Known as ‘English’ Said Pasha for his deep admiration for everything English, Said Pasha played significant roles in wars that proved devastating for the Empire in the 19th century.
After returning from his navy training in Britain, he rose through the ranks quickly and became the Minister of Navy. He was responsible for the Ottoman navy during the Russo-Turkish War (1877-78). However, because of gross negligence by the command of the navy, the capital came face to face with the risk of invasion in only five months. The war ended with disastrous results for the Ottomans, who had to cede Bulgaria, North Greece, Macedonia and Serbia to Russia and its allies.
Major mistakes made by the Turkish fleet in the Danube River also played a role in the Ottoman defeat. Interestingly, a British officer, Hobart Pasha, was in charge of the fleet at the time, while ‘English’ Said Pasha was the vizier. The Danube stretch was the only defensive line that could stop the Russian army from getting to Istanbul. However, the Ottoman army in Danube was heavily defeated because the British admiral was serving not the Ottoman Empire but the British deep state.
As a result, the Russian army reached Yeşilköy (San Stefano), coming very close to capturing Istanbul. In the meantime, Romania and Serbia declared their independence and the kingdom of Bulgaria was founded. The Russians annexed Kars, Ardahan and Batum, which brought the Turkish rule in Caucasus to a definitive end. As a result, some 1.5 million Circassians had to flee to Turkey. Britain also secured Cyprus as a protectorate, which later would be used as a logistics hub for the Armenian riots.
English Said Pasha was also assigned the task of reconstructing the region following the Zeitun (Armenian) rebellion. The developments in the region will be explained in more detail in the chapter on the British deep state and the Armenians.