The Kapudan Pasha (Ottoman Turkish: کاپیتان پاشا, modern: Kaptan Paşa), formerly known as the Captain Pasha, was the admiral of the navy of the Ottoman Empire. He was also known as the Derya Bey ("Bey of the Sea") and as the Kapudan-ı Derya (Ottoman: کاپیتان دریا, modern: Kaptan-ı Derya, "Captain of the Sea"). Typically, he was based at Galata and Gallipoli during the winter and charged with annual sailings during the summer months.
The title Derya Bey was first granted during the reign of Bayezid I as an official rank within the state structure. Following the Conquest of Constantinople, Mehmet II raised Baltaoğlu Süleyman Bey to the status of sanjak bey for his efforts against the Byzantines in the Golden Horn. Baltaoğlu received the sanjak of Gallipoli (the principal Turkish naval base) and the kazas of Galata (until the Conquest a Genovese colony) and İzmit (whose tax remittance consisted of ship timber). The success of Hayreddin Barbarossa saw the Kapudan Pasha elevated to the ranks of beylerbey and vizier in 1535, with his territories expanded into the Province of the Islands and Algiers. Hayreddin's successors succeeded to these holdings, but saw their rank drop to two-horsetail vizier for several centuries. As a part of the Tanzimat reforms, the Province of the Islands was reduced in rank and granted to the wali of Rhodes in 1848. The Kapudan Pashas retained their rank but were thereafter solely military servicemen.
A total of 161 captains served until 13 March 1867 when the post was abolished and replaced by ministers (Bahriye Nazırı) of the Ottoman Naval Ministry. After 1877, these were replaced by the Fleet Commanders.
For a list of Kapudan Pashas, see List of Kapudan Pashas.
- List of Kapudan Pashas
- List of Fleet Commanders of the Ottoman Navy (which replaced this office)
- List of Ottoman admirals
- Shaw, Stanford J. History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey, Vol. 1, pp. 131 ff. Cambridge University Press (Cambridge), 1976. Accessed 12 Sept 2011.
- Gordon, Bruce R. Regnal Chronologies. "The Aegean Islands: The Aegean Sea: Cezair Bahr-i-Sefid and the Kaptan-ý Derya (Kapudan Pasha - Lord Admiral)". Accessed 12 Sept 2011.
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