Mustafa Reşid Paşa

Osmanlı Sadrazamı, Devlet Adamı

13 Mart, 1800
07 Eylül, 1858
Diğer İsimler
Koca Mustafa Paşa, Büyük Reşid Paşa

Statesman, grand vizier, leader of the Tanzimat (T.N. Reform) Movement (B. 13th March 1800, Istanbul- D. 7th September 1858, Istanbul) He was also known as Koca (Great) Mustafa Pasha and Büyük (Grand) Reşit Pasha. His father was Mustafa Efendi record officer of Bayezid II Foundation. He did not receive regular education and he learnt how to write and read from his father. Then, even if he continued his courses in madrasah, he could not complete his education when his father passed away in 1810. He grew up under the custody of his brother-in-law Ispartalı Seyyit Ali Pasha and he was appointed to work under him as stamp authority which was the beginning of his official work life. He accompanied Ispartalı Seyyit Ali Pasha, who was appointed as Mora Seraskier, to squash the Greek Rebellion in October 1821. When Seyyid Ali Pasha was discharged from his Seraskier position, he returned to Istanbul.

Mustafa Reşid Bey sustained his official duty in Babıali (Sublime Porte) Official Secretariat that he started to work in 1826. He was appointed to the troop clerk position by the Grand Vizier Selim Mehmed Pasha (Prime Minister) who was responsible during Ottoman- Russian War in 1827. As Sultan Mahmud II asked for a reliable person to be in charge of informing the Sultan himself about the cases that might occur when the troop was in Rumelia, Reşid Bey was appointed as the officer in charge by the proposal of the Grand Vizier. His pure style of writing and felicitous discernment drew the attention of the Padishah, who secretly gathered information about this obscure writer. After Padishah received the relevant responses, we witness the quick improvement of Reşid Bey.

When he returned from the military excursion, he was praised by Sultan Mahmud II and suggested to learn French. At that time, he was appointed to Private Secretary at the Foreign Affairs Ministry. He went to Egypt together with Pertev Pasha, who was sent to Egypt Governor Kavalalı Mehmed Ali Pasha as an officer in charge, to promote aid for Crete Island in 1829. Having returned from Egypt, he was appointed to the Foreign Affairs Department in 1832 and improved his relations with foreign ambassadors. As a result of the rebellion of Egypt Governor Mehmed Ali Pasha, since troops of Egypt proceeded until Kütahya, Reşid Bey was sent to negotiate with İbrahim Pasha, the son of Mehmed Ali Pasha in March 1833. However, the agreement he concluded with İbrahim Pasha caused dissatisfaction of Padishah Mahmud II but he was forgiven as a result of interventions from some friends of him.

Once permanent embassies were established, Mustafa Reşid Bey was sent to Paris as an excellent minister plenipotentiary in July 1834; during his mission, he was impressed by Western ideas. At the end of March1835, he assigned Ruheddîn Efendi, the Embassy translator, as the diplomatic agent in Paris and returned to Istanbul. Three months after his return to Istanbul; he was sent again to Paris then to London in September 1836 as an ambassador. In September 1836, he was sent to the London Embassy.  He participated in the Mason Lodge when he was granted the Undersecretariat of Foreign Ministry. He was given the Marshall Degree in 1837 and appointed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He made a suggestion to Mahmud II about making reforms in line with Western understanding.  Even if he presented his report on this issue, he was rejected by Mahmud II on the ground that his ideas were same as the requests of the British.

When Mustafa Reşid Pasha signed Baltalimanı Treaty as the Foreign Affairs Minister (1838), incompatibility between the Ottoman Empire and England was solved on behalf of England. After the treaty came into force, monopolies that were implemented in Ottoman Empire were abrogated; this caused considerable losses in the Ottoman Treasure. Baltalimanı Treaty, expressed as “Now, the Ottoman is over” by Australian Prime Minister, led Ottoman Empire’s to become heavily indebted. Pasha was pushed-off from Istanbul by being appointed to London Embassy in August 1838, provided that he would continue his position in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On the other hand, Mehmed Ali Pasha had showed in Egypt that a strong regime could be established without being close to the West. Reşid Pasha was, in contrary, a symbol of Westernization in Empire. As long as he wasn’t defeated, Mehmed Ali Pasha would obtain the sovereignty of Syria and his impact within the government would increase. Reşid Pasha, who thought that this occurrence would be the end of his political life, asked the European States for their intervention in the Egypt issue at the risk of making concessions. This behaviour led Mahmud II to call him back to Istanbul and decree on his execution. However, when he reached Paris, he learnt the execution decree from his friends in Istanbul and changed his mind to return to Istanbul. When Mahmud II died, he came to Istanbul by the beginning of 1839 to celebrate Abdülmecid’s coming to the throne. It was one of most depressed periods of the Ottoman Empire.

