Pasha (title)

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Ross tail as a badge of rank

Pasha ( Ottoman پاشا paşa ; Albanian  pashë ; Bosnian / Croatian / Serbian  Паша / paša ; Italian bassa or pascià ) was in the Ottoman Empire since the 15th century and in the Ottoman viceroyalty of Egypt and its successor states the title of the highest civil servants and military (cf. e.g. Kapudan Pascha ). The title Pascha was placed after the name.

Until 1867, the governor of a major Ottoman province ( Eyâlet ) was given the title of pasha. Several Beys were subordinate to him as governors of the sub-provinces ( Beylik , Sandschak ).

Two to three horse tails ( tuğ ) were carried in front of the pashas as a badge of rank ; this ancient custom was abolished by Sultan Mahmud II (1808–1839). The aghas of the Janissaries (two to three horse tails) were roughly equal . Superior titles were great vizier (five horse tail) and vizier (three horse tail), subordinate were Bey (one horse tail), lower Aghas and Efendi .

In connection with the Turkish-German military cooperation in the 19th and 20th centuries, some Germans also received the title. Well-known examples of this are the officer Colmar Freiherr von der Goltz Pascha (1843–1916) and the railway engineer Heinrich August Meißner (1862–1940). In the 19th century, several Europeans were also employed in the Ottoman Empire to organize the administration in occupied territories and to put an end to the slave trade in Sudan . Some of them also achieved the rank of pasha, such as Eduard Schnitzer (Emin Pascha), Charles George Gordon (Gordon Pascha) and Rudolf Slatin (Slatin Pascha).

In Turkey the title was abolished in 1934 and in Egypt in 1953.


The German word pascha goes back to the Turkish paşa . There are various etymological derivations for this . Since it is often reproduced with the initial b in early European sources , it can be traced back to the Turkish başağa ("Hauptherr", from baş 'head, main, supreme' + ağa 'lord'). In addition, the word is derived from Middle Persian pati 'lord' + šāh 'ruler' (cf. Persian pād (i) šāh 'prince, king' / Turkish padişah 'sultan'). The son of a pasha was called paşazâde in Turkish , from Persianزاده zāde 'descendant, child, son'.

See also


Web links

Commons : Pashas  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Pascha  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. By law no. 2590 of November 26, 1934 on the cancellation of the salutations and titles "Efendi", "Bey", "Pascha" and the like, RG No. 2867 of November 29, 1934 ( ).
  2. ^ Robert R. Anderson et al .: Early New High German Dictionary . Verlag Walter de Gruyter, 1989, p. 73 ( ).
  3. ^ (Douglas Harper, 2001), accessed August 4, 2008.
  4. ^ The New Oxford American Dictionary, Second Edition , Erin McKean (Ed.), Oxford University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-19-517077-6