Osman Nuri Pasha

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Osman Nuri Pasha
Photograph of Osman Nuri Pasha by the brothers Abdullah Frères, circa 1895.
Nickname(s) Gazi (Veteran in Turkish)
Born 1832
Tokat in Central Anatolia
Died 5 April 1900 (aged 67–68)
Allegiance  Ottoman Empire
Service/branch  Ottoman Army
Rank Field Marshal

Crimean War
Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878)

Awards Marshal of the Palace
Ottoman military anthem called Mehter Marşı was composed for his achievements

Osman Nuri Pasha (Ottoman Turkish: عثمان نوری پاشا‎; 1832 – 5 April 1900), also known as Gazi Osman Pasha, was an Ottoman field marshal and the hero of the Siege of Plevna in 1877. He was awarded the title Gazi ("warrior" or "veteran") as a result of that siege.

He took part in various duties in Ottoman Empire and he was successful in them. Osman Pasha could speak Arabic well. Also he could speak Persian and French a little. He was married with Zatıgül Hanım, the sister of Ferik Neşet Pasha.He had four children named Kemaleddin, Cemaleddin, Nureddin and Hüseyin Abdulkadir. Grandchildren of him still live in Istanbul, Cairo and Paris.Abdul Hamid II made his two daughters marry with two sons of Osman Pasha because Abdul Hamid II appreciated him a lot. In addition to his Adjutancy title, Order of the Medjidie and Imtiyaz Medal ; He was appreciated by foreign presidents and sovereigns including pope. He was awarded with lots of medals and badges. Beside his military character, Osman Pasha was also interested in politics. Against the pressures of England on Ottoman Empire, he acquired a well place in Islamic groups in Istanbul and tried to unite them. He also had relations with groups against England in India, Egypt and Arabia. He joined the comities about improvements of army in Yıldız Palace. He put forward that reform movements should be far from Western European culture and be connected to Turkish customs. Further, it ended in resignation of Grand Vizier Hayreddin Pasha in 16 July 1873 because of a political argument between Osman Pasha and Hayreddin Pasha. That much idea made some people suspect on him but a commission which was ordered to inspect Osman Pasha,found that they were just canards.


Osman Pasha

Osman Nuri was born into the prominent Yağcıoğulları family of the city of Tokat in Central Anatolia. His father was a civil worker. Soon after Osman's birth, his father was appointed to a position in the Ottoman capital, and the family moved to Constantinople, where Osman did his studies. He attended Beşiktaş Military High School and then graduated from the Ottoman Military College in 1852 as a lieutenant. Whereupon he entered the cavalry at the beginning of the Crimean War,

He signed up for being general stuff officer but because of the Crimean War, he was dispatched to Rumelia Army. He was promoted to first lieutenant, because of his heroism and efforts he showed during the war. After the Crimean War ended, he went on general stuff official. After his education there, he worked in General Stuff Department for a while and after a year, he became captain. In 1859, he was appointed as a military representative for forming cadastral map and census of Ottoman.He worked on that duty for 2 years. In 1861, after he worked in Rumelia Army he was sent to Cebel-i Lübnan because of the rebellion of Yusuf Ekrem ,which started in Syria. He succeeded hard missions there. In 1866, because of the Cretan Revolt he was sent to Crete.Firstly his fame was heard by his self-denial and efforts there. Also he was appreciated by Serdar-ı Ekrem Omar Pasha ,his rank promoted to colonel and he was awarded with Order of the Medjidie from third grade. Due the successes of him in Yemen where he was sent in 1868 ,he was promoted to major general. He couldn’t get used to Yemen and he got sick. So that he got back to Istanbul in 1871. After resting for a few months, he was appointed to Third Army and stayed there as the head of Army in Rumelia.In 1873 he was appointed as commander of Yeni Pazar Tuman and he was promoted to lieutenant general. Then he was appointed to Istanbul Commandership but after a short time, he was sent to Iskodra Commandership which is in Albania.After a short time Osman Pasha was appointed to Bosnia from Iskodra. There Osman Pasha couldn’t get along with the government of Bosnia, Derviş Pasha, so Osman Pasha was sent to Department of Forth Army. In that time, Balkans was in chaos. That’s why Osman Pasha was sent to Niş. After that ,he was brought to unplaced Vidin Commandership .He defeated Serbian Army which was managed by Russian commanders after Serbian Prince Milan declared war against Ottoman Empire in 1876.Then Russia started to attack Nikopol and Osman was ordered to go Nikopol as reinforcement. Nikopol fell in Battle of Nikopol to Russians when Osman Pasha was on his way to there. Russians knew that Osman pasha was coming with army so that they decided to attack to Osman Pasha’s troops. The closest place for defending was Plevna. So Osman Pasha settled on Plevna .He defended there. He campaigned hard but at the forth attack, he was wounded and then captured.After that war, Plevna fell to Russian-Romanian Army. His fame came from his heroism ,intelligence and efforts he showed during Siege of Plevna. After he escaped from Russians, he came to Istanbul. His arrival was celebrated with massive and perfect ceremony on 12–13 March 1878.After he came, he was promoted to Mareshal.

