1 OF 4

Biography

Piri Reis is one of the most imortant names name with his 1513 world map and The Book of Bahriye (Book of Navigation) in world’s maritime history. He was fascinating admiral, geographer and cartographer. According to some resources he knew Greek, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese added to his his mother tonque.

Although the exact date of the birth of Piri Reis is unknown, it is predicted to be between 1465 and 1470. He was born in Gallipoli and his real name was Muhyiddin Piri. Piri Reis began sailing and navigating at early age with his uncle Kemal Reis. Piri Reis participated his uncle in raids against France, Sardinia, Sicily, and Corsica. Kemal Reis was sent under Ottoman banner to the Spain by the Ottoman Empire for carrying and saving the Muslims from Granada when the Ottoman Empire had not got an imperial navy. Piri Reis participated his uncle in the evacuation of many refugees including Muslims and Jews from Spain to the North Africa.

He was officially joined the Ottoman Navy and served as commander of the Ottoman navy ship in 1494 sea battles between the Ottoman Empire and Venice. His reputation begun to spread during the sea battles in 1499- 1502. When his uncle and menthor Kemal Reis died in unexpected marine accident in the year 1511, Piri Reis returned to Gallipoli where he had started working on his maps and book on navigation. His drawing 1513 World Map and The Book of Bahriye were a result of these studies. Today the surviving fragment of this famous map includes Atlantic Ocean, the Iberian Peninsula, Africa's western and eastern coasts of the America.

In 1517 he served as admiral in the Egyptian campaign of Sultan Selim I, and presented the 1513 World Map to the sultan. When he went to Egypt, Cairo he had chance to draw this territory and Nile River. The conquer time of the Suleiman The Magnificent was very important era of the Ottoman Empire. In 1522 Piri Reis participated to the Siege of Rhodes and in 1524 his duty was the captain of the ship that had a mission for the Ottoman Grand Vizier Pargalı İbrahim Pasha to Egypt. With this mission he gained the support of Ibrahim Pasha. In 1525 he presented his masterpiece “The Book of Bahriye” to the Suleiman The Magnificient through the Grand Vizier Pargalı İbrahim Pasha.

In 1547, Piri had risen to the rank of Reis (admiral) as the Commander of the Ottoman Fleet. After the Ottoman admiral Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha died, he became a Captain for Egypt. Piri Reis left the navy for the maintainance of the ships and rest of the crew in Basra and came to the Egypt with ships of treasure. He accused for the lack of duty to the Sultan Suleiman by governors of Basra and Egypt. So over the age of 80, the great cartographer Piri Reis was beheaded in 1554.

  1 OF 4