Statesman, grand vizier (B. ? – D. 2 July 1511, Gökçay). He is originally from Drozgometva village of Sarajevo. He is also known with his nickname Hadım Ali Pasha. As a Devşirme (T.N. Christian conscripted to brought up for the Janissaries) he was raised in Enderun (royal school). After serving as Babüssaâde Chief (Third gate of Topkapı Palace) he was first assigned as sanjak beyliği and later as Karaman Governor (1482). Meanwhile he was busy with various political disorders in the country. Especially against Cem Sultan and Karamanoğlu Kasım Bey he struggled with success. Ali Pasha later became Rumeli Governor. Upon the attempt of Voivode of Boğdan to capture Akkirman, he was sent to defend against him. Ali Pasha defeated Eflak’s Ruler and entered Boğdan. Since he realized that he could not defeat Boğdan’s Prince Stefan Çel Mare he had to seek refugee in Poland. In company of Grand Vizier Davut Pasha he participated to Mameluke expedition in 1483. He was successful in capturing the castles around and was promoted to Viziership (1486). Meanwhile, despite the disease and exhaustion among soldiers, he nevertheless continued fighting, defeated Mameluke soldiers and retreated to Karaman (1492).
After a peace treaty was signed with Mamelukes Ali Pasha was assigned to capture Modon and Koron together with Davut Pasha since the Venetians threatened Mora shores. On the way, he captured castles of Navarin and Zenşiyo without any battle for the Ottoman land (1500). During this expedition he met Beyazıt II but since the winter was approaching, the sultan returned. Venetians took advantage of this situation and recaptured Navarin. However he managed to recapture the town from Venetians with the help of Kemal Reis’ fleet (1501). After this conquest commerce in Mora developed a lot. He placed some of the Muslims who were suffering in Spain to Mora. When Mesih Pasha died in 1501, he became the Grand Vizier. His first Viziership lasted about two years and in 1503 he was discharged. In 1506, he was reassigned to this position and stayed there until he was martyred in 1511.
Sultan Beyazıt II left the rule of many topics to Atik Ali Pasha since he conducted state duty with success. During his Grand Viziership, mostly fights for the throne among sultan’s sons and various troubling movements kept him busy. About the problem of princes, he supported Ahmed against the youngest prince Selim and the oldest prince Korkut. There was a disagreement between him and Korkut because of the ruler’s assets around Antalya district and because Ali Pasha insisted about these assets, Korkut escaped to Egypt with some of his men. However, Ali Pasha doubled assets of Korkut which made him return from Egypt. Besides, he defeated Prince Selim who attempted to take the rule from his father by force in 1511 in Çorlu and prevented this purpose of him. On the other hand, Şahkulu movement (local) was no longer a local one but rather a problem, which kept the state busy, and he was assigned to quell this movement. He removed occurring disagreements among soldiers, moved towards Şahkulu and faced him in Gökçay region between Sivas and Kayseri. During this battle Şahkulu was killed and his soldiers were dismantled. But Ali Pasha moved towards the rebels without takings measures, he was besieged by Şahkulu’s soldiers and an arrow which hit him martyred him.
Atik Ali Pasha was a valuable statesman and a good commander, besides he gave great services for the construction of the country. His honest and astute personality and beneficence were praised by sources of his period. His main beneficence was the complex in Çemberlitaş which consisted of mosque, madrasah, cultivation, school, library and outhouses. The library built by Ali Pasha in this social complex is one of the most important cultural institutions established in Istanbul after the conquest. Also Zincirlikuyu Mosque (also known as Atik Ali Pasha Mosque) in Istanbul Karagümrük, the Kariye Mosque near to the Byzantine Palace which was turned into a mosque from a monastery, a madrasah near to it, a mosque in Edirne, a cultivation in Bursa and some primary schools in Mora belong to his charities.
Ali Pasha donated hundreds of houses, storehouses, khans, bath houses, farms, gardens and fields in numerous places of the empire, especially in Istanbul, to pay the salaries of serving staff in his foundations and reparation expenses of these works. According to a calculation in 1546 the total income of the foundations was 471.998 coins.
Ali Pasha was also closely interested in science and arts and protected people of science and arts. He often gathered scientists and poets in his palace, gave them feasts and made scientific and cultural conversations possible. A famous poet of his period, Priştineli Mesihî was his council clerk. Mesihî’s elegy upon the death of his master is famous. İdris-i Bitlisî dedicated his historical work “Heşt Bihişt” to Atik Ali Pasha.
He made great services in the wars during the period of Kanuni Sultan Süleyman, especially in the ones against Hungarians and Austrians; he also served in Iran expeditions. He passed away in 1557 and he has a mosque in Çatalca.