France-Ottoman

The Franco-Ottoman alliance, also Franco-Turkish alliance, was an alliance established in 1536 between the king of France Francis I and the Turkish sultan of the Ottoman Empire Suleiman the Magnificent. The alliance has been called "the first non-ideological diplomatic alliance of its kind between a Christian and non-Christian empire".[1] It caused a scandal in the Christian world,[2] and was designated as "the impious alliance", or "the sacrilegious union of the Lily and the Crescent"; nevertheless, it endured since it served the interests of both parties.[3] The strategic and sometimes tactical alliance was one of the most important foreign alliances of France and lasted for more than two and a half centuries,[4] until the Napoleonic Campaign in Egypt, an Ottoman territory, in 1798–1801. The Franco-Ottoman alliance was also an important chapter of Franco-Asian relations.

Background
Western Europe in 1525, after the Battle of Pavia. Territories in yellow are ruled by Charles. Territories within the red boundary are of the Holy Roman Empire, which Charles had partial control over. France was pressured in the West, while the Ottoman Empire expanded on the eastern side of the Holy Roman Empire.
Following the Turkish conquest of Constantinople in 1453 by Mehmet II and the unification of swaths of the Middle East under Selim I, Suleiman, the son of Selim, managed to expand Ottoman rule to Serbia in 1522. The Habsburg Empire thus entered in direct conflict with the Ottomans.

Some early contacts seem to have taken place between the Ottomans and the French. Philippe de Commines reports that Bayezid II sent an embassy to Louis XI in 1483, while Djem, his brother and rival pretender to the Ottoman throne was being detained in France at Bourganeuf by Pierre d'Aubusson. Louis XI refused to see the envoys, but a large amount of money and Christian relics were offered by the envoy so that Djem could remain in custody in France.[5] Djem was transferred to the custody of Pope Innocent VIII in 1489.
France had signed a first treaty or Capitulation with the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt in 1500, during the rules of Louis XII and Sultan Bayezid II,[6][7] in which the Sultan of Egypt had made concessions to the French and the Catalans, and which would be later extended by Suleiman.

France had already been looking for allies in Central Europe. The ambassador of France Antonio Rincon was employed by Francis I on several missions to Poland and Hungarybetween 1522 and 1525. At that time, following the 1522 Battle of Bicoque, Francis I was attempting to ally with king Sigismund I the Old of Poland.[8] Finally, in 1524, a Franco-Polish alliance was signed between Francis I and the king of Poland Sigismund I.[9]
A momentous intensification of the search for allies in Central Europe occurred when the French ruler Francis I was defeated at the Battle of Pavia on February 24, 1525, by the troops of Emperor Charles V. After several months in prison, Francis I was forced to sign the humiliating Treaty of Madrid, through which he had to relinquish the Duchy of Burgundy and the Charolais to the Empire, renounce his Italian ambitions, and return his belongings and honours to the traitor Constable de Bourbon. This situation forced Francis I to find an ally against the powerful Habsburg Emperor, in the person of Suleiman the Magnificent.[10]

Alliance of Francis I and Suleiman
The alliance was an opportunity for both rulers to fight against the rule of the Habsburg. The objective for Francis I was clearly to find an ally in the struggle against the House of Habsburg,[2] although this policy of alliance was in reversal of that of his predecessors.[11] The pretext used by Francis I to seal an alliance with a Muslim power was the protection of the Christians in Ottoman lands, through agreements called "Capitulations of the Ottoman Empire".
King Francis was imprisoned in Madrid when the first efforts at establishing an alliance were made. A first French mission to Suleiman seems to have been sent right after the Battle of Pavia by the mother of Francis I, Louise de Savoie, but the mission was lost on its way in Bosnia.[12] In December 1525 a second mission was sent, led by John Frangipani, which managed to reach Constantinople, the Ottoman capital, with secret letters asking for the deliverance of king Francis I and an attack on the Habsburg. Frangipani returned with an answer from Suleiman, on 6 February 1526:[12]
"I who am the Sultan of Sultans, the sovereign of sovereigns, the dispenser of crowns to the monarchs on the face of the earth, the shadow of the God on Earth, the Sultan and sovereign lord of the Mediterranean Sea and of the Black Sea, of Rumelia and of Anatolia, of Karamania, of the land of Romans, of Dhulkadria, of Diyarbakir, of Kurdistan, of Azerbaijan, of Persia, of Damascus, of Aleppo, of Cairo, of Mecca, of Medina, of Jerusalem, of all Arabia, of Yemen and of many other lands which my noble fore-fathers and my glorious ancestors (may God light up their tombs!) conquered by the force of their arms and which my August Majesty has made subject to my flamboyant sword and my victorious blade, I, Sultan Suleiman Khan, son of Sultan Selim Khan, son of Sultan Bayezid Khan: To thee who art Francesco, king of the province of France... You have sent to my Porte, refuge of sovereigns, a letter by the hand of your faithful servant Frangipani, and you have furthermore entrusted to him miscellaneous verbal communications.

