2261) Life Dedicated To Ottoman Finance: Agop Kazazian Pasha

Dr. Serdar SAKİN
Erciyes University Faculty of Arts and Science, Department of History / Kayseri.


The South-Eastern Armenians, or in other words the Western Armenians, later known as Ottoman Armenians after joining the state, took their honorable part in the Turkish History by sharing and living in the same life style with Turks from the Anatolian Seljukids time on, and had later been honoured as the Loyal Nation (Millet-i Sadıka). Gaining such an exulting and high honour was a result of the Ottoman Armenians’ loyalty to the state and their adoption of the values of the state. These people served both the Seljukids and Ottomans with their hearts and eager industry and so did they live in the Ottoman Land assuming it their own1. Actually, Abdulhamit II justified this ideal with his own words: I can state, in great contentment, that Armenian people are of a nation that has assumed and represented the state at the best. They have been in the service for our civilization, have worked for the permanence of the state, and have been loyal and therefore been privileged Ottomans for their services2. Agop . .

1 Levon Panos Dabağyan; Sultan Abdülhamit Han ve Ermeni Meselesi, Kum Saati Publications, Istanbul 2001, pp. 80-81.
2 Dabağyan; Ibid, p.84.

Kazazian Pasha is, sure, one of those distinguished Armenians among
Ottomans that Abdulhamit II has exalted.

1. Agop Pasha the Service of the Ottoman Empire

Agop Pasha, one of the prominent Armenian officers in the Ottoman Empire, who deserved to hold the highest position as an officer, was the son of Ovakim Aga, a silk merchant. He was born in Istanbul in 18333. He studied in Armenian schools and despite not having a higher education degree, his talent in accountancy and outstanding intelligence in a short period of time enabled him to get the highest position in the administration of the state4.

Agop Pasha entered the working life as the charity collector of Galata Armenian Church5. Afterwards, he served as the secretary to Server Pasha. When Server Pasha was appointed as the mayor (şehremin) of the city, Server Pasha himself appointed Agop as the member of the City Council (Ebniye-i Meclis) that is department in the municipality (Şehr-emanet).

By this way, Agop Pasha became an officer of the state. Later, he was appointed as the head official (Kaymakam) of Galata6. Following this, he served the state as the Head Clerk of the Department of Communications in Turkish of Osmanlı Bank7. He received attention of both banking circle and Abdulhamit II for his dexterity in solving a defrauda-

3 Mehmed Zeki Pakalın; Sicil-i Osmanî Zeyli Yahut Son Osmanlı Büyükleri Ansiklopedisi, V. 2, Institution of Turkish History Archive, pp. 291-293. There are some differences about Agop Pasha’s date of birth in different sources. In accordance with the given, Pasha was born in 1832. İbrahim Alâettin Göğsa; Meşhur Adamlar Hayatları-Eserleri, Edited by Sedat Simavi, İstanbul 1933, p. 24. Hüdavendigar Onur; Ermeni Portreleri, Burak Publications, İstanbul 1999, p. 100. For another source, he was born in 1831. Kevork Pamukciyan; Biyografileriyle Ermeniler, Edited by Osman Köker, Aras Publications, İstanbul 2003, p. 268. Despite all the given dates, we assume Agop Kazazian Pasha’s date of birth as 1833 because many scholars generally accept it.

