Koca Sinan Pasha

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For other Pashas of this name, see Sinan Pasha (disambiguation).
This is an Ottoman Turkish style name. Sinan is the given name, the title is Pasha, and there is no family name.
Koca
Sinan
Pasha
Arolsen Klebeband 02 327.jpg
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
In office
1 December 1595 – 3 April 1596
Monarch Mehmed III
Preceded by Lala Mehmed Pasha
Succeeded by Damat Ibrahim Pasha
In office
7 July 1595 – 19 November 1595
Monarch Mehmed III
Preceded by Ferhad Pasha
Succeeded by Lala Mehmed Pasha
In office
28 January 1593 – 16 February 1595
Monarch Murad III
Preceded by Kanijeli Siyavuş Pasha
Succeeded by Ferhad Pasha
In office
14 April 1589 – 1 August 1591
Monarch Murad III
Preceded by Kanijeli Siyavuş Pasha
Succeeded by Ferhad Pasha
In office
7 August 1580 – 6 December 1582
Monarch Murad III
Preceded by Lala Kara Mustafa Pasha
Succeeded by Kanijeli Siyavuş Pasha
Ottoman Governor of Egypt
In office
1571–1573
Preceded by Çerkes Iskender Pasha
Succeeded by Hüseyin Pasha Boljanić
In office
1567–1569
Preceded by Mahmud Pasha
Succeeded by Çerkes Iskender Pasha
Personal details
Born 1520
Topojan, Ottoman Empire (Modern Albania)
Died 3 April 1596
Constantinople, Ottoman Empire (Modern Turkey)
Nationality Ottoman
Ethnicity Albanian

Koja Sinan Pasha (Albanian: Sinan Pasha Topojani; 1506 – 3 April 1596) was an Ottoman grand vizier, Ottoman military figure, and statesman. From 1580 till his death he served five times as Grand Vizier.[1]

Life[edit]

Sinan Pasha, also known as Koca Sinan (Sinan the Great), was born in Topojan in Luma territory and was of Albanian origin.[2][3] In a Ragusan document of 1571 listing members of the Ottoman Sultan's governing council, Sinan is described as having been a "Catholic Albanian" by origin.[3] His father was named Ali Bey and Sinan Pasha had family ties with Catholic relatives such as the Giubizzas.[3] Austrian orientalist Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall called him the ‘‘unbridled Albanian’’.[2]

Sinan Pasha was appointed governor of Ottoman Egypt in 1569, and was subsequently involved until 1571 in the conquest of Yemen, becoming known as Fātiḥ-i Yemen (Victor of Yemen).[2]

In 1580, Sinan commanded the army against the Safavids in the Ottoman–Safavid War (1578–1590), and was appointed grand vizier by Sultan Murad III. He was, however, disgraced and exiled in the following year, owing to the defeat of his lieutenant Mehmed Pasha, at Gori (during an attempt to provision the Ottoman garrison of Tbilisi).

He subsequently became governor of Damascus and, in 1589, after the great revolt of the Janissaries, was appointed grand vizier for the second time. He was involved in the competition for the throne in Wallachia between Mihnea Turcitul and Petru Cercel, and ultimately sided with the former (overseeing Petru's execution in March 1590). Another revolt of Janissaries led to his dismissal in 1591, but in 1593 he was again recalled to become grand vizier for the third time, and in the same year he commanded the Ottoman army in the Long War against the Habsburgs, he was faced with massive casualties on the northern front, which was weakened by the death of Bosniak commander Hasan-paša Predojević during the Battle of Sisak.

In 1594 after crushing of the Uprising in Banat, he had the relics of Saint Sava taken from their depository, including the remains of Sava,[4] and burned in Belgrade (at the location of present-day Church of Saint Sava) in reprisal for Serbian allegiance to the Habsburg Empire.[2]

In spite of his victories he was again deposed in February 1595, shortly after the accession of Mehmed III, and banished to Malkara. In August, Sinan was in power again, called on to lead the expedition against Prince Michael the Brave of Wallachia. His defeat in the Battle of Călugăreni, the Battle of Giurgiu, and the series of unsuccessful confrontations with the Habsburgs (culminating in the devastating siege and fall of Ottoman-held Esztergom), brought him once more into disfavour, and he was deprived of the seal of office (19 November).

