[PORTUGAL VS OTTOMANS IN THE INDIAN OCEAN] Mir'âtü'l-memâlik. [i.e. The mirror of the countries]
SEYDI ALI REIS, (Ottoman admiral), (1498-1563)., Ikdam Matbaasi., Istanbul, [AH 1313] = 1895.
Original handsome brown quarter leather binding with Ottoman lettered gilt to spine. Five raised bands to spine, separated from each other with lined gilt. A fine binding. Some stains on the title page. Else a fine copy. Roy. 8vo. (23 x 16 cm). In Ottoman script (Old Turkish with Arabic letters). 99 p. Hegira: 1313 = Gregorian: 1895.
First edition in the Ottoman world, of this exceptional book, now considered as one of the earliest travel books of Turkish and Ottoman literature, was written in the Chagatai language, an extinct Turkic language.
Seydi Ali Reis was an Ottoman admiral sent by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent to counter the Portuguese piracy and attacks on Muslim pilgrim ships in the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf.
But after two marine battles against the Portuguese fleet and a great storm named the elephant typhoon (tufan-i fil) by the locals, his remaining six galleys drifted to India. The fleet was unserviceable, resulting in his return home overland with 50 men. Seydi Ali Reis then arrived at the royal court of the Mughal Emperor Humayun in Delhi, where he met the future Mughal emperor Akbar, who was 12 years old at the time. He returned to the Ottoman Empire over Muslim states in South Asia; Afghanistan, Central Asia, and Iran. But he delayed his return because of the war between the Ottoman Empire and the Safavid Empire in Iran. Finally, following the treaty of Amasya in 1555, he was able to return home and present his book Mirat ul Memalik about his journey to the sultan in 1557.
"The mirror of the countries" is an important travel account and Ottoman exploration in the Indian Ocean including the earliest description of the conditions of Muslims living in India and other regions far away from the Arabian and Anatolian homelands. He determined to return to Istanbul by traveling overland, and [.] he finally reached his destination more than three years later, having traversed most of North India, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Iran in the process. After he failed his mission and became stranded at Surat, he began to travel to Ahmedabad to decide what to do next. Seydi writes that it took him fifty days to make the trip from Surat north to Ahmedabad. Along the way, he stopped off at Burudj (Broatsh) [see Vambery], Belodra, Champanir, and Mahmudabad. On the way home in which Sidi takes a boat in Karachi and goes North up the Indus without even considering another route indicates a lack of knowledge about the shortcut. He was restricted in Delhi, India for a substantial length of time. He blames the delay on the Sultan of India for detaining him as an emissary of the Ottoman Empire and the various wars in the area which blocked most paths out of the country. He arrived in Lahore in the month of "Shawwal" and made his way out of the Empire in "Rebiul Evvel", five
months later. Sidi Ali Reis gives detailed information about the ritual practices of Muslims in India, holidays, and other common rites and he notes the names of dozens of shrines. Otherwise, this early book of Ottoman exploration of Admiral Sidi Ali Reis provides details about Portuguese rule in the oceans, cities, shrines, and the life of a dignitary in the Mughal Emperor Humayun's court in the 16th century.
Özege 13772.; Not in Koray.