Pact of Halepa

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The Pact of Halepa was an agreement made in 1878 between the Ottoman Empire (then ruled by the Sultan Abdul Hamid II) and the representatives of several European states. It was signed at Chalepa (now a district of Chania), the Cretan town where foreign consulates were established.

Crete became a semi-independent parliamentary state within the Ottoman Empire under an Ottoman Governor who must be a Christian. The first Christian Pasha was Kostis Adosidis Pasha, followed by Alexander Karatheodori Pasha, Giannis Fotiadis Pasha and others. These Christian pashas ruled the island until the late 1880s, presiding over a parliament in which liberals and conservatives contended for power.

It was also agreed that in future Crete would be policed by native-born Cretans, Christian and Muslim; a new body of Gendarmerie (see Cretan Gendarmerie) would be formed, recruited only from Cretans.

In 1889, in response to the rebellion of that year, the Pact of Chalepa was abrogated by Shakir Pasha. Some of its provisions continued to be observed, however. Several of the governors of Crete in the 1890s were Christian.

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