Ottoman naval technology underwent a transformation under the rule of Sultan Selim III. New types of sailing warships such as two- and three-decked galleons, frigates and corvettes began to dominate the Ottoman fleet, rendering the galley-type oared ships obsolete. This period saw technological innovations such as the adoption of the systematic copper sheathing of the hulls and bottoms of Ottoman warships from 1792-93 onwards and the construction of the first dry dock in the Golden Horn.The changing face of the Ottoman Navy was facilitated by the influence of the British, Swedish and French in modernising both the shipbuilding sector and the conduct of naval warfare. Through such measures as training Ottoman shipbuilders, heavy reliance on help from foreign powers gave way to a new trajectory of modernization. Using this evidence Zorlu argues that although the Ottoman Empire was a major and modern independent power in this period, some technological dependence on Europe remained.
Tuncay Zorlu is currently conducting research at Istanbul Technical University, where until recently he was lecturer in Ottoman History and History of Science and Technology. He completed his PhD at Bogazici University in 2004 and he is a member of the executive board of the Turkish Society for History of Science.