You have informed me that the enemy has overrun your country and that you are at present in prison and a captive, and you have asked aid and succors for your deliverance. All this your saying having been set forth at the foot of my throne, which controls the world. Your situation has gained my imperial understanding in every detail, and I have considered all of it. There is nothing astonishing in emperors being defeated and made captive. Take courage then, and be not dismayed. Our glorious predecessors and our illustrious ancestors (may God light up their tombs!) have never ceased to make war to repel the foe and conquer his lands. We ourselves have followed in their footsteps, and have at all times conquered provinces and citadels of great strength and difficult of approach. Night and day our horse is saddled and our saber is girt. May the God on High promote righteousness! May whatsoever He will be accomplished! For the rest, question your ambassador and be informed. Know that it will be as said.” (...)"
— Answer from Suleiman the Magnificent to Francis I of France, February 1526.[13][14]

The plea of the French king nicely corresponded to the ambitions of Suleiman in Europe, and gave him an incentive to attack Hungary in 1526, leading to the Battle of Mohács.[4]The Ottomans were also greatly attracted by the prestige of being in alliance with such a country as France, which would give them better legitimacy in their European dominions.[4]
Meanwhile, Charles V was manoeuvring to form a Habsburg-Persian alliance with Persia, so that the Ottoman Empire would be attacked on its rear. Envoys were sent to Shah Tahmasp I in 1525, and again in 1529, pleading for an attack on the Ottoman Empire.[15]
Letter of Suleiman the Magnificent to Francis I of France regarding the protection of Christians in his states. September 1528. Archives Nationales, Paris, France.
With the War of the League of Cognac (1526–1530) going on, Francis I continued to look for allies in Central Europe and formed a Franco-Hungarian alliance in 1528 with the Hungarian king Zapolya, who himself had just become a vassal of the Ottoman Empire that same year.[16] In 1528 also, Francis used the pretext of the protection of Christians in the Ottoman Empire to again enter into contact with Suleiman, asking for the return of a mosque to a Christian Church. In his 1528 letter to Francis I Suleiman politely refused, but guaranteed the protection of Christians in his states. He also renewed the privileges of French merchants which had been obtained in 1517 in Egypt.

Francis I lost in his European campaigns, and had to sign the Paix des Dames in August 1529. He was even forced to supply some galleys to Charles V in his fight against the Ottomans. However, the Ottomans would continue their campaigns in Central Europe, and besiege the Habsburg capital in the 1529 Siege of Vienna, and again in 1532.
Exchange of embassies
Further information: Ottoman embassy to France (1533) and Ottoman embassy to France (1534)
In early July 1532, Suleiman was joined by the French ambassador Antonio Rincon in Belgrade.[18]Antonio Rincon presented Suleiman with a magnificent four-tiered tiara, made in Venice for 115,000 ducats.[17] Rincon also described the Ottoman camp:.
"Astonishing order, no violence. Merchants, women even, coming and going in perfect safety, as in a European town. Life as safe, as large and easy as in Venice. Justice so fairly administered that one is tempted to believe that the Turks are turned Christians now, and that the Christians are turned Turks."
— Antonio Rincon, 1532.[19]
Francis I explained to the Venetian ambassador Giorgio Gritti in March 1531 his strategy regarding the Turks:[20]
"I cannot deny that I wish to see the Turk all-powerful and ready for war, not for himself -for he is an infidel and we are all Christians- but to weaken the power of the emperor, to compel him to make major expenses, and to reassure all the other governments who are opposed to such a formidable enemy".
— Francis I to the Venetian ambassador.[21]
Ottoman embassies were sent to France, with the Ottoman embassy to France (1533) led by Hayreddin Barbarossa, and the Ottoman embassy to France (1534) led by representatives of Suleiman.
Combined operations (1534-35
Suleiman ordered Barbarossa to put his fleet at the disposition of Francis I to attack Genoa and the Milanese.[22] In July 1533 Francis received Ottoman representatives at Le Puy, and he would dispatch in return Antonio Rincon to Barbarossa in North Africa and then to the Asia Minor.[23] Suleiman explained that "he could not possibly abandon the King of France, who was his brother".[23] The Franco-Ottoman alliance was by then effectively made.[23]
In 1534 a Turkish fleet sailed against the Habsburg Empire at the request of Francis I, raiding the Italian coast and finally meeting with representatives of Francis in southern France.[24] The fleet went on to capture Tunis in the Conquest of Tunis (1534) on 16 August 1534 and continued raiding the Italian coast with the support of Francis I.[25] In a counter-attack however, Charles V dislodged them in the Conquest of Tunis (1535).

