Mere Hüseyin Pasha

For other people named Hüseyin Pasha, see Hüseyin Pasha (disambiguation).
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
In office
February 5, 1623  August 30, 1623
Monarch Mustafa I
Preceded by Hadım Mehmed Pasha
Succeeded by Kemankeş Kara Ali Pasha
In office
June 13, 1622  July 8, 1622
Monarch Mustafa I
Preceded by Kara Davud Pasha
Succeeded by Lefkeli Mustafa Pasha
Ottoman Governor of Egypt
In office
July 1620  April 1622
Preceded by Hamidi Mustafa Pasha
Succeeded by Biber Mehmed Pasha
Personal details
Died July 1624
Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
Nationality Ottoman
Ethnicity Albanian

Mere Hüseyin Pasha (died July 1624) was an Ottoman statesman of Albanian origin.[1] He was two times Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire in 1622 and 1623,[2] and previously the Ottoman governor of Egypt between 1620 and 1622.[1][3][4] His epithet "Mere!" comes from the word for "Take it!" in Albanian; he was nicknamed so because of the many times he ordered his men to "take [the heads]" of his opponents, i.e. execute them. He was purportedly the only grand vizier who did not speak Turkish.


Hüseyin Pasha was born to the Begolli Albanian family from the region of İpek[5] in the mid to late 16th century.[1][3] It is purported that he never learned to speak Turkish, a very rare occurrence in the Turkish-controlled Ottoman Empire.

He began his government career as the aşcıbaşı (chief cook) of Satırcı Mehmed Pasha, soon becoming a member of the sipahi corps.[3] He then took on a series of increasingly high level government posts, until July 1620, when he was appointed the governor of Egypt Eyalet and made a vizier.[3]

As the governor of Egypt, Hüseyin Pasha's manners were described as "rough and unpolished."[6] He was ill for the first few months of his term, but when he recovered, he threw a feast for his children and received many gifts, although he sent most of the gifts given to him by the wealthy back.[6] While he was governor, the flooding of the Nile caused widespread drought in Egypt, leading to his dismissal from the office in March or April 1622.[3][7] His defterdar (finance minister) Hasan, having become the acting governor (kaymakam) after Hüseyin Pasha's removal, accused him of having embezzled money from the treasury and crops from the granary and prevented him from leaving Cairo.[7] Hüseyin Pasha paid 25,000 gold pieces (dinars; half of the claimed amount) and claimed that a local Jew, who had disparaged him after his removal from office, should pay the rest, claiming that the Jew was indebted to Hüseyin Pasha in the same amount, with this obtaining permission to leave.[7] However, when the authorities went to the Jew to demand payment of the money that Hüseyin Pasha had said he owed him, the Jew claimed that he had already paid Hüseyin Pasha.[7] When this response was made known to Hüseyin Pasha, he claimed that he was not at fault and the Jew was lying, but agreed to pay the remaining 25,000 gold pieces in exchange for the Jew being brought to him.[7] The acting governor accepted this proposal and delivered the Jew to Hüseyin Pasha, who tortured and killed him and took the 25,000 gold pieces by force.[7] After these events, Hüseyin Pasha traveled to Romania, then under Ottoman rule.[7]

A few months later, on June 13, 1622, Hüseyin Pasha was appointed grand vizier for the first time, serving for less than a month until July 8, 1622 under sultan Mustafa I. The next year, the sultan appointed him grand vizier once more, from February 5, 1623 to August 30, 1623.

Hüseyin Pasha was executed in July 1624.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 Uzunçarsılı, İsmail Hakkı, (1954) Osmanlı Tarihi III. Cilt, 2. Kısım , XVİ. Yüzyıl Ortalarından XVII. Yüzyıl Sonuna kadar, Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu (Altıncı Baskı 2011 ISBN 978-975-16-0014-1 ) p. 380
  2. İsmail Hâmi Danişmend, Osmanlı Devlet Erkânı, Türkiye Yayınevi, İstanbul, 1971 (Turkish)
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Mehmet Süreyya (1996) [1890], Nuri Akbayar; Seyit A. Kahraman, eds., Sicill-i Osmanî (in Turkish), Beşiktaş, Istanbul: Türkiye Kültür Bakanlığı and Türkiye Ekonomik ve Toplumsal Tarih Vakfı
  4. Yılmaz Öztuna (1994). Büyük Osmanlı Tarihi: Osmanlı Devleti'nin siyasî, medenî, kültür, teşkilât ve san'at tarihi (in Turkish). 10. Ötüken Neşriyat A.S. pp. 412–416. ISBN 975-437-141-5.
  5. Uran Asllani (2006-06-08), Shqiptarët e Egjiptit dhe veprimtaria atdhetare e tyre [Albanians of Egypt, and their patriotic activity] (in Albanian), Gazeta Metropol, Mbas Sinan Pashës, konkretisht në vitet 1620-1622, në krye të Egjiptit u caktua si vali, Merre Hysein Pashë Begolli, nga Peja.
  6. 1 2 Accounts and Extracts of the Manuscripts in the Library of the King of France. 2. R. Faulder. 1789. p. 43.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Accounts and Extracts of the Manuscripts in the Library of the King of France. 2. R. Faulder. 1789. p. 44.
Political offices
Preceded by
Hamidi Mustafa Pasha
Ottoman Governor of Egypt
July 1620 – April 1622
Succeeded by
Biber Mehmed Pasha
Preceded by
Kara Davud Pasha
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
13 June 1622 – 8 July 1622
Succeeded by
Lefkeli Mustafa Pasha
Preceded by
Hadım Mehmed Pasha
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
5 February 1623 – 30 August 1623
Succeeded by
Kemankeş Kara Ali Pasha
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