Mr. Boker to Mr. Fish
Constantinople , October 20, 1872. (Received Nov. 14.)
Sir: I have the honor to say that during the night of the 18th of this month the seals of office were withdrawn from Midhat Pacha, and [Page 1105] Mehemet Rushdi Pacha was appointed grand vizier in the place of the former. * * * * * *
The present grand vizier, Mehemet Rushdi Pacha, is a man of high character and intelligence, who once before filled the office of grand vizier, and who enjoys universal respect and confidence. He is a man who neither seeks nor seems to desire the cares of office, and his ministry is therefore looked upon as transitionary, and to be followed by the appointment of some more ambitious pacha, perhaps by the return to power of the ex-grand vizier Mahmoud Pacha. The latter is said to be in high favor at the palace, and it is rumored that a portfolio in the present cabinet will be offered to him. It is not supposed that the change of grand vizier will produce any serious modifications in the former policy of the government, which may be characterized as a drifting one, with no other underlying principles than a blind trust in Providence, and a belief that a majority of the great powers of Europe recognize, as a necessity of their own peace, the continuance of the stability of the Ottoman Empire.
Notwithstanding this general tendency in Turkish policy, the meeting of the three Emperors at Berlin has produced a disquieting influence in Constantinople. * * * * *
It is said that they [the Turks] are fortifying Sinope, converting their arms into breech-loaders, and there is unusual activity in the manufacture of ammunition. At present it is impossible to say whether these preparations will have a serious issue, or whether they are merely one of those spasmodic armings so common among the nations of Europe, to be followed by no consequences save by an equally unaccountable disarming, after the spectral apprehension has passed away. It is thought that the presence of the new minister of Germany, whose arrival is daily expected, will solve all doubts, by showing whether Germany means to take part for or against the traditional designs of Russia toward the Ottoman Empire.
The Department is doubtless aware of the sudden death of Djemil Pacha, the minister of foreign affairs, before he had been a month in office, and the appointment in his place of Halil Pacha, formerly Ottoman minister at Vienna. Halil Pacha bears a high character for intelligence, business capacity, and enlightenment, while his European education naturally inclines him to belong to the progressive party of his countrymen. He is said to be strongly anti-Russian and anti-Egyptian in his tendencies. The latter inclination will not be weakened by his approaching marriage with the daughter of Mustapha Fazyl Pacha, the brother of the viceroy of Egypt, between whom and the Khedive there is no love lost.
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I have, &c.,