- Gedik Ahmed Pasha
Gedik Ahmet Pasha was a distinguished Ottoman grand vizier as well as an army and navy commander during the reigns of sultans Mehmed the Conqueror and
His background remains largely unknown. Some sources claim that he was of Albanian descent, but this theory is almost exclusively based on his refusal to participate in a campaign to
İşkodra( Shkodër) on one occasion. He undertook virtually all of his construction enterprises in Anatolia, and their preferences in this domain usually give a clue on the respective origins of Ottoman statesmen.
Leading the Ottoman Army, he defeated the last principality resisting Ottoman expansion in Anatolia, the Karamanids. The Karamanids had been the strongest principality in Anatolia for nearly 200 years, even stronger than the Ottomans in the latter's beginning. They effectively succeeded the Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate in the amount of possessions they held, among them the city of Konya, the former Selçuk capital. In this sense, Gedik Ahmet Pasha's victory against the Karamanids in 1471, conquering their territory as well as the Mediterranean coastal region around
Ermenek, Mennanand Silifke, proved crucial for the future of the Ottomans.
Gedik Ahmet Pasha also fought against Venetians in the Mediterranean and was dispatched in 1475 by the Sultan to aid the
Crimean Khanateagainst Genoeseforces. In Crimea, he conquered Caffa, Soldaia, Cembalo and other Genoese castles as well as the Principality of Theodorowith its capital Mangupand the coastal regions of Crimea. He rescued the Khan of Crimea, Meñli I Giray, from Genoese forces. As a result of this campaign, Crimeaand Circassiaentered into the Ottoman sphere of influence.
In 1479, in a daring move, Sultan Mehmet II ordered him to lead the Ottoman Navy in the Mediterranean Sea as part of the war against
Naplesand Milan. During his campaign, Gedik Ahmet Pasha conquered the islands of Santa Maura (Lefkada), Kefaloniaand Zante (Zakynthos). Since he had conquered Constantinoplein 1453, Mehmed II saw himself as the inheritor of the Roman Empireand seriously considered the conquest of Italy to reunite Roman lands under his dynasty. As part of this plan, Gedik Ahmet Pasha was sent with a naval force to the heel of the Italian peninsula.
After a failed attempt to conquer Rhodes from the
Knights of St. Johnhe took the harbor city Otranto in 1480. The population was massacred. But due to lack of food, he had to return with most of his troops to Albaniain the same year, planning to continue the campaign in 1481.
The death of
Mehmed IIprevented this. Instead he sided with Beyazid IIin the struggle for who would succeed the Sultan. However Beyazid II did not fully trust Gedik Ahmet Pasha and had him imprisoned and later killed on November 181482 at Adrianople.
History of the Turkish Navy
References and sources
* [http://cronologia.leonardo.it/battaglie/batta50.htm La Battaglia di Otranto] (in Italian)
* E. Hamilton Currey, "Sea-Wolves of the Mediterranean", London, 1910
* Bono, Salvatore: "Corsari nel Mediterraneo" ("Corsairs in the Mediterranean"), Oscar Storia Mondadori. Perugia, 1993.
* [http://www.corsaridelmediterraneo.it/indice/a.htm Corsari nel Mediterraneo: Condottieri di ventura. Online database in Italian, based on Salvatore Bono's book.]
* [http://www.theottomans.org/english/chronology/index.asp# The Ottomans: Comprehensive and detailed online chronology of Ottoman history in English.]
* [http://ansiklopedi.turkcebilgi.com/Kronoloji_Osmanl%FD_Tarihi Comprehensive and detailed online chronology of Ottoman history in Turkish.]
* [http://www.dzkk.tsk.mil.tr/TURKCE/tarihiMiras.asp?strAnaFrame=TarihiMiras&strIFrame=INDEX Turkish Navy official website: Historic heritage of the Turkish Navy (in Turkish)]
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