Ebubekir Pasha

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Ebubekir Pasha (Ottoman Turkish: ابوبکر پاشا; Turkish: Ebubekir Paşa; 1670 – 1757/1758[1]), also referred to as Koca Bekir Pasha (Turkish: Koca Bekir Paşa) and Abu Bakr Pasha (Bosnian: Ebu Bekir Paša; Greek: Απού Μπεκίρ Πασάς), was an Ottoman statesman. He served as Kapudan Pasha (Grand Admiral of the Navy; 1732–33, 1750–51); as governor (beylerbey) of the provinces of Egypt, Jeddah, Cyprus, and Bosnia; and as head of the Imperial Mint. He was the husband of Safiye Sultan and thus son-in-law (damat) of Sultan Mustafa II.

A great philanthropist, Koca Bekir Pasha was considered one of the most enlightened and productive statesmen of his time.[2]

Background[edit]

Ebubekir was born in 1670 in Alaiye (modern-day Alanya, Turkey).[3]

Bekir Pasha (Kamares) Aqueduct[edit]

Main article: Kamares Aqueduct

His most notable legacy is the still-standing Kamares Aqueduct, also known as the Bekir Pasha Aqueduct, built in 1746 or 1747[4] during his tenure as the Governor of Cyprus, which he financed personally to aid the water supply to the area.

Realizing the difficulties of fresh water access for the poor in the city, Koca Bekir Pasha built this massive aqueduct to improve the water supply to Larnaca. Built in the Roman style, the aqueduct carried water from a source about 6 miles (9.7 km) south of Larnaca into the town. The water supply works involved a long underground tunnel, 250 air wells, and three series of overland arches. It was completed by 1746.

Foreign travelers have often counted it as the most important monument constructed during the Ottoman period in Cyprus. In 1754, Alexander Drummond noted that:

For the honour of Bekir Paşa I must communicate an instance of the old gentlemen’s public spirit. While he was Paşa of this land, in the year 1747, he formed the noble design of bringing water from the river at Arpera, and occasional springs on the road about six miles from hence, to supply the people of Larnaca, Salines and the shipping. A work worthy of great and good man, which might have cost him above fifty thousand piasters of six thousand pounds.[5]


The aqueduct was repaired in 1856, and the renewed structure made it possible for the aqueduct to remain in active use until the 1950s.[6] Relics of the aqueduct still stand outside Larnaca and are referred to as "The Kamares" ("The Arches") today. The aqueduct is illuminated at night.

Campaign to regain control of the Pashaluk of Belgrade[edit]

Ottoman Belgrade

Taking advantage of an apparent power vacuum in Ottoman Rumelia, Osman Pazvantoğlu and Janissaries allied to him gained complete control of the Pashaluk of Belgrade and executed the Ottoman Vizier of Serbia Hadži Mustafa Pasha and also executed various Serbian factions that had opposed the authority of the Janissary on the northern fronts of the Ottoman Empire.

Alarmed by this event Sultan Selim III ordered Ebubekir Pasha of Bosnia and his servicemen such as Mehmed-beg Kulenović to lead an effort to regain control of the Pashaluk of Belgrade from the Janissaries and their protector Osman Pazvantoğlu of Vidin.

Other work[edit]

His signature is found under many major construction and reconstruction projects in every city he served as a governor.

During his tenure as the Governor of Cyprus, he helped revitalise the local economy by having 23 shops built in Nicosia financed by his personal funds.

Death and legacy[edit]

Koca Bekir Pasha died in 1757 or 1758 at the age of about 88 and was buried in Aksaray in Istanbul.[1]

He donated his property to a foundation (Turkish: vakıf) in his name and his will has been documented in detail.[7]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  • ^a Turkish for "Great" or "Old"

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Tosun, Sevilay. "Ebubekir Paşa Ve Kıbrıs'taki İmar Faaliyetleri." Cumhuriyet University Journal of Social Sciences 28.2 (2004): 205-13. Web. 14 Oct. 2013.
  2. ^ Ebubekir Paşa ve Kıbrıs’taki İmar Faaliyetleri; Sevilay Tosun; C.Ü. Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi Aralık 2004 Cilt: 28 No:2 205-213
  3. ^ Süreyya, Bey Mehmet, Nuri Akbayar, and Seyit Ali. Kahraman. Sicill-i Osmanî. Beşiktaş, İstanbul: Kültür Bakanlığı Ile Türkiye Ekonomik Ve Toplumsal Tarih Vakfı'nın Ortak Yayınıdır, 1890. Print.
  4. ^ Neoclis Kyriazis Kypriaca Chronica 1931, H vol 3, 175-187.
  5. ^ Drummond 1754, 252.
  6. ^ Ydadopromithia Larnacas: 4000 Years of History, Alexis Michaelides and Sophocles Christodoulides,Larnaca 2005
  7. ^ Claude Delaval Cobham, Laws and Regulations affecting Vakf property. Nicosia 1899

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Nişancı Mehmed Pasha (tr)
Ottoman Governor of Egypt
1727–1729
Succeeded by
Abdi Pasha
Preceded by
Muhassıl Osman Pasha
Ottoman Governor of Egypt
1735–1739
Succeeded by
Sulayman Pasha al-Azm
Military offices
Preceded by
Hacı Hüseyin Pasha
Kapudan Pasha
1732–1733
Succeeded by
Canım Hoca Mehmed Pasha
Preceded by
Şehsuvarzade Mustafa Pasha
Kapudan Pasha
1751–1751
Succeeded by
Durak Mehmed Pasha (tr)