For three centuries after his death, Mediterranean coastal towns and villages were ravaged by his pirate successors. Fearing he would lose his possessions to the Spanish, he offered homage to the Ottoman sultan and in return was granted the title beylerbey and sent military reinforcements In he was appointed admiral in chief of the Ottoman Empire, and the next year he conquered the whole of Tunisia for the Turks, Tunis itself becoming the base of piracy against the Italian coast. Barbarossa remained one of the great figures of the court at Constantinople until his death. Article Media.
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Barbarossa's naval victories secured Ottoman dominance over the Mediterranean during the mid 16th century. He also received the honorary name Hayreddin from Arabic Khayr ad-Din , "goodness of the faith" or "best of the faith". In , Barbarossa retook Algiers from the Spaniards. He led an embassy to France in the same year, conquered Tunis in , achieved a decisive victory over the Holy League at Preveza in , and conducted joint campaigns with the French in the s. Barbarossa retired to Constantinople in and died the following year.
Yakup took part in the Ottoman conquest of Lesbos in from the Genoese Gattilusio dynasty who held the hereditary title of Lord of Lesbos between and and as a reward, was granted the fief of the Bonova village on the island. He became an established potter and purchased a boat to trade his products with. The four sons helped their father with his business, but not much is known about the daughters. All four brothers became seamen, engaged in marine affairs and international sea trade.
Later, obtaining his own ship, Khizr also began his career at sea. The brothers initially worked as sailors, but then turned privateers in the Mediterranean to counteract the privateering of the Knights Hospitaller Knights of St.
John who were based on the island of Rhodes until Khizr operated in the Aegean Sea and based his operations mostly in Thessaloniki. Ishak, the eldest, remained on Mytilene and was involved with the financial affairs of the family business. He also learned to speak Italian, Spanish, French, Greek and Arabic in the early years of his career. While returning from a trading expedition in Tripoli, Lebanon , with his younger brother İlyas, they were attacked by the Knights of St.
John, who were inflicting serious damage on Ottoman shipping and trade. On his way back to Lesbos, he stopped at Euboea and captured three galleons and another ship. After spending the winter in Cairo, he set sail from Alexandria and frequently operated along the coasts of Liguria and Sicily. In , the brothers contacted Abu Abdullah Mohammed Hamis, Sultan of Tunisia from the Beni Hafs dynasty, and asked permission to use the strategically located port of La Goulette for their operations.
They were granted this right on the condition of giving one-third of their spoils to the sultan. Later, near Lipari , the two brothers captured a Sicilian warship, the Cavalleria , with Spanish soldiers and 60 Spanish knights from Aragon on board, who were on their way from Spain to Naples.
In , they raided the coasts of Calabria. In , they raided the coasts of Liguria, particularly Diano Marina. In , Ishak also left Mytilene and joined his brothers at La Goulette. In August , they raided the areas around Reggio Calabria in southern Italy.
Later that year the three brothers raided the coasts of Andalusia in Spain, capturing a galliot of the Lomellini family of Genoa, which owned the Tabarca island in that area. They subsequently landed on Menorca and captured a coastal castle and then headed towards Liguria, where they captured four Genoese galleys near Genoa. The Genoese sent a fleet to liberate their ships, but the brothers captured their flagship as well. After capturing a total of 23 ships in less than a month, the brothers sailed back to La Goulette.
There, they built three more galliots and a gunpowder production facility. In and , the three brothers engaged the Spanish fleet on several other occasions and moved to their new base to Cherchell , east of Algiers. In , with 12 galliots and 1, Turks, they destroyed two Spanish fortresses at Bougie, and when the Spanish fleet under the command of Miguel de Gurrea, viceroy of Majorca , arrived as reinforcement, they headed towards Ceuta and raided that city before capturing Jijel in Algeria, which was under Genoese control.
