Midhat Pasha

Midhat Pasha (mĭdhätˈ päshäˈ) [key], 1822–83, Turkish politician. As governor of Bulgaria he succeeded within the few years of his tenure (1864–69) in raising the country from misery to relative prosperity. Schools, roads, and granaries were built from funds obtained by local taxation. His hostility to Pan-Slavism caused the Russian ambassador at Constantinople to secure his transfer to Baghdad. He was briefly grand vizier (chief executive officer) in 1872. In 1876, at the head of the reforming party, he led the revolution that deposed Sultan Abd al-Aziz. The new sultan, Murad V, was in turn shortly deposed because of his insanity, and Abd al-Hamid II succeeded. Late in 1876, as grand vizier, Midhat secured the promulgation of the first Turkish constitution, but as soon as Abd al-Hamid regained control over the situation he sent Midhat into exile. After being recalled as governor of Syria, Midhat was charged with the murder of Abd al-Aziz, imprisoned, and strangled.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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