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Fuad Pasha

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Fuad Pasha

Mehmed Fuad Pasha (1814–1869) was an Ottoman statesman known for his leadership during the Crimean War and in the Tanzimat reforms within the Ottoman Empire. He was also a noted Freemason.


Fuad Pasha was a “Europeanized” man who was fluent in French and was able to negotiate on the same level as his European counterparts. He became the first secretary of the Ottoman embassy in London in 1840. During 1848 he was employed on special missions in the principalities and at St. Petersburg; and in 1851, he was sent to Egypt as a special commissioner. In that year he became minister for foreign affairs, a post to which he was reappointed on four subsequent occasions and which he held at the time of his death. During the Crimean War he commanded the troops on the Greek frontier and distinguished himself by his bravery. He was the Ottoman delegate at the Treaty of Paris in 1856; was charged with a mission to Syria in 1860; served as grand vizier two times (see succession box below); and minister of war. He accompanied the sultan Abdülaziz on his journey to Egypt and Europe.

Tanzimat Period

Fuad Pasha was an important reformer during the Tanzimat period. The goal of the program was to, “promote reform, fend off the powers and forestall rebellion”.[1] He (along with officials such as Ali Pasha, Mustafa Reshid Pasha and Midhat Pasha) was an official that was dedicated to the implementation of all of the reforms that came along with the program. He had hoped that the Tanzimat reforms would, “find salvation for the empire by creating among its peoples the bond of equal citizenship based on Ottoman nationality, the obstacles they faced were too great and the time too late.” [1] He realized the importance of change and saw it as a necessary evolution that the Ottoman Empire needed to make. However, in his efforts to create an image of a modern Ottoman Empire, Fuad Pasha believed that by giving non-Muslim subjects of the Empire equal rights via the Millet system would “dull their nationalist and separatist tendencies.” He, along with the other three reformers, believed that in order to save the empire, a sense of “Ottomanism” needed to be created.

Due to his success at executing the changes of the Tanzimat program, Pasha was went to Syria during 1860 to enforce Ottoman law after the outbreak of war. He arrived in Beirut on July 17, 1860, armed with extreme power granted to him by the Sultan. Fuad Pasha ordered the execution of Jamal al-Din Hamdan and ten other Lebanese Druze sheikhs for their participation in the atrocities of the Lebanese civil war of 1859-1860 against the Maronite Christians, though this sentence was not carried out. His goal was to protect the Ottoman power over the region as well as keep out the European influence For example, in order to send a message to the anti-Ottoman forces; he had some Damascus notables hanged for their lack of regard for the Ottoman commitment to a multi-ethnic state. Pasha saw the events of 1860 in Syria as the converse to the idea of modernism as exhibited by Europe. He chaired the Beirut Commission in 1860 that included Britain, France, Russia, Austria and Prussia.

In an attempt to centralize and stabilize authority in Syria, while maintaining British interests, A British representative suggested Fuad Pasha as the leader for the region of Syria. Fuad Pasha, who was “Europeanized”, seemed to be aligned with Western ideals that the British wanted to preserve in the Middle East. In the area of Mount Lebanon and Syria, Fuad Pasha saw the necessity for authority and modernity under a central ruling body. He sought to rid the area of old tribal rule and put the area under Ottoman authority. Reforms created a more unified state that was under the control and authority of the Ottoman Sultan. Fuad Pasha’s work of centralizing Ottoman control in Syria was an example of Ottoman nationalism that encouraged patriotism in Ottoman territories but also strengthened the hierarchical relationship of the “father figure” of Sultan and his relationship with the citizens.

He retired due to ill health to Nice, France, where he died in 1869.


Preceded by
Mehmed Emin Ali Pasha
Grand Vizier
22 November 1861 - 5 January 1863
Succeeded by
Yusuf Kamil Pasha
Preceded by
Yusuf Kamil Pasha
Grand Vizier
1 June 1863 - 4 June 1866
Succeeded by
Mütercim Mehmed Rüştü Pasha
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