Sakızlı Ohannes Paşa

Ekonomist, Devlet Adamı

Diğer İsimler
Sakızlı Paşa

Statesman, economist (B. 1830?, Ohannesburg – D. ?). He was of Armenian origin. There are not sufficient sources about Ohannes Pasha, and information on his nickname is contradictory. There are people who claim that he was descended from Serovpe Sakızoğlu (1730-1790) and he was born in Chios Island, he was nicknamed Sakızlı because he migrated from the Chios Island (Sakız Adası). Others claim that he was called Sakızlı because he always chewed gum (Sakız) in order to get rid of his nickname which was given to him due to his drag footedness which he never liked. He worked at Encümen-i Daniş (Academiy of Science) which was established in 1861. He is noted for his article “İlm-i Servet-i Milel”, which was about capitalism and capital stock and was published in the magazine “Mecmua-yı Fünun” of Encümen-i Daniş, which was published in 48 issues. He was a sophisticated Ottoman scholar and was one of the first agents who supported liberal economy in Turkey. He had been general director of press during era of Tanzimat Reforms (1862-63). He gave the first lecture at Mekteb-i Mülkiye-yi Şahane (School of Political Science) when it became an institute of higher education in 1877, on “science of wealth”. Later, he gave “ilm-i servet-i milel” (T.N. economy) lessons and “usül-ü idare-i mülkiye” (T.N. administrative law) lessons at this school and gave aesthetics lessons at Mekteb-i Fünun-ı Nefise-i Şahane (Academy of Fine Arts). He worked at the Department of State as Secretary General (1871) and became the Ministry of Hazine-i Hassa (T.N. private treasury of the ottoman sultan, 1897).  Young Turks were highly influenced by him.

Ohannes Pasha was the first economist of this land. Together with Portakal Mikael Pasha, he gave free market economy lessons at Mülkiye Mektebi. He specialized in equal opportunities, distribution of capital, wage disparity. He couldn’t stand injustice; it can even be seen in his pastoral stories.

According to Prof. Korkut Boratav, Sakızlı Ohannes Pasha was one of the economists, together with Mehmed Cavit Bey Member of İttihad ve Terakki, who supported liberalism and who wrote books about liberalism after and in 1908. They influenced Ottoman economy and delayed the birth of state socialism

Sakızlı Ohannes had written books on classic liberal economy in Turkey. He supported free market economy for the economic development of the empire and he was against protectionism, state socialism, and monopolism by the state. He argued against socialism, which was an issue in Europe and he taught it was against the human nature. Fünun-ı Nefise Tarihi Medhali, which was a composition of his lecture notes on aesthetic, was re-published under the title of “Güzel Sanatlar Tarihine Giriş” in 2005. That book deeply influenced the poets and writers of Servet-i Fünun (T.N. a literature movement in Ottoman Empire influenced by western literature).

The Young Turks (The New Ottomans) such as Namık Kemal, Ziya Pasha and Ali Süavi are the major agents, supporters and master minds of the first constitutional law in history of Turkey (Kanun-i Esasi) in 1876. Namık Kemal (1840-88) was influenced by liberal doctrine not only for he supported free market but also for he thought constitutional order was the warrant for political liberty. Nearly one generation before him, İbrahim Şinasi another thinker and man of letters (1824-71) supported political liberty and thought that the state must have worked for the benefit of society.

At approximately the same time, Sakızlı Ohannes Pasha who taught economy lessons at Mekteb-i Mülkiye could be regarded as the pioneer of liberal economy in Turkey. Ohannes Pasha, who was also the author of Milletlerin Zenginleşmesi Biliminin Kaynakları’ (Mebadi-i İlm-i Servet-i Millel) thought a free and competitive economy based on property right and freedom of enterprise was a need for the economic progress of Ottoman Empire.  Pasha said that he was against protectionism, state socialism and monopoly in economy.” (Prof. Dr. Mustafa Erdoğan)


Mebâdî-i İlm-i Servet-i Milel (“Classic Economy”, İstanbul 1880), Fünun-ı Nefise Tarihi Medhali (1891, notes of his lectures he gave on aesthetic at Mekteb-i Fünûn-ı Nefîse-i Şahâne. Composed by Kahraman Bostancı under the title of “Güzel Sanatlar Tarihine Giriş”, 2005), Mebâdî-i İlm-i Servet (translated from the work of Adam Smith, 1894). 



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