Lütfi Pasha

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Damat Çelebi
Arolsen Klebeband 01 465 3.jpg
An engraving of Lütfi Pasha by Johann Theodor de Bry, 1590s.
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
In office
13 July 1539 – April 1541
Monarch Suleiman I
Preceded by Ayas Mehmed Pasha
Succeeded by Hadım Suleiman Pasha
Personal details
Born c. 1488
Died 27 March 1564 (aged 76)
Nationality Ottoman
Spouse(s) Şah Sultan (1523–1541; divorced)
Children Esmehan Baharnaz Sultan
Neslihan Sultan
Religion Islam
Ethnicity Albanian

Lütfi Pasha (Turkish: Lütfi Paşa, more fully Damat Çelebi Lütfi Paşa; c. 1488 – 27 March 1564, Didymoteicho) was an Ottoman statesman and grand vizier of the Ottoman Empire under Suleiman the Magnificent from 1539 to 1541.[1]


Although it is not known where Lütfi was born, tradition has it that he was of Albanian origin.[2] As a devshirme youth, he entered Bayazid II's harem-i hass, where he received a thorough education in the Islamic sciences.

His first appointment to service outside the palace was as sanjakbey of Kastamuni, and he subsequently became beylerbey of Karaman. Lütfi Pasha himself gave these details of his life in the introduction to his Asafname. However, he does not give the dates of his appointments and omits all details of his life before entering the Palace. He may also have served as sanjakbey first of Aydin and then of Yanya (Ioannina), since Feridun Bey mentions a Lütfi Bey who served at the siege of Rhodes in 1522 as sanjakbey of Aydin (Feridun Bey, Münşe'at al-selâtin, İstanbul 1274 AH/1857) and a Lütfi Bey who served at the siege of Vienna in 1529 as sanjakbey of Yanya (ibid. I, 573). These references may well be to Lütfi Pasha, the future Grand Vizier, since the latter himself stated to have participated in both these campaigns (Lütfi Pasha, Tevârih-i 'Al-i Osman, ed. Ali, İstanbul 1341/1922-3, 3). In his book he laid stress on the question of whether the Ottoman sultans who were non-Arab could assume the title of caliph or not.

In 941/1534-5 he became Third Vizier. By this time, he had, by his own account, served in Selim I's wars against the Safawids in Eastern Anatolia and against the Mamelukes in Syria and Egypt. Under Suleiman I, he took part in the campaigns of Belgrade in 1521 and Rhodes in 1522.


He wrote 21 works mainly on religious topics but also on history, 13 of them written in Arabic and 8 in Turkish. Two of his works are the Asafname, a kind of mirror for ministers, and the Tevâriḫ-i Âl-i ‘Os̱mân, dealing with the Ottoman history and including his own experiences in the reign of the sultans Bayezid II, Selim I and Suleyman I.[3]

Depictions in literature and popular culture[edit]

In the TV series Muhteşem Yüzyıl, Lütfi Pasha is played by Turkish actor Mehmet Özgür.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ İsmail Hâmi Danişmend, Osmanlı Devlet Erkânı, Türkiye Yayınevi, İstanbul, 1971 (Turkish)
  2. ^ http://books.google.al/books?id=wPOtzk-unJgC&pg=PA58&dq=lutfi+pasha+albanian&hl=en&sa=X&ei=JsLlU7_sD9HT7Abh_YDwDQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=lutfi%20pasha%20albanian&f=false
  3. ^ E. J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913-1936, M. Th. Houtsma, page 55
Political offices
Preceded by
Ayas Mehmed Pasha
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
13 July 1539 – April 1541
Succeeded by
Hadım Süleyman Pasha