The Ottoman expansion into the Indian Ocean during the reign of Sultan Süleyman (1520-66)
Son değişiklik: 19-10-2018
Ottoman concern with the Indian Ocean and the Portuguese threat to the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina, along with the concomitant Ottoman expansion toward the south, have been the subject of several important studies, especially by Salih Özbaran. On the other hand, Ottoman historians have not paid much attention to the complicated political situation in sixteenth-century South India. However, it is difficult to understand the changing fortunes of Ottoman naval men in the Indian Peninsula, without taking account of the local situation. To mention one example, Seydi Ali Reis when shipwrecked on the Indian coast found that he could not find alternative sea transportation, nor did he have the appropriate number of seamen at his disposal. Presumably, many of the men he had brought along had found employment as gunners in the service of local rulers, as in India, Rumi experts in the firearms sector were much in demand.
In the present paper, we will focus on the difficulties that Ottoman naval commanders confronted in South India, with a special emphasis on the Ottoman-Mughal competition in Gujarat, problems to which Ottoman historians have not paid the attention that they doubtless deserve.