Hagop Kazazian Pasha

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Hagop Kazazian
Minister of Finance
In office
Monarch Abdulhamid II
Preceded by Ahmet Zühtü Pasha
Succeeded by Hüseyin Tevfik Pasha
Minister of the Privy Treasury
In office
Monarch Abdulhamid II
Preceded by Office established
Succeeded by Mikael Portugal Pasha
Personal details
Born 1831
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Died 1891
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire

Hagop Kazazian Pasha (alternative spelling: Agop Kazazyan) (1833–1891) was a high-ranking Ottoman official of Armenian origin who served as the Minister of Finance and the Minister of the Privy Treasury[1] during the reign of Sultan Abdulhamid II.[2]


Life and early career[edit]

Despite Hagop Kazazian's lack of higher education[citation needed], he was able to rise in the bureaucracy of the Ottoman State through the diligence he showed in financial matters. During the early years of his career, he served as the head of the translation department for the Ottoman Bank, a post that allowed him to forge ties to the Palace. After uncovering a case of malpractice at the bank, he was recommended by the General Director of the Ottoman Bank to Sultan Abdulhamid II, who was looking to put the affairs of the Privy Treasury into order.[2]

A bachelor all his life, Hagop Kazazian lived in the Yeniköy district of Istanbul with his mother.[2] There is little information available about his extended family. Since Kazazian was awarded the Order of St. Gregory the Great by the Pope (an award rarely given to non-Catholics), it is possible that he had connections with the Armenian Catholic Church, a small minority within the Armenian community that was considered a separate religious millet by the Ottoman Porte.(http://www.hyeetch.nareg.com.au/religion/history_p3.html)[citation needed]

Posts and awards[edit]

Abdulhamid II appointed Kazazian as the Director of the Privy Treasury in 1879, and as Minister the following year, when the Privy Treasury was re-organized as a ministry. Under Kazazian, the Privy Treasury was greatly reformed, expenditures were cut, and the income of the treasury improved significantly with building of numerous railways and the anticipation of oil revenues from Mesopotamia.[3] In 1887, he was appointed as the Minister of Finance, holding both posts simultaneously. Carrying out reforms and expenditure cuts in the Finance Ministry, Kazazian was opposed in his measures, which prompted him to offer his resignation. The sultan refused the resignation and supported Kazazian in his reform attempts.[2] As Minister of Finance, Kazazian showed great ability at raising Ottoman loans and easing payment of its debts.

An influential man in his time, Kazazian interceded successfully on behalf of Sarkis Balyan, a famed architect who had been exiled to France because of political accusations.[1] Kazazian also served as a member of the Armenian National Assembly, which was established in 1863 and regulated the temporal matters of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire under the Millet system.

Kazazian was given the title of Pasha, an honorific reserved for the highest elite of the Empire, as well as a number of decorations by the sultan with whom he was a favorite. He was also awarded the Order of St. Gregory the Great by Pope Pius IX.[2]

Death and afterward[edit]

Famed at the time for his loyalty to Sultan Abdulhamid II, he received a state funeral after he died in 1891 from a horse-riding accident on the grounds of Kalender Kasrı while riding a horse that had been a gift from the sultan.[4] Kazazian Pasha was succeeded as the Minister of the Privy Treasury by two other Armenians, Mikael Portukal Pasha, who served until 1897 and was, in turn, succeeded by Ohannes Pasha.[5]


  1. ^ a b Pamukciyan, Kevork (2003). Ermeni Kaynaklarından Tarihe Katkılar IV — Biyografileriyle Ermeniler. Istanbul: Aras Yayıncılık. pp. 95, 268. ISBN 975-7265-54-3. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Çarkçıyan, Yervant Gomidas (2006). Türk Devleti Hizmetinde Ermeniler. İstanbul: Kesit Yayınları. pp. 111–2. ISBN 978-9944-321-04-4. 
  3. ^ Coughlan, Robert (27 November 1950). "Mystery Billionaire". Life. 29 (22): 81–107. ISSN 0024-3019. 
  4. ^ Ünlü, Ferhat. "Osmanlı'nın Gözde Ermenileri". Bolsohays-Istanbul Armenians. Retrieved 2007-01-09. 
  5. ^ "Osmanlı İmparatorluğunda Ermeniler". Ottoman Web Site. Retrieved 2007-01-09. 

See also[edit]

Preceded by
Office established
Minister of the Privy Treasury of the Ottoman Empire
Succeeded by
Mikael Portugal Pasha
Preceded by
Ahmet Zühtü Pasha
Minister of Finance of the Ottoman Empire
Succeeded by
Hüseyin Tevfik Pasha