Çorlulu Ali Paşa

Osmanlı Sadrazamı

26 Aralık, 1711

     Ottoman Grand Vizier (B. 1670, Çorlu – D. 26 December 1711, Mytilene). He was born as the son of a peasant family in Çorlu. He was adopted by Kapıcıbaşı Türkmen Kara Bay­ram Aga, one of the bureaucrats of Ahmed II period, and placed to Hâne-i Hâssa after his education in Enderûn. After several duties he was assigned as the armorer under the protection of Grand Vizier Amcazade Hü­seyin Pasha in 1700.While he was working as an armorer he provided the communication between the Sultan and the Grand Vizier and made it possible that all works related to Enderûn-ı Hümâyun were done through the office of armorer. Due to his success at duty he experienced jealousy. Upon the works of Grand Vizier Rami Mehmed Pasha and Shaykh-al-Islam Feyzullah Efendi against him who were in competition with him, an excuse was invented to move him away from the palace. He stayed in Edirne with the title of Third Vizier after Ahmed III ascended to the throne. Meanwhile he was assigned with the title of District Governor of Edirne to determine the assets of Shaykh-al-Islam Feyzullah Efendi, his children and courtiers in Edirne and transport them to Istanbul. Ali Pasha was invited to Istanbul in order to assign him to the Prefecture of Aleppo on the 22nd of October 1703 but upon a change of decision he was assigned to the District Governorship of Rikab-ı Hümayûn aside from his duty as the Fifth Vizier. As the Grand Vizier Kalaylıkoz Ahmed Pasha began his duty Ali Pasha was assigned to the Prefecture of Trablusşam in 1704 and moved away from Istanbul, however upon the dismissal of the Grand Vizier he was invited again to Kubbealtı and was granted Teke (Antalya) district (yearly income more than 100.000 coins). In the following periods Çorlulu Ali Pasha undertook various duties and finally on the 3rd of Ma­y 1706 he was assigned to Grand Vizier instead of Balta­cı Mehmed Pasha. Two years later he married Emine Sultan, the daughter of Sultan Mustafa II.

Grand Vizier Çorlulu Ali Pasha as an experienced and astute statesman first attempted to control the palace’s expenses by giving importance to savings in order to regulate the empire’s economy. On the other part he aimed to strengthen the fleet by giving importance to ship building. He built large anchors for ships which were earlier purchased from England. He also built some cannonballs in Istanbul. He tried to prevent thefts within the army. He showed his competence during the solution of external problems which occurred during his Grand Vizier period. The Russians who were not satisfied with the Istanbul Agreement in 1700 provoked the Austrian Empire which pressured Hungarian noblemen. They asked for Turkish help and Ali Pasha took a radical decision of helping them which created problems for him. He supported the Swedish King Charles XII against Russia during the Swedish-Russian war in Northern Europe as part of this problem. However Sultan Ahmed III did not support this policy and defended that this policy against Russia was violating the agreement. After a while Charles XII was defeated in Poltava and the pressure of this to the Ottoman Empire caused his adversaries, especially İznikli Silâhdar Ali Aga and Paşmakçızâde Seyyid Ali Efendi, used it against him and on the other hand the Swedish representative Poniatovski accused him of taking bribery from the Russian.

Upon these developments he was discharged from his position of Grand Vizier in 1710 by Ah­med III and sent to the state of Kefe. When he intended to pass to the town of Ismail through Tolcı on Tuna he was arrested and sent to exile to Midilli. His primary enemy Shaykh-al-Islam Paşmakçızâde Seyyid Ali Efendiwhom he dismissed from the position of Shaykh-al-Islam and sent to exile to Sinop earlier published a fatwa against him. The Sultan also published a declaration against him in December 1711 and upon these he was executed on the 26th of December 1711. His head cut off was brought to Istanbul and exposed to people and he was inhumed in the mosque’s garden he built in Divanyolu.

Çorlulu Ali Pasha Social Complex which was built between 1707 and 1709 by him consists of a mosque, dervish lodge, madrasah (dârülhadis), library, tomb and entailed estates. It is in a location of Istanbul, formerly known as Irgatpazarı/Esirpazarı/Makasçılar and nowadays known as Çarşıkapı. Earlier Simkeşhâne building was there. First the mosque was built which was used as the tevhidhane of the dervish lodge and one year later other sections. Buildings which are part of the complex were repaired from time to time; however it mainly survived until today. Çorlulu Ali Pasha also built the shrine of the Prophet Zachary in Aleppo, massive stone constructions to protect the Prophet Muhammad’s coat in Eskialipaşa, a workhouse, a fountain, another mosque on the coast of Shipyard, a public bath, a water-tank with fountain and other charities. Ali Pasha’s seaside residence in Arnavutköy was one of the most beautiful residences in the period.

The historians state that Grand Vizier Çorlulu Ali Pasha was a beneficent, intelligent, dignified, outspoken vizier. Besides they also state that he was a revengeful person to kill his godfather Kara Bayram Aga’s murderer Firârî Ha­san Pasha. 



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