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The Barbary States was the collective name of the north African states of Tangiers, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli, which practiced a form of Muslim piracy between the 16th and early 19th centuries. The Barbary States were possibly named for Yakupoğlu Hızır (Hızır son of Yakup) and his elder brother Baba Oruç (Father Aruj), Turkish privateers in the 16th century who preyed on merchant shipping in the Mediterranean; they were called the "brothers Barbarossa", meaning "red beard", from which the word barbary comes from. It is more likely that the name comes from the Berber people who have been the inhabitants of this area since ancient times.

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