Conquest of Tunis (1574)

Last updated
Conquest of Tunis
Part of the Ottoman-Habsburg wars
The Ottoman fleet attacking Tunis at La Goulette Braun and Hogenberg 1574.jpg
The Ottoman fleet attacking Tunis at La Goulette in 1574.
Date12 July – 13 September 1574 [1]
Location
Result Decisive Ottoman victory
Territorial
changes
Ottomans capture Tunis
Belligerents
Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg Spanish Empire Flag of the Ottoman Empire (1453-1844).svg Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg Gabrio Serbelloni   (POW) Flag of the Ottoman Empire (1453-1844).svg Occhiali [1]
Flag of the Ottoman Empire (1453-1844).svg Cığalazade Yusuf Sinan Pasha [1]
Strength
Total men: 7,000 250–300 warships
Total men: 40,000
Casualties and losses
6,700 killed, 300 prisoners. 2,500 [2]
(Spanish claim)

The Conquest of Tunis in 1574 marked the final conquest of Tunis by the Ottoman Empire over the Spanish Empire. This was an event of great significance as it decided that North Africa would be under Muslim rather than Christian rule and ended the Spanish Conquista of Northern Africa, which started in 1497 under the Catholic Monarchs of Spain. [3] The capture of Tunis in 1574 "sealed the Ottoman domination of the eastern and central Maghreb". [4]

Contents

Background

Ottoman troops (about 5,000 janissaries) and Kabyle troops, led by Uluc Ali, Pasha of Algiers, marching on Tunis in 1569. The Ottoman Army Marching On The City Of Tunis In 1569 Ce.jpg
Ottoman troops (about 5,000 janissaries) and Kabyle troops, led by Uluç Ali, Pasha of Algiers, marching on Tunis in 1569.

Tunis had initially been conquered by the Ottomans under Hayreddin Barbarossa in 1534. In the next year, however, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V had launched a major expedition and captured it in turn. He established a garrison and a vassal ruler in the person of Lhacène of the Hafsid dynasty. The Bey of Algiers Uluj Ali Pasha captured Tunis in 1569 for the Ottoman Empire, but in the aftermath of the 1571 Christian victory at the Battle of Lepanto, John of Austria managed to take Tunis in October 1573. [3] [5]

Capture of Tunis

In 1574, William of Orange and Charles IX of France, through his pro-Huguenot ambassador François de Noailles, Bishop of Dax, tried to obtain the support of the Ottoman ruler Selim II in order to open a new front against the Spanish king Philip II. [6] Selim II sent his support through a messenger, who endeavoured to put the Dutch in contact with the rebellious Moriscos of Spain and the pirates of Algiers. [7] Selim also sent a great fleet to attack Tunis in the Autumn of 1574, thus succeeding in reducing Spanish pressure on the Dutch. [7]

In the Battle of La Goleta, Selim II mustered a fleet of between 250 and 300 warships, with about 75,000 men. [8] The Ottoman fleet was commanded by Sinan Pacha and Alūj Ali. [9] The Ottoman fleet combined with troops sent by the governors of Algiers, Tripoli and Tunis, giving a combined strength of about 100,000. [9] The army attacked Tunis and La Goleta; the presidio of La Goleta, defended by 7,000 men, fell on 24 August 1574. The last Christian troops in a small fort opposite Tunis surrendered on 3 September 1574. [9]

John of Austria attempted several times to rescue the siege, but in vain. Don Juan D Austria.jpg
John of Austria attempted several times to rescue the siege, but in vain.
Cigalazade Yusuf Sinan Pasha, an Italian Muslim, led the Ottoman capture of Tunis. Cicala.jpg
Cığalazade Yusuf Sinan Pasha, an Italian Muslim, led the Ottoman capture of Tunis.

John of Austria attempted to relieve the siege with a fleet of galleys from Naples and Sicily but failed due to storms. [10] The Spanish crown, being heavily involved in the Netherlands and short of funds was unable to help significantly. [10]

Miguel de Cervantes, future author of Don Quixote , participated in these events as a soldier, and was among the troops of Don Juan of Austria which tried to rescue the city. [2] He claims that the Ottomans led 22 assaults against the fort of Tunis, losing 25,000 men, while only 300 Christians survived. [2] He wrote about the battle:

"If Goleta and the fort, put together, held barely 7,000 soldiers, how could such a small force, however resolute, come out and hold its own against so huge an enemy army. And how can you help losing a stronghold that is not relieved, and especially when it is surrounded by a stubborn and very numerous army, and on its own ground?"