They later captured Mahdiya in Tunisia. Afterwards they raided the coasts of Sicily, Sardinia , the Balearic Islands and the Spanish mainland, capturing three large ships there. In , they captured several galleons, a galley and three barques at Majorca. In , the three brothers succeeded in capturing Jijel and Algiers from the Spaniards and eventually assumed control over the city and surrounding region, forcing the previous ruler, Abu Hamo Musa III of the Beni Ziyad dynasty, to flee.
He became known for fitting sails to cannons for transport through the deserts of North Africa. For this, he had to relinquish his title of Sultan of Algiers to the Ottomans. Joined by thousands of local Bedouins , the Spaniards marched overland towards Tlemcen. They defended Tlemcen for 20 days, but were eventually killed in combat by the forces of Garcia de Tineo. Khizr Reis, now given the title of Beylerbey by Sultan Selim I , along with janissaries, galleys and cannon, inherited his brother's position, his name Barbarossa and his mission.
With a fresh force of Turkish soldiers sent by the Ottoman sultan, Barbarossa recaptured Tlemcen in December He captured Bone , and in , he defeated a Spanish-Italian army that tried to recapture Algiers. In a separate incident, he sank a Spanish ship and captured eight others. In , he raided the Balearic Islands and later captured several Spanish ships returning from the New World off Cadiz.
John from that island on 1 January In June , he raided the coasts of Sardinia. In May , he landed at Crotone in Calabria and sacked the city, sank a Spanish galley and a Spanish fusta in the harbor, assaulted Castignano in Marche on the Adriatic Sea and later landed at Cape Spartivento.
In June , he landed at Reggio Calabria and later destroyed the fort at the port of Messina. He then appeared on the coasts of Tuscany , but retreated after seeing the fleet of Andrea Doria and the Knights of St. John off the coast of Piombino. In July , Barbarossa appeared once again in Messina and raided the coasts of Campania. In , he raided many ports and castles on the coasts of Italy and Spain. In August , he attacked the Mediterranean coasts of Spain and later helped 70, Moriscos to escape from Andalusia in seven consecutive journeys.
In July , he appeared along the coasts of the Provence and Liguria, capturing two Genoese ships. In August , he raided the coasts of Sardinia and, in October, appeared at Piombino, capturing a barque from Viareggio and three French galleons before capturing two more ships off Calabria.
In December , he captured the Castle of Cabrera , in the Balearic Islands, and started to use the island as a logistic base for his operations in the area. Still in , he raided the island of Favignana , where the flagship of the Maltese Knights under the command of Francesco Touchebeuf unsuccessfully attacked his fleet. Barbarossa then sailed eastwards and landed in Calabria and Apulia. On the way back to Algiers, he sank a ship of the Maltese Knights near Messina before assaulting Tripoli , which had been given to the Knights of St.
John by Charles V in In October , he again raided the coasts of Spain. In response, Suleiman sent the forces of Yahya Pashazade Mehmed Bey, who recaptured these cities, but the event made Suleiman realize the importance of having a powerful commander at sea. He summoned Barbarossa to Istanbul, who set sail in August Having raided Sardinia, Bonifacio in Corsica, and the islands of Montecristo , Elba and Lampedusa , he captured 18 galleys near Messina and learned from the captured prisoners that Doria was headed to Preveza.
Barbarossa proceeded to raid the nearby coasts of Calabria and then sailed towards Preveza. Doria's forces fled after a short battle, but only after Barbarossa had captured seven of their galleys.
He arrived at Preveza with a total of 44 galleys, but sent 25 of them back to Algiers and headed to Constantinople with 19 ships. Barbarossa was also given the government of the Sanjak "province" of Rhodes and those of Euboea and Chios in the Aegean Sea. To this objective, next summer, he [the King of France] will send the military force he is preparing to recover what it unjustly occupied by the Duke of Savoy , and from there, to attack the Genoese.
This king Francis I strongly prays sir Haradin , who has a powerful naval force as well as a convenient location [Tunisia], to attack the island of Corsica and other lands, locations, cities, ships and subjects of Genoa , and not to stop until they have accepted and recognized the king of France.
