Who is Piri Reis?

Piri Reis (Ottoman Turkish: 1465/70, / Gelibolu - 1554, Cairo), Ottoman Turkish sailor and cartographer. His real name is Muhyiddin Pîrî Bey. His tag is Ahmet ibn-i el-Hac Mehmet El Karamani. He is known for his world maps showing America and his maritime book called Kitab-ı Bahriye.


Childhood and youth years
The family of Ahmet Muhyiddin Pîrî, who is the child of a Karaman family, II. It is one of the families who were immigrated from Karaman to Istanbul by order of the sultan during the reign of Mehmed. The family lived in Istanbul for a while and then emigrated to Gallipoli. Pîrî Reis' father is Karamanlı Hacı Mehmet and his uncle is the famous sailor Kemal Reis.

Step into shipping
Pîrî started sailing with his uncle Kemal Reis; They piracy in the Mediterranean together between 1487-1493; They participated in raids on the shores of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and France. When the Muslims who were massacred in Gırnata, the last city under the rule of Muslims in Andalusia in 1486, asked for help from the Ottoman State, the Ottoman State, which had no navy to go overseas, sent Kemal Reis to Spain under the Ottoman Flag. Piri Reis, who participated in this campaign, carried the Muslims from Spain to North Africa with his uncle.

Joining the Ottoman Navy
II, who started to prepare for expedition to Venice Upon Beyazid's call to the sailors who piracy in the Mediterranean to join the Ottoman navy, in 1494, he appeared in the presence of the sultan in Istanbul with his uncle and entered the official service of the navy together. Later, he took part as a ship commander in the Ottoman navy in the naval control struggle that the Ottoman Navy tried to provide against the Venetian Navy, thus becoming the first captain of war. As a result of the successful wars, the Venetians wanted peace and a peace agreement was signed between the two states. Pîrî Reis took charge in the sea voyages such as Inebahtı Sanjak, Moton, Koron, Navarin, Mytilene and Rhodes between 1495-1510. He recorded the places he saw during the trips in the Mediterranean and the events he experienced as a draft of his book, which will later be the first guide book of world maritime as Kitab-ı Bahriye.

Piri Reis settled in Gallipoli after the death of his uncle in a sea accident in 1511. Although he went on some voyages in the Mediterranean with Halaoğlu Muhiddin Reis in the navy under the administration of the Barbaros Brothers, he mostly stayed in Gallipoli and worked on his maps and book. Using these maps and his own observations, he drew the first world map dated 1513. One-third of the parts, covering the Atlantic Ocean, the Iberian Peninsula, the west of Africa and the eastern shores of the new world America, is the present part of this map. What makes this map important on a world scale is the rumor that it contains the information on the America map of Christopher Columbus, which has not survived to our day.

The Barbarosse Brothers formed one of the world's largest naval powers in 1515 and made conquests in North Africa. When Piri Reis, one of the captains of Oruç Reis, was sent to Yavuz Sultan Selim, who was waiting for his help to present a gift, he returned with two warships that Yavuz gave as aid. When Piri Reis came to Istanbul in 1516-1517, he again entered the service of the Ottoman navy; He received the rank of Derya Bey (Naval Colonel) and participated in the Egypt expedition as ship commander. He had the opportunity to cross to Cairo with some of the fleet and draw the Nile.

Piri Reis won the praise of the sultan with his success in the capture of Alexandria and presented his map to the sultan during the campaign. One part of this map exists today, the other part is missing. According to some historians, the Ottoman sultan looked at the world map and said, “How small is the world…"He said. Then he divided the map into two and said,we will keep the east side in our hands.”He said .. The Sultan threw the other half, which would later be found in 1929. It is even claimed by some sources that he wanted to use the eastern half, which has not been found today, for a possible expedition by the Sultan to take control of the Indian Ocean and its Spice Road.

