Sefer Reis

Sefer Reis (Ottoman Turkish:سفر) (died 1565) was a Turkish privateer and Ottoman admiral who was active against the Portuguese in the Indian Ocean in the 16th century.[1]


There is almost nothing known about Sefer Reis origin and family background.[2] The only thing scholars know is that he was of Albanian origin.[3] The strategy of Sefer Reis was different than his predecessors he never tried to storm a fortress, transport troops or land siege equipment. From hard years of experience he knew that the strength as well as the weakness of the Portuguese lay in the sea so he concentrated his operations on Portuguese ships so that his victories were not measured in hectares of conquered territory, but in captured vessels and increased custom revenues in Mocha, Jiddah and Suez.[4]

In 1560, the Ottoman governor of Egypt Sofu Hadım Ali Pasha blocked the reappointment of Seydi Ali Reis to the rank of admiral after his long journey back from Aceh, which was being pushed by Rüstem Pasha.[5] Instead, Sefer Reis was promoted to the supreme command of the Ottoman Empire's entire Indian Ocean fleet.[5]


  1. Daniel R. Headrick (2010). Power Over Peoples: Technology, Environments, and Western Imperialism, 1400 to the Present. Princeton University Press. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-691-13933-3.
  2. The Ottoman Age of Exploration, Giancarlo Casale, page 112, 2010
  3. Omari, p.16
  4. The Ottoman Age of Exploration, Giancarlo Casale, page 112, 2010
  5. 1 2 Giancarlo Casale (26 January 2010). The Ottoman Age of Exploration. Oxford University Press. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-19-979879-7.
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