Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2012

Department 1



In 1552, Piri Reis was relieved from the Admiralty of the Ottoman Imperial Navy. Seydi Ali Reis was appointed to replace him and his assignment was to return fifteen galleys from Basra to Egypt. This should have been a relatively short journey. Seydi failed miserably, however. He lost most of the ships in battle with the Portuguese and bad weather, which he documents in his travelogue The Mirror of Countries. With nowhere left to turn, he sold the remaining ships in Surat on the west coast of India. To make matters worse, he took the long road home to Istanbul: a circuitous route which stretched his journey for two years. This path went as far north as Samarqand in modern Uzbekistan. The question which arises is why did Seydi take so long to return home?


This paper was written for Professor Karen Pinto's History 330 course, Ottoman History, in Spring 2012.