Conquest of Tunis (1574)

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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. 25,000 [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 started under Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. [3] The capture of Tunis in 1574 "sealed the Ottoman domination of the eastern and central Maghreb". [4]

Tunis Capital and largest city of Tunisia

Tunis is the capital and the largest city of Tunisia. The greater metropolitan area of Tunis, often referred to as Grand Tunis, has some 2,700,000 inhabitants.

Ottoman Empire Former empire in Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa

The Ottoman Empire, historically known to its inhabitants and the Eastern world as Rome (Rûm), and known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. Although initially the dynasty was of Turkic origin, it was thoroughly Persianised in terms of language, culture, literature and habits. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.

Spanish Empire world empire from the 16th to the 19th century

The Spanish Empire, historically known as the Hispanic Monarchy and as the Catholic Monarchy, was one of the largest empires in history. From the late 15th century to the early 19th, Spain controlled a huge overseas territory in the New World and the Asian archipelago of the Philippines, what they called "The Indies". It also included territories in Europe, Africa and Oceania. The Spanish Empire has been described as the first global empire in history, a description also given to the Portuguese Empire. It was the world's most powerful empire during the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries, reaching its maximum extension in the 18th century. The Spanish Empire was the first empire to be called "the empire on which the sun never sets".

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 the Hafsid ruler Lhacène. 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]

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.

Hayreddin Barbarossa Ottoman admiral

Hayreddin Barbarossa, or Barbaros Kheireddin Pasha, born Khizr or Khidr, was an Ottoman admiral of the fleet who was born on the island of Lesbos and died in Istanbul, the Ottoman capital. Barbarossa's naval victories secured Ottoman dominance over the Mediterranean during the mid 16th century, from the Battle of Preveza in 1538 until the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

Holy Roman Emperor Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire

The Holy Roman Emperor, officially the Emperor of the Romans, and also the German-Roman Emperor, was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The title was, almost without interruption, held in conjunction with title of King of Germany throughout the 12th to 18th centuries.

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]

William the Silent founder of the Dutch Republic, stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht, leader of the Dutch Revolt

William I, Prince of Orange, also known as William the Silent or William the Taciturn, or more commonly known as William of Orange, was the main leader of the Dutch Revolt against the Spanish Habsburgs that set off the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) and resulted in the formal independence of the United Provinces in 1581. He was born in the House of Nassau as Count of Nassau-Dillenburg. He became Prince of Orange in 1544 and is thereby the founder of the branch House of Orange-Nassau and the ancestor of the monarchy of the Netherlands. Within the Netherlands he is also known as Father of the Fatherland.

Charles IX of France King of France

Charles IX was King of France from 1560 until his death in 1574 from tuberculosis. He ascended the throne of France upon the death of his brother Francis II in 1560.

François de Noailles, Papal Prothonotary, made Bishop of Dax in 1556, was French ambassador in Venice in the 1560s, and French ambassador of Charles IX to the Ottoman Empire from 1571 to 1575.

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]

La Goulette Place in Tunis Governorate, Tunisia

La Goulette is the port of Tunis, the capital of Tunisia. The Kasbah fortress was built in 1535 by Charles I of Spain but was captured by the Ottoman Turks in 1574. La Goulette is located at around 36°49′5″N10°18′18″E.

Algiers Capital City in Algiers Province, Algeria

Algiers is the capital and largest city of Algeria. In 2011, the city's population was estimated to be around 3,500,000. An estimate puts the population of the larger metropolitan city to be around 5,000,000. Algiers is located on the Mediterranean Sea and in the north-central portion of Algeria.

Tripoli Capital city in Greater Tripoli, Libya

Tripoli is the capital city and the largest city of Libya, with a population of about 1.158 million people in 2018. It is located in the northwest of Libya on the edge of the desert, on a point of rocky land projecting into the Mediterranean Sea and forming a bay. It includes the port of Tripoli and the country's largest commercial and manufacturing centre. It is also the site of the University of Tripoli. The vast Bab al-Azizia barracks, which includes the former family estate of Muammar Gaddafi, is also located in the city. Colonel Gaddafi largely ruled the country, from his residence in this barracks.

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]

John of Austria Spanish general

John of Austria was an illegitimate son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. He became a military leader in the service of his half-brother, King Philip II of Spain, and is best known for his role as the admiral of the Holy Alliance fleet at the Battle of Lepanto.

Naples Comune in Campania, Italy

Naples is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy after Rome and Milan. In 2017, around 967,069 people lived within the city's administrative limits while its province-level municipality has a population of 3,115,320 residents. Its continuously built-up metropolitan area is the second or third largest metropolitan area in Italy and one of the most densely populated cities in Europe.

Sicily Island in the Mediterranean and region of Italy

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy. It is one of the five Italian autonomous regions, in Southern Italy along with surrounding minor islands, officially referred to as Regione Siciliana.

Cervantes 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

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References