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The Gazi Chelebi
, among the first Turkish naval commanders of note, ruled the Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...
port of Sinop
Sinop is a city with a population of 36,734 on İnce Burun , by its Cape Sinop which is situated on the most northern edge of the Turkish side of Black Sea coast, in the ancient region of Paphlagonia, in modern-day northern Turkey, historically known as Sinope...
in the first decades of the 14th century.
His epitaph in the Pervâne Medrese in Sinop states that he was the son of Mas’ud, probably the Mas’ud Bey kidnapped by the Genoese
The Most Serene Republic of Genoa |Ligurian]]: Repúbrica de Zêna) was an independent state from 1005 to 1797 in Liguria on the northwestern Italian coast, as well as Corsica from 1347 to 1768, and numerous other territories throughout the Mediterranean....
in 1298-99. The Gazi continued his pedecessor's policy of harassing Genoese shipping in the Black Sea and together with the Grand Comnenos Alexios II
Alexios II Megas Komnenos or Alexius II , was Emperor of Trebizond from 1297 to 1330. He was the elder son of John II and Eudokia Palaiologina, and also used the name Palaiologos.- Life :...
was likely responsible for raids on the Genoese port of Kaffa in the Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...
between 1311 and 1314. When Ibn Battuta
Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta , or simply Ibn Battuta, also known as Shams ad–Din , was a Muslim Moroccan Berber explorer, known for his extensive travels published in the Rihla...
visited Sinop in either 1332 or 1334, the town had passed into the hands of the Jandarid Bey Ibrahim, but the memory of the Gazi Chelebi was still vivid. Inhabitants said that he possessed a talent for swimming under water and piercing the hulls of enemy galleys during battle. He did this with such stealth, they said, that the sailors did not know what had happened until their ships started to sink. In one memorable episode, probably in 1324, the Gazi used this method to sink several Genoese ships raiding Sinop’s harbor, capturing their entire crew. The Sinoptians also remembered that the Gazi Chelebi enjoyed smoking “an excessive quantity of hashish.”