Piri Reis returned to Gallipoli after the expedition to make a book for Bahriye from the notes he kept. She gathered her maritime notes in Kitab-ı Bahriye, a Maritime Book (Navigation Guide).

The period of Suleiman the Magnificent was a period of great conquests. Piri Reis also joined the Ottoman Navy during the Rhodes campaign in 1523. When he won the appreciation and support of Grand Vizier Partalı Damat İbrahim Pasha, whom he guided on the Egyptian cruise in 1524, he presented his Kitab-ı Bahriye, which he revised in 1525, to Kanuni through İbrahim Pasha.

The life of Piri Reis until 1526 can be traced in Kitab-ı Bahriye. Piri Reis drew a second world map in 1528, which was more comprehensive than the first.

When Barbaros Hayreddin Pasha became the captain in 1533, Piri Reis received the title of Derya Sancak Governor (Rear Admiral). Piri Reis worked for the state in the southern waters in the following years. After the death of Barbaros in 1546, he served as the Captain of Egypt (also called the Indian Seas Captain), and was aged on naval missions in the Oman Sea, the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. His last job in the Ottoman navy was Egypt captain, which ended in his execution.


Piri Reis was in constant war with Portugal during the reign of Kanûnî. At the age of 0, he was given a new assignment for succeeding in suppressing the Arab revolt in the city of Aden. He was asked to go to Basra from Suez with the navy, take 15.000 soldiers and other ships there, and capture the island of Hormuz. He was asked to reach this island as far as possible without contaminating the Portuguese. Piri Reis, who sailed to the Indian Ocean with about thirty ships, managed to defeat twice as many Portuguese ships there. Some Portuguese who escaped from the war took refuge in the castle on the island of Hormuz. The castle was surrounded, but the Portuguese garrison here could not be invaded because it was prepared. The siege is lifted. Some historians claim that the reason why this siege was lifted was that Piri Reis received bribes from the Portuguese. Piri Reis, angry with the help of the people of the region to the Portuguese, plundered this place. 

This looting started the incident that led him to the execution process. Basra governor Ramazanoğlu asked for help from Kubad Pasha. But the governor wanted to arrest him for this plundering and confiscate his property. He heard that the Portuguese navy set out to close the Persian Gulf with a large force. Piri Reis's navy was doing maintenance and repair. Leaving his soldiers to avoid the blockade of the Portuguese, 3 ships returned to the navy headquarters shipyard in Suez with the loot. The complaint of the governor of Basra reached the Egyptian governor. Piri Reis was arrested. Piri Reis was tried for the crimes of lifting the siege and leaving the navy on the issue that was conveyed to the court by the Egyptian governor. Although he expressed the drawbacks of sailing with the neglected navy, he could not prevent him from being found guilty. He was executed in Cairo in 1553 upon the decree of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent. The estate of Piri Reis, who was over 80 when he was executed, was seized by the state.

Its place in popular culture 

Produced by Ubisoft Assassin's Creed: Revelations In the game named Pîrî Reis was added to the game as an important character who works for the navy and is a member of the assassin union. Pîrî Reis was also introduced to the world as a master of bomb making in this game.

Major works 

  • Kitab-i Bahriye
  • Piri Reis Map
  • Hadikat'ül Bahriye
  • Bilad-ul Aminat
  • Identity

see also 

  • RV K. Piri Reis
  • TCG Pirireis (S-343)
  • Piri Reis World Mapper documentary

Piri Reis Test Train


The name of the train that will carry out continuous measurements and tests of the High Speed ​​Train line was determined as Piri Reis. He made the world map in the 14th century, made the Mediterranean a Turkish lake, painted the 7 seas of the world in accordance with the geography, Piri Reis Test Train started test drives from Konya at 17 on Friday, December 16.45. A contribution to this big day, the wedding day (the Vuslat Anniversary, which was organized due to Mevlana's death anniversary), started as a memory of the high speed train to the State Railways.

📩 08/06/2020 10:54

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