The reception of Lepanto in the East

    Painting by Andrea Micheli depicting an Ottoman admiral in a man to man battleIn the Military Museum of Istanbul a huge relief decorates the exit hall on the ground floor. It bears inscribed names and dates of the greatest (victorious) battles of the Ottoman Empire and the modern Turkish state. The naval battle of Preveza is there. The naval battle of Lepanto is not. For the national historiography of Turkey Lepanto is still considered a dark point. And yet it was not obliterated in the Ottoman sources. Katib Çelebi, author of the monumental work on the maritime wars of the Ottomans, as well as Ibrahim Peçevi, the Hungarian-born historiographer, dedicate lengthy passages to the naval battle of Lepanto. The Ottomans, after all, have always been realists. Their defeat may have hindered their expansion to the west, yet it made them realize that they had to invest more on artillery; they also had to obstruct, as much as they could, the coalition of the western powers, by creating separate expectations to each one of them concerning the financial profits from their collaboration with them and signing, also separately with each one of them and in variant moments, the renowned “capitulations”.

Western Greece Region
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Co-funded by European Union - European Regional Development Fund
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