Ahmet Tevfik Pasha

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Ahmet Tevfik

Ahmed Tevfik Pasha chair.jpg
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
In office
21 October 1920 4 November 1922
Monarch Mehmed VI
Preceded by Damat Ferid Pasha
Succeeded byOffice abolished
İsmet İnönü, as Prime Minister of Turkey
In office
11 November 1918 3 March 1919
Monarch Mehmed VI
Preceded by Ahmed Izzet Pasha
Succeeded by Damat Ferid Pasha
In office
13 April 1909 5 May 1909
Monarch Abdul Hamid II
Preceded by Hüseyin Hilmi Pasha
Succeeded by Hüseyin Hilmi Pasha
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
Monarch Abdul Hamid II
Prime Minister Halil Rifat Pasha
Mehmed Said Pasha
Mehmed Ferid Pasha
Kâmil Pasha
Hüseyin Hilmi Pasha
Preceded by Said Halim Pasha
Succeeded by Mehmed Rifat Pasha
Personal details
Born(1845-02-11)11 February 1845
Constantinople (now Istanbul), Constantinople Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
Died8 October 1936(1936-10-08) (aged 91)
Istanbul, Turkey
Nationality Turkish
Political party Committee of Union and Progress

Ahmet Tevfik Pasha (Ottoman Turkish : احمد توفیق پاشا; 11 February 1845 – 8 October 1936), known as Ahmet Tevfik Okday after the Turkish Surname Law of 1934, was an Ottoman statesman of ethnic Crimean Tatar origin. He was the last Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire. [1]

Ottoman Turkish, or the Ottoman language, is the variety of the Turkish language that was used in the Ottoman Empire. It borrows, in all aspects, extensively from Arabic and Persian, and it was written in the Ottoman Turkish alphabet. During the peak of Ottoman power, Arabic and Persian vocabulary accounted for up to 88% of the Ottoman vocabulary, while words of foreign origin heavily outnumbered native Turkish words.

Ottoman Empire Former empire in Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa

The Ottoman Empire, historically known to it's inhabitants and the Eastern world as Rome (Rûm), and known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.

Crimean Tatars Ethnic group

Crimean Tatars are a Turkic ethnic group, who are indigenous people of Crimea and formed in the Crimean Peninsula during the 13th–17th centuries, primarily from Cumans that appeared in Crimea in the 10th century, with strong contributions from all the peoples who ever inhabited Crimea. Since 2014 Crimean Tatars have been officially recognized as an indigenous people of Ukraine. Crimean Tatars are also listed among the indigenous peoples of Russia.


He held the office three times, the first in 1909 under Abdul Hamid II, and from 1918 to 1919 and from 1920 to 1922 under Mehmed VI during the Allied occupation of Constantinople. In addition to his premiership, Ahmet Tevfik was also a diplomat, a member of the Ottoman Senate, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Abdul Hamid II 34th sultan of the Ottoman Empire

Abdul Hamid II was the 34th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and the last Sultan to exert effective control over the fracturing state. He oversaw a period of decline, with rebellions particularly in the Balkans, and he had an unsuccessful war with the Russian Empire followed by a successful war against the Kingdom of Greece in 1897. Hamid II ruled from August 31, 1876 until he was deposed shortly after the 1908 Young Turk Revolution, on April 27, 1909. In accordance with an agreement made with the Republican Young Ottomans, he promulgated the first Ottoman Constitution of 1876 on December 23, 1876, which was a sign of progressive thinking that marked his early rule. Later, however, he noticed Western influence on Ottoman affairs and citing disagreements with the Parliament, suspended both the short-lived constitution and Parliament in 1878 and accomplished highly effective power and control.

Mehmed VI 36th and last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire

Mehmed VI Vahideddin, who is also known as Şahbaba among his relatives, was the 36th and last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, reigning from July 4, 1918 until November 1, 1922 when the Ottoman Empire dissolved after World War I and became the nation of the Republic of Turkey on October 29, 1923. The brother of Mehmed V, he became heir to the throne after the 1916 suicide of Abdülaziz's son Şehzade Yusuf Izzeddin as the eldest male member of the House of Osman. He acceded to the throne after the death of Mehmed V. He was girded with the Sword of Osman on 4 July 1918, as the thirty-sixth padishah. His father was Sultan Abdulmejid I and mother was Gülüstü Hanım, an ethnic Abkhazian, daughter of Prince Tahir Bey Çaçba and his wife Afişe Lakerba, originally named Fatma Çaçba. Mehmed was removed from the throne when the Ottoman sultanate was abolished in 1922.

Occupation of Constantinople

The occupation of Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, by British, French and Italian forces, took place in accordance with the Armistice of Mudros, which ended Ottoman participation in the First World War. The first French troops entered the city on November 12, 1918, followed by British troops the next day. The Italian troops landed in Galata on February 7, 1919.


