Gedik Ahmed Pasha

Gedik Ahmed Pasha (Serbian: Гедик Ахмед-паша; died 18 November 1482) was an Ottoman statesman and admiral who served as Grand Vizier and Kapudan Pasha (Grand Admiral of the Ottoman Navy) during the reigns of sultans Mehmed II and Bayezid II.[1][2]

احمد پاشا کدك
16th Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
In office
MonarchMehmed II
Preceded byMahmud Pasha Angelović
Succeeded byKaramanlı Mehmed Pasha
Grand Admiral of the Ottoman Fleet
Sanjakbeyi of Avlonya
In office
MonarchMehmed II
Preceded byunknown
Succeeded byMesih Pasha
Beylerbeyi of Anatolia
In office
MonarchMehmed II
Preceded byIshak Pasha
Succeeded byKoca Davud Pasha
Beylerbeyi of Rum
In office
c.1451–1462 – c.1451–1462
MonarchMehmed II
Personal details
Died18 November 1482
Edirne Palace, Edirne, Ottoman Empire
Cause of deathStrangling
EducationEnderun School
HouseMember of minor Serbian feudal family from the area of Vranje
Military service
Allegiance Ottoman Empire
Branch/service Ottoman Army (c.1450s–1477 and 1481–1482)
Ottoman Navy (1478–1481)
RankArmy Commander
Grand Admiral
Battles/warsOttoman-Karamanid wars
Ottoman-Aq Qoyunlu wars
 • Battle of Koyulhisar (1461)
Battle of Otlukbeli
Ottoman-Genoese War
Ottoman invasion of Otranto

Very little was known about Gedik Ahmed Pasha in primary sources until late in historiography. Serbia and Albania had both been proposed as geographical regions for his birthplace and Mükrimin Halil Yinanç had even claimed that he was descended from the Byzantine Greek Palaiologos dynasty based on unnamed Western sources Yinanç claimed to have access to. Later research in the Ottoman archives of Vranje (southeastern Serbia) by Aleksandar Stojanovski established that Gedik Ahmed Pasha was a member of the local Serbian feudal families of the area and was born in the village Punoševce.[3][4][5]

Leading the Ottoman Army, he defeated the last Anatolian beylik (principality) resisting Ottoman expansion in the region, the Karamanids.[6] The Karamanids had been the strongest principality in Anatolia for nearly 200 years, even stronger than the Ottomans in the latter's beginning. They effectively succeeded the Sultanate of Rûm in the amount of possessions they held, among them the city of Konya, the former Selçuk capital. Gedik Ahmed Pasha's victory against the Karamanids in 1471, conquering their territory as well as the Mediterranean coastal region around Ermenek, Mennan and Silifke, proved crucial for the future of the Ottomans.[citation needed].

Gedik Ahmed Pasha also fought against Venetians in the Mediterranean and was dispatched in 1475 by the Sultan to aid the Crimean Khanate against Genoese forces. In Crimea, he conquered Caffa, Soldaia, Cembalo and other Genoese castles as well as the Principality of Theodoro with its capital Mangup and the coastal regions of Crimea. He rescued the Khan of Crimea, Meñli I Giray, from Genoese forces.[6] As a result of this campaign, Crimea and Circassia entered into the Ottoman sphere of influence.

In 1479, when he was a sanjakbey of the Sanjak of Avlona,[7] Sultan Mehmet II ordered him to lead a force of between 10,000 and 40,000 troops for the siege of Shkodra.[8] Later that year, the sultan ordered him to lead the Ottoman Navy in the Mediterranean Sea as part of the war against Naples and Milan. During his campaign, Gedik Ahmed Pasha conquered the islands of Santa Maura (Lefkada), Kefalonia, and Zante (Zakynthos). Since he had conquered Constantinople in 1453, Mehmed II saw himself as the inheritor of the Roman Empire and seriously considered the conquest of Italy to reunite Roman lands under his dynasty. As part of this plan, Gedik Ahmed Pasha was sent with a naval force to the heel of the Italian peninsula.[2]

After a failed attempt to conquer Rhodes from the Knights of St. John, Ahmed successfully took the Italian harbor city of Otranto in 1480.[9] However, due to lack of food and supplies, he had to return with most of his troops to Albania in the same year, planning to continue the campaign in 1481.

The death of Mehmed II prevented this. Instead, Ahmet sided with Bayezid II in the struggle for who would succeed the sultan. However, Bayezid II did not fully trust Ahmed and had him imprisoned and later killed on 18 November 1482.[3][10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Lewis, Bernard (2001). The Muslim Discovery of Europe. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-3932-4557-8.
  2. ^ a b Kia, Mehrdad (2017). The Ottoman Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia [2 volumes]. ABC-CLIO. pp. 78–79. ISBN 978-1-6106-9389-9.
  3. ^ a b Stavrides, Théoharis (August 2001). The Sultan of Vezirs: The Life and Times of the Ottoman Grand Vezir Mahmud Pasha Angeloviu (1453–1474) (Ottoman Empire and Its Heritage Series, Volume 24). Brill Academic Publishers, Inc. pp. 65–66. ISBN 90-04-12106-4.
  4. ^ Reindl-Kiel, Hedda. "GEDİK AHMED PAŞA". TDV İslam Ansiklopedisi (in Turkish). Retrieved 2021-03-25.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ Heath W. Lowry (2003). The Nature of the Early Ottoman State. SUNY Press. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-7914-8726-6. Retrieved 20 February 2013. While little is known about the early years of Gedik Ahmed Pasa, the Turkish scholar Mükrimin Halil Yinanç has cited unnamed Western sources claiming that he was of Palaiologan origin. More recently, the 1985 study on the Serbian region of Vranje by Aleksandar Stojanovski, has established that Gedik Ahmed Pasa was a member of the minor Serbian aristocracy
  6. ^ a b Imber, Colin (2019). The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1650: The Structure of Power. Macmillan. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-3520-0414-4.
  7. ^ Setton, Kenneth M. (1978), The Papacy and the Levant (1204–1571), Volume II: The Fifteenth Century, DIANE Publishing, p. 340, ISBN 0-87169-127-2
  8. ^ Babinger, Franz (1978). Mehmed the Conqueror and His Time. Princeton University Press. p. 365. ISBN 978-0-691-01078-6.
  9. ^ Ágoston, Gábor (2010). Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire. Infobase Publishing. p. 427. ISBN 978-1-4381-1025-7.
  10. ^ Lambton, Ann; Lewis, Bernard (1984). The Cambridge History of Islam, Volume 2. Cambridge University Press. p. 309. ISBN 978-0-5212-9135-4.

Further readingEdit

  • E. Hamilton Currey, Sea-Wolves of the Mediterranean, London, 1910
  • Bono, Salvatore: Corsari nel Mediterraneo (Corsairs in the Mediterranean), Oscar Storia Mondadori. Perugia, 1993.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
Succeeded by