About the white slave trade market in North Africa: The Dutchman Murad Reis

Read the first part of the article “About the white slave trade market in North Africa”

Here I set my foot in what my Norwegian compatriots, in solidarity with the crimes done of other European nations, what they call the “white slave trade” which according to them was practiced by the Berbers in North Africans. And they believe the Norwegian educational authorities do not want this to be known because the Europeans were victims.They hope that with this crime against human dignity the Europeans will regain the virginity of innocence since other cultures have also committed crimes against humanity.

Dragut, born in Anatolia of Christian parents, captured by the Spaniards, chained for four years in a ship and bought by Khair-eddine, succeeded the latter. He took the island of Djerba (Tunisia) as general command post in the Mediterranean. The island of Lotophages was owned by the Doria Amiral Andrea family, under the authority of Charles V. To consolidate his positions and to counter the Spaniards, Dragut founded the regency of Tripoli. His pirate activities did not last very long, he was killed in 1565 at the siege of Malta, accompanied by the Croatian Piali-Pasha, another “cross to crescent defector”.
It was the Calabrian Ulluch Ali or Ochiali or Eudj Ali who replaced him. He was also a renegade who jumped easily from christianity to Islam. Ochiali was appointed governor of Algiers, to replace the son of Khair-eddine, Hassan.

It is the Dutchman Jan Janszoon van Haarlem known also as Mourad Raïs who was the forerunner of the piracy Salétine. This pirate sailor had left Algiers in 1585, surrounded by his three galiots, for a cause outside the Mediterranean, in the Atlantic. Mourad Raïs was the first great independent Barbarian pirate. There is every reason to believe that he represented the link between the pirates of the regency of Algiers, who scoured the vast expanse of the Mediterranean, and this new formation of navigators of the ocean which, in the course of history Navy, will be known under the name of salt corsairs. Mourad Reïs, the forerunner of piracy in Salé.

Algiers, the Turk having made peace with their European competitors, the city can no longer serve as the base of operation for Jan Janszoon who emigrates to the Moroccan coast and the port of Salé to become a corsair on his own account

The piracy activity in Salé is a direct consequence of the pseudo Spanish”Reconquista” , when Philip III of Spain the Catholic decides in 1609 to permanently expel from Spain Jews and Muslims who still reside there. To the Hornacheros who have already set out to settle in the Kasbah of the Oudaïas, near Salé, there are then many Andalusian Moresques; These expelled from Spain using the wealth they have been able to carry to arm a few ships in the race and attack the ships and European coasts bordering the Atlantic.

At the same time captain and shipowner, Jan Janszoon rapidly makes a fortune in this city where Spanish is the vehicular language, and where Europeans of all origins provide the specialists (pilots, gunners, caulks, masters, surgeons …) .
His talents earned him the appointment in 1624 by Istanbul to the supreme post of Grand Admiral of Salé, which he led until 1627, when he left for Algiers.
During his career as a corsair of Salé, and after his departure in 1627, Jan Janszoon set up several particularly bold far-off expeditions.

It is this pirate, Janszoon who led raids in the distant Nordic countries. Until Island. It was in the municipality of Grindavik that he captured 400 Icelanders among whom Guðríður Símonardóttir called Tyrkja-Gudda.

In another of his expeditions he captured a few hundred Englishmen from the municipality of Baltimore, and sold them to the markets of the cities of North Africa.

The Jews and the Hornacheros, the Spanish Muslims of Andalusia, were often the main sponsors of Barbary piracy. With the evolution of piracy techniques, Holland, through expelled coreligionists from Spain, was acting as an intermediary of the independent pirates republic of Salé. All the pirates of the Mediterranean, in the early days of the foundation of that republic, were entitled to be mentioned. The pirates of the Mamora, or the Dutch Cleas Gerritz Compaen, nicknamed “terror of the seas” will be named among others. Some European seafarers, captured, turned into renegades at the service of the piracy of Sale.

…to be continued


  • In 1507, Sultan Selim I, with the French and Catalan consuls, signed a treaty whose capitulations of 1535 were to resume the principal provisions. By this treaty he granted to their countries full and complete freedom of commerce throughout the Ottoman Empire.

    The first contacts of Francis I with the Emperor Soliman date from 1525. The king of France then pushed the sultan to attack Charles V, which he did on land, in Hungary and Germany, keeping his fleet anchored in Constantinople . In 1526, it was the battle of Mohac, in 1529, the seat of Vienna. The city was saved inextremi- ously by a coalition of Catholics and Protestants.

    After the peace of Cambrai in 1529, which consecrated the defeat of the French in Italy, when Charles V reached the peak of his power, Francis I again decided the Grand Turk to attack the Germanic empire. What he did again in Hungary and Germany. This decision was not favorable to the King of France, who had signed a treaty with the Protestant League of Smalkade. He worked to stop the action of the Turks on land, hoping instead to get their help at sea in the Mediterranean.