Ahmet Tevfik Pasha, c. 1885 Ahmet tevfik pasa.jpg
Ahmet Tevfik Pasha, c. 1885

Ahmet Tevfik was born on 11 February 1845 in Constantinople. His father, Ferik Ismail Pasha, was a Crimean Tatar descended from the Giray dynasty. [2] Ahmet Tevfik entered military service but left after becoming a junior officer, entering government bureaucracy training. After 1872, he held various foreign ministry posts. After serving as an ambassador in Rome, Vienna, St. Petersburg, and Athens, he served as the Ottoman chargé d'affaires and ambassador to Germany in Berlin from 1885 to 1895. [2] After returning to Istanbul, he served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Turkish : Hariciye Nazırı) from 1899 to 1909. After the proclamation of the Second Constitutional Era in 1908, Ahmet Tevfik Pasha was appointed to a seat in the revived Senate of the Ottoman Empire (Turkish: Ayan Meclisi), the upper house of the also-revived parliament, the General Assembly (Turkish: Meclis-i Mebusan).

Constantinople capital city of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire, the Latin and the Ottoman Empire

Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), of the Byzantine Empire, of the brief Crusader state known as the Latin Empire (1204–1261) and of the Ottoman Empire (1453–1923). In 1923 the capital of Turkey, the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, was moved to Ankara and the name Constantinople was officially changed to Istanbul. The city was located in what is now the European side and the core of modern Istanbul.

Giray dynasty

The House of Giray, also Girays, were the Genghisid/Turkic dynasty that reigned in the Khanate of Crimea from its formation in 1427 until its downfall in 1783. The dynasty also supplied several khans of Kazan and Astrakhan between 1521 and 1550. Apart from the royal Girays, there was also a lateral branch, the Choban Girays . Before reaching the age of majority, young Girays were brought up in one of the Circassian tribes, where they were instructed in the arts of war. The Giray khans were elected by other Crimean Tatar dynasts, called myrzas (mırzalar). They also elected an heir apparent, called the qalgha sultan. In later centuries, the Ottoman Sultan obtained the right of installing and deposing the khans at his will.

Rome Capital city and comune in Italy

Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

While serving as chargé d'affaires in Athens, he met and married Elisabeth Tschumi, a Swiss woman working as a governess to the children of another diplomat. They had five children together. [2]

The Swiss are the citizens of Switzerland or people of Swiss ancestry.

First term as Grand Vizier

Ahmet Tevfik Pasha's first period of office as grand vizier was one of the direct outcomes of the failed counterrevolutionary 31 March Incident (which actually occurred on 13 April) in 1909. When the absolutists declared the countercoup, they demanded and received the resignation of the previous grand vizier Hüseyin Hilmi Pasha. Although their preferred replacement was not Ahmet Tevfik Pasha, his appointment at least fulfilled their demands for the removal of Hüseyin Hilmi Pasha. [3] Ahmet Tevfik Pasha, who had only reluctantly taken up the post at the urging of the pro-absolutist sultan Abdul Hamid II, formed a government made up of mostly non-partisan and neutral members and took precautions to limit the growth of violence that had begun in Istanbul and Adana. After the Hareket Ordusu (English: Army of Action) entered Istanbul and restored the constitutional government, and Abdul Hamid was deposed, Ahmet Tevfik Pasha resigned and Hüseyin Hilmi Pasha returned as grand vizier.

31 March Incident 1909 rebellion of conservative reactionaries in Constantinople

The 31 March Incident was the defeat of the Ottoman countercoup of 1909 by the Hareket Ordusu, which was the 11th Salonika Reserve Infantry Division of the Third Army stationed in the Balkans and commanded by Mahmud Shevket Pasha on 24 April 1909. The counter coup began on 31 March on the Rumi calendar, which was the official calendar of the Ottoman Empire, corresponding to 13 April 1909 on the Gregorian calendar now used in Turkey. The rebellion had begun on 13 April 1909 and was put down by 24 April 1909. Ottoman historiography link the two events under the name 31 March Incident but refers to the actions by the Hareket Ordusu, the subsequent restoration of the constitution for a third time and the deposition of Abdul Hamid II who was then replaced by his younger brother Mehmed V.

Hüseyin Hilmi Pasha Ottoman grand vizier

Hüseyin Hilmi Pasha was an Ottoman statesman and imperial administrator. He was twice the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire around the time of the Second Constitutional Era. He was also one-time president of the Turkish Red Crescent.