The death of his successor Lala Mehmed Pasha three days later caused Sinan to become grand vizier for the fifth time. He died suddenly in the spring of 1596, leaving behind a large fortune. Sinan Pasha is buried in Istanbul near the Grand Bazaar.[2]

He was a major builder of caravanserais, bridges, baths and mosques. These included the town of Kaçanik in Kosovo, important buildings in Thessalonika and Belgrade, as well as in Istanbul and other countries in the Arab world.[5]

Gallery[edit]

Legacy[edit]

Sinan Pasha became grand vizier five times between 1580 and his death in 1596. He had many rivals but he was also a very wealthy man.[6] During his lifetime Sinan Pasha was criticized by Ottoman bureaucrats such as Mustafa Âlî who wrote that Sinan promoted Albanians into the Ottoman government and military.[3] Contemporary Turkish historians also note that he remained close to his heritage and would give those of Albanian stock preference for high-level positions within the empire.[2] In 1586, at his request, Sultan Murad III issued a decree exempting five villages in Luma from all taxes. Sinan Pasha constructed the fortress of Kaçanik in the Kosovo Vilayet with an imaret (soup kitchen), two hans (Inn), a hamam (Turkish bath) and a mosque that still bears his name.

In 1590, he had the Pearl Kiosk built above the seaward walls on the sea of Marmara.[7] It served as Murad III's final residence before his death. One of his final projects in Constantinople was a külliye completed in from 1593 to 1594 by Davut Aga, the chief imperial architect of the time. It is distinguished by the complex masonry and decorations of its türbe and sebil.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Andreas Tietze (1975), Mustafa Ali's Description of Cairo of 1599: text, transliteration, translation, notes, Forschungen zur islamischen Philologie und Kulturgeschichte (5), Verl. d. Österr. Akad. d. Wiss., p. 75, ISBN 9783700101192, OCLC 2523612 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Elsie, Robert. A Biographical Dictionary of Albanian History. 6 Salem Road, London W2 4BU: I.B Tauris & Co. Ltd. p. 416. ISBN 978 1 78076 431 3. Retrieved 2014-01-07. 
  3. ^ a b c d Malcolm, Noel (2015). Agents of Empire: Knights, Corsairs, Jesuits and Spies in the Sixteenth-century Mediterranean World. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780190262785. pp.264-265. "Sinan came from a small village in north-eastern Albania. As the writer Lazaro Soranzo put it, very probably deriving his information from Bartolomeo’s cousin Antonio Bruni, he was 'an Albanian from Topojan in the sancak [district] of Prizren'. Attempts by some Serb historians to claim a Serbian origin for him are unconvincing. While the group of villages around Topojan was ethnically mixed at this time, probably with a Slav predominance, Topojan was mainly Albanian, and there is good evidence that Sinan’s family background was neither Slav or Orthodox. From the fact that documents from the later part of his life refer to his father as ‘Ali bey’, some have supposed that he was born a Muslim; but it is much more likely that he came from a Catholic family (as the relationship with the Giubizzas strongly suggests), and that once he and his brothers had prospered in their Ottoman careers they persuaded their father to convert, the better to share in that success with them. A Ragusan document of 1571, listing all the 'renegades' in the Sultan’s governing council, described Sinan as a Catholic Albanian’ by origin." ; pp. 267-268. "One of the criticisms made of Sinan repeatedly by Mustafa Ali of Gallipoli was that he promoted an Albanian clique in the military and the government administration; Mustafa Ali wrote admiringly of the Bosnians, such as patron Lala Mustafa and Mehmed Sokollu, and scathingly about Albanians."
  4. ^ Velimirovic, p. 159
  5. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=vtQABAAAQBAJ&pg=PA43&dq=the+albanians&hl=sv&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwij95_z_tnJAhWIhSwKHXiLAUYQ6AEIGjAA#v=onepage&q=the%20albanians&f=14
  6. ^ Fetvacı, Emine (2013). Picturing History at the Ottoman Court. 601 North Morton Street, Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. p. 217. ISBN 978 0 253 00678 3. Retrieved 2014-01-07. 
  7. ^ Freely 2011, p. 148
  8. ^ Freely 2011, p. 325
Sources
Political offices
Preceded by
Mahmud Pasha
Ottoman Governor of Egypt
1567–1569
Succeeded by
Çerkes Iskender Pasha
Preceded by
Çerkes Iskender Pasha
Ottoman Governor of Egypt
1571–1573
Succeeded by
Hüseyin Pasha Boljanić
Preceded by
Lala Kara Mustafa Pasha
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
7 August 1580 – 6 December 1582
Succeeded by
Kanijeli Siyavuş Pasha
Preceded by
Kanijeli Siyavuş Pasha
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
14 April 1589 – 1 August 1591
Succeeded by
Ferhad Pasha
Preceded by
Kanijeli Siyavuş Pasha
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
28 January 1593 – 16 February 1595
Succeeded by
Ferhad Pasha
Preceded by
Ferhad Pasha
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
7 July 1595 – 19 November 1595
Succeeded by
Lala Mehmed Pasha
Preceded by
Lala Mehmed Pasha
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
1 December 1595 – 3 April 1596
Succeeded by
Damat Ibrahim Pasha