30 Temmuz 2012 Pazartesi

Turkish Slaves in Wreck Near SF?

original article unavailable at this time

//ed note: this is one of our blog's occasional forays into
the world of historical esoterica. The San Agustin was
wrecked near Drake's Bay, north of San Francisco, in
November 1595//

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 29 July 2012)

Spanish maritime history records that the Spanish
galley San Agustin sank in the area of San Francisco
in the 1590's. During these same years there is
information from the logs of Cuba's port of Havana
regarding the San Agustin, probably the same ship
that wrecked near San Francisco.

It seems that 44 Ottoman sailors captured by the
Spanish during the naval battles of the Mediterranean
Sea were on this ship. This supposition is based on
the masters thesis of a young Cuban academician
named Yana Brossard Reyes, entitled 'Events That
Built a Bridge Between the Ottoman Empire and
Cuba', in which Reyes writes the following:

''The first Turks to set foot on Cuban soil were Ottoman
galley slaves. We know about the Turkish galley slaves
coming to the island  from the log of the Spanish
galley San Agustin. The names of the slave rowers,
their physical description and where they came from
were written carefully in the log. For example, there
were 44 Moslem galley slaves listed on the San Agustin.''

Yana Brossard Reyes lists the names in Spanish, increasing
the excitement of readers of his thesis, which has the feel
of a novel. He continues as follows:

''Because of the differences in Turkish pronunciation the
names have naturally been significantly altered but it is
nevertheless possible to discern some of them, such as
Midillili Hüseyin, Eğribozlu Ramazan and Mehmed,
Anadolulu Yusuf, Gelibolulu İbrahim, Anadolulu Recep,
Hüseyin, Ali, Veli, İbrahim and Karadenizli Turgut. There
is no information, though, about the slaves' subsequent

''One wonders whether Anadolulu Recep, Hüseyin, Ali,
Veli and their friends succeeded in staying in Cuba.
Or were they among those who lost their lives when
the San Agustin wrecked. Perhaps some of them made
it to shore...and started new lives for themselves in a
town near San Francisco and succeeded, or failed. Maybe
none of the above.''

''What do you say to this fantastical ending: After many
years some of the Turkish slaves made it back home and
Karadenizli Turgut was one of them and he was from
Arhavi. Arhavili İsmail was Turgut's descendant.''

//ed. note: Arhavi is on the Black Sea coast near the Georgian
border. Arhavi İsmail is mentioned in a poem by Nazim
Hikmet regarding the Turkish War of Indenpendence.//

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