A "renegade" (Christian who converted to Islam) who gained his fortune in Algiers through privateering was Ali Bitchin (c.1560-1645). It is thought that Bitchin (or Bitchnin) was born in Venice with the last name Piccini, Puccini, or Piccinino. He served as a Grand Admiral of Algiers and is remembered for the mosque he constructed in the Zoudj-Aoun neighborhood of the old city (Casbah), which carries his name to this day.
The memoirs of Bitchin's captivity written and published by Emanuel D'Aranda, who served as his slave for nearly a year between 1640 and 1641, helped make him particularly well-known. Because of his extremely brief (and probably fictitious) takeover of power in 1645, there is ongoing debate about whether Bitchin should be considered to have held the position of Governor of Algiers.
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