleansed off all the shoots of discords despite its great dignity and splendid. These shoots started to produce leaves after a quarter century. In the period of Selim II, the state had generally been under the dominion of the dictator-vizier Sokullu Mehmed Pasha. His vizier office lasted more than 14 years and it could only come to an end upon his murder (12th October 1579). When Murad III died (15th/16th January 1595), a great war had broken out with Germanyand the weak points of the Empire were revealed. The last days of Murad III was the period in which the borders of the state had reached to its maximum extensive lines. The surface area of the empire had reached to the area of 20.000.000 km2 together with the countries under their protection (together with Poland-Lithuania, the area of 2.848.940 km2 in Europe, the area of 4.815.832 km2 in Asia; together with Morocco, the area of 12.237.419 km2 in Africa, and totally 19.902.191 km2). The population in these lands was not lower than 100 millions. In those years when the world population was about 540 millions, it could be understood that one person per every 5.4 persons had been under the domination of the ruler. Furthermore, there were 4 more Turkish empires that were so powerful in those years. Iran Safevi Turkish Empire (with the capital city of Isfahan that had chosen since the year of 1587; with the surface area of 1.621.000 km2 and the population of 15 millions), Timurogullari Indian Turkish Empire (with the capital city of Akra, with the surface area of 3.674.000 km2 and the population of 120.000.0000), Adilshah’s Southern India Turkish Empire (with the capital city of Bicabur, and with the surface area of 453.000 km2, and the population of 22.000.000). There were some other Turkish States that did not have the quality of a great state: Kutbshahs in the Southern India (with the capital city of Gulkendi, and with the surface area 295.000 km2, and the population of 10 millions), Sibir Khanate, etc.

This short table shows that nearly 270 millions of the world population that has been estimated to be nearly 540 millions in the last years of the century XVI were under the Turkish government and this amount is equal to exactly the half of all the human beings on the world in that period. The situations of the other states were as follows: Chinese Empire (with the capital city of Peking, and the surface area of 12.268.000 km2, andthe population of 80 millions), Kingdom of Spain (with the capital city of Madrid, and the surface area of 24.575.000 km2, and the population of 33 millions), German Empire (with the capital city of Vienna, the surface area of 659. 000 km2, and the population of 17.5 millions), Kingdom of France (with the capital city of Paris, and the surface area of 1.142.000 km2, and the population of 15 millions), Kingdom of England (with the capital city of London, and the surface area of 347.000 km2, and the population of 5.9 millions), Venetian Republic (with the surface area of 55.000 km2, and the population of 3.8 millions), Russian Empire (with the capital city of Moscow, and the surface area of 5. 000.000 km2 , andthe population of 7 millions). Some of the important states that are not considered as the big states are as follows: Kingdom of Sweden (with the surface area of 1.058.000 km2, and the population of 2.6 millions), Papacy (with the surface area of 45.000 km2, and the population of 1.9 millions), Kingdom of Abyssinia (with the surface area of 1.000.000 km2, and the population of 3 millions), Kingdom of Japan (with the surface area of 374.000 km2, and the population of 14 millions), and two Muslim countries in the Southern India, Nizan Shahs and Berid Shahs with the surface area of 200.000 km2, and the population of 7 millions).

The world population in proportion with the continents was as follows: Asia with the population of 350 millions (%63.6), Europe with the population of 122 millions (%22.4), Africa with the population of 60 millions (%10.9), North America with the population of 9.5 millions (%1.8), South America with the population of 5 millions (%0.9), Oceanica with the population of 2 millions (%0.4) (the estimation for the year of 1600).

The weakness of the Ottoman world state appeared in the course of the difficult war with Germany that would last for a long time and the decline in the internal structure revealed itself. Pursuant to the unnecessary declaration of war against Germany (4th July 1593), Yanikkale (Gyor/Raab) that was next to Vienna was conquered (27th September 1594) and it had been made a new centre of governorship (province). Despite these glorious successes, this war turned into a psychological warfare and a war of attrition due to the reasons such as the weakness points in the internal structure of the empire, the rare appearance of the commanders with great intelligence and genius like in the past, the anarchy in the army and the incapable commanders, etc. Under these circumstances, this war was transferred to the period of Mehmed III (1595-1603) who replaced Murad III. The outburst and diffusion of Bandit rebellions in Anatolia that broke out in the last years of this ruler indicated that there was a civil turmoil in Anatolia that was one of the wing of the state together with Roumelia and the shoots of the discord had started to boost.

There were some calamities such as the capture of Estergon by Germans (2nd September 1595), the collapse of a bridge over the Danube River in the course of the passage of the raiders due to neglects and the drowning of the raiders who sank in the Danube River (27th October 1595), etc. Pursuant to these disasters, it was understood that this work could not be managed successfully by the chief commanders. Mehmed III decided to organise a military expedition although his father and grandfather had not participated in any military expedition. This military expedition was the first expedition within 30 years since the military expedition of Kanuni to Szekesfehervar in the year of 1576. Mehmed III captured Egri (12th October 1596) and repulsed the Germans from the North-East Hungary. The German imperial army was totallt defeatedand annihilated in Hacova pitched battle (26th October 1596). According to some historians, this war was the last great pitched battle with significance all over the world that had been won by the Ottoman Turks.

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