The Alkafair Ships refer to a series a Venetian trans-oceanic ships that were purchased and used by the Ottoman Empire, starting in 1519. Due to their constructed purpose, and also for certain diplomatic reasons, these ships were obligated to be stationed in the Indian Ocean, and ultimately the Pacific Ocean as well. They have become legendary as they are steryotyped as traveling for long journeys to exotic, far off places, and the crews of these ships have been inspiration for picturesque heroes. For many centuries, these ships had been the most diverse, with a crew consisting of Italians, Spanish, Ottomans, Arabs, Hindis, and Javanese.
The original commission of the 1519 fleet, consisting of seven ships, was signed by the Doge of Venice and the Ottoman Sultan, and stipulated the restricted use and access of these ships in service. It also granted the Venetians a hefty sum of 900,000 Dublouns.
- Ottomans: Selim, the first of that name, Commander of the Faithful, Protector of the House of Osman, Curator of the Two Holy Mosques, Sultan of Sultans, Khan of Khans, Padishah of the Turkish Empire, and Caesar of the Roman Empire
- Venice: Poalo Sommaripa, Doge of Venice, This sig is pending
The word Alkafair is a Latinization of the Arabic Muslim term Al-Kafir, which, although sometimes translated as Infidel, generally refers to any non-Muslim foreigner. It was, however, originally used as a derogatory term by the other Ottoman Admirals before it caught on.