Salih Özbaran

Keywords: Portuguese, Turkish, Ottoman Empire, Arabian Peninsula, Indian Ocean, 16th Century


In the beginning of the sixteenth century the Indian Ocean witnessed the course of events which greatly effected the economies of the Mediterranean as well as the Ottoman and Arab countries. The Portuguese reached the Western India at the end of the fifteenth century and established themselves at various strategic points around the Indian Ocean, seeking to dominate and shift the flow of trade which had been running through the Red Sea and the Gulf to the Mediterranean world for many centuries. On the other hand, the Ottomans became a sea power as well as the land after the conquest of Constantinople; and conquered Egypt in 1517 taking control of the Red Sea. Towards the middle of the sixteenth century, in the time of Suleyman the Magnificent, they took Baghdad and made a direct contact with the Gulf, thus establishing themselves at various important points around the Arabian Peninsula. So became the two empires, Catolic Portuguese and Sunni Ottoman, vis-a-vis, in the waters of the Indian Ocean, drawing themselves far from their capitals.