Halil Rifat Pasha

Osmanlı Sadrazamı, Devlet Adamı

09 Kasım, 1901
Mülkiye Mektebi (School of Political Sciences)
Diğer İsimler
Gürcü Halil Rifat Pasha

Statesman, grand vizier (B. 1827 Lika Village / Siroz / Selanik / Ottoman Empire (Thessaloniki / Greece) - D. November 9th, 1901, Istanbul). Also known as Gürcü Halil Rifat Pasha. He was from the Bölükbaşı family which was well-known in its territory. He rose to Grand Vizier (Prime Minister) position which was the highest position from a registrar, the lowest position in the Ottoman bureaucracy. Before his Grand Vizier post in Sultan Abdulhamid's period, he was the governor of Sivas and Izmir.

After finishing the primary school, he was sent to Istanbul Mülkiye Mektebi (School of Political Sciences). After school he worked as a registrar in Serez (Siroz) and Thessaloniki, and as divan secretary in cities like Vidin, Edirne, Erzurum. In 1864 he became Tuna province board head clerk and later the high officer responsible for the editorial office in the same province. In the following years, he worked as divan secretary, high officer responsible for the editorial office, lieutenant governor, governor in different cities and then as Minister of Internal Affairs and Grand Vizier (Prime Minister). He made his most brilliant practices in his official posts during his governorships in Sivas, Aydın (Izmir) and Manastır. He was known with his interesting tactics in fighting against the bandits in the Balkans and with his studies with the citizen-government cooperation in public works field in Anatolia.

Halit Rifat Pasha was appointed as governor to Sivas, a province center for that period in 1882. He made important works in the region in the fields of roads, drinking water, agriculture and forest. He was known particularly for the importance he gave to road construction. The famous saying "Where you cannot go, does not belong to you" was his.

After Sivas, he was appointed to Izmir and there he was the governor for two periods between 1885 and 86 and between 1889 and 91. In his period, he had the first military hospital in Izmir, (which does not exist today) Karantina District, which the government postponed for about 70-80 years due to financial constraints. During his Grand Vizier period, the Turkish-Greek War concluded with Ottoman Empire's victory and the Sason Rebellion was suppressed.

During his first years as the Minister of Internal Affairs and the first years of Grand Vizier, Halil Rifat Pasha dealt mostly with the Armenian rebellions. The Darülaceze project he started when he was the Minister of Internal Affairs was accomplished in the sixth month of his Grand Vizier post; he made the official opening personally. Although he resigned from his post after the murder of his son Cavit Bey, who was a member of the state council, on the bridge by an Albanian called Yanyalı Mustafa in 1899, his request was not accepted by Abdülhamit, who was in good agreement with him. During his post as the Aydın governor (1886) he supported Hizmet newspaper published in Izmir and its authors like Halit Ziya (Uşakligil), Tevfik Nevzat. During his Grand Vizier period for six years (November 7th, 1895 - November 9th, 1901) he provided successful services. When he died, he was buried in Sultan Mahmut Tomb on Çemberlitas Divanyolu Avenue.

Halit Rifat Pasha is said to have a strong writing skill and to write good poems. Today, a district and a mansion in Izmir Konak were named after him. He has a bust in Sivas and a high school named after him. He was a character in the TV series, "Elveda Rumeli”. Besides, several districts and education institutions as well as the sports establishments around the country named after him.


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