The Tuscan Galleys at the Battle of LepantoMikail Acıpınar
The Battle of Lepanto, which constituted a new era in Mediterranean history, is an important event that affected the subsequent developments in the Mediterranean for both the Ottomans and the Christian countries. It is also considered a turning point, due to its technological and psychological aspects. One of the states that participated in the battle against the Ottomans was the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. The participation of the Tuscan galleys in this battle (under the Papal banner) also paved the way for the emergence of miscellaneous historical records in the Florentine archives and other sources. Thus, this study investigates the role of the Tuscan galleys in this battle and reveals some lesser known issues about the Lepanto in Turkish literature, based on Florentine archival sources and secondary literature.
İnebahtı Muharebesi’nde Toskana KadırgalarıMikail Acıpınar
Akdeniz tarihinde yeni bir döneme işaret eden İnebahtı Muharebesi hem Osmanlılar hem de Hıristiyan ülkeler için sonraki yıllarda Akdeniz’de yaşanacak gelişmeleri etkileyen önemli bir tarihi olay olarak görülür. Öyle ki teknolojik ve psikolojik yönleriyle de bir dönüm noktası olarak telakki edilmektedir. Osmanlı karşıtı bu savaşa katılan devletlerden biri de Toskana Grandukalığı idi. Toskana kadırgalarının Papalık sancağı altında savaşa katılımı, Floransa arşivlerinde ve diğer kaynaklarda çeşitli tarihi kayıtların ortaya çıkmasına da yol açmıştır. Bu makale, Toskana kadırgalarının savaştaki rolünü aydınlatmayı ve bir kısım Floransa arşiv kaynaklarına ve muharebe ile ilgili bilgiler içeren ikincil literatüre dayanarak Türkçe literatürde İnebahtı hakkında az bilinen bazı hususları ortaya çıkarmayı amaçlamaktadır.
The period between 1538 and 1571 marked the peak of Ottoman maritime power in the Mediterranean. Specifically, the superiority of the Ottoman navy, which began with the Turkish victory at Prevesa, secured the eastern Mediterranean for the Ottoman Empire within this period. However, the Ottoman naval activities and conquests from Prevesa to Cyprus ended with another major battle of the 16th century, at Lepanto. The victory of Christian powers called the Holy League at Lepanto has long been considered one of the decisive naval battles in the Mediterranean. It has also been given a special place in the history of the Mediterranean and Europe.
Since a large number of Christian fleets, mainly composed of ships from Venice, Spain and the Papacy, participated in the Holy League, the event achieved religious significance by all of Catholic Europe. However, one of these fleets in the Holy League, consisting of a number of galleys and smaller vessels belonged to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, who had been struggling to remove the Spanish monarchy over Florence. The 12 galleys of Tuscany, five of which belonged to the Knights of St. Stephen, created in 1561 by Cosimo I de’ Medici, the first Grand Duke of Tuscany, were hired by the then Pope and commanded by Marcantonio Colonna, a Papal admiral. The main goal of Cosimo I was to take part in the anti-Ottoman struggles as an independent state, gain a place in the internal politics of Italy and play in active role on the Mediterranean scene.
On the other hand, the participation of the Order of St. Stephen in the siege of Malta, in 1565, which resulted in the defeat of Ottoman navy, prompted the sultan’s harsh reaction. On 1 May, 1566, the Ottoman Sultan ordered the deportation of all Florentine residents in the empire, after which diplomatic relations were broken off between the two countries. Moreover, the anti-Ottoman activities of the order and the participation of the Tuscan galleys at Lepanto worsened the situation.
Prior to the battle, despite Spain’s opposition, the Pope’s approval of Florence as the Grand Duchy in 1569, had caused a minor crisis. However, the Ottoman expedition to Cyprus, offered a new opportunity to the Medici to overcome this crisis, by offering their galleys to the Pope. This action by the Papacy paved the way for this newly formed state to participate in the Battle of Lepanto. Meanwhile, despite King Philip II’s objections, Pope Pius V had granted Cosimo the title of Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1569. Specifically, until the very last moment, King Philip II and Emperor Maximilian II opposed Cosimo I de’ Medici’s participation in the league. However, King Philip II was eventually convinced.
One of the most important points here is that the 12 galleys rented by the Papacy from Tuscany are known as the ships of the Papal navy among modern Ottoman scholars. Despite this designation, this information found in very few Ottoman sources. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to reveal the activities and roles of the Tuscan fleet that participated in the Battle of Lepanto under the Papal banner. Furthermore, it examines the effects of the battle on the relations between the Ottoman Empire and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.