Gazi Hüseyin Pasha

Last updated

Gazi · Deli · Sarı · Baltaoğlu
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
In office
28 February 1656 5 March 1656
Monarch Mehmet IV
Preceded by Ermeni Suleyman Pasha
Succeeded by Zurnazen Mustafa Pasha
Ottoman Governor of Egypt
In office
Monarch Murad IV
Preceded by Bakırcı Ahmed Pasha
Succeeded by Sultanzade Mehmed Pasha
Personal details
Born Yenişehir, Ottoman Empire
Died 1659
Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
Nationality Ottoman
Origins Turkish
Military service
AllegianceFlag of the Ottoman Empire.svg  Ottoman Empire
Service/branchFlag of the Ottoman Empire.svg  Ottoman Navy
Rank Kapudan Pasha (grand admiral)
Never exercised the office of grand vizier

Gazi Hüseyin Pasha ("Hüseyin Pasha the Warrior"; died 1659), also known as Deli Hüseyin Pasha ("the Mad") or Sarı Hüseyin Pasha ("the Blonde") or Baltaoğlu Hüseyin Pasha ("of the Axe"), was an Ottoman military officer and statesman. He was governor of Egypt (1635–1637), [1] [2] Kapudan Pasha in the 1630s, and briefly Grand Vizier in 1656.

The baltacı or baltadji corps was a class of palace guards in the Ottoman Empire from the 15th to the early 19th centuries.

Ottoman Empire Former empire in Asia, Europe and Africa

The Ottoman Empire, historically 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.



Hüseyin was of Turkish origin [3] and was born in Yenişehir near Bursa in northwest Anatolia. Other than that, little is known about his early days in Constantinople, the Ottoman capital. During the reign of Murat IV, he was a member of palace staff. The shah of Iran had sent Murat IV a prestigious gift, a bow which was reputed as being undrawable. Hüseyin attracted attention when he easily drew the bow. After winning sultan's appreciation, he was promoted to various posts: chief stable man, governor of Silistria in (now in modern Bulgaria), beylerbey (high governor) of Egypt, beylerbey of Anatolia, Kapudan Pasha, etc. He participated in campaigns around Baghdad in modern Iraq and Yerevan (now in modern Armenia). During the reign of Ibrahim I, he served in various European provinces as a governor, and in 1646, he became the governor of Chania, Crete (now in Greece).

Turkish people or the Turks, also known as Anatolian Turks, are a Turkic ethnic group and nation living mainly in Turkey and speaking Turkish, the most widely spoken Turkic language. They are the largest ethnic group in Turkey, as well as by far the largest ethnic group among the speakers of Turkic languages. Ethnic Turkish minorities exist in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire. In addition, a Turkish diaspora has been established with modern migration, particularly in Western Europe.

Yenişehir, Bursa Place in Bursa, Turkey

Yenişehir is a district of Bursa Province of Turkey. Population of the district center is 30,195 as of 2010. Bursa Yenişehir Airport is in the Yenişehir area.

Bursa Metropolitan municipality in Marmara, Turkey

Bursa is a large city in Turkey, located in northwestern Anatolia, within the Marmara Region. It is the fourth most populous city in Turkey and one of the most industrialized metropolitan centres in the country. The city is also the administrative centre of Bursa Province.

Governor of Egypt

Hüseyin Pasha was appointed the governor of Egypt Eyalet in 1635, succeeding Bakırcı Ahmed Pasha and serving until 1637. [4] [1] [2] [5] He was reportedly a cruel and violent governor who murdered for sport. [6] From the very first day of his arrival in Egypt, when he confiscated his finance minister and advisors' temporary tents for his own, Hüseyin Pasha began a series of actions that made him widely disliked by the local populace. [5] He brought with him to Egypt a large number of Druzes, who committed robberies in Cairo, the capital, and his men extorted money from the locals for an upcoming feast celebrating his arrival. [5] Hüseyin Pasha was also involved in stealing wealthy locals' inheritances, so much so that it became a reliable way to exact revenge on an enemy by reporting to the Pasha that he or she had received an inheritance from a relative. [6] He also often reportedly rode a horse through crowds of people and animals, swinging a sword, for recreation. [6] Each month, he forced locals to trade in their bullion coin for adulterated metal and sent bureaucrats and officials to remote locations for sport. [6] During his rule, he had over 1,200 people executed, not including those that he killed by his own hand. [7]

