On Thursday, Nov. 8, Nabil Al-Tikriti delivered a paper entitled “The Ties that Bind: Ottoman Sea Ghazis from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean” to the 1st International Congress of Eurasian Maritime History (Turkish Naval History), hosted by Piri Reis University in Istanbul, Turkey. The conference website and conference program is available in the links, and the abstract of the paper delivered is as follows:
“In the first decade of the sixteenth century, several sea ghazis with little known prior experience grew active in the Indian Ocean, and came to be known as the “Rumis” in their new theatre of action. At first the active combatants appear to have acted somewhat independently, arriving in the Red Sea with Ottoman logistical support, Mamluk financial backing, and uncertain knowledge of what lay ahead. In time what began as an uncertain partnership grew into a regular Ottoman intervention designed to explore, exploit, and trade within the Indian Ocean basin.
In this paper, I plan to explore the first “Rumis” to venture into the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, particularly examining their connection to their Ottoman backers and their prior Mediterranean careers. In the course of this prosopographical examination, I hope to uncover what trends may have emerged between such individuals as Kurdoğlu, Hussein al-Kurdi, Şehzade Korkud, Kemal Reis, the Barbarossa brothers, and others who made a name for themselves in either theatre of operations. In so doing, one of the primary questions I hope to explore is the degree to which early moves from the Mediterranean to Indian Ocean theatres was a centralized effort.”