Ottoman raid on the Balearic Islands (1501)

An Ottoman raid on the Balearic Islands occurred in 1501 under the Ottoman admiral Kemal Reis.[1] This raid was combined with attacks on Sardinia and Pianosa (near Elba).[1]

The 1501 raid on the Balearics followed some of the earliest interventions of the Ottomans in the western Mediterranean. These interventions were in response to the Fall of Granada and the help the last Muslim ruler there had requested from the Ottoman Empire in his fight against Castile.[1] Upon this request, the Ottoman sultan Bayezid sent a fleet under Kemal Reis to attack the Spanish coast.[1] In 1487 and again in 1492 when Granada fell, the Ottoman fleet was used to rescue refugees and ferry them to the coast of North Africa.[1]

A side effect of the raid seems to have been that a Spanish sailor was captured in possession of an early map of Columbus.[2]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 An Historical Geography of the Ottoman Empire p.99
  2. "The Ottoman navy was built up by incorporating pirates, both Christian and Muslim, who raided as far west as the Balearic islands in 1501 - one of the results of which was the capture from a Spanish sailor of an early map of Columbus." in Turks and Greeks: neighbours in conflict, Vamik D. Volkan, Norman Itzkowitz, Eothen Press, 1994, p.40

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