Damad Ferid Pasha

Damat Ferid Pasha

Damat Ferid Pasha (full name Damat Mehmed Adil Ferid Pasha) was an Ottoman statesman who held the office of grand vizier during two periods under the reign of the last Ottoman sultan Mehmed VI Vahdeddin, the first time between 4 March 1919 and 2 October 1919 and the second time between 5 April 1920 and 21 October 1920. Officially, he has been brought to the office a total of five times, since his cabinets were recurrently dismissed under various pressures and he had to present new ones.

He was born in 1853 in İstanbul, son of Seyyid İzzet Efendi, a member of the Ottoman Council of State (Şûrâ-yı Devlet) with roots in the village of Potoci near Pljevlja which is in Montenegro today. He entered the foreign office of the Ottoman Empire and assigned to different posts embassies in Paris, Berlin, Petersburg and London. He married a daughter of Abdülmecid, Mediha Sultan, which earned him the title of "Damat" (bridegroom to the Ottoman dynasty). Like his father, he became a member of the Şûrâ-yı Devlet in 1884, and earned the title of vizier soon afterwards. Refused the post of ambassador in London by the sultan Abdulhamid II, he resigned from public service and returned only after two decades, in 1908, as a member of the upper chamber of the Ottoman Parliament (Âyân Meclisi).

His first office as grand vizier coincided with the Occupation of İzmir by the Greek army and the tumultuous ensuing period. He was dismissed on 30 September 1919, but after two short-lived governments under Ali Rıza Pasha and Hulusi Salih Pasha, the sultan had to call him back to form a new government on 5 April 1920 and remained as grand vizier till 17 October 1920, forming two different cabinets in between.

His second office coincided with the closure of the Ottoman Parliament under pressure from the British and French forces of occupation. Along with four other notables, he agreed to sign the Treaty of Sevres, comprising disastrous conditions for Turkey, which caused an uproar of reaction towards his person, that he retorted by becoming increasingly hostile to the new nationalist movement led by Mustafa Kemal Pasha which was centered in Ankara and more and more collaborative with the occupation forces.

Even after his dismissal, and the formation of a new Ottoman government under Ahmed Tevfik Pasha, he remained widely disliked (especially in Anatolia) and with the Turkish victory in the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922), he fled to Europe. He died in Nice, France, on 6 October 1923.

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