On 23 July 1319, a Turkish fleet, from the  Principality(Beylik) of Aydin, set sail from Ephesus





On 23 July 1319, a Turkish fleet, from the  Principality(Beylik) of Aydin, set sail from Ephesus. They were caught by the Genoese and The Knights Hospitaller fleets, off the island of Chios.

Led by Lord Martino Zaccaria and Grand Preceptor Albert of Schwarzburg, the Knights and Genoese defeated the Turks in a crushing christian victory.

In 1304, the Turks of Menteshe (later Aydin) captured the port town of Ephesus, and the islands of the eastern Aegean seemed about to fall to Turkish raiders.

To forestall such a calamitous event, in the same year, the Genoese occupied Chios, where Benedetto I Zaccaria established a minor principality, while in 1308 the Knights of Saint John (Hospitallers) occupied Rhodes.

These two powers would bear the brunt of countering Turkish pirate raids until 1329.

In July 1319, the Aydinid fleet, under the personal command of the Emir Mehmed Beg, set sail from the port of Ephesus. It comprised 18 galleys and 18 other vessels.

It was met off Chios by a Hospitaller fleet of 24 ships and eighty Hospitaller knights, under the grand preceptor Albert of Schwarzburg, to which a squadron of one galley and six other ships were added by Martino Zaccaria of Chios.

The battle ended in a crushing Christian victory: only six Turkish vessels managed to escape capture or destruction.

Nevertheless, the defeat off Chios could not halt the rise of Aydinid power. The Zaccarias were soon after forced to surrender their mainland outpost of Smyrna to Mehmed’s son Umur Beg, under whose leadership Aydinid fleets roamed the Aegean for the next two decades, until the Smyrniote crusades (1343–1351) broke the Aydinid emirate’s power.

Principality of Aydin (Aydın Beyliği) was one of the frontier principalities established in the 14th century by Oghuz Turks after the decline of Sultanate of Rûm.

The Aydinids also held parts of the port of Smyrna (modern İzmir) all through their rule and all of the port city with intervals. Especially during the reign of Umur Bey, the sons of Aydın were a significant naval power of the time.

The naval power of Aydin played a crucial role in the Byzantine civil war of 1341–1347, where Umur allied with John VI Kantakouzenos, but also provoked a Latin response in the form of the Smyrniote crusades, that captured Smyrna from the emirate.

The Beylik was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire for the first time in 1390, and after the passage of Tamerlane in Anatolia in 1402 and the ensuing period of troubles that lasted until 1425, its territories became again part of the Ottoman realm, this time definitively.

The Beys of Aydin left important architectural works, principally in Birgi and Ayasoluk (Selçuk), their capital cities.


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