Mehmed Ali Pasha (marshal)

Mehmed Ali Pasha (November 18, 1827[1] – September 7, 1878[2]) was a German-born Ottoman career officer and marshal. He was the grandfather of the Turkish statesman Ali Fuat Cebesoy, and the great-grandfather of famous poets Nâzım Hikmet and Oktay Rıfat Horozcu and the socialist activist, lawyer, and athlete Mehmet Ali Aybar.

Mehmed Ali

Mehmed ali pasha.jpg
Ludwig Karl Friedrich Detroit

(1827-11-18)November 18, 1827
DiedSeptember 7, 1878(1878-09-07) (aged 50)
NationalityPrussian, Ottoman
OccupationMarshal, Chief of Staff of the Ottoman Army
Known forDelegate of the Ottoman Empire at the 1878 Congress of Berlin


Painting of the Congress of Berlin by Anton von Werner (far right: Mehmed Ali Pasha)

Mehmed Ali was born as Ludwig Karl Friedrich Detroit (also known as Carl Detroy)[3] in Magdeburg, Prussia. His parents were Carl Friedrich Detroit and Henriette Jeanette Severin. The French family name points to Huguenot ancestry, as a descendant of Protestant refugees from France in the 16th or 17th century. During his teenage years in 1843 he ran away to sea, and traveled to the Ottoman Empire,[4] where he embraced Islam and was circumcised.[3] There, in 1846, Âli Pasha, later Grand Vizier, sent him to a military school. He received a commission in the Ottoman Army[3] in 1853 and fought against Russia in the Crimean War. He was made a brigadier general and Pasha in 1865.

In the 1877–1878 war against Russia, Mehmed Ali led the Turkish army in Bulgaria. He was successful in his operations on the Lom river (August–September 1877), but was afterward forced back by his opponents. He failed to effect a junction with Suleiman Pasha, and was superseded by the latter. Later in 1878 he was a participant at the Congress of Berlin.


In August 1878, the Ottoman government selected him to overview the process of the cession of the Plav-Gucia region to Montenegro in compliance to the decisions of the Congress of Berlin.[3] Mehmed Ali Pasha's first task was the pacification of the Albanian League of Prizren, which opposed the border change as part of the areas (Plav-Gucia) were Albanian-inhabited. He arrived in Kosovo in late August, attempting to make local Albanians comply with the Berlin Treaty[3] but was blocked from any further movement towards the Ottoman-Montenegrin border by the local committees of the Albanian League. Stationed in Abdullah Pasha Dreni's estate in Gjakova with several Ottoman battalions he was killed on September 6 after a seven-day battle with several thousand Albanians opposing cessation of Albanian inhabited lands to European powers.[2][4][5][6][3]


  1. ^ Latif Çelik, Türkische Spuren in Deutschland, Logophon Verlag GmbH, 2008, p. 188.
  2. ^ a b Osman Selim Kocahanoğlu, "Bir Osmanlı Ailesi ve Ali Fuad Cebesoy", Ali Fuat Cebesoy'un Arşivinden Askeri ve Siyasi Belgeler, Temel Yayınları, İstanbul, 2005, ISBN 975-410-092-6, p. 13. (in Turkish)
  3. ^ a b c d e f Gawrych, George (2006). The Crescent and the Eagle: Ottoman rule, Islam and the Albanians, 1874–1913. London: IB Tauris. p. 49. ISBN 9781845112875.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  4. ^ a b Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Mehmed Ali Pasha" . New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.
  5. ^ Ayfer Özçelik, Ali Fuad Cepesoy, Akçağ Yayınları, 1993, ISBN 975-338-006-2, p. 2. (in Turkish)
  6. ^ Halil Sedes, 1876-1878 Osmanlı-Rus Savaşları Bosna Hersek ve Bulgaristan İhtilalleri, Çituri Biraderler, İstanbul, 1946, p. 180. (in Turkish)

Family treeEdit

Sırp Ömer Lütfi
Mihajlo Latas
Çerkes Hafız Mehmed PaşaMacar Ali
Mustafa Celalettin Pasha
Konstanty Borzęcki
SaffetMehmed AliAyşe SıdıkaKürt HafizeKamilTahir
Hüseyin HüsnüHayriyeMehmet NazımMacar Ali RıfatHasan EnverLeylaMehmet Ali GeredeEleanor Louisa BendonZekiye Haticeİsmail FazılAdviyeTevfik
Rahmi ArslanNimetMuhsinTahsinHikmetCelileSamih RıfatMünevverMustafa CelalettinMehmet AliSaraLeyla MakbuleMehmet Ali CebesoyAli Fuat Cebesoy
AlpaslanMehmet Ali AybarNazım Hikmet RanZeynep MenemencioğluOktay Rıfat Horozcuİsmail Fazıl CebesoyAyşe Cebesoy Sarıalp