Cervantes, DQ I, 39. [2]

Abd al-Malik, the future Moroccan King, participated in the 1574 conquest of Tunis on the side of the Ottomans. [11]

Gabrio Serbelloni was the commander of the fort of Tunis. The general of La Goleta, Don Pedro Portocarerro, was taken as a captive to Constantinople, but died on his way. [2] The captured soldiers were employed as slaves on galleys. [2]

The capture of Tunis gave the territories of the Hafsid dynasty to the Ottoman Empire. Hafsid1400.png
The capture of Tunis gave the territories of the Hafsid dynasty to the Ottoman Empire.

The battle marked the final establishment of Ottoman rule in Tunis, putting an end to the Hafsid dynasty and the Spanish presence in Tunis. [5]

The success of the Turks under Occhiali [1] [12] in the battle of Goleta managed in reducing Spanish pressure on the Dutch, and leading to negotiations at the Conference of Breda. [7] After the death of Charles IX in May 1574 however, contacts weakened, although the Ottomans are said to have supported the 1575–1576 revolt, and establish, in 1582, a Consulate in Antwerp (De Turks-Griekse Natie). [13] The Ottomans made a truce with Spain, and shifted their attention to their conflict with Persia in the Ottoman–Safavid War (1578–1590). [7] The Spanish crown fell into bankruptcy on 1 September 1575. [10]

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 Setton, Kenneth Meyer (1984). The Papacy and the Levant, 1204–1571: Vol.IV. Philadelphia.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Garcés, p.222
  3. 1 2 The new Cambridge modern history R. B. Wernham, p.354
  4. The Regency of Tunis and the Ottoman Porte, 1777–1814: Army and Government of a North-African Ottoman Eyâlet at the End of the Eighteenth Century by Asma Moalla, Routledge, 2004 ISBN   0-415-29781-8, p.3
  5. 1 2 [ dead link ]
  6. The General Crisis of the Seventeenth Century – Google Boeken. Books.google.com. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  7. 1 2 3 4 Parker, p.61
  8. Cervantes In Algiers: A Captive's Tale – María Antonia Garcés – Google Boeken. Books.google.com. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  9. 1 2 3 Garcés, p.220
  10. 1 2 3 Garcés, p.221
  11. The last great Muslim empires: history of the Muslim world by Frank Ronald Charles Bagley, Hans Joachim Kissling p.103ff
  12. Tarih Sitesi: Kılıç Ali Paşa
  13. Goris, J.A. (1922-1923) Turksche kooplieden te antwerpen in de XVIe Bijdragentot de Geschiedenis 14/1:30

Related Research Articles

Battle of Lepanto 1571 naval battle between Holy League and Ottomans

The Battle of Lepanto was a naval engagement that took place on 7 October 1571 when a fleet of the Holy League, a coalition of European Catholic states arranged by Pope Pius V, inflicted a major defeat on the fleet of the Ottoman Empire in the Gulf of Patras. The Ottoman forces were sailing westward from their naval station in Lepanto when they met the fleet of the Holy League which was sailing east from Messina, Sicily. The Spanish Empire and the Venetian Republic were the main powers of the coalition, as the league was largely financed by Philip II of Spain and Venice was the main contributor of ships.

Barbary pirates Pirates based in North Africa

The Barbary pirates, sometimes called Barbary corsairs or Ottoman corsairs, were Ottoman and Berber pirates and privateers who operated from North Africa, based primarily in the ports of Salé, Rabat, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli. This area was known in Europe as the Barbary Coast, a term derived from the name of its ethnically Berber inhabitants. Their predation extended throughout the Mediterranean, south along West Africa's Atlantic seaboard and into the North Atlantic as far north as Iceland, but they primarily operated in the western Mediterranean. In addition to seizing merchant ships, they engaged in Razzias, raids on European coastal towns and villages, mainly in Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal, but also in the British Isles, the Netherlands, and Iceland. The main purpose of their attacks was slaves for the Ottoman slave trade as well as the general Arab slavery market in North Africa and the Middle East. Slaves in Barbary could be of many ethnicities, and of many different religions, such as Christian, Jewish, or Muslim.

Occhiali Ottoman commander

Occhiali was an Italian farmer, then Ottoman privateer and admiral, who later became beylerbey of the Regency of Algiers, and finally Grand Admiral of the Ottoman fleet in the 16th century.

Hafsid dynasty Sunni Muslim dynasty of Berber descent

The Hafsids were a Sunni Muslim dynasty of Berber descent who ruled Ifriqiya from 1229 to 1574.

Abu Marwan Abd al-Malik I Saadi Sultan of Morocco

Abu Marwan Abd al-Malik I, often simply Abd al-Malik or Mulay Abdelmalek, was the Saadi Sultan of Morocco from 1576 until his death right after the Battle of Ksar El Kebir against Portugal in 1578.