Permanent embassy of Jean de La Forêt (1535-37
Trade and religious agreements
Draft of the 1536 Treaty negotiated between Jean de La Forêt and Ibrahim Pasha, a few days before his assassination, expanding to the whole Ottoman Empire the privileges received in Egypt from the Mamluks before 1518.
Treaties, or capitulations, were passed between the two countries starting in 1528 and 1536. The defeat in the Conquest of Tunis (1535) at the hands of Andrea Doria motivated the Ottoman Empire to enter into a formal alliance with France.[26] Ambassador Jean de La Forêt was sent to Istanbul, and for the first time was able to become permanent ambassador at the Ottoman court and to negotiate treaties.[26]

Jean de La Forêt negotiated the capitulations on 18 February 1536, on the model of previous Ottoman commercial treaties with Venice and Genoa,[26] although they only seem to have been ratified by the Ottomans later, in 1569, with ambassador Claude Du Bourg. These capitulations allowed the French to obtain important privileges, such as the security of the people and goods, extraterritoriality, freedom to transport and sell goods in exchange for the payment of the selamlik and customs fees. These capitulations would in effect give the French a near trade monopoly in the Orient. Foreign vessels had to trade with Turkey under the French banner, after the payment of a percentage of their trade.

A French embassy and a Christian chapel were established in the town of Galata across the Golden horn from Constantinople, and commercial privileges were also given to French merchants in the Turkish Empire. Through the capitulations of 1535, the French received the privilege to trade freely in all Ottoman ports.[2] A formal alliance was signed in 1536.[27] The French were free to practice their religion in the Ottoman Empire, and French Catholics were given custody of holy
places.[2] The capitulations were again renewed in 1604,[2] and lasted up until the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923.[28]
Military and financial agreements
Jean de la Forêt also had secret military instructions to organize a combined offensive on Italy in 1535:[29] Through the negotiations of de La Forêt with the vizir Ibrahim Pasha it was agreed that combined military operations against Italy would take place, in which France would attack Lombardy while the Ottoman Empire would attack from Naples.[26][30] The Ottoman Empire also provided considerable financial support to Francis I. In 1533, Suleiman sent Francis I 100,000 gold pieces, so that he could form a coalition with England and German states against Charles V. In 1535, Francis asked for another 1 million ducats.[31] The military instructions of Jean de la Foret were highly specific:
Military instructions to Jean de La Forêt, by Chancellor Antoine Duprat(copy), 11 February 1535.

"Jean de la Forest, whom the King sends to meet with the Grand Signor [Suleiman the Magnificent], will first go from Marseilles to Tunis, in Barbary, to meet sir Haradin, king of Algiers, who will direct him to the Grand Signor. To this objective, next summer, he [the King of France] with send the military force he is preparing to recover what it unjustly occupied by the Duke of Savoy, and from there, to attack the Genoese. This king Francis I strongly prays sir Haradin, who has a powerful naval force as well as a convenient location [Tunisia], to attack the island of Corsica and other lands, locations, cities, ships and subjects of Genoa, and not to stop until they have accepted and recognized the king of France. The King, besides the above land force, will additionally help with his naval force, which will comprise at least 50 vessels, of which 30 galleys, and the rest galeasses and other vessels, accompanied by one of the largest and most beautiful carracks that ever was on the sea. This fleet will accompany and escort the army of sir Haradin, which will also be refreshed and supplied with food and ammunition by the King, who, by these actions, will be able to achieve his aims, for which he will be highly grateful to sir Haradin.[...]
To the Grand Signor, Monsieur de La Forest must ask for 1 million in gold, and for his army to enter first in Sicily and Sardinia and establish there a king whom La Forest will nominate, a person who has credit and knows well these islands which he will retain in the devotion of, and under the shade and support of the King [of France]. Furthermore, he will recognize this blessing, and send tribute and pension to the Grand Signor to reward him for the financial support he will have provided to the King, as well as the support of his navy which will be fully assisted by the King [of France]."
— Military instruction from Francis I to Jean de La Forest, 1535.[32]
Finally, Suleiman intervened diplomatically in favour of Francis on the European scene. He is known to have sent at least one letter to the Protestant princes of Germany to encourage them to ally with Francis I against Charles V.[33] Francis I effectively allied with the Schmalkaldic League against Charles V in 1535.

