No. 773.
Mr. Bolter to Mr. Fish.

No. 191.]

Sir: I have the honor to say that, on the 13th instant, Mehtned Rushdi Pasha was removed from the office of grand vizier, and Hussein Avni Pasha was appointed to that post. The motives which may have led the Sultan to make this change are so far a mystery to the public. The elevation of the former minister of war to the office of grand vizier is not supposed to indicate any important alteration in the foreign or thedomestic policy of the Ottoman government.

It is a satisfaction to my colleagues and myself to know that Rachid-Pasha, who has so efficiently performed the duties of minister of foreign affairs, has been re-appointed to office.

I inclose a newspaper account of the installation of the new grand vizier, which may be found interesting to the Department.

I have, &c,


[From the Levant Timas and Shipping Gazette, Constantiople, Monday, February 16, 1874.]

installation of the new grand vizier.

On Friday last, immediately after the usual reception, the Sultan ordered Ferid Pasha, marshal of the palace, to withdraw the seals of office from Mehmed Rushdi Pasha and deliver them to Hussein Avni Pasha. On Saturday the new grand vizier, accompanied by a brilliant suite, proceeded to the palace to thank His Majesty for the high distinction which he had bestowed upon him in appointing him to the highest post in the state. Toward 11 o’clock the troops in full uniform lined both sides of the street leading from Sirkedji Iskelessi to the principal entrance of the Porte. In spite of the mud and the inclement weather, a large crowd had assembled behind the two lines of soldiers to greet the new grand vizier, who is immensely popular. It was not until half-past one, however, that the trumpeters announced the starting of the vize-rial cortege. The master of the ceremonies, in full gala costume, headed the procession, followed by the principal functionaries of the Porte, also en grande tenue. They were followed by the prefect of Stamboul and the Sultan’s first chamberlain. A few steps behind came the new grand vizier Hussein Avni Pasha, mounted on a magnificent [Page 1153] charger and followed by the Sheikh-ul-Islam in the new uniform introduced by Fuad Pasha, followed by Abd-ul-Kerim Pasha Nadir, and by the rest of the suite. His Highness wore his marshal’s uniform and the grand cordon of the medjidieh with the plaque in brilliants; the Sheikh-ul-Islam a large white bournous trimmed with gold, and the grand cordon of the medjidieh, and a small white turban which formed a striking contrast with his black eyebrows. As soon as the grand vizier dismounted from his horse he Was saluted by the acclamations of the people, and the military band struck up the artillery march. In the grand saloon of the grand vizier’s department were assembled the ministers, the magistracy, the members of the council of state, the members of the dari shoura and the first dragomans of the legations. On entering the saloon the grand vizier took up his position at the right corner of the room, having on his right Shefket Pasha, first chamberlain of the Sultan, on his left the Sheikh-ul-Islam. A circle was formed round his highness and the musteshar of the grand vizierate advanced and read the imperial hatt, which was couched in the following terms:

“My Illustrious Vizier: You know that, in our ardent desire for the good of the country, we have never ceased to ordain that every possible effort should be made to-release the reforms which are necessary both in civil and military departments, and that we have given every possible encouragement and recommendation to the transforming of these efforts into deeds. You are the faithful servant of the empire, and your tried capacities, your proved devotion, your loyalty, and your indefatigable zeal, qualities which are essential for the carrying out of the work begun by us, have decided us to confide to you the high post of graud vizier. You are at the same time charged with the duties connected with this important department, (the grand vizierate,) and with the general control of the affairs of the war department, which are of the highest importance for the empire. We have confided the details of the duties of the ministry of war, with the title of Caïmacam, to Abd-ul-Kerim Pasha, who has already given proofs of his military knowledge. These being our decisions, we command that these nominations be officially promulgated.

“May the Most High bless our efforts.”

The reading of the hatt having been concluded, the mufti of the Porte recited a prayer for the preservation of his highness’s life, in which all present joined. The final amin having been pronounced amidst a profound silence, broken only by the murmur of the acclamations of the crowd outside, the Sheikh-ul-Islam gave the signal and the various functionaries present tendered their congratulations, which consisted in profound salaams, given in the usual manner. This portion of the ceremony being over, the whole of the persons present, with the exception of the ex-ministers, retired, and coffee and chibouks were served, after which the grand vizier gave audience to the embassy, dragomans and other notabilities who had assembled todo honor to his highness.

Hussein Avni Pasha is the tenth grand vizier since the accession of the present Sultan to the throne, and the second who has been seraskier. His highness speaks French.

As a soldier and statesman, Hussein Avni Pasha has been long and favorably known, and he will nodoubt achieve an equally good reputation as grand vizier.

After entering on his post the grand vizier telegraphed to all the governors-general of the provinces, announcing his appointment, and Rashid Pasha, minister of foreign affairs, also telegraphed to the Ottoman representatives abroad, informing them, at the same time, that the change in the grand vizierate did not imply any change in the administrative or financial policy of the Sultan’s government.