4 Gamidas Çarkcıyan; Türk Devleti Hizmetinde Ermeniler State, Kesit Publications, İstanbul 2006, p. 111.

5 Türk Ansiklopedisi; Agop Paşa Part, V. I, MEB Publications, İstanbul 1989, p. 210.

6 Pakalın; Ibid, V. 2, p. 291.
7 Göğsa; Ibid, p. 24.

tion in his bank8. Thereupon, he was appointed as the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Treasury (Hazine-i Hassa Nazırı) in 18799. After his appointment as the undersecretary, he started a wider range of reforms and soon, by strict inspection and applications, he considerably increased the national income ingeniously. Regarding his reforms, his nomination for the Ministry was a matter of time. Although he kindly tried to refuse this pleading, he was not able to resist the insistent offer of Sultan Abdulhamit II.10. Consequently, he was appointed, and awarded, as the Minister of Finance (Maliye Nazırlığı) in Ottoman Empire two times, first as a deputy, between 7th January 1886 and 17th February 1886, and the second as the head titularily, between 28th July 1888 and 3rd March 1891, before quitting his office as the Undersecretary of Treasury11. One of his contemporary poets wrote the following couplet for him; When he became the minister of finance I inquired about his past In appearance, Agop Pasha said to me I am an apprentice 12.

That is to say, when Agop Pasha became the Minister of Finance, many inquired about his past. However, Agop Pasha showed, by his appearance that he was inexperienced. Nevertheless, later it was understood from his performance that he was not.

In addition to this, right after Agop Pasha’s appointment to his new office, some European newspapers began to spread untrue news aiming to degrade Agop Pasha and to use such news against the Ottoman State. For instance, the issue of Memorial newspaper, of 26 January 1889, tried to accuse Agop Pasha of the results of Ottoman-Russian War and the aftermath. Nevertheless, there were eleven-year gap between the date of this war and Agop Pasha’s first appearance as the minister of Finance.

8 Çarkcıyan; Ibid, p. 111.
9 Türk Ansiklopedisi; V. I, p. 210.
10 Çarkcıyan; Ibid, p. 111.
11 Look at for appointment of Agop Pasha to the position of Minister of Finance Başbakanlık Osmanlı Arşivi (BOA); Dosya No: 14, Gömlek No: 21, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK. TKM.
12 Pakalın; Ibid, V. 2, p. 291.

In addition to this, the same newspaper have claimed that during Agop Pasha’s service in the Undersecretary of Treasury (Hazine-i Hassa), there was a deficit of 950.000 English Liras in the treasury13. However, this kind of a deficit is not even in question. Furthermore, Agop Pasha always strived to do his best in the most meticulous manner for the state during his office as the Minister of Finance. So, it could clearly be stated that articles and news in Memorial are only illusions14. Apart from these, Agop Pasha worked hard to stop all unlawful actions against the Ottoman Empire, with his loyalty and personality. He put the external loans and the officer salaries in order which were the most problematic affairs of the state. One of the most important issues charming the state financially was the money orders (Havalename) of the merchants. The Pasha reformed these money orders (Havalename) and stopped the financial abuse15. Even these achievements of the Pasha are enough to prove that all the news of Memorial are false, and had a biased view.

Agop Pasha was not only talented in regulating the financial affairs, but also he was almost an expert in rhetoric. This characteristic of Agop Pasha was once mentioned in the memoirs of Halit Ziya Uşaklıgil. It is rumored that as Agop Pasha was at the position of Undersecretary of Treasury, Halit Ziya introduced himself to the Pasha along with a reference letter he brought from Izmir. Halit went to the residence of the Pasha, which is in Sıraselviler, Taksim in Istanbul16. In this unadorned house, Agop Pasha asked for the letter from Uşaklıgil and began reading.

After reading the letter, leaving the letter aside on a cushion, he asked about the grandfather, father and uncle of Uşaklıgil. For Pasha knew all about Uşaklıgil’s family well. Then he began talking about the letter: I read the letter intently. I believe that you have the talents and qualifications needed for a mission in the foreign affairs. However, I do not favour your appointment. The state is, of course, in need of young people to be trained as officers. However, the state must fill the vacancies on different floors. You are a member of a family that profess in trade. The state needs, above all,

13 BOA; Dosya No: 14, Gömlek No: 37, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK.TKM.
14 BOA; Dosya No: 14, Gömlek No: 37, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK.TKM.
15 BOA; Dosya No: 9, Gömlek No: 30, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK.Ml.
16 Halit Ziya Uşaklıgil; Kırk Yıl, V. II, Edited by Şemsettin Kutlu, İnkılap Kitabevi Publications, İstanbul 1995, p. 187.

this type of men in trade. Therefore, I do not support you in leaving your family business17.

