Cossack raids on Istanbul (1624)

Cossack raids to Istanbul (1624) were campaigns of Zaporozhian Cossacks, headed by hetman Mykhailo Doroshenko, to Istanbul, then the capital of the Ottoman Empire.

Raids on Istanbul (1624)
Date1) 9 July 1624 2) 20 August 1624

1) Successful raid

2) Successful raid
Hetmanate Zaporozhian Cossacks Ottoman flag.svg Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders

1) Mykhailo Doroshenko

2) Mykhailo Doroshenko

1) ?

2) Damat Halil Pasha

1) ~3 500-4 000

2)~7 500+

1) Several galleries, several hundred boats

2) 25 galleries, 300 boats


For centuries, beginning with the rule of Casimir the Great since the 14th century, Poland had vied for expansion in the Ruthenian lands Halyč and Podolia against rivals Hungary and Lithuania, resulting in the formation of the Jagiellonian dynasty, known as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth by 1569. Increased Polish influence and autonomy over southwestern Ruthenia brought conflict with the Giray Khans whose raids in the Black Sea region had intensified.[1]

Against this backdrop, the Cossack organization Zaporozhian Host had organized as a political-military fraternity who began to raid the Crimean Khanate and Ottoman Empire as their military strength increased, penetrating into the Empire as far as Istanbul's subsurbs, which they pillaged in the early 17th century.[1]

First raidEdit

In summer of 1624, Turkish admiral Recep Pasha[verification needed] raided Kafa to subdue Tatar vassals. The Cossacks decided to use this moment to attack Istanbul. Despite rumors and warnings about the possibility of a terrible attack, admiral ignored them and went to Crimea.

The capital was left without defenses. At that time Zaporozhians on 70-80 Chaikas (Cossack boats) appeared on two sides of the Bosphorus. On the night of July 9, the Ukrainians attacked the city, plundering and burning residential and administrative buildings. Beylerbeyi, Vaniköy was destroyed on the European coast.

During six hours Cossacks destroyed the rows of magnificent villas and homes, after which (at about 9 o'clock in the morning) they returned to the sea.

Sultan Murad IV, despite the lack of a fleet, decided to punish the Cossacks for the crime. He compensated for his lack of galleys using various civilian boats. Hoping to scare Cossacks with the size of his force, he sent several hundred vessels under the control of Damat Halil Pasha. Seeing this improvised armada, the Cossacks waited in the middle of the Strait, set their boats in a semicircle and waited. The wind gave the Cossacks the opportunity to attack the Turks.

The Turks pushed on, but Ukrainians did not react. Damat Halil Pasha thought that if the Turks were unsuccessful, the Cossacks would make an even more significant blow to Istanbul. By evening the Cossacks were in the coastal waters of Istanbul, and then they returned to their homeland.

Second raidEdit

After two weeks, the Ottoman capital faced at least 150 chaykas, each with a 50-man crew. Turkish sources reported reserves who swam behind.

102 Cossack chaykas came to the Ottoman fleet under the command of Pasha, consisting of 25 large galleys, assisted by 300 smaller boats (25-50 people likely in each). The battle lasted several days; In the end, the Cossacks smashed the Turkish fleet, and then attacked Istanbul.

Turkish reactionEdit

The sofa, worried by the actions of the Cossacks, sent messengers to Rejb-Pasha telling him to ignore Crimean affairs and return to Istanbul.

Cossack prisoners said that they acted as if they were committing these attacks in agreement with the Tatars. This further damaged the relationship between the Ottoman Empire and the Crimean Khanate.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Wasiucionek, Michal (2019). The Ottomans and Eastern Europe: Borders and Political Patronage in the Early Modern World. p. 21.


  • М. Грушевський. Історія України-Руси. Том VII. Розділ VIII. Стор. 5.
  • Hist. R. mon. c. 427