Halil Hamid Pasha

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For other people named Halil Pasha, see Halil Pasha (disambiguation).
The Imperial School of Engineering Muhendishane, in Tableau des nouveaux reglemens de l'Empire Ottoman by Mahmoud Rayf Efendi, Constantinople, 1789.

Halil Hamid Pasha, also Halil Hamit Paşa (1736–1785) was the grand vizier of the Ottoman Empire from 31 December 1782 to 30 April 1785. He was especially instrumental in inviting foreign experts, especially French ones, to the Ottoman Empire from 1784.[1]

As a result French missions were sent to the Ottoman Empire to train the Turks in naval warfare and fortification building.[2] Up to the French revolution in 1789, about 300 French artillery officers and engineers were active in the Ottoman Empire to modernize and train artillery units.[3]

From 1784, André-Joseph Lafitte-Clavé and Joseph-Monnier de Courtois instructed engineering drawings and techniques in the new Turkish engineering school Mühendishâne-i Hümâyûn established by Halil Hamid Pasha.[4] Mostly French textbooks were used on mathematics, astronomy, engineering, weapons, war techniques and navigation.[4]

Halil Hamid Pasha had argued for a path towards modernization for the Ottoman Empire, and a conciliatory stance against Russia, but he was ultimately suspected of plotting for the succession of Abdul Hamid I and future ruler Selim III, due to reactionary intrigues and the rise of the anti-French sentiment.[5][6] Secret correspondence between Selim III and Louis XVI was discovered, and a plot against the current ruler was alleged.[6] Halil Hamid Pasha was beheaded, and the war party rose to power, leading the Ottoman Empire to war with Russia in the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792).[5]

The French experts ultimately had to leave in 1788 with the start of the hostilities.[1] Some returned to Constantinople, but eventually all instructors had to leave with the end of the Franco-Ottoman alliance in 1798.[1][4]

Halil Hamid Pasha's son-in-law was Safranbolulu Izzet Mehmet Pasha, who served as grand vizier from 1794 to 1798.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Imperialism and science: social impact and interaction by George Vlahakis p.92
  2. ^ From Louis XIV to Napoleon Jeremy Black p.144
  3. ^ Ottoman wars 1700-1870: an empire besieged by Virginia H. Aksan p.202 [1]
  4. ^ a b c Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire by Gábor Ágoston, Bruce Alan Masters p.395
  5. ^ a b Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire by Gábor Ágoston, Bruce Alan Masters p.6
  6. ^ a b A military history of the Ottomans: from Osman to Atatürk Mesut Uyar,Edward J. Erickson p.199
  7. ^ Mehmet Süreyya (1996) [1890], Nuri Akbayar; Seyit A. Kahraman, eds., Sicill-i Osmanî (in Turkish), Beşiktaş, Istanbul: Türkiye Kültür Bakanlığı and Türkiye Ekonomik ve Toplumsal Tarih Vakfı, p. 849 
Political offices
Preceded by
Yeğen Hacı Mehmed Pasha
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
31 December 1782 – 30 April 1785
Succeeded by
Şahin Ali Pasha