Agop Pasha stated his ideas in so persuasive way and with an intimate tone that Uşaklıgil felt not mislead but probably quite happy, because of the sincerity of the statements, he did not think them to be unreal. Moreover, Uşaklıgil thought of returning his family business in accordance with the advices of Agop Pasha, refusing the job offer in the Foreign Secretary, and ignoring other letters of reference. However, his ideals outweigh, so he says to himself as he leaves Agop Pasha’s House.

I can visit the Minister of the National Education (Maarif Nazırı) Mansurizade Mustafa Pasha at his villa in Vaniköyü and I will give a reference letter to him and then I may go back to my family business18. Agop Pasha’s talent in persuasion can be seen in these lines.

Agop Pasha implemented many basic reforms during his Ministry, especially double sided registry balance book system (muzaaf defter)19 and voucher using in all payments were brought to effect during his office20. Again it is in Agop Pasha’s period that he noticed that the improper book keeping brought about losser; there were a great number of defraudation. As a result of the investigations performed by his order, it is brought to the daylight that 7000 liras were given twice and then he reclaimed the money to prevent the loss. He initiated the legal and penal procedure about the people who had hands in this unlawful event21. Apart from these, he discovered, and regulated, that some officers in different cities have not registered the revenues into the books properly, and even some of them added the revenue to their own salaries22. In addition, he also ordered for investigations on the vouchers, whose value may add up to millions, forgotten in some corner of the offices were taken into books

17 Uşaklıgil; Ibid, V. II, p. 188.
18 Uşaklıgil; Ibid, V. II, p. 189.

19 Usûl-i Muzâafa is a word used in finance with the meaning; recording both debts and receivables at the same line, one in actives and the other in passives in the accountancy book. Ferit Devellioğlu; Osmanlıca-Türkçe Ansiklopedik Lûgat, Aydın Kitabevi Publications, Ankara 2004, p. 1123.

20 Türk Ansiklopedisi, V. I, p. 210. Onur; Ibid, p. 100.
21 14 February 1888 BOA; Dosya No: 9, Gömlek No: 19, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK.ML.
22 BOA; Dosya No: 9, Gömlek No: 19, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK.ML.

and secured23. These achievements show us the loyalty of Agop Pasha to the state and the ideal of his mission.

Remaining always loyal to the Ottoman Empire, Agop sometimes did not ignore his Armenian identity in some cases. It is a known fact that the amount of bread sent to Armenian Hospital from the Ottoman Treasury was raised to 513,2 kg (400 kıyye) which was once 96,225 kg (75 kıyye) during the office of Agop Pasha24. As the amounts increase, other nations were not neglected. Thanks to the grant of Sultan Abdulhamit II., the hospitals of Rums (the Ottoman Greeks) and other nations have received extra bread in his period25. However, foreign press soon exploited these developments and false news appeared in papers. As a matter of fact, in accordance with the information in a foreign resource dated 25 March 1889, during the period of authority of Agop Pasha in the Ministry of Finance, Artin Pasha in the Foreign Secretary and Ohan Efendi in the Ministry of Justice, the number of Armenian officers in the state significantly rose, and the most profitable offices were governed by Armenians. But, it was repeatedly stated, even by the British Consular in Van, these news were false and fictitious26.

When he was appointed as the Vizier (a Minister in Ottoman Empire) on 2 September 1884, Agop Pasha was awarded with golden and silver privilege medals, Murassa Osmani (Ottoman Medal ornamented with precious stones) and Murassa Mecidi (A medal issued in the name of Sultan Abdulmecid)27. In addition to the medals given by the Ottoman Empire, he also received Saint-Gredoire medal, granted by Pope Pius IX, directly from the hands of Patriarch Azaryan28.

