Çerkes Hasan Incident

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assassination of hüseyin avni and raşit paşa.

Çerkes Hasan was a Circassian infantry captain, a brother-in-law of Ottoman Sultan Abdülaziz, and a member of the personal staff of Prince Yusuf Izzeddin. On 15 June 1876, he entered a meeting of cabinet ministers being held in the house of Midhat Paşa and assassinated Chief of Staff Hüseyin Avni and Foreign Minister Raşit Paşa, while wounding several others. Çerkes Hasan was swiftly tried and convicted, and on 18 June he was executed. Though Çerkes Hasan claimed that he was taking revenge against Hüseyin Avni for a personal affront and against Raşit Paşa for his supposed role in the death of Abdülaziz on 4 June 1876, conservative politicians viewed the incident as a plot manipulated by Midhat Paşa to remove the only rival minister in the cabinet, paving the way for cabinet approval of the new constitution. Sultan Murat V, who was already showing signs of mental unhealth, was so disturbed by the incident that he was unable to continue in his position.

see also abdÜlaziz; midhat paŞa.


Lewis, Bernard. The Emergence of Modern Turkey, 3d edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Shaw, Stanford, and Shaw, Ezel Kural. History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey, Vol. 2: Reform, Revolution, and Republic: The Rise of Modern Turkey, 18081975. Cambridge, U.K., and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1977.

David Waldner