Military Wiki
Kemankeş Kara
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire

In office
23 December 1638 – 31 January 1644
Monarch Murad IV - İbrahim
Preceded by Tayyar Mehmed Pasha
Succeeded by Sultanzade Mehmed Pasha
Kapudan Pasha

In office
17 October 1635 – 22 December 1638
Preceded by Gazi Hüseyin Pasha
Succeeded by Gazi Hüseyin Pasha
Personal details
Born 1592
Vlora, Albania
Died 31 (aged -1562–-1561) January 1644 (aged 51–52)
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Religion Sunni Islam
Military service
Allegiance  Ottoman Empire
Service/branch  Ottoman Navy
 Ottoman Empire Army
Rank Kapudan Pasha (grand admiral; 1635–1638)
Janissary commander (1635)
Battles/wars Ottoman–Safavid War (1623–39)

Kemankeş Kara Mustafa Pasha ("Mustafa Pasha, the Archer, the Courageous" in Turkish; 1592 – 31 January 1644) was an Ottoman Albanian military officer and statesman. He served as Kapudan Pasha and as grand vizier.

Early life

Mustafa was an Albanian and born in Avlonya (modern Vlorë in Albania) in 1592.[1] He was an officer in the Janissary corps. His epithet Kemankeş refers to his talent as an archer. He was the deputy (Turkish language: sekban başı) of the Janissary commander in 1634 and was promoted to the post of Agha of the Janissaries (Turkish language: yeniçeri ağası) in 1635. On 17 October 1635, he was appointed Kapudan Pasha (Grand Admiral of the Navy).[2] Nevertheless, he participated in the Capture of Baghdad far from the sea. On 24 December 1638, after the death of the former grand vizier Tayyar Mehmet Pasha during the siege, Sultan Murad IV appointed Kemankeş Mustafa as the new grand vizier, the highest post of the empire next to that of the sultan.

As a grand vizier

Baghdad was conquered the next day, and Kemankeş Mustafa represented the Ottoman side in the consequent peace talks. By the Treaty of Zuhab signed on 17 May 1639, the rough outline for the frontier between modern-day Iran and the states of Turkey and Iraq was laid. Murad IV died on 9 February 1640 and Kemankeş Mustafa continued as a grand vizier during Ibrahim's reign. Ibrahim was a weak sultan, and Kemankeş Mustafa became the de facto ruler of the empire.[3] Using severe methods, he ended the rebellions, balanced the budget, and reduced the number of soldiers. He also used his power the subdue (and even kill) other able statesmen whom he thought to be potential competitors for his post.[4]


Kemankeş Mustafa made many enemies. His most important opposition was a kind of triumvirate in the palace, formed by the valide sultan Turhan (the sultan's mother), a charlatan named Djindji Khodja, and a vizier named Sultanzade Mehmed Pasha. They began to criticize Kemankeş Mustafa vehemently. Although he several times tried to resign, his resignation was not accepted by the sultan. However, the sultan, who was initially pleased with Kemankeş Mustafa, finally dismissed him on 31 January 1644.[5] A few hours later, he was executed.[6]


In 1642, Mustafa Pasha converted a Roman Catholic church in Istanbul into a mosque named Odalar Mosque. According to Professor Semavi Eyice, the original church, a Byzantine one, was probably the Monastery of Philanthropos[7] but was converted to the Latin cult and renamed Santa Maria di Constantinopoli during the reign of Mehmed II.[8]


  1. History page of Yıldızeli mayor (in Turkish) Archived 1 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. An essay on Kemankeş Mustafa in the periodical Mortar (in Turkish) Archived 6 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. Nicolae Iorga: Geschichte des Osmanischen Reiches IV (trans. Nilüfer Epçeli) Yeditepe yayınevi, İstanbul, ISBN 975-6480-21-1 p 22
  4. Prof. Yaşar Yüce-Prof. Ali Sevim: Türkiye tarihi Cilt III, AKDTYKTTK Yayınları, İstanbul, 1991 p 85-87
  5. Ayhan Buz : Osmanlı Sadrazamları, Neden Yayınları, İstanbul, 2009 ISBN 978-975-254-278-5 p 96
  6. Joseph von Hammer: Osmanlı Tarihi cilt II (condensation: Abdülkadir Karahan), Milliyet yayınları, İstanbul. p 231
  7. Historical mosques (in Turkish)
  8. Müller-Wiener, Wolfgang (1977) (in German). Bildlexikon Zur Topographie Istanbuls: Byzantion, Konstantinupolis, Istanbul Bis Zum Beginn D. 17 Jh. Tübingen: Wasmuth. ISBN 978-3-8030-1022-3. p 188
Military offices
Preceded by
Gazi Hüseyin Pasha
Kapudan Pasha
17 October 1635 – 22 December 1638
Succeeded by
Gazi Hüseyin Pasha
Political offices
Preceded by
Tayyar Mehmed Pasha
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
23 December 1638 – 31 January 1644
Succeeded by
Sultanzade Mehmed Pasha

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