The Place of Lepanto in Political Memory: Allusions to the Holy League and Lepanto in International Politics in the Late 16th and Early 17th CenturiesEvrim Türkçelik
The Ottoman attempt to reactivate its Mediterranean policy in 1590–1591 and the papal efforts to establish a new Holy League starting in 1592 revived the international memory of the Battle of Lepanto at the end of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century. Beginning in the 1590s, Spanish, Italian, and Ottoman statesmen made references to the Battle of Lepanto in their correspondence and diplomatic negotiations. This article discusses how the historical memory of the War of Cyprus, the Holy League, the Battle of Lepanto, and the ensuing developments affected the perceptions of political, diplomatic, and military events in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. For this purpose, I examine the diplomatic and political practices of contemporaneous statesmen, such as Admiral Gian Andrea Doria of the Spanish navy, Venetian ambassador Paolo Paruta, Spanish ambassador Antonio Fernández de Córdoba y Cardona, and the influential Ottoman official Hoca Sadeddin Efendi. I demonstrate that these statesmen referred frequently to the developments of the Lepanto period and established historical similarities and historical comparisons with the events of 1570–1573 to explain the issues they dealt with in international politics during the late 16th and early 17th centuries.
İnebahtı’nın Siyasi Hafızadaki Yeri: 16. Yüzyılın Sonları ile 17. Yüzyılın Başlarında Uluslararası Politikada Kutsal İttifak ve İnebahtı ÇağrışımlarıEvrim Türkçelik
Osmanlı’nın 1590-1591 yıllarında Akdeniz politikasını canlandırmaya teşebbüs etmesi ve 1592 yılından itibaren papalığın öncülüğünde başlayan yeni bir Kutsal İttifak kurulması çabaları, İnebahtı sürecinde yaşanan tecrübelerin 16. yüzyıl sonu ve 17. yüzyıl başında tekrar gündeme gelmesine sebep olmuştur. 1590’lardan itibaren İspanyol, İtalyan ve Osmanlı devlet adamlarının yazışmalarında ve diplomatik görüşmelerinde İnebahtı döneminin çeşitli gelişmelerine göndermeler yaptıkları görülmektedir. Bu makale, 1570 ve 1573 yılları arasındaki Kıbrıs Savaşı, Kutsal İttifak, İnebahtı Savaşı ve hemen sonrasındaki gelişmelerin 16. yüzyıl sonu ve 17. yüzyıl başında siyasi, diplomatik ve askeri meselelerin algılanış biçimlerine nasıl etki ettiğini ele almaktadır. Bu amaçla, başta İspanyol donanmasının amirali Gian Andrea Doria, Venedik’in Roma elçisi Paolo Paruta, İspanya’nın Roma elçisi Duque de Sessa ve III. Murad ve III. Mehmed döneminin önemli şahsiyetlerinden Hoca Sadeddin Efendi olmak üzere aynı dönemde yaşamış devlet adamlarının diplomatik ve siyasi pratikleri incelenmiştir. Bu devlet adamlarının 16. yüzyılın sonları ve 17. yüzyılın başlarında uluslararası siyasette karşılaştıkları bazı meseleleri açıklamak için İnebahtı öncesi ve sonrasındaki gelişmelere sık sık atıfta bulundukları, tarihsel benzerlikler kurdukları ve karşılaştırmalar yaptıkları tespit edilmiştir.
The defeat of the Ottoman forces by the armada of the Holy League in the autumn of 1571 has been the subject of several historical narratives and analyses. Since then, this naval victory against the Ottomans has become an important part of Christian iconography, artistic, and literary representations, and is commemorated with festivals and celebrations in many parts of the Christian world. Studies on the Battle of Lepanto have revealed the centurieslong echoes of this battle and its place in historical memory. However, little attention has been paid to the function that the memory of the Holy League and the victory/defeat at Lepanto played in political events right after the war. This article discusses how and in what contexts the historical memory of the Holy League and Lepanto occupied in the discourses of Spanish, Italian, and Ottoman diplomats and ministers at the end of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century. Beginning in the 1590s, these diplomats and ministers made frequent references to the War of Cyprus, the Holy League, the Battle of Lepanto, and the ensuing developments in their diplomatic negotiations, decision-making processes, and the advice they gave their rulers.
