Andalusia as presented in the agenda of the Ottoman Empire

As the Ottoman empire started to expand by invading European countries, they did not show any interest in the miserable state of Andalusia, which was already suffering. In other words, helping [or even conquering] Andalusia was not part of their military and political agenda. Even when the people of Andalusia kept appealing for help, starting when Bayezid II got to rule up until Suleiman The Magnificent ascended the throne, none of them offered any help to Andalusia, especially during its most important, and dangerous turning points in its history, and to be specific, in Granada’s history, the last Islamic, Arabic, Mamluk city. And, [of course not to mention], the horrible crimes that violated the human rights, following its fall. Historical sources did not point out any significant reaction towards the injustice done to Andalusia and its people, who considered the Ottoman Empire as the second Islamic power after The Mamluk. Believing so, they sent several letters to the Sultan appealing for help, and in spite of the fact that the empire was still powerful on both military and political levels, he did not react to their appeals. 

Bayezid II, the peace and knowledge advocate

Having been facing racism on religious basis to terminate their religion and language in Spain, and fearing to be Christianized, displaced, or be turned to inquisition, in 891 H.\ 1486 BC., Abu Abdullah Alsaghier, the king of Granada, sent a delegate to the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II to inform him of the state of the country, and to express his hope to receive his help, and support. Up until the fall of Granada, the people never stopped hoping that they will receive the Sultan’s help. [In return], and in spite of all that suffering, the Sultan Bayezid II, who was considered an advocate of knowledge and peace, did not seem to care. The king of Granada sent another appealing letter with a second delegate, in 892 H.\ 1487 BC., asking for help to stop the campaign from invading a Mamluk country and save his fellow Muslims. To illustrate, King of Granada’s plan was that the Ottoman ships would harbor next to Valencia, the east of Andalusia, and then join Moriscos to start their fight against Kingdom of Castile. Yet, the Sultan seemed to have other plans for Andalusia. To explain, Sultan Bayezid II sent few ships with Kamal Rayes Basha in charge. These ships were not enough to save Granada. In the meanwhile, Abu Abdullah AlSaghier learnt all about the few number of the ships, and that the military operations, in the period between 1487- 1492, were mere limited invasions on the Christian shores of Andalusia. And that their hopes will go with the wind, as all of that was not enough to stop Ferdinand, who by the time, was reassured that there will be no further help coming from the East. He attacked Granada. And it fell on the 2nd of January 1492, ending with it the Arabic rule of Andalusia, and starting a new chapter of suffering; as they were to choose either to be Christianized or be displaced. They were deceived, so they had to face their fate. Witnessing that defeat, and noticing that he had few soldiers to make any difference in the fight, Kamal Rayes decided to help them be displaced. He moved many Muslim groups out of Andalusia to Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Later, he received a letter from the Sultan ordering him to return to Istanbul since Granada has already fallen. It is as if the Ottoman fleet was sent to only witness the fall of Granada. Moreover, a Turkish Historian named Yılmaz Öztuna, commented on the fall of the last Arabic city, said: “That injustice enraged the Turkish, so they invaded Morocco.” That was the agenda that Bayezid II and his successors aspired for. They aimed to conquer Northern Africa, taking advantage of the disastrous political situations emerging right after the fall of Andalusia. In addition, what could be considered ironic is that Sultan Suleiman The Magnificent dissolved a whole naval fleet to protect the French shores against any Italian attack, as declared in the treaty 1535. Then he invaded Naples and other places southern Italy, just for the good of the French- Ottoman relations.