Statesman, Ottoman Grand Vizier (Born 1853, Istanbul –
Death 1923, Nice
/ France). His real name is Mehmed Ferid and his father is Seyyid
Hasan İzzet Efendi, a Council of State Member. His family originally comes from
Damat Ferid was elected to Membership of Senate after the declaration of Second Constitutionalist Period (1908).With the hope of promoting to better positions he tried to ingratiate himself with the Party of Union and Progress and started to revile against the former period. However, as he could not see the welcome of party members he turned his back on them. He presented a constitutional amendment proposal to the Senate in February 1910 and criticized the constitutional amendment actualized in 1909 by the Party Members of Union and Progress. He defended that the idea of national sovereignty was harmful for multinational Ottoman country and that the powers assigned to the legislature should be divided between the Sultan, Senate and Parliament.
Even if his proposal was not accepted in the Senate, he became the hope of the opposition against the Party of Union and Progress. Damat Ferid was elected as the General President of the Party of Freedom and Accord which came into being with the consortium of various adversary groups (25 November 1911); however he resigned because of rifts within the party. (3 June I912). After that, as a Senate Member, together with an ex-Member of Party of Union and Progress, Ahmed Rıza Bey, he became as influent as an opposition party against the Party of Union and Progress which applied a one-party-system without opposition, especially between the years 1913-18.
By the end of
the 1st World War, Damat Ferid attempted to gain influence again
since Ministers of the Party of Union and Progress moved away from the
government. Meanwhile, the Sultan intended to send him to Mondros as head of
the representatives but this was refused by the İzzet Pasha Government.
Therefore, Ferid Pasha accused the İzzet Pasha Government of being a
continuation of Unionists and his infusions caused the Sultan to demand the
resignation of the unionist ministers in the government; however the whole government
resigned. Three days after the foundation of the new government, allied powers’
navy anchored in
Damat Ferid Pasha undertook the Foreign Affairs himself in the government he established. His first move was to arrest ex-Unionists including Prime Ministers, Ministers and High-Ranked Officers, with a legal decision published by him called “Act about Customs of Court Martial in Dersaadet”. Besides, worrying about the complete invasion of the Ottoman Country, Ferid Pasha asked the English to build outposts in important places. He presented a plan on the 30th of March 1919. According to this plan, under the condition of preserving the Sultan’s sovereignty rights, Arab countries were granted autonomy and Armenians were granted independence. In return, he asked the English to invade necessary areas in order to maintain the order and safety there. The violence policy started by Damat Ferid against the Unionists for the sake of winning the English; and that the Governor of Boğazlıyan, Kemal Bey, was held responsible for incidents in Yozgat during the Armenian deportation, immediately judged and executed on the 10th of April 1919, created reactions country-wide. At this time, some officers were made to commanders in Anatolian troops. Mustafa Kemal Pasha was assigned to Inspectorate of the 9th Army and granted broad authorities. (30 April 1919).
With the diplomatic note given from the English High
Commissioner to the government dated 14 May 1919,
Damat Ferid Pasha established the government with
impartial persons who were not member of any party. Allied Forces informed him
about that Mustafa Kemal Pasha who leaded the Erzurum Congress and Rauf Bey
must be arrested, otherwise they would invade
The Sultan this time assigned Salih Pasha to establish
the government (8 March 1920). Allied Forces who did not welcome this invaded
Meanwhile, after the closure of the Parliament of Deputies by Ferid Pasha, the Grand National Assembly gathered in Ankara with deputies who escaped from there (23 April 1920). The Assembly took over the rule of the state and country with a government recruited from within itself, so the country now had two governments. The Ankara government gave a diplomatic note to Allied Forces on the 30th of April, informing them that the only legitimate rule of the country is the Grand National Assembly’s Government until Istanbul was saved from the Sultan and the invasion. In spite of this, the Istanbul Government on the same day sent a committee to Paris led by Tevfik Pasha in order to determine conditions of peace. The Paris Conference informed the Ottoman Committee on the 11th of May about the peace conditions it prepared. The contract which required a written answer within one month did not have any difference from a death warrant.
Mustafa Kemal Pasha declared that the committee which went to Paris did not represent the Turkish nation and was not authorized to approve the conference’s decision. The Ankara Independence Court condemned Ferid Pasha to death because of treason. Damat Ferid Pasha returned to Istanbul without acquiring any positive result in Paris and without signing the contract (14 July 1920). Nevertheless, after the Paris Conference informed him that the necessary measures would be taken in case the contract was not signed within ten days, Ferid Pasha sought to reconcile with Ankara. Meanwhile since some ministers within the government were against signing the contract, Ferid Pasha resigned to establish a new government and was assigned on the same day to establish a new government. (31 July). Damat Ferid Pasha established his fifth and last government rather with “yes-men”. He undertook Foreign Affairs himself. That Damat Ferid Government signed the Treaty of Sevres made the whole country deplore (10 August 1920). The Ankara Government condemned the signers to death because of treason.
Starting from this date, Damat Ferid lost reputation in the eye of the English. The French High Commissioner offered collaboration to his English colleague to remove Ferid Pasha from the Prime Ministry whom he regarded as the only obstacle of reconciliation between Ankara and İstanbul. Both High Commissioners visited the Sultan on the 17th of October 1920 and requested the resignation of Ferid Pasha. He resigned the same day and stayed for a while in Istanbul. Then, he used his wife’s disease as an excuse and went to Europe. He returned to Istanbul after the Great Victory, however considering this dangerous he went to France on the 21st of September 1922 with his family and settled to Nice. He died on the 6th of October 1923 when the Turkish army under the rule of Şükrü Naili Pasha saved Istanbul from invasion.
REFERENCE: Gazi Mustafa Kemal / Nutuk (1927), Kâzım Karabekir / İstiklâl Harbimiz (1960), Refik Halit Karay/ Minelbab İlelmihrab (1964), İbnülemin Mahmut Kemal İnal / Osmanlı Devrinde Son Sadrazamlar (c. IV, 1969), Tarık Mümtaz Göztepe / Vahdettin Mütareke Gayyasında (1969), Sina Akşin / İstanbul Hükümetleri ve Milli Mücadele (1983), Tarık Zafer Tunaya / Türkiye’de Siyasal Partiler (c. I, 1984), Salâh R. Sonyel / Türk Kurtuluş Savaşı ve Dış Politika (1987), TDV İslam Ansiklopedisi (c. 8, İstanbul 1993), İhsan Işık / Ünlü Devlet Adamları (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, C. 1, 2013) - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013).