The famous pirate of Khair ed-Din.


Who was Khair ed-Din?

Khair ed-Din was a Greek-born pirate of the 16th century, who probably was born in 1483 from a Turkish origin. Khair ed-Din along with his brother Arouj, were best known as the Barbarossa, pirates in the service of the Ottoman Empire.

The Barbarrosa were famous along the European coasts of Greece, Italy, and Spain, but especially Khair ed-Din, who was best known as Redbeard or Barbe Rouge, because of the perfect red color of their hair that characterized them.

There is too little information of the early days of either brother, but it is known that Arouj died in 1518 and Khair ed-Din died in 1546. Redbeard was also admiral of the Ottoman Empire and his hate for the Spanish and Portuguese took him with his brother to the North of Africa, the place in which they were established to attack the vessels passing by.

Redbeard and his brother wanted to seize the African coast on behalf of the Ottoman Sultan, but Aruj was killed before they could capture Algiers. Khair ed-Din then received military aid and finally captured the city. Despite his piracy activity, Redbeard was appointed admiral in chief of the Ottoman Empire after the conquering of Tunisia in 1533.

However, the Spanish Emperor Carlos V de Habsburgo captured Tunis two years later. Despite the adverse circumstances, Redbeard defeated the Emperor's fleet in 1538 during the Battle of Preveza. With this triumph, the Ottoman Empire secured to the Turks the eastern Mediterranean Coasts for the following 33 years.

The Belgian scriptwriter Jean-Michel Charlier brought to life Redbeard in the mid-20th century in association with the artist Victor Hubinon. The successful comic resulted from this alliance took different characteristics based on several historic pirates, after being unable to abound in the life of Khair ed-Din, although the character took the color of his hair to make clear who the pirate was starring in these comics.

Barge Rouge (Redbeard) has been for decades the most popular comic in Belgium, France, and The Netherlands, books translated into German, Spanish, Danish, and Serbo-Croatian language, but strangely, it has never been published in English.

Khair ed-Din.

 The famous pirate of Khair ed-Din.

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