Gedik Ahmed Pasha
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|Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire|
|Preceded by||Mahmud Pasha Angelovic|
|Succeeded by||Karamanlı Mehmet Pasha|
|Died||18 November 1482
Adrianople, Ottoman Empire
|Origins||Unknown; thought to be Albanian, Greek, Italian, or Serbian|
|Service/branch|| Ottoman Army
|Rank||Kapudan Pasha (Grand Admiral)|
|Battles/wars||Siege of Rhodes (1480)
Invasion of Otranto
Gedik Ahmed Pasha (died 18 November 1482) was an Ottoman statesman and admiral who served as Grand Vizier and Kapudan Pasha (Grand Admiral of the Ottoman Navy) during the reigns of sultans Mehmed II and Bayezid II.
His background remains largely unknown. Some sources claim that he was of Albanian descent and others that he was of Greek or Serbian descent. He undertook virtually all of his construction enterprises in Anatolia.
Leading the Ottoman Army, he defeated the last Anatolian Turkish beylik (principality) resisting Ottoman expansion in the region, the Karamanids. The Karamanids had been the strongest principality in Anatolia for nearly 200 years, even stronger than the Ottomans in the latter's beginning. They effectively succeeded the Sultanate of Rûm in the amount of possessions they held, among them the city of Konya, the former Selçuk capital. Gedik Ahmed Pasha's victory against the Karamanids in 1471, conquering their territory as well as the Mediterranean coastal region around Ermenek, Mennan and Silifke, proved crucial for the future of the Ottomans..
Gedik Ahmed Pasha also fought against Venetians in the Mediterranean and was dispatched in 1475 by the Sultan to aid the Crimean Khanate against Genoese forces. In Crimea, he conquered Caffa, Soldaia, Cembalo and other Genoese castles as well as the Principality of Theodoro with its capital Mangup and the coastal regions of Crimea. He rescued the Khan of Crimea, Meñli I Giray, from Genoese forces. As a result of this campaign, Crimea and Circassia entered into the Ottoman sphere of influence.
In 1479, when he was a sanjakbey of the Sanjak of Avlona, Sultan Mehmet II ordered him lead a siege force of between 10,000 and 40,000 troops in the siege of Shkodra.:365 Later that year, the sultan ordered him to lead the Ottoman Navy in the Mediterranean Sea as part of the war against Naples and Milan. During his campaign, Gedik Ahmed Pasha conquered the islands of Santa Maura (Lefkada), Kefalonia, and Zante (Zakynthos). Since he had conquered Constantinople in 1453, Mehmed II saw himself as the inheritor of the Roman Empire and seriously considered the conquest of Italy to reunite Roman lands under his dynasty. As part of this plan, Gedik Ahmed Pasha was sent with a naval force to the heel of the Italian peninsula.
After a failed attempt to conquer Rhodes from the Knights of St. John, Ahmed successfully took the Italian harbor city of Otranto in 1480. However, due to lack of food and supplies, he had to return with most of his troops to Albania in the same year, planning to continue the campaign in 1481.
The death of Mehmed II prevented this. Instead, Ahmet sided with Beyazid II in the struggle for who would succeed the sultan. However, Beyazid II did not fully trust Ahmed and had him imprisoned and later killed on 18 November 1482 at Adrianople.
References and sources
- Stavrides, Théoharis (August 2001). The Sultan of Vezirs: The Life and Times of the Ottoman Grand Vezir Mahmud Pasha Angeloviu (1453-1474) (Ottoman Empire and Its Heritage Series, Volume 24). Brill Academic Publishers, Inc. p. 65. ISBN 90-04-12106-4.
- Heath W. Lowry (2003). The Nature of the Early Ottoman State. SUNY Press. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-7914-8726-6. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
- Setton, Kenneth M. (1978), The Papacy and the Levant (1204–1571), Volume II: The Fifteenth Century, DIANE Publishing, p. 340, ISBN 0-87169-127-2
- Babinger, Franz. Mehmed the Conqueror and His Time. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1978.
- La Battaglia di Otranto (in Italian)
- E. Hamilton Currey, Sea-Wolves of the Mediterranean, London, 1910
- Bono, Salvatore: Corsari nel Mediterraneo (Corsairs in the Mediterranean), Oscar Storia Mondadori. Perugia, 1993.
- Corsari nel Mediterraneo: Condottieri di ventura. Online database in Italian, based on Salvatore Bono's book.
- The Ottomans: Comprehensive and detailed online chronology of Ottoman history in English.
- Comprehensive and detailed online chronology of Ottoman history in Turkish.
- Turkish Navy official website: Historic heritage of the Turkish Navy (in Turkish)
Mahmud Pasha Angelovic
|Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
Karamanlı Mehmed Pasha