23 BOA; Dosya No: 9, Gömlek No: 19, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK.ML.
24 BOA; Dosya No: 22, Gömlek No: 2, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK.ZB.
25 BOA; Dosya No: 22, Gömlek No: 2, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK.ZB.
26 BOA; Dosya No: 14, Gömlek No: 47, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK.TKM.
27 Pakalın; Ibid, V. 2, p. 292.
28 Çarkcıyan; Ibid, p. 111. The same medals are awarded to Grand Vizier Kamil Pasha, Foreign Secretary Said Pasha, Minister of Justice Cevdet and to Head Court Chamberlain of Sultan, Ragıp Bey. Çarkcıyan; Ibid, p. 111.

During his service which lasted for ten years, eight months and ten days in the Undersecretary of Treasury, the incomes of treasury rose significantly.29.

2. Agop Pasha and Abdulhamit II

Abdulhamit II always liked the deeds of Agop Pasha during his service as the Undersecretary of Treasury and the Ministry of Finance. Agop Pasha, grown in the Turkish Culture, did not only become a real Ottoman but also was famous for his loyalty to the State. Agop Pasha lived his life with his mother in Yeniköy and never got married30.

Agop Pasha and Abdulhamit II met in an unusual way. Abdulhamit II was a shahzade who managed his money on his own. Among the other shahzades, he is the only one without debt. Therefore, when he ascended to the throne, he wanted to administrate the Ottoman Treasury in a better way, and to increase the incomes, he wrote a letter to the General Manager of the Ottoman Bank, Mr. Forster, requesting an able bank clerk. In the meantime, Agop Kazaz Efendi was a promising clerk at the bank, who was famous not for his knowledge, but for his intelligence and know-how. Despite his dissatisfaction with his efficiency, Mr. Forster would not dare to fire Agop Efendi as he was knowledgeable about the secrets of the bank. However, Mr. Forster offered Agop Efendi for the undersecretary position in order to rid himself of him. By this way, Agop Efendi was selected for this position. After becoming the Undersecretary of Treasury, Agop Pasha quickly diagnosed the ideals of the Sultan, and

29 Pakalın; Ibid, V. 2, p. 295.
30 Pakalın; Ibid, V. 2, p. 292. Ohannes Çamiç Efendi who has been at the position of President of Exchequer and Audit Department between 1879–1884, for five years, has been appointed as a member of the Council of State when Abdulhamit II came to the throne in 1876. Once being at the positions of Minister of Trade and Deputy Minister of Public Works, Ohannes Çamiç Efendi became the President of Exchequer and Audit Department on 8 November 1879. His father, Agop Pasha has been the Minister of Finance in between 1886-1887 and 1888-1891. M. Cemil Özgül; Osmanlı Devleti’nde Ermeniler, Ermeni Sorunu I, Year: 7, Issue: 37, Yeni Türkiye Publications, Ankara January- February 2001, p. 56. In accordance with the information given in this citation, Agop Pasha must be married with children. However, because Agop Pasha has never been married, Özgül’s information is fully falsified.

began working in accordance with these ideals. Meanwhile, with his great knowledge about finance, Agop regulated the Treasury in European style and managed the assets of the Sultan. He managed the assets in such a clever way that he multiplied the assets by two, three or even up to five times31. Such a success gave way to the emergence of some gossips about himself. For instance, it was once said that Abdulhamit had 60 million liras in the U.S.A. In reply to these slanders Abdulhamit stated “Have I stolen anything from the State? How can I have that much money? When I ascended the throne, I had only 60 thousand liras. Later on, with the great efforts of the Minister of my personal treasury (Hazine-i Hassa) Agop Pasha, I have saved some money. This wealth is both for the security of my sons’ future and for the bad times.32. Agop Pasha had doubtlessly a great role in the acquisition of this wealth. It is a fact that Agop Pasha deposited the Sultan Abdulhamit’s French exchange notes in Reich Bank of Germany on a certain interest. By this way, his wealth increased. In this context, 81 French exchange notes which get an income of 140.000 francs per year, dated July 1881 with the interest rate of 3%, and 8 French exchange notes which get 20.000 francs per year, dated November 1883 with the interest rate of 3%, were delivered to German Ambassador Radowitz.

