Ottoman Chief Admiral
Hayreddin Barbarossa was the most feared Ottoman Chief Admiral of the 16th Century who gave the Italians and Spaniards a tough time throughout his life.
He was a skilled warrior with a political instinct that led him to found a prosperous kingdom, allied with the Islamic empire of the Ottoman Turks, and actively defy one of Christian Europe’s most powerful monarchs, the Spanish emperor Charles V.
Hayreddin was born to a converted Muslim Yakup Aga of Turkish origin and his Christian Greek mother Katerina in the late 1470s or the early 1480s.
Their father was a potter who transported his goods through ships and boats. They all learned sailing from their father and worked in their father’s business at first before becoming the pirates of the Mediterranean.
During their activities against the European forces, they were quite successful in defeating them and their local friends. The Barbarossa brothers captured Jijel from the Spaniards in 1516 by overthrowing Algiers’s ruler of the Bani Ziyad dynasty, Abu Hamo Musa III who was supported by the Spaniards.
Hayreddin remained loyal to the Ottomans and his association grew more with time. He was, even more, closer to Suleiman the Magnificent who became sultan after the death of Selim I.
Suleiman made him governor of Rhodes when captured it in 1522 and Chief Admiral when he conquered Tunis in 1531. His popularity grew more and he rose to more prominent positions. He and his forces kept their advance by defeating the Spaniards and his activities brought him to a great battle against leading European countries such as Malta, Portugal, Papal States, Genoa, Venice, and Spain.
Barbarossa went on to capture the islands of Serifos, Andros, Skyros, and Skiathos. He also defeated the Spaniards and got Castelnuovo from them. He also captured the Castle of Risan and other outposts of the Christians in the Aegean Seas thus forcing Venice to recognize territorial gains of Ottomans and signed a peace treaty with Sultan Suleiman by paying 300,000 gold ducats in 1540.