Italian War of 1536–1538
Main article: Italian War of 1536–1538
Franco-Ottoman military collaboration took place during the Italian War of 1536–1538 following the 1536 Treaty negotiated by Jean de La Forêt.
Campaign of 1536
Francis I invaded Savoy in 1536,[34] starting the war. A Franco-Turkish fleet was stationed in Marseilles by the end of 1536, threatening Genoa.[35] While Francis I was attacking Milan and Genoa in April 1536, Barbarossa was raiding the Habsburg possessions in the Mediterranean.[26]
In 1536 the French Admiral Baron de Saint-Blancard combined his twelve French galleys with a small Ottoman fleet belonging to Barbarossa in Algiers (an Ottoman galley and 6 galiotes), to attack the island of Ibiza in the Balearic Islands. After failing to capture the tower of Salé, the fleet raided the Spanish coast from Tortosa to Collioure, finally wintering in Marseilles with 30 galleys from 15 October 1536 (the first time a Turkish fleet laid up for the winter in Marseilles).
Joint campaign of 1537
For 1537 important combined operations were agreed upon, in which the Ottomans would attack southern Italy and Naples under Barbarossa, and Francis I would attack northern Italy with 50,000 men. Suleiman led an army of 300,000 from Constantinople to Albania, with the objective of transporting them to Italy with the fleet.[26]The Ottoman fleet gathered in Avlona with 100 galleys, accompanied by the French ambassador Jean de La Forêt.[36] They landed in Castro, Apulia by the end of July 1537, and departed two weeks later with many prisoners.[36] Barbarossa had laid waste to the region around Otranto, carrying about 10,000 people into slavery. Francis however failed to meet his commitment, and instead attacked the Netherlands.

The Ottomans departed from Southern Italy, and instead mounted the Siege of Corfu in August 1537.[37] where they were met by the French Admiral Baron de Saint-Blancard with 12 galleys in early September 1537.[36] Saint-Blancard in vain attempted to convince the Ottomans to again raid the coasts of Apulia, Sicily and the March of Ancona, and Suleiman returned with his fleet to Constantinople by mid-September without having captured Corfu.[36] French ambassador Jean de La Forêt became seriously ill and died around that time.[36] Francis I finally penetrated into Italy, and reached Rivoli on 31 October 1537.[38]
For two years, until 1538, Saint-Blancard would accompany the fleet of Barbarossa, and between 1537-38 Saint-Blancard would winter with his galleys in Constantinople and meet with Suleiman. During that time, Saint-Blancard was funded by Barbarossa.[39] The campaign of Saint-Blancard with the Ottomans was written down in Le Voyage du Baron de Saint Blancard en Turquie, by Jean de la Vega, who had accompanied Saint-Blancard in his mission.[40] Although the French accompanied most of the campaigns of Barbarossa, they sometimes refrained from participating in Turkish assaults, and their accounts express horror at the violence of these encounters, in which Christians were slaughtered or taken as captives.[41]
Franco-Habsbourg Truce of Nice (1538

With Charles V unsuccessful in battle and squeezed between the French invasion and the Ottomans, kings Francis I and Charles Vultimately made peace with the Truce of Nice on 18 June 1538.[42] In the truce, Charles and Francis made an agreement to ally against the Ottomans to expel them from Hungary.[43] Charles V turned his attention to fighting the Ottomans, but could not launch large forces in Hungary due to a raging conflict with the German princes of the Schmalkaldic League.[43] On 28 September 1538 Barbarosa won the major Battle of Preveza against the Imperial fleet.[44] At the end of the conflict, Suleiman set as a condition for peace with Charles V that the latter returns to Francis I the lands that were his by right.[37]
The Franco-Ottoman alliance was crippled for a while however, due to Francis' official change of alliance at Nice in 1538. Open conflict between Charles and Francis would resume in 1542, as well as Franco-Ottoman collaboration, with the 4 July 1541 assassination by Imperial troops of the French Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire Antonio Rincon, as he was travelling through Italy near Pavia.

