Oruç Reis or Oruç Barbaros (1470 or 1474, Lesbos Island – 1518, Tilimsan), Ottoman sailor. He is the older brother of Barbaros Hayreddin Pasha. Before joining the Ottoman Empire, it captured and dominated Algeria.
He was probably born in 1470 (or 1474 according to some sources) in the village of Bonova in what is now Lesbos, an Ottoman settlement. His father, Vardari Yakub Agha, participated in the conquest of Lesbos in 1462 and the village of Bonova was given to him as a fief. Yâkub Ağa, who settled and married here, had four sons, whom he named İshak, Oruç, Hızır and İlyas.
Having received a good education, the brothers grew up learning Italian, Spanish, French and Greek, the languages of the maritime nations of the time. Oruç Reis, who learned shipping and maritime trade very well in his youth, became a ship owner in a short time with his courage, intelligence and entrepreneurship. He was carrying goods to Syria, Egypt, Alexandria and Tripoli, and bringing what he bought from there to Anatolia.
Oruç and İlyas Chiefs, on their way from Lesbos to Tripoli, encountered the great warships of the Knights of Rhodes. İlyas Reis lost his life in the fighting, Oruç Reis was taken prisoner. After a long struggle, he got out of here. Oruç Reis, who was probably a prisoner for three years, served as an admiral in the service of the Mamluk State for a while after he was freed from captivity. He famously said, "Your right to live is as much as your fighting power".
He did not stay in the Mamluk order for a long time and became the commander of the eighteen-seat Kalyata warship given by Şehzade Korkut. With these, he lost his ships as a result of a sudden raid on the coast of Rhodes. After surviving this raid with his levents, he applied to Şehzade Korkut again. In 1511, he was given two Kalyata warships, one with twenty-four seats and the second with twenty-two seats. After kissing Prince Korkut's hand and receiving his blessing, he sailed to the Mediterranean. During his campaigns, he took a lot of booty, trade goods and captives.
Djerba Island, which has an important place in Turkish maritime history, was conquered by Oruç Reis in the summer of 1513. He made this place his base and captured many ships in the Eastern and Western Mediterranean. Capturing the giant warships of that time, belonging to the Pope, with his fine boats, brought his fame to Europe and the world.
Until then, it was unheard of for a bean to seize a chieftain. When the ship was obtained, he dressed all his sailors, including himself, in Italian clothes. It was very easy for Oruç Reis to seize the second warship coming from behind. Because, until the fire started, the Italians thought this ship was their own ship.
After these achievements and recognition, the Italians called him for his red beard. Barbarossa gave him the nickname. After Oruç Reis, his brother Hızır was also called with the same nickname out of respect for his older brother.
Oruç Reis, who decided to establish a state in Algeria, captured these lands in a short time. Although the King of Spain, Charles V, sent a navy to Algeria, he could not remove Oruç Reis from the places he had obtained. During the siege of Becâye, Oruç Reis was seriously injured in his left arm and this arm was amputated at the elbow with the advice of doctors. Oruç Reis, who did not lose any of his enthusiasm and determination in the one-armed struggle, immediately went to sea and captured many ships when he recovered.
He helped the Umayyads, who were in a very difficult situation, and moved thousands of them to North Africa. These actions increased his respect. He not only defended North Africa with his brothers against the Invaders, but also settled the Umayyads and provided their food and other needs. With the levents, raiders and serdengeçti in his hand, he continued his endless struggles with the Spaniards, the largest maritime state of the time. At that time, the king of Spain had colonies in America as well as many countries in Europe.
Oruç Reis, who obtained Telimsan in the east of Algeria, which was under the domination of Spain, defended the places he had won against the Telimsan emir, who received help from the Spaniards. He defended his lands for seven months. Betrayed by the natives, he tried to break through the enemy siege to return to Algeria.
He broke through the enemy and crossed the river with some of his beams. However, about twenty lavendi remained on the enemy side. Oruç Reis, knowing that he had no hope of salvation, plunged into his enemies again in order not to leave his levent alone. While trying to cross the river, most of his levents died. One-armed Oruç Reis died as a result of the spear wound he received after seeing the last levend next to him die.
The Spaniards, who wanted to prove the death of Oruç Reis to the King of Spain, cut off the head of the corpse and put it in a bag full of honey and took it to Spain. The reason they did this was because the Spaniards, who had clashed with Oruç Reis many times, reported to the Spanish King that they had killed him, but none of this turned out to be true.
The levents, who took the decapitated body of Oruç Reis, brought him to Algeria and buried him in the tomb of Sidi Abdurrahman, one of the national saints of Algeria, next to the Sidi Abdurrahman Mosque in the Kasbah. Today, this tomb in the Algerian Kasbah, where Oruç Reis and Sidi Abdurrahman lie together, is used as a neighborhood school for children learning Arabic.
It is estimated that Oruç Reis was forty-eight years old when he died in 1518.
Oruç Reis, who was one of the sea wolves of courage and heroism, who carried out intimidation and preparation for conquest by the raiders along the border at sea, did not have to worry about life and property in the battle he participated in. He would distribute the spoils he obtained to the poor and orphans, to his levents, and would spend most of his wealth for jihad and war. Oruç Reis, who was generous, gracious, helpful and merciful, was serious and stern. He was loved like a father by all his levents. He was a great combatant, a commander who had no trouble finding the best remedies in dangerous times.
In the Turkish Naval Forces, some marine vessels were named in honor of Oruç Reis.