    Meanwhile, in 1527, Barberousse took over the city from Algiers Kabyles, who had chased him, with the help of Tunisians, in 1520. In 1529, he also took the famous Penon d’Argel, who controlled the port entrance. He could henceforth devote himself entirely to the corsair race, which he had never ceased to exercise.
    [/ B]

    The first agreements between France and Turkey did not prevent the king of Algiers from attacking the French, at sea and on land. In 1531 he entered the harbor of Toulon and planned to make the siege of the city, which he judged quickly too well defended. The following year, in 1532, he set up his base between the coast of Provence and the islands of Hyères to carry out actions in the canal between Corsica, Sardinia and the continent. Francis I., enraged by this intrusion on his soil, sent a strong garrison to reconquer Porquerolles and build a fortress there.
    Barbarossa behaved like a corsair, without caring about the politics of the Sublime Porte, in relation to which he enjoyed a very great independence of action.

    However, the year 1533, saw a sudden change of attitude of Barbarossa compared to France. The privateer realized that without the help of this country he might be crushed by the Spanish power. He spontaneously sent an embassy to Marseilles to negotiate with Francois I. Appointed, soon after, capitan-pasha of the Turkish fleet, he renewed his embassy, in July, in Le Puy, this time in the names of the two powers, Turkish and Algerian.

    After his takeover of Tunis in August 1534, Barberousse expected a very strong reaction from Charles V, he made the final agreements with France in December 1534, in Châtellerault, before joining Constantinople to take his command . A truce of 3 years was signed between the three countries.

    After consolidating its position in the Mediterranean, by this agreement, Soliman went to war against Persia and remained, for two and a half years, absent from his capital.

    Charles V. decided, as Barberousse had foreseen, to take Tunis from the Barbaresques. In January 1535, he sent a letter to Francis I, through the Comte de Nassau who commanded the French fleet in the Mediterranean, to suggest that he join his fleet to that of Christians to drive Muslims out of the Western Mediterranean. This embassy could have succeeded if the Emperor had agreed to surrender the Milanese to the King of France, which he refused, thus reinforcing Francis’ fidelity to his agreement with Barbarossa.

    While these negotiations were taking place, Francis I. was trying to convince his ally, Barbarossa, to employ the Turkish fleet to recover the territories of the Duke of Savoy and, above all, to seize, for his benefit, the city of Genoa. The King of Algiers had no time to accede to this request, for on the 14th of June, 1535, Charles V. left Cagliari with an armada of 400 vessels, bearing 26,000 infantry and 1,000 horses, with whom he resumed Tunis , inflicting a severe defeat at Barbarossa.

    Undaunted, the latter, while believed to be on the run towards Constantinople, was heading for Spain, surprised the island of Menorca, and seized six thousand captives by sacking Port Mahon.

    Taking advantage of the mobilization of the imperial troops in Tunis, the French, observing a benevolent neutrality towards Barbarossa, invaded Savoy and Piedmont. The wily Charles V. did not immediately go to war against France, but proposed to his king a joint action against Constantinople, offering the duchy of Milan as the price of the French participation in the affair. Francis I would have been convinced, despite his beautiful promises made to Barbousse, if the emperor had not shown an obvious evil time.The first alliance between France and Turkey was provisionally saved. [B] On the return of Soliman to Constantinople, in February 1536, Francis I. signed the Capitulations, which his preliminary treaties with Barbarossa had prepared. It was a very detailed treaty of non-aggression on sea, very detailed, in which the Barbary corsairs were involved, which opened the trade route with the Orient to Marseille and Provençal ships, more generally. [/ B] The three parties were faithful to this alliance until the death of Barbarossa, in 1546, which was followed shortly by that of Francis I °, in 1547. Barbarossa, who had long been a supporter of the union with France, saw his During his last days, he became an authoritarian old man who was quick to take umbrage. Francis I. took no direct advantage of this alliance, considered ungodly by all the European courts. The presence of the Ottoman fleet, alongside his own, had a more deterrent than really effective role. This was not always the fault of Barbarossa, the king “very Christian” often hesitant to use this Muslim force against his enemies, Christians like him.

  • 1543: The King of France, Francis I, ally since 1536 to the Turkish Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, ordered the city of Nice to be taken, perjuring himself by transgressing his own decision, taken on September 10, 1523 “to solemnly renounce all the rights that could be to have the crown of France in Nice ”. 20,000 Franco-Turks, under the orders of the Duke of Enghein, besieged the city of Nice while 120 combat galleys of the Sublime Porte, commanded by Keir-El Dîn Barberousse (in the service of Sultan Soliman, the reason for this Muslim name for a Christian) attacked the city by sea; This armada was accompanied by 40 galiotes, 4 mahonnes and 22 French galleys. From the castle we saw a long line of 5,000 chained prisoners, natives of Nice, Bolène, Sospel, Lantosque or other villages. They were crammed into boats to be sold as slaves. Fortunately, Admiral Garcié’s Spanish fleet appeared, blocking the bay and forcing Barbarossa to release his human booty.

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