And, Radowitz sent these to Germany. In addition, it was requested from 31 Osman Nuri; Abdülhamid-i Sani ve Devr-i Saltanatı, V. 2, Hayriye Printing Office, İstanbul 1911, p. 526. Agop Pasha is the one who made Sultan Abdulhamit get accustomed to buy real estates and ranches. Pakalın; Ibid, V. 2, p. 295. Abdulhamit II, has increased the amount of his personal wealth by keeping it apart from the State Treasury. Some part of this wealth is incomed from his savings of his own salary, and the others from managing his personal forests by the hands of talented finance managers. In accordance with sayings of Head Clerk Tahsin Pasha, his monthly income, salary, was 9000 golden coins. When it comes to personally owned real estates of Abdulhamit II, his income was 500.000, in his words. He says that he earned this with the help of his Undersecretary of Treasury and a financial consultant; named Mihael Agop Pasha has claimed that lands not belonging to people or organizations are lands of Sultan himself and caused a new line of income. Enver Ziya Karal; Osmanlı Tarihi, V. VIII, Türk Tarih Kurumu Publications, Ankara 1995, p. 420.

32 İbnülemin Mahmud Kemal İnal; Osmanlı Devrinde Son Sadrazamlar, Fascicle
8, MEB Publications, İstanbul 1964, p. 1275.

the bank that with the interest incomes of these notes, by July the first,
1883, German shares with 4% interest rate should be bought33.

As a result, Abdulhamit II was able to have a wealth that none of former Ottoman Rulers would have had. As his statements clarify, the income he gets from real estates that he owns was 500.000 liras per year. Along with the incomes from other sources, Abdulhamit II had a wealth of 8 million liras by the year 190234. The Sultan favoured Agop Pasha all his life for his successful management of his assets35. His favour was conspicuous in many cases. During the Ministry of Agop Pasha, for example, he caught influenza (on 26 January 1890) and could not get out of his house, which attracted the interest and created anxiety in Abdulhamit, and he urgently sent one of his doctors, Ömer Pasha to Agop’s house. After examining Agop, Ömer Pasha advised him to stay at home for three or five days, and informed the Sultan on the issue36. The Sultan’s sending one of his personal doctors to examine Agop Pasha is a sign of Agop’s being favored.

If we were to give another example for Sultan Abdulhamit’s favor for Agop, by the word of mouth of the public, Grand Vizier Kamil Pasha requested the State to decrease the number of the Troop of Guardsmen (Asakir-i Şahane) in the army for the betterment of general treasury.

Agop Pasha resisted this offer of Kamil Pasha stating that it was not the solution to give relief to the treasure, but it is, the intrigue in army purchases and the theft in the army equipments, which was the cause for this unease. By this mean Agop Pasha revealed his patriotic and loyal side and he personally had a better reputation in the eye of the public37. Such an act lessened the authority of Kamil Pasha, the Grand Vizier. Agop Pasha, on the other hand gained a better position in the Sultan’s eye for his great efforts for the betterment of the Treasury. As a counter-attack, Kamil Pasha requested help from the British Ambassador at Istanbul. However, the ambassador refused to help him by giving protection in

33 BOA; Dosya No: 108, Gömlek No: 8, Fon Kodu: Y.EE.
34 Karal; Ibid, V. VIII, p. 449.
35 Nuri; Ibid, V. 2, p. 526.
36 BOA; Dosya No: 10, Gömlek No: 17, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK. ML.
37 BOA; Dosya No: 15, Gömlek No: 128, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK. UM.

order to maintain his privileges in the Ottoman Empire and to avoid the disfavour of the Sultan38.

