Köprülü Numan Pasha

Köprülü Numan Pasha

Köprülü Numan (or Nuuman) Pasha (in Albanian: Numan Pashë Kypriljoti) (?-died 1719) was the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire between June and August in 1710. He was a member of the Köprülü family.

When he started his term as Grand Vizier, Köprülü Numan Pasha had a reputation as an honest, incorruptible and capable organizer and experienced military leader. He was expected to resolve a highly difficult political situation provoked by king Charles XII of Sweden, who had retreated to Ottoman soil following his defeat in Battle of Poltava 1709. King Charles and his political ally Crimean Khan Devlet II Giray intrigued to sway sultan Ahmed III to start a war against Peter the Great's Russia. In an effort to avoid joining war, Köprülü Numan Pasha promised a great army to escort king Charles to the Baltic Sea through Poland. However this plan was seen as dangerous, as it could have meant further problems with Poland and Russia. In addition, being a pious Muslim, he furthered his Islamist goals against Catholics and Orthodox in Istanbul, which then caused criticism from abroad.

Unsuccessful to maintain peace with Russia and stabilize the political situation in Istanbul, he was removed from his office after only two months and two days. The political situation then led to the Russo-Turkish War of 1710–1711. Despite his unsuccessful term he continued his career in high offices both in civil and in military. His troops crushed the Austrian army in Bosnia after Austria had conquered Belgrade in 1717. Following his victory he was installed in Crete as a governor on his own request, but got sick as soon as he arrived to the island and died in Heraklion 1719.

Moldovian voivod Dimitrie Cantemir, who rebelled against the Ottoman rule in 1711 and exiled to Russia after losing with his ally the Russo-Turkish War, wrote an amusing, although not very reliable anecdote of his enemy Numan Pasha in his history describing events, which led to his resolution to switch sides during the war. According to Cantemir Numan Pasha was bookish and pale of skin, also not of sound mind; his time in office was noted for an incident where he was insistent that there was always a fly landed upon his nose. He was only cured when during an examination, a French physician fed him juleps (lying that it was for medicinal purposes), and pretended to agree with him. The physician produced a knife and cut off the imaginary fly, and then showed Numan Pasha a dead one that was already hidden in his hand. A similar story was told earlier by Samuel Butler in his satirical poem "Hudibras".[1][2].

See also


  1. ^ Samuel Butler: Hudibras: a poem, Volume 2. Akerman, 1822: Notes p. 79
  2. ^ Goodwin, Jason: Lords of the Horizons (chapter 19: Koprulu and Vienna, p. 234) published 1998
Preceded by
Çorlulu Damat Ali Pasha
Grand Vizier
16 June 1710 - 17 August 1710
Succeeded by
Baltacı Mehmet Pasha