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Mahmud Shevket Pasha (Turkish: Mahmut Şevket Paşa; 1856 – 11 June 1913)[1] was an Ottoman general and statesman, known for his active role in establishing a military aviation program. He was Prime Minister of the Ottoman Empire from 23 January 1913 until his death by assassination.

Mahmud Shawket

Портрет к статье «Махмуд-Шефкет-паша». Военная энциклопедия Сытина (Санкт-Петербург, 1911-1915).jpg
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
In office
23 January 1913 – 11 June 1913
MonarchMehmed V
Preceded byKâmil Pasha
Succeeded bySaid Halim Pasha
In office
23 January 1913 – 11 June 1913
Personal details
Baghdad, Baghdad Eyalet, Ottoman Empire
Died11 June 1913
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Military service
Allegiance Ottoman Empire
Branch/service Ottoman Army

Early life and careerEdit

He was born in Baghdad, where he finished his primary education before going on to the Military Academy (Turkish: Mekteb-i Harbiye) in Constantinople.[2] He joined the army in 1882 as a lieutenant. He spent some time in France investigating military technology and was stationed in Crete for a while. He then returned to the Military Academy as a faculty member.

He worked under Colmar Freiherr von der Goltz (Goltz Pasha) for a while and traveled to Germany. He was then appointed as governor of the Kosovo Vilayet, where he commanded the 3rd Army, which was later known as Hareket Ordusu ("Army of Action") after its involvement in suppressing the counter-revolutionary absolutist reactionaries in the 31 March Incident. A voice recording of Mahmud Shevket Pasha speaking to rally his troops against the counter-revolutionaries in 1909 was released by journalist Murat Bardakçı in 2012.[3]

He played an important role in ending the 31 March Incident and with it, the reign of Abdul Hamid II. He served as Grand Vizier to Mehmed V from 23 January 1913.[4] He was assassinated in Constantinople, on 11 June 1913 in a revenge attack by a relative of the murdered Nazım Pasha.[1]

Among other things, he is credited with the creation of the Ottoman Air Force in 1911 and bringing the first automobile to Constantinople. Mahmud Shevket Pasha gave much importance to a military aviation program and as a result the Ottoman Air Force became one of the pioneering aviation institutions in the world.[5]

Though raised as a Turk, various sources claim that he may have also had Iraqi Arab,[6] Georgian,[7] Chechen,[8] or Circassian[9] ancestry.


  1. ^ a b David Kenneth Fieldhouse: Western imperialism in the Middle East 1914-1958. Oxford University Press, 2006 p.17
  2. ^ Finkel, Caroline, Osman's Dream, (Basic Books, 2005), 57; Istanbul was only adopted as the city's official name in 1930...
  3. ^
  4. ^ Feroz Ahmad (2014). Turkey: The Quest for Identity (second ed.). London: Oneworld. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-78074-301-1.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 6 November 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Ali Bilgenoğlu, Osmanlı Devleti'nde Arap milliyetçi cemiyetler, Müdafaa-i Hukuk Yayınları, 2007, p. 87.]
  7. ^ "New York Times, May 17, 1909" (PDF). The New York Times. 17 May 1909.
  8. ^ İsmail Hâmi Danişmend, Osmanlı Devlet Erkânı, Türkiye Yayınevi, İstanbul, 1971, p. 101. (in Turkish)
  9. ^ Nâzım Tektaş, Sadrazamlar: Osmanlı'da ikinci adam saltanatı, Çatı Kitapları, 2002, p. .
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 September 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Kibrisli Mehmed Kamil Pasha
Grand Vizier
Succeeded by
Said Halim Pasha