Istanbul Metropolitan municipality in Marmara, Turkey

Istanbul, formerly known as Byzantium and Constantinople, is the most populous city in Turkey and the country's economic, cultural and historic center. Istanbul is a transcontinental city in Eurasia, straddling the Bosporus strait between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. Its commercial and historical center lies on the European side and about a third of its population lives in suburbs on the Asian side of the Bosporus. With a total population of around 15 million residents in its metropolitan area, Istanbul is one of the world's most populous cities, ranking as the world's fourth largest city proper and the largest European city. The city is the administrative center of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Istanbul is a bridge between the East and West.

Second term as Grand Vizier

After World War I and the resignation of Ahmed Izzet Pasha, Ahmet Tevfik Pasha was again appointed grand vizier on 11 November 1918. Two days after his term began, the Allies began their occupation of Constantinople. The Allies pressured sultan Mehmet VI to dissolve the parliament on 21 December 1918, and for a few weeks, Ahmet Tevfik Pasha's government was dissolved as well. He formed his government again on 12 January 1919, but after the invaders forced him to dissolve it once more, he resigned as grand vizier on 3 March 1919. [4]

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the resulting 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

Ahmed Izzet Pasha Ottoman general and statesman

Ahmed İzzet Pasha, known as Ahmet İzzet Furgaç after the Turkish Surname Law of 1934, was an Ottoman general during World War I. He was also one of the last Grand Viziers of the Ottoman Empire and its last Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Allies of World War I group of countries that fought against the Central Powers in World War I

The Allies of World War I or Entente Powers is the term commonly used for the coalition that opposed the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria during the First World War (1914–1918).

Paris Peace Conference

After his second term as grand vizier, Ahmet Tevfik Pasha became the head of the Senate of the Ottoman Empire (which had not yet been dissolved, unlike the lower house). He then served as the president of the Ottoman delegation to the Paris Peace Conference ending World War I. Ahmet Tevfik Pasha's delegation refused the heavy terms of the proposed treaty, but another delegation sent by the Grand Vizier Damat Ferid Pasha accepted the terms and signed the Treaty of Sèvres. [5]

Third term as Grand Vizier

On 21 October 1920, he was once more appointed grand vizier, replacing Damat Ferit Pasha. Meanwhile, the Turkish National Movement had established another government in Ankara, proclaiming itself to be the sole government of the nation and rejecting the sultanate. Ahmet Tevfik Pasha offered the nationalist Ankara government to join his monarchical Istanbul government to form one body at the Conference of London in 1921. However, the leader in Ankara, Mustafa Kemal, refused the offer, and the two governments sent separate delegations to the conference, with Ahmet Tevfik Pasha himself leading the Istanbul delegation and Bekir Sami Kunduh leading the Ankara delegation. However, once he arrived in London, Ahmet Tevfik Pasha, in a surprising move, proclaimed that the Ankara government indeed was the sole rightful government of Turkey and allowed Bekir Sami to be the only representative at the conference.

After the abolition of the Ottoman Sultanate on 1 November 1922, Ahmet Tevfik Pasha met with his government. With the sultan Mehmet VI gone and unable to find a reason to hold their offices any longer, the government began to resign one by one, and Ahmet Tevfik Pasha resigned three days after the abolition on 4 November 1922.

Later life and death

After the 1934 Surname Law, he adopted the last name "Okday." He died on 8 October 1936 in Istanbul and is interred at the Edirnekapı Martyr's Cemetery.

His biography, written by his grandson Şefik Meetu Okday, was published in 1986 and is titled My Grandfather, the Last Grand Vizier, Ahmet Tevfik Pasha (Turkish: Büyükbabam Son Sadrazam Ahmet Tevfik Paşa).

See also

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  1. İsmail Hâmi Danişmend, Osmanlı Devlet Erkânı, Türkiye Yayınevi, İstanbul, 1971 (Turkish)
  2. 1 2 3 Kalyoncu, Cemal A. "Son Sadrazamın Torunu." Aksiyon 20 Nov 1999: n. pag. Son Sadrazamın Torunu. Aksiyon.com.tr, 20 Nov 1999. Web. 1 Sep 2013. < "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 October 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)>.
  3. Necati Çavdar, Siyasi Denge Unsuru Olarak 31 Mart Vakasında Ahmet Tevfik Paşa Hükümeti, History Studies, Samsun, Mart 2011 Archived 2 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Atatürk.net sitesi Atatürk ve Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Kronoloisi 1919 yılı, Access date: June 24, 2011
  5. Turktarih.net sitesi Paris Barış Konferansı maddesi, Access date: June 24, 2011 Archived 16 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine
Political offices
Preceded by
Said Halim Pasha
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Mehmed Rifat Pasha
Preceded by
Hüseyin Hilmi Pasha
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
Succeeded by
Hüseyin Hilmi Pasha
Preceded by
Ahmed Izzet Pasha
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
Succeeded by
Damat Ferid Pasha
Preceded by
Damat Ferid Pasha
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
Office abolished
Succeeded by İsmet İnönü
as Prime Minister of Turkey