Şerif Pasha

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Mohammed Sherif Pasha (1865, Üsküdar, Istanbul - December 22, 1951; Catanzaro, Italy), was an Ottoman diplomat. He was a leading Kurdish nationalist.[1] He is the son of Said Pasha Kurd.

Sherif Pasha was an Ottoman Ambassador to Stockholm and the second documented Kurd in Sweden[2] and one of the delegates at the Treaty of Sèvres.[3] Sherif Pasha lived in Sweden for ten years. The first documented Kurd in Sweden was the physician Mirza Seid from east Kurdistan (Iran) who came 1893.

The article title in the New York Times where Seerif Pasha denounced atrocities against the Armenians during World War I

Before 1908 Sherif Pasha was a supporter of the Young Turk movement and provided economic support to Ahmed Riza, a young Turk leader in Paris. After the 1908 Revolution he returned to the Ottoman Empire and headed up the Committee of Union and Progress branch in the Istanbul district of Pangaltı. However, he soon fell out with the CUP. The reasons for this are debated. According to Sherif Pasha and his supporters, he was concerned with the role of the military in politics. However, his detractors claim that he had been angered by the fact that he had not been appointed the Porte's Representative London. He again left the Empire and helped to found a number of opposition parties. He also published an opposition newspaper in Paris entitled Meşrutiyet (Constitutionalism). Due to his role in the opposition, the Committee of Union and Progress launched a failed assassination attempt on him in 1914. Sherif Pasha survived and remained in Monte Carlo throughout the Great War.

In a New York Times article dated October 10, 1915, Şerif Pasha condemned the massacres on Armenians and declared that the Young Turk government had the intentions of "exterminating" the Armenians for a long time.[4]

After 1918 he rejoined Ottoman government service, however soon defected from the Ottoman side, joining the Kürdistan Teali Cemiyeti (Society for the Rise of Kurdistan). He reached an agreement with the Armenian delegation in Paris which involved the division of eastern Anatolia between a Kurdish and Armenian state. In this agreement Van and Bitlis both fell within Armenian, and so there was a hostile response from many Kurdish leaders in those region who had no wish to be a part of Armenia. Paris was subsequently bombarded with telegrams from the region condemning the accords. After the Kurdish movement was suppressed, Sherif Pasha remained in exile. However, during the Second World War he was in contact with both British and German intelligence.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Özoğlu, Hakan (2004). Kurdish Notables and the Ottoman State. SUNY Press. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-7914-5993-5. 
  2. ^ Criss, Nur Bilge; Yavuz Tura Cetiner (2000). "Terrorism and the Issue of International Cooperation". Journal of Conflict Studies. 20 (1). 
  3. ^ Özok, Tijen Yalgın (1990). Southeastern Anatolian Tribes During the Turkish National Struggle. Boğaziçi University. p. 63. OCLC 27365602. 
  4. ^ "TURKISH STATESMAN DENOUNCES ATROCITIES: Cherif Pasha Says Young Turks Long Planned to Exterminate the Armenian.". New York Times. October 10, 1915. II-19:3,4