Oruç Reis Native of Mitylene; turned corsair; became sovereign of Algiers

Oruç Reis was an Ottoman seaman of Albanian origin, who became bey (governor) of Algiers, beylerbey of the West Mediterranean, and admiral of the Ottoman Empire. The elder brother of the famous Albanian Ottoman admiral Hayreddin Barbarossa, he was born on the Ottoman island of Midilli and died in battle against the Spanish at Tlemcen in the Ottoman Eyalet of Algeria.

Hayreddin Barbarossa Ottoman admiral

Hayreddin Barbarossa, or Barbaros Kheireddin Pasha, born Khizr or Khidr, was an Ottoman corsair and later admiral of the Ottoman Navy. Barbarossa's naval victories secured Ottoman dominance over the Mediterranean during the mid 16th century.

Piali Pasha Ottoman admiral

Piali Pasha, was an Ottoman Grand Admiral between 1553 and 1567, and a Vizier after 1568. He is also known as Piale Pasha in English.

Ottoman Navy navy of the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Navy, also known as the Ottoman Fleet, was established in the early 14th century after the Ottoman Empire first expanded to reach the sea in 1323 by capturing Karamürsel, the site of the first Ottoman naval shipyard and the nucleus of the future Navy. During its long existence, it was involved in many conflicts and signed a number of maritime treaties. At its height, the Navy extended to the Indian Ocean, sending an expedition to Indonesia in 1565.

Salah Rais was an Ottoman privateer and admiral. He is alternatively referred to as Sala Reis, Salih Rais, Salek Rais and Cale Arraez in several European sources, particularly in Spain, France and Italy.

Conquest of Tunis (1535) 1535 battle

The Conquest of Tunis in 1535 was an attack on Tunis, then under the control of the Ottoman Empire, by the Habsburg Empire of Charles V and its allies.

Franco-Ottoman alliance Unprecedented alliance between the Kingdom of France and the Ottoman Empire

The Franco-Ottoman alliance, also Franco-Turkish alliance, was an alliance established in 1536 between the king of France Francis I and the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire Suleiman the Magnificent. The strategic and sometimes tactical alliance was one of the most important foreign alliances of France, and was particularly influential during the Italian Wars. The Franco-Ottoman military alliance is said to have reached its peak around 1553 during the reign Henry II of France.

Siege of Tripoli (1551)

The siege of Tripoli occurred in 1551 when the Ottomans besieged and vanquished the Knights of Malta in the fortress of Tripoli, modern Libya. The Spanish had established a fort in Tripoli in 1510, and Charles V remitted it to the Knights in 1530. The siege culminated in a six-day bombardment and the surrender of the city on 15 August.

Algiers expedition (1541)

The 1541 Algiers expedition occurred when Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire attempted to lead an amphibious attack against the Ottoman Empire's stronghold of Algiers, in modern Algeria. Inadequate planning, particularly against unfavourable weather, led to the failure of the expedition.

Conquest of Tunis (1534) 1534 battle

The conquest of Tunis occurred on 16 August 1534 when Hayreddin Barbarossa captured the city from the Hafsid ruler Muley Hasan.

Expedition to Mostaganem (1558)

The Expedition of Mostaganem occurred in 1558, when Spanish forces attempted to capture the city of Mostaganem, in modern Algeria, from the Ottomans. The expedition was supposed to be a decisive step in the conquest of the Ottoman base of Algiers, but it ended in failure, and has been called a "disaster".

Morocco–Turkey relations Diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Republic of Turkey

Turkey–Morocco relations covers relations between Morocco and Turkey, and spanned a period of several centuries, from the early 16th century when the Ottoman Empire neighbored Morocco and until the modern times.

Aydın Reis was an Ottoman admiral, known to the Spanish as "Cachidiablo" and to the Italians as "Cacciadiavolo."

Ottoman wars in Africa

The Ottoman Empire was founded at the beginning of the 14th century. Beginning in the 16th century, it also began acquiring possessions following series of wars in coastal North Africa.

Ottoman Tunisia 16th-18th Century Ottoman Territory

Ottoman Tunis refers to the episode of the Turkish presence in Ifriqiya during the course of three centuries from the 16th century until the 18th century, when Tunis was officially integrated into the Ottoman Empire as the Eyalet of Tunis (province). Eventually including all of the Maghrib except Morocco, the Ottoman Empire began with the takeover of Algiers in 1516 by the Ottoman Turkish corsair and beylerbey Oruç Reis. The first Ottoman conquest of Tunis took place in 1534 under the command of Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha, the younger brother of Oruç Reis, who was the Kapudan Pasha of the Ottoman Fleet during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. However, it wasn't until the final Ottoman reconquest of Tunis from Spain in 1574 under Kapudan Pasha Uluç Ali Reis that the Turks permanently acquired the former Hafsid Tunisia, retaining it until the French occupation of Tunisia in 1881.

References