Statesman, Commander of Naval Forces, Grand Vizier (B. 1710, Gelibolu – D.

 19th March 1790, Shumnu). Because of his monumental appearance he was given the nickname “Palabıyık (handlebar moustache)”. He was also known with titles of “Algerian” and “Veteran”. His being called as “Algerian” is because of his long stay in Algeria and also because he received there the title of “Protector of Algeria”. Hasan was born as an orphan who was a slave of Hasan Aga, a tradesman from Tekirdağ. Reportedly he was captured on the border of Iran and bought and raised by Hasan Aga as a slave. Since he beat other children in the neighborhood Hasan Aga intended to sell this child but because his wife adopted him as her own child, she prevented his being sold. When he reached the age of seventeen-eighteen he became an uncontrollable tough guy, beat other young people in the region and was complained about many times. The tradesman thereupon freed him and sent him to various places by his ships. Hasan who got used to navigation by this means became a janissary at the age of twenty five and joined military expedition of Belgrade. He drew attention with his courage in the wars of Morava and Hisarcık.

Hasan Pasha one day departed with some wealth given to him by his master for Algeria which became known to him with its brave men. When his ships ran across to a foreign ship on the way, he jumped to the enemy ship and fought with a great effort even though he was very young. Meanwhile when the wind changed its direction ships were separated from each other and Hasan Pasha remained in the enemy ship. He killed about fifteen of the enemy crew on his own and incarcerated the alive to the warehouse or cabins, thus capturing the ship. However since he stayed in the middle of the sea on his own, he was saved by the Algerians and taken to Algeria. This courage of Hasan Pasha was appreciated by the Protector of Algeria and the ship was granted to him. Besides a coffee shop was given to his administration which made him one of the protectors of Algeria.

Gaining reputation in a short time he became the Governor of Tlemsen. Because of the jealousy of some protectors in Algeria, his life was in danger, so he passed to Spain, Napoli and Istanbul. Since he was famous with his navigation he was taken into the class of captains and was granted a ship. He became a captain in 1770 with the title of mir-imiran (governor). He conquered Limnos from Christians and acquired the title of “Veteran”. Within the same year he was assigned to be a Vizier (minister) and subsequently to the Command of Naval Forces. Later he became the Guard of Strait and Seraskier of Anatolian state and Rusçuk. The same year he was assigned to Command of Naval Forces for the second time and the rule of Mora province was granted to him in 1780. Hasan Pasha who became a vizier in 1786 was taken from the naval forces after two years and assigned to seraskier of Özi Citadel.

When Hasan Pasha was the Commander of Naval Forces, 1768 Turkish Russian war started. The Baltic fleet sent by the Russians to the Mediterranean was supported by the English fleet and fought first the Ottoman fleet but there was not any decisive result in this battle. The second war around Koyun Isles near to the Aegean shores was essentially between Hasan Pasha’s galleon and Russian admiral Spiridov’s ship. When the Russian ship approached his galleon, Hasan Pasha and thirty warriors jumped to the Russian ship. Hasan Pasha was wounded with a bullet during this brave struggle but still kept fighting. After a while he returned to his galleon with his warriors. The Russian panicked upon this unexpected move and burnt their own arsenal. When the fire also spread to the Turkish ship both ships started to burn. Since it was not possible to stay in the ship any more, Hasan Pasha took his yataghan and jumped to the sea with the warriors around him. They held to a wooden piece and moved towards the coast. A small boat saved them. Hasan Pasha was entitled to Captain and Governor after this brave battle.

This second period of Command of Naval Forces of Hasan Pasha lasted fifteen years. He made great service during this period and quelled Tahir Ömer revolts emerging in Syria and Iraq. He defeated the uprising Albanians in Mora Peninsula and maintained the peace and order again. Later he participated to the Yılan Island War within the 1787 Russian Austrian war and defeated the Russian fleet. The next year he defeated the Russians in front of Ismail Citadel and was assigned upon this success to Grand Vizier by the Sultan Selim III in 1789. This duty of Hasan Pasha lasted three and half months. During this duty he passed away in March 1790 and was inhumed in the dervish lodge in Shumnu built by him.

Hasan Pasha not only served to the state but also left behind numerous benevolence works. He constructed barracks for sailors in Istanbul shipyard and built fountains by bringing water from a place about four hours away from Midilli. He also built a fountain in Bakla, a mosque, a public bath and three fountains in Vize, a Pasha manor house and a large marble pool in the middle of the Midilli Island and fountains in Limni, Sakız and Istanköy isles. He was known with his bravery and heroism. 


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