Egypt Eyalet Ottoman province

The Eyalet of Egypt was the result of the conquest of Mamluk Egypt by the Ottoman Empire in 1517, following the Ottoman–Mamluk War (1516–1517) and the absorption of Syria into the Empire in 1516. Egypt was administered as an eyalet of the Ottoman Empire from 1517 until 1867, with an interruption during the French occupation of 1798 to 1801.

Bakırcı Ahmed Pasha was an Ottoman statesman. He served as the governor of Egypt between 1633 and 1635.

Druze Arabic-speaking esoteric ethnoreligious group

The Druze are an Arabic-speaking esoteric ethnoreligious group originating in Western Asia who self-identify as Al-Muwaḥḥidūn. Jethro of Midian is considered an ancestor of all people from the Mountain of Druze region, who revere him as their spiritual founder and chief prophet. It is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion based on the teachings of Hamza ibn-'Ali ibn-Ahmad and the sixth Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, and Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle.

Despite his cruelty, Hüseyin Pasha was an able commander and leader of the local troops, which was a particularly difficult task in Egypt. [8] He was attentive to government details in the divan and successfully decreased robbery and burglary in Egypt. [8]


A divan or diwan was a high government ministry in various Islamic states, or its chief official.

After his dismissal from office in 1637, [4] sultan Murad IV demanded of him an audit of the Egyptian provincial treasury and public revenues, and for him to pay what he owed to the treasury. When he refused, the kaymakam (acting governor) who replaced him until the arrival of his successor jailed Hüseyin, and he was freed only when he paid a large sum. [8]

Murad IV Sultan of the Ottoman Empire

Murad IV was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1623 to 1640, known both for restoring the authority of the state and for the brutality of his methods. Murad IV was born in Istanbul, the son of Sultan Ahmed I and Kösem Sultan. He was brought to power by a palace conspiracy in 1623, and he succeeded his uncle Mustafa I. He was only 11 when he ascended the throne. His reign is most notable for the Ottoman–Safavid War (1623–39), of which the outcome would permanently part the Caucasus between the two Imperial powers for around two centuries, while it also roughly laid the foundation for the current Turkey–Iran–Iraq borders.

<i>Kaymakam</i> Governor of a provincial district

Qaim Maqam, Qaimaqam or Kaymakam is the title used for the governor of a provincial district in the Republic of Turkey, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and in Lebanon; additionally, it was a title used for roughly the same official position in the Ottoman Empire.

Cretan War

Conquest of the Aegean island Crete from Venice was uncharacteristically trying for Ottoman Empire. While the Ottoman Empire was in stagnation, the military and naval technology of the Europeans was on the rise. Although Chania, a major Cretan city, had been captured in 1645, the rest of the island, especially Heraklion, was able to resist the Ottomans. The Ottoman Empire was unable to send reinforcements to Crete because the strait of Dardanelles (Çanakkale) was blocked by the Venetian navy. (see Cretan War (1645–1669) )

Aegean Sea Part of the Mediterranean Sea between the Greek and Anatolian peninsulas

The Aegean Sea is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the Greek and Anatolian peninsulas i.e. between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey. In the north, the Aegean is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosphorus. The Aegean Islands are within the sea and some bound it on its southern periphery, including Crete and Rhodes.

Crete The largest and most populous of the Greek islands

Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 88th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus, and Corsica. Crete and a number of surrounding islands and islets constitute the region of Crete, one of the 13 top-level administrative units of Greece. The capital and the largest city is Heraklion. As of 2011, the region had a population of 623,065.

