Sultanzade Mehmed Pasha
|Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire|
January 31, 1644 – December 17, 1645
|Preceded by||Kemankeş Kara Mustafa Pasha|
|Succeeded by||Nevesinli Salih Pasha|
|Ottoman Governor of Egypt|
|Preceded by||Gazi Hüseyin Pasha|
|Succeeded by||Nakkaş Mustafa Pasha|
|Relations||Yemişçi Hasan Pasha (grandfather)|
Mehmet Pasha was the grandson of Yemişçi Hasan Pasha.
In 1638, Mehmet Pasha was appointed as the governor of Egypt. Three years later, during the reign of Ibrahim, he returned to Istanbul as a vizier in the Ottoman divan. In 1641, he was appointed as the governor of Özü (modern Ochakiv in Ukraine) and tasked with capturing the fort of Azak (modern Azov in Russia), which had recently been lost to Cossacks. He was successful in recapturing the fort. In 1643, Mehmet Pasha was appointed as governor of Damascus (in modern Syria). This appointment was probably due to a secret power struggle between him and the grand vizier Kemankeş Mustafa Pasha.
As governor of Egypt
Mehmet Pasha was appointed the governor of Egypt Eyalet in 1638. In February 1638, sultan Murat IV ordered Mehmet Pasha to send him 1,500 troops to help on the sultan's expedition to conquer Baghdad. The army mobilized in May 1638, and the men returned to Egypt in June 1639 after successfully capturing the city.
Reportedly, Mehmet Pasha robbed many of the local emirs and ulemas of their salaries and inheritances, as well as doing the same for the general populace and extorting considerable sums from local farmers. However, when he sent a report of the expenditures of the public welfare system in place at the time to the sultan, Murad IV ordered him to stop all welfare payments to women; this action created anger amongst the populace, as many of these women were widows or in poverty.
Since his coming into office, Mehmet Pasha and a local emir, emir el-Hajj ("emir of the Hajj") Ridwan Bey al-Faqari (of the Ridwan dynasty), shared a mutual animosity. Although at first Ridwan Bey had gained Mehmet Pasha's favor by promising him a large sum of money in exchange for making him commander of the detachment sent to the sultan for Baghdad, their relationship turned sour when Ridwan Bey put off payment to the point that Mehmet Pasha ended up withholding that money from the amount given to Ridwan Bey for reimbursing him for the expenses spent by the caravan of the troops on their way to Baghdad. When Ridwan Bey grew enraged at this and protested to the Pasha, he gave in and sent him the sum of money, apparently vowing to get his revenge in some other way. His chance came when the Ottoman governor of Habesh Eyalet died. Mehmet Pasha convinced the sultan to have Ridwan Bey succeed the dead governor and recalled Ridwan Bey back from the expedition towards Baghdad. Meanwhile, he appointed another emir to the post of emir el-Hajj; when Ridwan Bey arrived in Cairo, Mehmet Pasha sent him to the capital Constantinople. When the Baghdad expedition and the men returned to Cairo later, Mehmet Pasha proceeded to confiscate all of Ridwan Bey's belongings for his own. When Ridwan Bey arrived in Constantinople, the sultan nearly put him to death for not coming to Baghdad (as he was recalled by Mehmet Pasha) and for being late to assume his post as governor of Habesh. Although his allies saved him from execution, Ridwan Bey was sent to prison. However, he was reappointed to his post as emir el-Hajj by the next sultan, Ibrahim, and regained all of his possessions that had been taken by Mehmed Pasha.
After the coronation of the new sultan Ibrahim, Mehmet Pasha grew alarmed that he did not receive the customary gifts that provincial governors customarily received upon the accession of new sultans, taking this as a sign of Ibrahim's disliking of him. He was correct on this assumption, as soon, the sultan removed him from the governorship of Egypt in 1640, instead making him the governor of the lesser Hejaz Vilayet. Mehmet Pasha refused to pay the large sum he was found to owe to the Egyptian treasury in an audit, but eventually paid.
As Grand Vizier
In 1644, Mehmet Pasha succeeded Kemankeş Mustafa Pasha, who was executed. Kemankeş Mustafa was a victim of palace intrigues during the Sultanate of Women, involving the charlatan Cinci Hoca. Wary of Cinci Hoca's influence on the sultan and well-aware the fate of the previous grand vizier, Mehmet Pasha was excessively cautious in governance and became an ineffective grand vizier. He became a sycophant to the sultan. According to Lord Kinross, one day the sultan asked Mehmet Pasha why he never opposed any of his opinions, to which Mehmet Pasha replied, "Every opinion of the sultan has a deep aphorism even if subjects are unable to understand." Although he was against declaring war on the Republic of Venice, his cautious objections were not taken into consideration and the Cretan War (1645–1669) began in 1645 (which was financially disastrous to both sides).
In 1645, Sultan Ibrahim dismissed Mehmet Pasha from office. His next mission was in Crete, which was the theater of the recently started war, as the commander of the army (Turkish: serdar). Soon afterwards, however, Mehmet Pasha died in July 1646.
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Gazi Hüseyin Pasha
|Ottoman Governor of Egypt
Nakkaş Mustafa Pasha
Kemankeş Mustafa Pasha
|Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
31 January 1644 – 17 December 1645
Nevesinli Salih Pasha