We shall tell you about another incident that helped Agop Pasha show his talent and gain the favor of Abdulhamit II. That is, when the Russian defeated Ottoman Empire in 1878, the Ottoman promised to pay 250.000 liras as a compensation every year. In accordance with the agreement signed just after the war, it was agreed that the amount should be paid between 1-31 January every year. In January 1889, when Russian gave the Ottoman Government a notice about the payment, the Minister of Finance Agop Pasha claimed that the payment should be done in accordance with the financial calendar of the Ottoman Empire.

This date was 13 March 1889. As Russian ambassador did not resist this reply, the Ottoman Government had gained two and a half months for the payment and, in this way, saved a lot of money and the prestige of the Sultan39. As a result of all his efforts and his success his title and rank were raised up to be “The first and Highest Rank of Officers” (ûlâ ve bâlâ)40.

His great success in the Ministry of Finance, created many enemies of him. Particularly because of his knowledgeability about many fraudulent in operation of the Ottoman Bank, the bank struggled with him a lot. Due to the facts mentioned above, Agop Pasha chose Credit Lyonnais for two years, for the affairs of the Treasury and Ministry of Finance41. Finally, as a result of his enemies’ pressure, he was dismissed from his office as the Minister of Finance, and he returned to the palace as the Undersecretary of Treasury42. His dismissal from the Ministry of Finance enabled the foreign press to print news which were false. According to a news published in Memorial Diplomatic of 2 April 1887, which corresponded to office right after his dismissal, the reasons for his dismissal from the ministry were being a Christian officer, his disagreements with

38 BOA; Dosya No: 15, Gömlek No: 3, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK. TKM.
39 BOA; Dosya No: 15, Gömlek No: 3, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK. TKM.
40 Pakalın; Ibid, V. 2, p. 291.
41 Nuri; Ibid, p. 526.
42 Nuri; Ibid, p. 526. Nazif Pasha is the successor of Agop Pasha in Ministry of Finance. BOA; Dosya No: 20, Gömlek No: 54, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK. TKM.

other ministers, his unclear past in financial affairs and, even, bearing grudge against from Muslim officers43. All these were illusionary and biased news of some journalists. A dismissal of a person from a certain position may happen in any country; a minister may have disagreements with his officers and may resign from his position as the Minister and become the Undersecretary again. However, those, who claimed that there were the conflicts between the Christian and the Muslim officers, seem to have forgotten about the great contributions of the Christian Officers such as Kara Todori and Sava Pasha, who held the most crucial positions during the worst times of the Ottoman Empire. It is in such a way that Kara Todori Pasha represented the Ottoman Empire in Berlin Congress44. These were duties distributed by the Sultan Abdulhamit as a favor to all loyal subjects who wished to serve their country regardless of nationality and religion. Therefore the rules applied to the employment of Agop Pasha were a routine and the attempts to make out different meanings are groundless45.

The Foreign press continued fighting with Agop Pasha. An English newspaper, in the 10 March 1890 issue claimed that Agop Pasha resigned from his office as the Ministry of Finance. As he did not resign from his position, but also he never thought of quitting his position for fear of being irrespectful Abdulhamit II who had personally appointed him to the position. The emergence of such a rumor was because of Agop Pasha’s illness and not being able to do his job well46.

He was so terribly ill that he was bed ridden and his friends got anxious about Agop Pasha. However, Agop Pasha, just after becoming a little better, wanted to go back to work for his loyalty to his country and his understanding of duty. He however fainted at his desk, which could be interpreted this way: the Ottoman Empire made payments to sisters, widows and daughters of martyred soldiers up to 150 penny (kuruş) every month and they are paid at the end of the month. These women were always crying and screaming around the ministry. Feeling better,

43 BOA; Dosya No: 10, Gömlek No: 32, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK.TKM.
44 BOA; Dosya No: 10, Gömlek No: 32, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK.TKM.
45 BOA; Dosya No: 10, Gömlek No: 32, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK.TKM.
46 BOA; Dosya No: 17, Gömlek No: 10, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK.TKM.

Agop Pasha goes back to work on such a day. Around 600 women were at the Ministry to ask for their payments, even queuing up to Agop’s room. Agop Pasha arrives at the ministry. All women who are at the queue begin shouting out their complaints showing the payment sheets.

