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Mehemed Emin Aali Pasha

Mehmed Emin Aali (Âli) Pasha (February 1815 – September 7, 1871), also spelled Mehemed Ali or Mehmet Ali), was an Ottoman statesman.

Mehemed Emin Aali Pasha was born at Constantinople, the son of a government official. Since he had a knowledge of French he was able to enter the diplomatic service of his country at an early age when he obtained a post in the translation bureau of the Ottoman Empire in 1833. He then became the secretary of legation in Turkey (1834-36) and then the secretary of the Embassy in Vienna. In 1840 he became the Minister of Foreign Affairs for a short time, before serving as ambassador to Great Britain in London (1841-44), and again Minister of Foreign Affairs under Reshid Pasha in 1846. In 1852 he was promoted to the post of Grand Vizier, but after a few months retired into private life.

In 1854 during the Crimean War he was recalled in order to take the portfolio of foreign affairs for a second time under Reshid Pasha, and in this capacity took part in 1855 in the conference of Vienna. In 1855 he again became the Grand Vizier for one year, an office he filled no less than five times; in that role he represented the Porte at the Congress of Paris in 1856 and signed the peace treaty that ended the Crimean War.

He continued to represent the Ottoman Empire for most of the rest of his life, being Foreign Minister in 1857-8, July 1861 and November 1861 to 1867, and Grand Vizier in 1858-9, 1861 and 1867-71.

In 1867 he was appointed regent of Ottoman Empire during the sultan's visit to the Paris Exhibition. Aali Pasha was one of the most zealous advocates of the introduction of Western reforms under the sultans Abdul Mejid and Abdul Aziz. After Fuad Pasha's death in 1869, Aali Pasha combined the posts of Foreign Minister and Grand Vizier.

A scholar and a linguist, he was a match for the diplomats of European powers, against whom he successfully defended the interests of his country. He was determined to steer Turkey into the nineteenth century, but he also was authoritarian and overbearing in his personal manner. He was a reformist politician and process of westernization took place in Ottoman government in his period of prime ministry. He died at Erenkeni in Asia Minor on September 7, 1871 after three months of illness.

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