Hasan Tahsin Pasha
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|Hasan Tahsin Pasha|
Messaria, Ottoman Empire
|Buried at||Thessaloniki, Greece|
|Years of service||1870-1912|
|Battles/wars||Greco-Turkish War of 1897
First Balkan War
Hasan Tahsin was an Albanian born in Messaria (modern Molista) back then administratively belonging to the Kaza of Leskovik. During his youth, he attended and graduated from the Greek Zosimaia School at Ioannina, and spoke Greek fluently. He began service as a gendarme ca. 1870 in Katerini, and later joined the Ottoman Army as an NCO. He soon received a commission as an officer, and by 1881 he commanded the Ottoman Gendarmerie at Ioannina. During the Greco-Turkish War of 1897, he commanded the 6th Trabzon Division, and around 1900, he was placed as garrison commander of Thessaloniki. In 1908–1910, he served as the governor of Yemen before returning to Thessaloniki, where he assumed the post of CO of the III Corps with the rank of Ferik (Lieutenant General). After his retirement in 1912, he was persuaded to return to duty as governor of the vilayet and fortress of Ioannina.
As tensions with the Balkan League grew however over the summer of 1912, he was switched to command the VIII Provisional Corps at Thessaloniki. After the outbreak of the First Balkan War, he led his forces against the Greek Army of Thessaly under Crown Prince Constantine. The Greek army, better prepared and outnumbering his own forces, defeated VIII Corps in the battles of Sarantaporo and Yenidje. Surrounded and blockaded in Thessaloniki and with no hope of outside succour, and learning of the approach of the 7th Bulgarian Division from the northeast, Hasan Tahsin resolved to surrender the Thessaloniki fortress and his 26,000 men to the Greeks. After a few days of negotiations, a surrender protocol was signed on 8 November [O.S. 26 October] 1912, with the handover carried out the next day. The Ottoman side immediately considered him a traitor and the military court gave a death sentence.
After his release from Greek captivity, he went into exile, first in France and later in Switzerland. He died in Lausanne in 1918 and was buried there. In 1937, his remains were transferred to the Albanian cemetery of Thessaloniki, and in 2006 to the Military Cemetery of the Balkan Wars at Gefyra. Out of his seven children only three lived long lives, two sons and a daughter who got married in Turkey. One of his sons, Kenan Messare (1889–1965), who was his adjutant during the war, became a Greek citizen and a notable painter, known especially for his scenes from the Balkan Wars. The other son Qemal Mesarea moved to Albania, worked as a functionary in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in King Zog's Residence, and was appointed Ambassador to Greece on January 1933, where he served until 1934. He married a Greek woman and died in 1918.
- Nikoltsios, Vassileios; Gounaris, Vassilis K. (2002). Από το Σαραντάπορο στη Θεσσαλονίκη: Η ελληνοτουρκική αναμέτρηση του 1912 μέσα από τις αναμνήσεις του Στρατηγού Χασάν Ταχσίν πασά [From Sarantaporon to Thessaloniki: The Greco-Turkish conflict of 1912 through the memoirs of General Hasan Tahsin Pasha] (in Greek). Thessaloniki. ISBN 960-92042-0-1.
- Christodoulou, Christos K. (27 October 2007). Οι τρεις ταφές του Χασάν Ταχσίν Πασά [The Three Burials of Hasan Tahsin Pasha]. Makedonia (in Greek). Retrieved 15 November 2010.
- George Gawrych (December 26, 2006), The Crescent and the Eagle: Ottoman Rule, Islam and the Albanians, 1874-1913, I. B. Tauris, p. 196, ISBN 978-1845112875,
...the government appointed a number of Albanians to important positions in the empire. Hasan Tahsin became the new governor of Yanya...
- Riza Nur (1968), Hayat ve hataratim, II, Altindaǧ Yayinevi, OCLC 5884946,
Selânikte kumandan olan Arnavut Tahsin Paşa hiç harpsiz ve şartsız Selânik'i Yunanlılara teslim etti. Bunun için Yunanlılardan para...
- Arben Llalla (2015-07-19), "Shqiptari Hasan Tahsin Mesarea, gjenerali që u dhuroj grekëve Selanikun", Dielli (in Albanian)
- Kush ishin 120 diplomatët shqiptarë nga viti 1912 deri 1991 (in Albanian), Tirana Observer Online, 2013-03-13, retrieved 2014-12-09,
59. Qemal Mesarea, ambasador në Greqi, në vitet 1933-1934