Pasha promises them to solve the problems and goes to his office. Just as he was going out of his office after work, all these women, calling him merciless and atheist (gavur), hit Pasha with their umbrellas. Some women used even their shoes and wooden slippers to hit pasha, and due to the bruises he had, Pasha went home in a very bad condition47. The former, Minister of Finance Tevfik Pasha experienced a similar treatment. His coat was taken off and his vest was torn into pieces. Therefore, Agop Pasha got ill due to his position he held and encountered many dangers events48.

In addition to these, false news continued emerging against him. In The Times of 29 November 1890, it is argued that Agop had disagreements with the Grand Vizier and other ministers, and it is vulgarly stated that due to this disagreement he would resign. It was also stated in the same issue that his resignation would be welcomed by the foreigners and the natives as well49. However, according to another document of the same date, this newspaper had a different aim for issuing such a news about Agop Pasha50. After all, he never gave up being loyal to his country and continued to perform his office in the best way. His life, quite unluckily, ended in an accident.

3. Sudden Death of Agop Pasha

Agop Pasha died in a mysterious way after quitting his office in the Ministry of Finance51. The story of his death goes as follows: One day the Sultan asked him:

47 These informations was published on the Tan newspaper of 16 March 1890 in Paris. BOA; Dosya No: 17, Gömlek No: 8, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK.TKM.
48 BOA; Dosya No: 17, Gömlek No: 8, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK.TKM.
49 BOA; Dosya No: 12, Gömlek No: 50, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK.EŞA.
50 BOA; File No: 12, Section No: 50, Code: Y.PRK.EŞA.
51 Nuri; Ibid, p 526-527. Agop Pasha, slightly realizing the forthcoming of his life’s end, has offered Mikail Portukal Efendi for the position of Undersecretary of Treasury to his Majesty. Nuri; Ibid, p. 527. Undersecretary of Treasury Agop Pasha has died due to fatal fall from on a horse. BOA; File No: 23, section No: 2, Code: Y.PRK. TKM.

Pasha, after leaving the palace, where do you go?

Agop Pasha:

Your majesty, he said, I go directly to my house in Yeniköy. I like horse riding and sometimes ride horse in the countryside.

Hearing this, Sultan Abdulhamit gave him a grey horse from the Palace Stable (Istabl-ı Amire) as a present. Agop Pasha one day went for a ride on this horse. Because of a cat rushing out of bushes, the horse was so scared that it began running uncontrollably. On the way, the horse hit Agop Pasha on the walls of the Kalender Summer Palace (Kalender Kasrı). Agop Pasha’s skull was fractured and he died right there. Sultan Abdulhamit a deep pain for the death of Agop Pasha by the horse, he gave him as a present. Sultan ordered his Head Consultant to convey his condolence. The Head Consultant stated the Sultan’s pain saying he could not even eat. The consultant tried to comfort Agop’s mother stating that all her needs would be supplied by the State. The old mother expressed her pleasure on this visit as follows:

Even if my Agop is dead, my other son is alive. May God bestow him a long life. He must not feel sorry; all we can do is to give consent what our God has ordered to be52

After his death on 11 September 1891, Agop Pasha was buried in Şişli Armenian Cemetery53.


Appropriate to the definition of the Loyal Nation (Millet-i Sadıka), Agop Pasha, who was an eminent Ottoman Armenian, had always remained loyal to Ottoman Empire and Abdulhamit II. In all his reforms and implements, he always watched the welfare of the State and did his best to hinder all attempts that would harm his country.

52 Çarkcıyan; Ibid, p. 111. After Agop Pasha’s death, there left his brother and sister, apart from his mother on earth. His brother, N. Kazazyan Efendi (1838–1908) has been a member of Customs Council. Pakalın; Ibid, V. 2, p. 293. See also. Çarkcıyan; Ibid, p. 112.
53 Pakalın; Ibid, V. 2, p. 292.

