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Ismail Selim Pasha (Greek: Ισμαήλ Σελίμ Πασάς, ca. 1809–1867), also known as Ismail Ferik Pasha, was an Egyptian general of Greek origin. Few details of his life are available.

Early life

Ismail Selim was born Emmanouil Papadakis (Greek: {{{1}}}) around 1809 in the village of Psychro, located at the Lasithi Plateau on the island of Crete. He was the eldest son of priest Fragios Papadakis (Greek: Φραγκιός Παπαδακης) who was slaughtered in 1823 by the Ottomans during the Greek War of Independence. Emmanouil and his younger brother Antonios (Greek: Αντώνιος) were captured by the Ottoman forces under Hassan Pasha who seized the plateau and were sold as slaves.

Military career

Selim was sold to Egypt where he converted to Islam and was admitted to the Egyptian Military Academy. After graduating, he pursued a military career and fought with Ibrahim in the campaigns in Syria. Selim rose quickly to the rank of Ferik (major general) and was appointed the military minister of the state of Egypt.

Return to Crete and death

In 1866, Selim replaced Shaheen Pasha in the command of over 20,000 Egyptian troops sent by the Khedive of Egypt Isma'il Pasha to assist the Ottomans in quelling the great revolt on his native land. By a coincidence of fate, Cretan revolutionaries were receiving supplies and financial support from Selim's brother Antonios who lived in Athens. Antonios had been sold to Istanbul and later managed to escape to Odessa where he prospered under the protection of the Stourtza family and became very wealthy. Selim was aware of his brother's life and had been corresponding with him.[1]

In Crete, Selim took part in several battles as well as the siege of the Arkadi Monastery. During the late spring of 1867, he and Omar Pasha marched towards the Lasithi plateau aiming to crush the rebels. Soon after the destruction of Lasithi, Selim died of unknown cause. According to one reference he died of typhoid fever, while other sources attribute his death to the complications of a gunshot wound he had received earlier in Stylos. His body was transferred to Egypt and buried in Alexandria with high honors, whereas a cenotaph dedicated to him was erected in Heraklion and stood until 1925.[2] There is also a bust of him at the Cairo Military Museum.


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