Ahmet Cevdet Pasha bigraphy, stories - Ottoman statesman

Ahmet Cevdet Pasha : biography

1822 - 26 May 1895

Ahmed Jawdat Pasha (22 March 1822 – 25 May 1895) was a famous Ottoman Turkish statesman, historian, sociologist, and legist, from Turks in Bulgaria.


Ahmed Jawdat Pasha was born in Lofça, Lovech, today Bulgaria on 22 March 1822. He went to Istanbul to complete his education at a religious college in 1839. Mathematics and astronomy intrigued Ahmed Cevdet Pasha. During the holidays, he read many works on arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and astronomy. He made arrangements with a teacher in the Imperial Military Engineering School (Mühendishane-i Berri-i Humayun) to instruct him in modern mathematics and read with him the engineering journals and Ishak Efendi's works on the mathematics.Richard L. Chambers, "The Education of a Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Alim, Ahmed Cevdet Pasa", International Journal of Middle East Studies 4:4. (October 1973), p. 455

In 1844/45, he became qadi (judge) and then the juridical adviser to the grand vizier (Ottoman prime minister), Mustafa Reşid Paşa, from 1846 to 1858. He played an important role in the preparation of Mecelle, the civil code of the Ottoman Empire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which was the first codification of Islamic law with Western standards. Cevdet Pasha oversaw the formulation of the Mecelle. He is also well known for a book on Ottoman history, now known as Cevdet Paşa Tarihi ("History of Cevdet Pasha").

His daughter Fatma Aliye Topuz (1862-1936) is credited as the first female writer of the literature of Turkey and the Islamic geography. Other daughter Emine Semiye (1864-1944) was one of the first Turkish feminists. The third daughter Reya Mardin is the mother of leading sociologist and political scientist Şerif Mardin. Son Ali Sedad (1857-1900) was a Logician.

Ahmed Cevdet Pasha died in Istanbul on 25 May 1895. His grave is located in the graveyard of the Fatih Mosque in Istanbul.

For further reading

  • (In Turkish) Ekrem Buğra Ekinci and Ahmet Şimşirgil. Ahmed Cevdet Paşa ve Mecelle (Ahmed Cevdet Pasha and Mejelle),Istanbul, 2008.

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