The Info List - Sinan Pasha

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KOCA SINAN PASHA (Turkish : Koca Sinan Paşa, "Sinan the Great"; 1506 – 3 April 1596) was an Ottoman Grand Vizier , military commander , and statesman. From 1580 until his death he served five times as Grand Vizier.


* 1 Origin * 2 Career * 3 Legacy * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 Sources * 7 External links


Sinan Pasha, also known as Koca Sinan (Sinan the Great), was born in Topojan in Luma territory and was of Albanian origin. 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. His father was named Ali Bey and Sinan Pasha
had family ties with Catholic relatives such as the Giubizzas. Austrian orientalist Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall
Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall
called him the "unbridled Albanian". Mustafa Ali of Gallipoli repeatedly criticized Sinan for promoting an Albanian clique in the administration.


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").

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
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. In the same year he commanded the Ottoman army in the Long War against the Habsburgs , during which he was faced with massive casualties on the northern front, which had been weakened by the death of Bosnian commander Telli Hasan Pasha
during the Battle of Sisak . In 1594, during the Uprising in Banat , he ordered that the relics (remains) of Saint Sava be brought from Mileševa to Belgrade
, where he then had them set on fire, in order to discourage the Serbs
. Sinan Pasha commanded the Ottoman Army
Ottoman Army
in the Battle of Călugăreni (1595).

In spite of his victories he was again deposed in February 1595, shortly after the accession of Mehmed III
Mehmed III
, and banished to Malkara . In August, Sinan was in power again, called on to lead the expedition against Prince Michael the Brave
Michael the Brave
of Wallachia. His defeat in the Battle of Călugăreni , the Battle of Giurgiu , and a 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 .


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. 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. Contemporary Turkish historians also noted that he remained close to his heritage and would give those of Albanian stock preference for high-level positions within the empire. In 1586, at his request, Sultan Murad III
Murad III
issued a decree exempting five villages in Luma from all taxes. Sinan Pasha constructed the fortress of Kaçanik
in the Kosovo Vilayet
Kosovo Vilayet
with an imaret (soup kitchen), two hans (inns), 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. It served as Murad III
Murad III
's final residence before his death. One of his final projects in Constantinople
was a külliye , completed in the period 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 .

He was a major builder of caravanserais, bridges, baths, and mosques in towns such as Kaçanik
in Kosovo
, and important buildings in Thessalonika , Belgrade
, and Istanbul
and in other countries in the Arab world.


* Sinan Pasha
Mosque (Damascus) * Sinan Pasha
Mosque (Kačanik) * List of Ottoman Grand Viziers
List of Ottoman Grand Viziers
* List of Ottoman governors of Egypt


* ^ 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 * ^ A B 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. * ^ A B C 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 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 o