Republic of Venice former state in in Northeastern Italy (697–1797)

The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic, traditionally known as La Serenissima was a sovereign state and maritime republic in northeastern Italy, which existed for over a millennium between the 7th century and the 18th century from 697 AD until 1797 AD. It was based in the lagoon communities of the historically prosperous city of Venice, and was a leading European economic and trading power during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Thus, the Ottoman army in Crete was deadlocked. Even under these circumstances, Hüseyin captured several forts including Rethymno [9] and laid a siege to Heraklion. He also reconstructed many buildings and the fort of Chania. Sultan Mehmet IV promoted him to be the grand vizier on 28 February 1656. [10]

However he never exercised the post. Long before Huseyin's return to Constantinople, the sultan changed his mind and appointed Hüseyin's rival Zurnazen Mustafa Pasha as grand vizier on 6 March 1656 (although Zurnazen's term was even shorter than that of Hüseyin).

Later years

Hüseyin was assigned to be the beylerbey (governor) of Rumeli, a post inferior to that of grand vizier, but superior to those of the beylerbeys of other provinces. Nevertheless, the new grand vizier Köprülü Mehmet Pasha was afraid of Hüseyin's prestige. [11] He called Hüseyin to Constantinople and persuaded the sultan to jail and later to execute Hüseyin in 1659.

See also

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  1. 1 2 Süreyya, Bey Mehmet, Nuri Akbayar, and Seyit Ali. Kahraman. Sicill-i Osmanî. Beşiktaş, İstanbul: Kültür Bakanlığı Ile Türkiye Ekonomik Ve Toplumsal Tarih Vakfı'nın Ortak Yayınıdır, 1890. Print.
  2. 1 2 Yılmaz Öztuna (1994). Büyük Osmanlı Tarihi: Osmanlı Devleti'nin siyasî, medenî, kültür, teşkilât ve san'at tarihi. 10. Ötüken Neşriyat A.S. pp. 412–416. ISBN   975-437-141-5.
  3. İsmail Hâmi Danişmend, Osmanlı Devlet Erkânı, Türkiye Yayınevi, İstanbul, 1971, p. 41. (in Turkish)
  4. 1 2 Holt, P. M. (2009). "The Exalted Lineage of Ridwān Bey: Some Observations on a Seventeenth-Century Mamluk Genealogy". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. 22 (02): 221. doi:10.1017/S0041977X00068671. ISSN   0041-977X.
  5. 1 2 3 Accounts and Extracts of the Manuscripts in the Library of the King of France. 2. R. Faulder. 1789. p. 83.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Accounts and Extracts of the Manuscripts in the Library of the King of France. 2. R. Faulder. 1789. p. 84.
  7. Accounts and Extracts of the Manuscripts in the Library of the King of France. 2. R. Faulder. 1789. p. 84, 85.
  8. 1 2 3 Accounts and Extracts of the Manuscripts in the Library of the King of France. 2. R. Faulder. 1789. p. 85.
  9. Joseph von Hammer: Osmanlı Tarihi cilt II (condensation: Abdülkadir Karahan), Milliyet yayınları, İstanbul. p 238
  10. Prof. Yaşar Yüce-Prof. Ali Sevim: Türkiye tarihi Cilt III, AKDTYKTTK Yayınları, İstanbul, 1991 p 139-145
  11. Mevlüt Uluğtekin Yılmaz: Osmanlı'nın Arka Bahçesi, MUY Yayınları, Ankara, ISBN   975-94405-0-4 pp 162-164
Political offices
Preceded by
Bakırcı Ahmed Pasha
Ottoman Governor of Egypt
Succeeded by
Sultanzade Mehmed Pasha
Preceded by
Ermeni Süleyman Pasha
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
28 February 1656 – 5 March 1656
Succeeded by
Zurnazen Mustafa Pasha