Who is Hayreddin Barbarossa in the Barbaroslar series?

historicalfunSeptember 23, 2021

Hizir Reis is back with the Barbaroslar Sword of the Mediterranean series. In the Barbaroslar Sword of the Mediterranean series, Ulaş Tuna Astepe brings to life Hızır Reis, one of history’s most famous names, who allowed the Ottoman Empire to achieve tremendous supremacy over numerous Mediterranean states.

So, who is Hızır Reis ( Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha ) and what historical events did he witness? This is the story of Hızır Reis, afterwards known as Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha.

Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha, also known as Hizir/Khidr Reis


Yavuz Sultan Selim gave Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha, whose actual name was “Hizir Reis,” the title “Hayrettin,” which means “benevolent of religion.”

After his older brother Oruç Reis died, his younger brother Hizir was given the title “Barbarossa” by the Europeans due of his reddish beard. In Turkish, “Barbarossa” was pronounced “Barbaros.”


Khidr, the youngest of four brothers, began trading between Lesbos, Thessaloniki, and Euboea on a ship he built as a child. After rescuing his brother Oruç, who had been kidnapped by the Rhodes knights, the two brothers came under Prince Korkut’s protection.

After 1504., Hizir and Oruç Reis went to the Mediterranean as “sea veterans” and began a fight for supremacy.

Barbaros Hayrettin, who amassed significant riches during expeditions to the Mediterranean coast with his brother, rose to prominence as a result of his victories over Spain, Genoa, and France.

As a present to the period’s ruler, Yavuz Sultan Selim, Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha and Oruç Reis sent a laden ship, which they seized in 1516. The chiefs, who began acquiring areas in North Africa with the Ottomans’ help, seized control of Algeria following the battles they waged with the Spanish and Genoese invaders in 1516-1517.

Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha’s brothers, Shak Reis and Oruç Reis, were murdered in the Tlemsen Bey’s campaign in 1518 and a year later, when he sought asylum with the Spaniards.


Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha, who had successfully defended Algerian territory, dispatched a delegation to Yavuz Sultan Selim with a strategic decision and asked that his regions be admitted within Ottoman control. Algeria was an Ottoman Empire region. Hayrettin Reis was appointed Governor of Algeria after demonstrating his allegiance by printing money on behalf of Yavuz Sultan Selim and preaching.

By granting him the right of recruiting volunteer troops in Anatolia, it was agreed to deploy an auxiliary force of 2000 soldiers, composed of janissaries and artillery. Thus, Algeria, where the khutbah was read in the sultan’s name, joined the Ottoman territories, and Khidr was renamed Hayreddin Pasha.

Hayrettin Pasha, who transported Muslims forced to flee Andalusia owing to persecution to the African coastlines aboard Turkish ships, delivered around 70 thousand Andalusian Muslims to Algeria. Furthermore, Algeria thrived as a result of the captured treasure.

Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha, who achieved significant victories for the Ottoman Empire over the Spaniards, Genoese, and French in the Mediterranean and North Africa, rose to prominence as a result of his exploits.

Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha, like Yavuz Sultan Selim, gained considerable success during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent.

Suleiman the Magnificent found a remedy in Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha after Christian ships assaulted the Ottoman Empire’s Peloponnese coast. In 1534, Suleiman the Magnificent appointed Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha as Captain of the Sea. Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha attained to the rank of admiral in the State-i Aliyya as a result.



With the successes of Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha, the Ottoman Empire strengthened its influence and dominance in the Mediterranean, and a Crusader Navy was created, headed by Andera Doria, composed of Papal, Venetian, Genoese, Malta, Spanish, and Portuguese ships.

The most crowded naval combat in history took place in Preveza in the Gulf of Arta, when the Ottoman Navy and the Crusader Navy clashed.

The Crusader Navy, with almost 600 ships, fought the Ottoman Navy, led by Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha, which had 60 thousand troops out of tens of thousands, 122 ships, and 20 thousand soldiers from battleships.

At the end of this epic conflict, the Crusader Navy lost 128 ships while the Ottomans seized 29 ships. While the navy under Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha did not lose a single ship, 400 Levendis were martyred.

The Ottoman Empire’s supremacy in the Mediterranean was solidified during the Preveza War. In an attempt to revenge Preveza, Charlemagne launched an unsuccessful invasion on Algiers in 1541.

Suleiman the Magnificent dispatched Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha to the French Mediterranean coast after King François I requested Ottoman assistance against Charles V. In 1543, Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha joined the French navy in Toulon and captured Nice.


Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha led the Ottoman fleet to its peak of glory.
The Ottoman Empire, which began as a land empire, expanded into a maritime empire that operated on the high seas.

In addition to establishing the state’s marine strategy, Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha established Tersane-i Amire as the most successful shipbuilding and technological center of the time.

This naval force survived for a time thanks to the valuable seamen taught in his school and the well-organized shipyard.

Barbarossa had a big frame and an auburn complexion, according to reports. His hair, beard, brows, and eyelashes were all quite full. He was well-versed in Mediterranean languages such as Greek, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, and French, having spent his whole life at sea. Despite the fact that he was usually at sea, he erected a mosque, a madrasah, and a primary school in Istanbul.

Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha died on July 4, 1546, at the age of 68, in Beşiktaş. “Mate reisü’l-bahr,” referring to how well-known a sailor he was after his death. It was stated, “The chief of the sea is dead.”

Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha’s body was buried at Mimar Sinan’s mausoleum close to the madrasah he built in Beşiktaş.

A Portrait of Barbaros Hayreddin Pasha


Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha, who made his name in maritime history, won the following battles:

  • He beat the Spanish navy in 1519.
  • Between 1520 and 1525, he raided the European Mediterranean coast and amassed vast wealth.
  • In 1530, he reclaimed Algiers.
  • He sailed to the Mediterranean in 1534 and made expeditions to the Italian coastlines.
  • He captured Tunisia in 1534.
  • In 1536, he launched an attack on the Italian coast with a larger navy.
  • He captured all of the Venetian islands in the Aegean Sea in 1536-37.
  • In 1538, the Crusaders were defeated at the Naval Battle of Preveza.
  • In 1543, he joined forces with the French Navy to beat the Holy Roman Germanic alliance and capture Nice.

What do you think about Hayreddin Barbarossa? Have you seen Barbaros Season 1 Episode 1 yet?