The Crescent, the Lion and the Eagle: re-analyzing the Ottoman Apulian Campaign and Attack on Corfu (1537) in the context of Ottoman-Habsburg rivalry

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Bilkent University
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This dissertation produces a detailed historical narrative of the Ottoman Apulian Campaign and the Attack on Corfu in 1537. Although the Apulian Campaign, a natural consequence of the Ottoman-Habsburg rivalry, which characterized the sixteenth-century Ottoman policies and discourse of universal sovereignty, was originally planned as an Ottoman-French joint military operation, it remained as an individual Ottoman attack on the south eastern Italy since the French King did not offer his already promised military support during the campaign. The attacks of Andrea Doria and the Venetian captains on the Ottoman ships during the campaign changed the course of the initiative and Sultan Süleyman I ordered the attack on the island of Corfu, under Venetian control. The Ottoman attack were ended since the season of war ended and the Ottoman army returned to Constantinople without having completed the conquest of Corfu. This dissertation mainly argues that one could not understand why the Ottomans engaged in such a venture without analyzing the nature of the rivalry between the Ottoman and Habsburg dynasties in the sixteenth-century. The study defines the campaign as the Apulian Campaign and defends the argument that the Ottoman sought to establish some sort of suzerainty in south eastern Italy, bound to the Habsburg realm. Moreover, it asserted that the campaign should not be evaluated as the “Expedition of Corfu” by stating that Corfu was not the principal target of the Ottomans in 1537. The impact of the 1537 Campaign on the Ottoman-Venetian relations is also discussed in this study.

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Charles V, Diplomacy, Ottoman-Venetian Relations, Süleyman I, Universal Sovereignty
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