The King, besides the above land force, will additionally help with his naval force, which will comprise at least 50 vessels, of which 30 galleys , and the rest galeasses and other vessels, accompanied by one of the largest and most beautiful carracks that ever was on the sea. This fleet will accompany and escort the army of sir Haradin , which will also be refreshed and supplied with food and ammunition by the King, who, by these actions, will be able to achieve his aims, for which he will be highly grateful to sir Haradin ".
In , Barbarossa set sail from Constantinople with 80 galleys, and in April, he recaptured Coron , Patras and Lepanto from the Spaniards. In July , he crossed the Strait of Messina and raided the Calabrian coasts, capturing a substantial number of ships around Reggio Calabria as well as the Castle of San Lucido.
He later destroyed the port of Cetraro and the ships harbored there. Still in July , he appeared in Campania and sacked the islands of Capri and Procida before bombarding the ports in the Gulf of Naples. He also captured Tunis' strategic port of La Goulette in Charles then dispatched an agent to offer Barbarossa "the lordship of North Africa" for his changed loyalty, or if that failed, to assassinate him. However, upon rejecting the offer, Barbarossa decapitated him with his scimitar.
Mulei Hassan asked Emperor Charles V for assistance to recover his kingdom, and a Spanish-Italian force of galleys and 24, soldiers recaptured Tunis as well as Bone and Mahdiya in Recognizing the futility of armed resistance, Barbarossa had abandoned Tunis well before the arrival of the invaders, sailing away into the Tyrrhenian Sea , where he bombarded ports, landed once again at Capri and reconstructed a fort which still today carries his name after largely destroying it during the siege of the island.
He then sailed to Algiers, from where he raided the coastal towns of Spain, destroyed the ports of Majorca and Menorca, captured several Spanish and Genoese galleys and liberated their Muslim oar slaves. In September , he repulsed another Spanish attack on Tlemcen.
In , Barbarossa was called back to Constantinople to take command of ships in a naval attack on the Habsburg Kingdom of Naples. In July , he landed at Otranto and captured the city, as well as the Fortress of Castro and the city of Ugento in Apulia.
In the same year, Barbarossa raided Corfu and obliterated the agricultural cultivations of the island while enslaving nearly all the population of the countryside. This victory secured Ottoman dominance over the Mediterranean for the next 33 years, until the Battle of Lepanto in In the summer of , Barbarossa captured the islands of Skiathos , Skyros , Andros and Serifos and recaptured Castelnuovo from the Spanish, who had taken it from the Ottomans after the battle of Preveza.
Barbarossa later took the remaining Christian outposts in the Ionian and Aegean Seas. Venice finally signed a peace treaty with Sultan Suleiman in October , agreeing to recognize the Ottoman territorial gains and to pay , gold ducats. Unable to persuade Barbarossa to switch sides, in October , Charles himself laid siege to Algiers, seeking to end the corsair threat to the Spanish domains and Christian shipping in the western Mediterranean.
Eventually, a violent storm disrupted Charles's landing operations. Andrea Doria took his fleet away into open waters to avoid being wrecked on the shore, but much of the Spanish fleet went aground. After some indecisive fighting on land, Charles had to abandon the effort and withdraw his severely battered force.
In , Barbarossa headed towards Marseilles to assist France, then an ally of the Ottoman Empire, and cruised the western Mediterranean with a fleet of ships 70 galleys, 40 galliots and other warships carrying 14, Turkish soldiers, thus an overall total of 30, Ottoman troops. On his way, while passing through the Strait of Messina, he asked Diego Gaetani , the governor of Reggio Calabria, to surrender his city.
Gaetani responded with cannon fire, which killed three Turkish sailors.
Tomb of Hayreddin Barbarossa
All rights reserved. From his base in Algiers, North Africa, Hayreddin Barbarossa terrorized the western Mediterranean in the first half of the 16th century. He fearlessly hijacked ships and sacked ports, loading his pirate galleys with vast hoards of treasure and prisoners fated for slavery. Yet Barbarossa was much more than a soldier of fortune.
Ottoman admiral. Khayr al-Din. Russian Wikipedia. Swedish Wikipedia. Italian Wikipedia.