This loyalty of Agop Pasha had been tried to be reverted against the Ottoman Empire by some foreign press, in this case particularly the British with biased and false news. For the project of Armenian State was put in the agenda by way of the Berlin Congress, which required the corrosion and collapse of the Ottoman Empire. However Agop Pasha’s loyalty could not be a good example for other Armenians who were manipulated against the Ottoman Empire.

His life, dedicated to the Ottoman Finance, ended an unfortunate accident.


1. Archive Catalogues

BAŞBAKANLIK OSMANLI ARŞIVI (BOA); Dosya No: 14, Gömlek No: 21, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK. TKM.
BOA; Dosya No: 14, Gömlek No: 37, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK. TKM.
BOA; Dosya No: 9, Gömlek No: 30, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK. ML.
BOA; Dosya No: 9, Gömlek No: 19, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK. ML.
BOA; Dosya No: 22, Gömlek No: 2, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK. ZB.
BOA; Dosya No: 14, Gömlek No: 47, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK. TKM.
BOA; Dosya No: 108, Gömlek No: 8, Fon Kodu: Y.EE.
BOA; Dosya No: 10, Gömlek No: 17, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK. ML.
BOA; Dosya No: 15, Gömlek No: 128, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK. UM.
BOA; Dosya No: 15, Gömlek No: 3, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK. TKM.
BOA; Dosya No: 20, Gömlek No: 54, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK. TKM.
BOA; Dosya No: 10, Gömlek No: 32, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK. TKM.
BOA; Dosya No: 17, Gömlek No: 10, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK. TKM.
BOA; Dosya No: 17, Gömlek No: 8, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK. TKM.
BOA; Dosya No: 12, Gömlek No: 50, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK. EŞA.
BOA; Dosya No: 23, Gömlek No: 2, Fon Kodu: Y.PRK. TKM.

TÜRK TARIH KURUMU ARCHIVE; Mehmed Zeki Pakalın; Sicil-i Osmanî Zeyli Yahut Son Osmanlı Büyükleri Ansiklopedisi, V. 2.

2. Books and Articles

çARKCIYAN, Gamidas; Türk Devleti Hizmetinde Ermeniler, Kesit Publications,İstanbul 2006.
DABAĞYAN, Levon Panos; Sultan Abdülhamit Han ve Ermeni Meselesi, Kum Saati Publications, İstanbul 2001.
DEVELLIOĞLU, Ferit; Osmanlıca-Türkçe Ansiklopedik Lûgat, Aydın Kitabevi Publications, Ankara 2004.
GÖĞSA, İbrahim Alâettin; Meşhur Adamlar Hayatları-Eserleri, Edited by: Sedat Simavi, İstanbul 1933.
İBNÜLEMIN Mahmud Kemal İnal; Osmanlı Devrinde Son Sadrazamlar, Fascicule 8, MEB Publications, İstanbul 1964.
KARAL, Enver Ziya; Osmanlı Tarihi, V. VIII, Türk Tarih Kurumu Publications, Ankara 1995.
NURI, Osman; Abdülhamid-i Sani ve Devr-i Saltanatı, V. 2, Hayriye Printing Office, İstanbul 1911.
ONUR, Hüdavendigar; Ermeni Portreleri, Burak Publications, İstanbul 1999.
ÖZGÜL, M. Cemil; Osmanlı Devleti’nde Ermeniler, Ermeni Sorunu I, Year: 7, İssue: 37, Yeni Türkiye Publications, Ankara January-February 2001.
PAMUKCIYAN, Kevork; Biyografileriyle Ermeniler, Hazırlayan: Osman Köker, Aras Publications, İstanbul 2003.
TÜRK ANSIKLOPEDISI; Agop Paşa Part, V. I, MEB Publications, İstanbul 1989.
UŞAKLIGIL, Halit Ziya; Kırk Yıl, V. II, Edited by: Şemsettin Kutlu, İnkılap Kitabevi Publications, İstanbul 1995


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