Turgut-reis

Article

July 5, 2022

Turgut Reis (Turk. Turgut Reis; 1485 - June 23, 1565), known in Europe under the name Dragut (English Dragut), was an Ottoman admiral and statesman. He was of Turkish or Greek origin. Contributed to the fact that the area of ​​​​influence of the Ottoman Empire's navy extended to the whole of North Africa. He was noted by his contemporaries for his military genius and was considered one of the "most dangerous" Berber corsairs. Turgut-reis was called "the greatest pirate of all time", "undoubtedly the most capable of all Turkish military leaders" and "the uncrowned king of the Mediterranean". The French admiral wrote about Turgut that he is "a living map of the Mediterranean, also successful enough on land to be compared with the best generals of the time. No one was more worthy than him to bear the name of the king." In addition to the position of admiral of the fleet of the Ottoman Empire, during the time of Suleiman the Magnificent Turgut-reis was also appointed to administrative management positions - bey of Algeria and Djerba, beyler bey of the Mediterranean Sea, as well as bey and later pasha of Tripoli. As the pasha of Tripoli, Turgut-reis carried out significant reconstructions in the city, making it one of the most important cities on the entire coast of North Africa.

Origin and early career in the army

Turgut-reis was born in the village of Karatoprak (Turk. Karatoprak) on the west coast of the Bodrum Peninsula on the Aegean coast of Asia Minor, which today has been renamed Turgutreis (Turk. Turgutreis) in his honor. The religion of Turgut's parents and himself at birth is disputed, although the consensus is that he was a Muslim throughout his adult life. At the age of 12, he was noticed and recruited by the commander of the Ottoman army for his extraordinary talent in the use of spears and arrows. With his support, the young Turgut became a skilled sailor, an outstanding gunner, and trained as a gunner and master of siege artillery, a skill that played an important role in Turgut's later success and his reputation as an excellent naval tactician. In 1517, he took part in the Ottoman conquest of Egypt as a gunner. He further improved his skills in this area during his stay in Cairo.

Navy career

After the death of his patron, T