In this period, the memory of the Holy League and Lepanto became influential in the analysis of political and military issues. The Ottoman armada’s attempt to reenergize their Mediterranean policy in 1590–1591, the end of the Spanish-Ottoman truce, the outbreak of the Ottoman-Austrian war in 1593, the efforts of the Papacy to establish a new Holy League, and the aggressive policy of the Ottomans in the Mediterranean revived the memory of the events that occurred between 1570 and 1573. In this context, the article will analyse the correspondence of the Spanish and Italian ministers and diplomats such as Admiral Gian Andrea Doria of the Spanish armada (1540–1606), Duke of Sessa Antonio Fernández de Córdoba y Cardona (1550–1606), Spanish ambassador in Rome, Paolo Paruta (1540–1598), Venetian ambassador in Rome, and Francisco de Vera (1533–1603), Spanish ambassador in Venice. Additionally, I will especially focus on the letters in which the Venetian ambassadors in Istanbul, Matteo Zane and Marco Venier, quoted their conversations with Ottoman ministers such as Hoca Sadeddin Efendi (1536–1599) and Ferhad Pasha (d.1595). These diplomats and ministers interpreted the current political, diplomatic, and military issues they faced by referring retrospectively to the Lepanto period as a personal experience of recent history.
This article examines how the memory of the Holy League and the Battle of Lepanto was reflected in the daily political practices of these diplomats and ministers in three parts. First, I will discuss how the restructuring of the Ottoman navy in 1590–1591 triggered the references to Lepanto. Next, I will analyse how the events of 1570–1573 became a major topic in the negotiations between the Pope Clement VIII (1536–1605) and the Venetian and Spanish representatives in Rome. In this part, special importance is given to the year 1594, in which the importance of Lepanto reached its peak because of a possible rapprochement between Spain, Venice, and the Papacy. Finally, the third part will deal with the references to Lepanto during the reign of Philip III, when the anti-Ottoman policy gained a different dimension in the overall foreign policy of the Spanish monarchy.
The article reveals that the events of the Lepanto period functioned as historical references that shed light on the political and military circumstances of the late 16th and early 17th centuries, such as the distrust between Spain and Venice, the tension between Spain and the Papacy, the balance in Venetian-Ottoman relations, and the Ottoman fear of a renewed Holy League. I demonstrate that the historical memory of Lepanto is used on some occasions as a historical comparison, a victory to be repeated, and a process from which to learn lessons, and on other occasions as an instrument of political leverage and a motive for mutual reconciliation. One significant aspect is that all these diplomats and ministers directly or indirectly experienced the Battle of Lepanto. The importance this generation gave to Lepanto in their negotiations, recommendations, and advice were analyses based mostly on their own experiences, without necessarily consulting a history book. Doria’s constant recalling of the resurgence of the Ottoman fleet immediately after Lepanto can be read both as an indication of the fear of the potential power of the Ottoman Empire and as an attempt to find a historical reference for his failure to act in the Mediterranean. Paolo Paruta’s references to Lepanto functioned to legitimize Venice’s policy of neutrality and political caution. Unlike Doria and Paruta, Pope Clement VIII saw in the Lepanto period a victory to repeat as an emulation of Pope Pius V, the patron of the initial stages of his ecclesiastical career. For Hoca Sadeddin, who endorsed a cautious foreign policy in the Ottoman Empire and watched this process from a completely different perspective, Lepanto symbolized a catastrophe that could harm the Ottoman Empire if it was repeated. The rhetoric of Lepanto, as seen in the correspondence and conversations of these officials, shows that the hostility, mutual distrust, and fears of military attack in the Mediterranean were still high even in the period when the Mediterranean is thought to have withdrawn from the stage of history.