Monday, July 03, 2006

 

Wreck of 16th-century warship found off Cyprus

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Middle East Times
July 03, 2006


NICOSIA -- The remains of a Turkish ship believed to have taken part in the 1570 to 1571 Ottoman siege of Famagusta have been located off the Cyprus coast, it was reported on Sunday.

Three cannons, 25.4 centimeters (10 inches) in diameter, and an anchor were found by amateur divers 40 meters down in the Mediterranean off the city on the island's southeast coast, Politis newspaper said.

The find is believed to be the first of its kind.

Politis said that the ship had probably been part of the fleet of general Lala Mustafa, who lost 80,000 men before the walled city finally fell in July 1571 after a 10-month siege.

Some 200,000 soldiers laid siege to Famagusta that was defended by around 10,000 men led by Venetian Marc Antony Bragodino.

The two Greek Cypriot divers reportedly found the wreck by chance.

Photos and video footage of their discovery were posted on the Politis Website on Sunday.

The Cypriot authorities have been alerted to the find in the hope that parts of the ship can be raised and housed in a museum.

The fall of Famagusta signaled the end of Venetian rule in Cyprus and the start of more than 300 years of Ottoman dominance.

When the Ottomans invaded Cyprus in 1570 most towns were easily captured, but Famagusta held out until its food supplies were exhausted, earning itself a special place in Cypriot history.


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