Mustafa Reşid Pasha made Abdülmecit, the young padishah at the age of sixteen, accept the reform principles of which he had determined in England, based on a motive to ensure help from Europe, in particular from England and he declared Tanzimat Fermanı (T.N. Imperial Edict of Reorganization), which is also known as Gülhane Hatt-ı Hümayunu on 3rd November 1839 by declaring it in Gülhane Square. With the declaration of Tanzimat Fermanı, Western law, military and economical understanding started to be slowly implemented in Ottoman Institutions. However, England, Russia, Austria and Prussia signed a treaty named as London Treaty on 15th day of July 1840. According to this treaty, Mehmed Ali Pasha would evacuate Crete, Adana, Syria, Hedjaz and Lebanon region and contend with only Egypt Governorship. Meanwhile, as a result of the arisen conflicts between Mustafa Reşid Pasha and Egypt Governor Mehmed Ali Pasha, the Padishah, who did not want any interventions from foreign states due to such conflicts, dismissed Reşid Pasha from his position as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and sent him to Paris Embassy in July 1841. Pasha wanted to return to Istanbul but was denied. He was allowed to return to Istanbul upon his insistence, and appointed as Governor of Edirne. Nevertheless, he did not accept this task and kept himself away from the official task for about two years. At the end of 1843, he was once again sent to Paris Embassy and at the end of 1844, was appointed as the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the second time. Thanks to insistences by England, he was appointed as the Grand Vizier (Prime Minister) on 28th September 1846.

 Mustafa Reşid Pasha was discharged from his position as the Grand Vizier which lasted for nineteen months, by Padishah Abdülmecid on 27th April, 1848.  However, he was appointed for the same position three and half months later. During the period of his second assignment, Encümen-i Dâniş (the Academy) was founded by sampling the French Academy. He was dismissed from his position for the second time on 26th January 1852 and appointed as President of Meclis-i Valâ (T.N. Advisory Council). However, he was appointed as the Grand Vizier after forty days for the third time. He was taken from his position lasting nearly five months because of the conflict arising between Damat Fethi Pasha and himself. Ali Pasha was appointed instead of him.

England, exploiting from the conflict between Reşid Pasha and Ali Pasha, kept provoking Russia to break out a war between Ottoman Empire and Russia. As a result of these provocations, Russia occupied Wallachia and Moldova. The war was declared against Russia on 4th October 1853. In this way, the war which is known as Crimean War virtually started on 23rd October 1853. Crimean War, which lasted for about three years and finalized with Paris Treaty in 30 March 1856, was against the state politically, even though the Ottoman Empire did not lose any land. The Ottoman Empire passed through an economic crisis and had to borrow money for the first time when Mustafa Reşid Pasha was brought to the Grand Vizier position for the fourth time. Reşid Pasha was dismissed from his position on 4th May 1855 and Ali Pasha was appointed to his position. However, Sultan Abdülmecid made Mustafa Reşid Pasha the Grand Vizier for the fifth time on 1st November, 1856. Mustafa Reşid Pasha, who was discharged from his position as the Grand Vizier on 6th August 1857 for the fifth time, was appointed as the President of Reform Assembly but a month later, he was discharged from that position, too.

Even if he was appointed as the Prime Minister for the sixth and last time on 22nd October 1857, he became sick in two months. He could not go to the Babıali (Sublime Porte) for a while. He died of a cardiac failure when he was in Turkish bath. His corpse was buried with a great ceremony in a tomb located in Okçular Street in Bayezit.

When he was the Grand Vizier, missionary organizations opened more than 40 missionary schools only in Istanbul. Thousands of people, who graduated from these schools by obtaining Christian-Western culture, were appointed in important and effective positions in political, economic and cultural life of the country. During his era, important treaties which shaped the Ottoman Economy for the interest of Western Countries were signed. Mustafa Reşid Pasha, as the primer and founder of the Tanzimat era reforms, which were the subject of an ongoing debate, had an important place in the history of Ottoman Empire with his attempts of reform movements as well as his services in foreign policy and criticized applications.



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