Italian War of 1542–1546 and Hungary Campaign of 1543
During the Italian War of 1542–46 Francis I and Suleiman I were again pitted against the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, and Henry VIIIof England. The course of the war saw extensive fighting in Italy, France, and the Low Countries, as well as attempted invasions of Spain and England; but, although the conflict was ruinously expensive for the major participants, its outcome was inconclusive. In the Mediterranean, active naval collaboration took place between the two powers to fight against Spanish forces, following a request by Francis I, conveyed by Antoine Escalin des Aimars, also known as Captain Polin.

Failed coordination in the campaign of 1542
In early 1542, Polin successfully negotiated the details of the alliance, with the Ottoman Empire promising to send 60,000 troops against the territories of the German king Ferdinand, as well as 150 galleys against Charles, while France promised to attack Flanders, harass the coasts of Spain with a naval force, and send 40 galleys to assist the Turks for operations in the Levant.[45]
A landing harbour in the north of the Adriatic was prepared for Barberousse, at Marano. The port was seized in the name of France by Piero Strozzi on 2 January 1542.[46]
Polin left Constantinople on 15 February 1542 with a contract from Suleiman outlining the details of the Ottoman commitment for 1542. He arrived in Blois on 8 March 1542 to obtain a ratification of the agreement by Francis I.[47] Accordingly, Francis I designated the city of Perpignan as the objective for the Ottoman expedition, in order to obtain a seaway to Genoa.[48] Polin, after some delays in Venice, finally managed to take a galley to Constantinople on 9 May 1542, but he arrived too late for the Ottomans to launch a sea campaign.[49]
Meanwhile, Francis I initiated the hostilities with Charles V on 20 July 1542, and kept with his part of the agreement by laying siege at Perpignan and attacking Flanders.[47] André de Montalembert was sent to Constantinople to ascertain the Ottoman offensive, but it turned out that Suleiman, partly under the anti-alliance influence of Suleyman Pasha, was unwilling to send an army that year, and promised to send an army twice as strong the following year, in 1543.[50]
When Francis I learnt from André de Montalembert that the Ottomans were not coming, he raised the siege of Perpignan.[51]
Joint siege of Nice (1543
Most notably, the French forces, led by François de Bourbon and the Ottoman forces, led by Barbarossa, joined at Marseilles in August 1543,[52] and collaborated to bombard the city of Nice in the Siege of Nice.[2] In this action 110 Ottoman galleys, amounting to 30,000 men,[53] combined with 50 French galleys.[54] The Franco-Ottomans laid waste to the city of Nice, but were confronted by a stiff resistance which gave rise to the story of Catherine Ségurane. They had to raise the siege of the citadel upon the arrival of enemy troops.
Barbarossa wintering in Toulon (1543-1544
After the Siege of Nice, the Ottomans were offered by Francis to winter at Toulon, so that they could continue to harass the Holy Roman Empire, and especially the coast of Spain and Italy, as well the communications between the two countries:
"Lodge the Lord Barbarossa sent to the king by the Great Turk, with his Turkish Army and grands seigneurs to the number of 30,000 combatants during the winter in his town and port of Toulon... for the accommodation of the said army as well as the well-being of all his coast, it will not be suitable for the inhabitants of Toulon to remain and mingle with the Turkish nation, because of difficulties which might arise"
— Instruction of Francis I to his Lord Lieutenant of Provence.[55]
During the wintering of Barbarossa, the Toulon Cathedral was transformed into a mosque, the call to prayer occurred five times a day, and Ottoman coinage was the currency of choice. According to an observer: "To see Toulon, one might imagine oneself at Constantinople".[56]
Throughout the winter, the Ottomans were able to use Toulon as a base to attack the Spanish and Italian coasts, raiding Sanremo, Borghetto Santo Spirito, Ceriale and defeating Italo-Spanish naval attacks. Sailing with his whole fleet to Genoa, Barbarossa negotiated with Andrea Doria the release of Turgut Reis.[57] The Ottomans departed from their Toulon base in May 1544 after Francis I had paid 800,000 ecus to Barbarossa.[58]
Captain Polin in Constantinople (1544
Five French galleys under Captain Polin, including the superb Réale, accompanied Barbarossa's fleet,[59] on a diplomatic mission to Suleiman.[58] The French fleet accompanied Barbarossa during his attacks on the west coast of Italy on the way to Constantinople, as he laid waste to the cities of Porto Ercole, Giglio, Talamona, Lipariand took about 6,000 captives, but separated in Sicily from Barbarossa's fleet to continue alone to the Ottoman capital.[60] Jerôme Maurand, a priest of Antibes who accompanied Polin and the Ottoman fleet in 1544, wrote a detailed account in Itinéraire d'Antibes à Constantinonple.[61] They arrived in Constantinople on 10 August 1544 to meet with Suleiman and give him an account of the campaign.[62] Polin was back to Toulon on 2 October 1544.[62]