On 14 march 1878, Osman Pasha was brought to consultancy of Hassa Army(cavalry troops to save pasha) and the same year on 5 November, he worked as advisor near the Sultan. So much so that, no one was appointed to the same point after death of Osman Pasha.Then he became the head of Supervision of Ottoman(Ministry of Defence today) but he was blamed because of the infestation of East Rumelia. So he was deposed of that duty .At Turkish-Greco War in 1897, Osman took office as Chief Inspector.

Tomb of Osman Pasha

On 4–5 April 1900, he died in Istanbul. He was buried next to the Shrine of Fatih Sultan Mehmet as he requested.

Siege of Plevna[edit]

When the Russians were on an attack to Nikopol, Osman Pasha was in Vidin with his army. The Ottoman high command ordered Osman Pasha to reinforce Nikopol with 20.000 soldiers. When Osman Pasha was on his way to Nikopol, city fell to the Russians in Battle of Nikopol on 16 July 1877.The Russian knew that Osman Pasha was coming to there, so Russia wanted to attack on Osman Pasha. Osman Pasha’s troops were 20 miles far from Nikopol. Osman Pasha quickly created a strong fortress, raising earthworks with redoubts digging trenches, and quarrying out gun emplacements. On 19 July Russian troops reached Plevna and started to bombard on Plevna. The next day Russian troops went on bombarding and they succeeded in driving Ottoman forces from some of the outer defences. Against that Osman Pasha was making some strategic attacks.

Siege of Plevna

When the war was going on, reinforcements to both sides were coming. This was the first battle.Osman Pasha's tomb. After that, Russians lost 4.000 men while Ottoman lost 1.000.In second battle, Osman Pasha strengthened his defences. The Russian was reinforced from the army of Prince Carol of Romania. On 31 July the Russian attacked on Plevna again but Ottoman troops managed to repulse Russian army. After that war, Russia’s loss was 7.300 while Ottoman’s is 2.000.After repulsing, Russians made research about area and they wanted to exterminate the sources of Plevna.Russia had an attack on Osman Pasha's troops in Battle of Lovcha. After that war the Russian managed to eradicate communication and supply lines of Plevna. Meanwhile the number of Osman Pasha’s soldier raised to 30.000.Russian’s became 100.000. On 11 September the Russian started to bomb Plevna. This time there was Prince Carol too. The Russian was succeeded in taking a few redoubts but Osman Pasha got back them. After third battle Russians lost roughly 20.000, while Ottoman lost only 5.000. Growing Russian and Romanian armies stopped attacks. General Eduard Ivanovich Todleben came to see the situation of the siege.He was experienced in siege warfare. He decided to encircle the city.

Osman Pasha & Alexander II of Russia

Then Russian-Romanian army got closer by 24 October. Supplies began to run low in the city. On 9 December, Osman Pasha decided to make rapid attack on Russian at night. They fought there sword to sword but it was 5 Russian soldiers to an Ottoman soldier. Osman Pasha’s troops were driven back and he was in the leg by a stray bullet. Rumors of Osman Pasha’s death made panic and Ottoman troops were driven back to Plevna. At the end of the battle, Ottoman lost 5.000, while Russia lost 2.000.The next day, Osman Pasha surrendered the city to Romanian Colonel. He was treated honorably that is why Turks admire him.

To honor of Osman Pasha and his soldiers, an Ottoman Army march named Plevna March was composed. Today, there are lots of places named after him.


* Parry Melanie (ed.) (1997) "Osman Nuri Pasha" Chambers Biographical Dictionary (6th ed.) Larousse Kingfisher Chambers, New York, ISBN 0-550-16060-4 ;

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