This was recently underscored by Barbaros: Sword of the Mediterranean,
a television series written and produced in Turkey that aired late last
year, and is dedicated to highlighting the clash between Islam and
Christendom — in a way, of course, that demonizes the latter and extols
The highly fictionalized series revolves around four Muslim brothers
and their naval exploits and battles against the Christian maritime
states of the Mediterranean.
While the series portrays the brothers as great heroes who sacrificed
much to “defend” the Ottoman Empire against Christian Europe, history —
real, actual, recorded history — has a different tale to tell.
In brief, the four brothers began life as common Barbary pirates
(“corsairs”). The eldest of these brothers, Oruch, was notoriously
sadistic, and once “ripped out the throat of a Christian with his teeth
and ate the tongue,” to quote historian Roger Crowley in Empires of the Sea.
He also “tied the head of a Hospitaller knight to a rope and twirled it
like a globe until the eyeballs popped. In Spain and southern Italy
people crossed themselves at his name.”
Due to the brothers’ many successful exploits against and slave raids
on Europe, they eventually caught the eye of Ottoman sultan Suleiman
“the Great.” Around 1520, the sultan took one of these Barbary brother
pirates, Khair al-Din Barbarossa (d. 1546), whom the series is named
after, into his service and helped him prosecute an especially ferocious
jihad on Europe. Claiming that “Allah had made him to frighten
Christians,” Barbarossa wrought havoc along the Christian Mediterranean,
rarely withdrawing without thousands of captives. In one instance, on
the island of Minorca, in the midst of the devastation, he left a
message pinned to the tail of a horse in which he vowed that he would
not rest “until I have killed the last one of you and enslaved your
women, your daughters, and your children.”
Over the following two decades, hundreds of thousands of Europeans
were enslaved, so that, by 1541, “Algiers teemed with Christian
captives, and it became a common saying that a Christian slave was
scarce a fair barter for an onion.”
This, apparently, is what Turkey is proud of — Muslims who “defend”
Islam by invading Western lands to terrorize, slaughter, and enslave its
people on the “grievance” that the unrepentant Christians are infidels
who refuse the summons of Islam.
Nor is this sentiment limited to an obscure movie producer and a few
Turks; it’s shared all the way at the top of the Turkish hierarchy.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan habitually praises those Turkish heroes
and sultans of the past who most terrorized, slaughtered, and enslaved
Europeans, such as Muhammad II, the conqueror of Constantinople — and a notorious pedophile to boot, as both Turkish and European chronicles attest.