Joint campaign in Hungary (1543-1544)

On land Suleiman was concomitantly fighting for the conquest of Hungary in 1543, as a part of the Little War. French troops were supplied to the Ottomans on the Central European front: in Hungary, a French artillery unit was dispatched in 1543-1544 and attached to the Ottoman Army.[33][54][63] Following major sieges such as the Siege of Esztergom (1543), Suleiman took a commanding position in Hungary, obtaining the signature of the Truce of Adrianople with the Habsburg in 1547.
Besides the powerful effect of a strategic alliance encircling the Habsburg Empire, combined tactical operations were significantly hampered by the distances involved, the difficulties in communication, and the unpredictable changes of plans on one side or the other. From a financial standpoint, fiscal revenues were also generated for both powers through the ransoming of enemy ships in the Mediterranean. The French Royal House also borrowed large amounts of gold from the Ottoman banker Joseph Nasi and the Ottoman Empire, amounting to around 150,000 écus as of 1565, the repayment of which became contentious in the following years.[64]
French support in the Ottoman-Safavid war (1547
In 1547, when Suleiman the Magnificent attacked Persia in his second campaign of the Ottoman-Safavid War (1532–1555), France sent him the ambassador Gabriel de Luetz to accompany him in his campaign.[65] Gabriel de Luetz was able to give decisive military advice to Suleiman, as when he advised on artillery placement during the Siege of Vān.[65]
Consequences
The alliance provided strategic support to, and effectively protected, the kingdom of France from the ambitions of Charles V. It also gave the opportunity for the Ottoman Empire to become involved in European diplomacy and gain prestige in its European dominions. According to historian Arthur Hassall the consequences of the Franco-Ottoman alliance were far-reaching: "The Ottoman alliance had powerfully contributed to save France from the grasp of Charles V, it had certainly aided Protestantism in Germany, and from a French point of view, it had rescued the North German allies of Francis I."'[66]

Political debate
Side effects included a lot of negative propaganda against the actions of France and its "unholy" alliance with a Muslim power. Charles V strongly appealed to the rest of Europe against the alliance of Francis I, and caricatures were made showing the collusion between France and the Ottoman Empire.[67] In the late sixteenth century, Italian political philosopher Giovanni Boteroreferred to the alliance as "a vile, infamous, diabolical treaty" and blamed it for the extinction of the Valois dynasty.[68] Even the French Huguenot Francois de La Noue denounced the alliance in a 1587 work, claiming that "this confederation has been the occasion to diminish the glory and power of such a flourishing kingdom as France."[69]
Numerous authors intervened to take the defense of the French king for his alliance. Authors wrote about the Ottoman civilization, such as Guillaume Postel or Christophe Richer, in sometimes extremely positive ways. In the 1543 work Les Gestes de Francoys de Valois, Etienne Doletjustified the alliance by comparing it to Charles V's relations with Persia and Tunis. Dolet also claimed that it should not be "forbidden for a prince to make alliance and seek intelligence of another, whatever creed or law he may be."[70] The author François de Sagon wrote in 1544 Apologye en défense pour le Roy, a text defending the actions of Francis I by drawing parallels with the parable of the Good Samaritan in the Bible, in which Francis is compared to the wounded man, the Emperor to the thieves, and Suleiman to the Good Samaritan providing help to Francis.[67]

Guillaume du Bellay and his brother Jean du Bellay wrote in defense of the alliance, at the same time minimizing it and legitimizing on the ground that Francis I was defending himself against an aggression.[71] Jean de Montlucused examples from Christian history to justify the endeavour to obtain Ottoman support.[72] Jean de Montluc's brother Blaise de Montlucargued in 1540 that the alliance was permissible because "against one's enemies one can make arrows of any kind of wood."[73] In 1551, Pierre Danes (fr) wrote Apologie, faicte par un serviteur du Roy, contre les calomnies des Impériaulx: sur la descente du Turc.[67]

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