Senate of the Ottoman Empire

Senate of the Ottoman Empire


The Ottoman Empire's Senate was the upper house of the General Assembly, the Ottoman Empire's parliament. The General Assembly was made up of notables in the Ottoman administration which formed the Ottoman government and the elected lower house Chamber of Deputies. The Ottoman constitution of 1876, which intended to convert the Ottoman Empire into a constitutional monarchy, was the basis for its first incarnation. Members of the Senate were chosen by the Sultan and were limited to one-third (1/3) of the representative Chamber of Deputies members. To be regarded as trustworthy and reputable leaders of the country, members and the president of the Senate were expected to be at least 40 years old. Government ministers, provincial governors, military commanders, kazaskers, diplomats, Eastern Orthodox patriarchs, rabbis, and army and navy feriks could also become Senate members through their offices, according to the 62nd clause of the 1876 constitution. Members of both chambers, as well as government ministers led by the grand vizier (the Ottoman Empire's de facto prime minister), convened once a year to discuss and produce a list of things for the Sultan to implement in the following year, as well as to examine the monarch's prior activities. On the same day, senators would swear oaths to uphold the constitution, the Sultan, the nation, and their responsibilities. The Senate examined bills and budgets passed by the Chamber of Deputies in religion, morality, economy, social affairs, and the military. They were either modified or sent back to the Chamber, with the Senate also having the power to create original legislation.

First Constitutional Era (1876–1878)

On Monday, March 19, 1877, the first Senate convened. There were 27 senators in the Senate at the time of Server Pasha's presidency. However, the Senate stopped meeting when Sultan Abdul Hamid II dissolved parliament on February 13, 1878. Nevertheless, its members continued to receive government salaries and their standing as military and political leaders remained unaffected.

Second Constitutional Era (1908–1920)

The 1876 constitution was amended after the proclamation of the Second Constitutional Era. According to these revisions, the Senate began meeting in early November each year, convened at the Sultan's pleasure, and disbanded after four months. Typically, the Senate met after the Chamber of Deputies. However, the whole parliament could meet sooner in a joint session of the Senate and the Chamber and extend the session in unusual circumstances, at the Sultan's request, or following a formal appeal signed by a majority of the Chamber of Deputies. On December 17, 1908, the Senate met for the first time in nearly 30 years, with numerous members changing throughout time until the end of World War I in 1920, when the Allied occupation of Constantinople forced the parliament's de jure dissolution on March 16, 1920. Under coercion from the invading Allies, the Sultan abolished the parliament on April 11, thus bringing the country to a halt. The Senate of the Republic, which succeeded the Ottoman Senate, was founded after the Turkish Republic's proclamation.


First Constitutional Era (1876–1878)



Abdul Hamid II


Server Pasha


Ahmed Arifi Pasha

Vice President

Mustafa Nuri Pasha

Sultan's messenger

Mehmed Namık Pasha

Field Marshal

Kayserili Ahmed Pasha

Minister of the Navy

Abdurrahman Sami Pasha


Ali Kabuli Pasha


Mehmed Halet Pasha

Governor of Hejaz

Dervish Pasha

Governor of Ankara

Moralı İbrahim Pasha

Minister of the Navy

Ahmed Celal Pasha


Marko Apostolidis

Minister of Medical Education

Uryanizade Ahmed Esad Efendi


Kara Halil Efendi

Fatwa consultant (Fetva emini)

Hacı Tahir Efendi

Minister of Civil Service Education

M. Arif Efendi

A former associate of the Council of State

Rıza Efendi

A former judge in the Court of Cassation

Bağdatlı Emin Efendi

Member of the Council of State

Yorgaki Efendi

Member of the Council of State

Daviçon Efendi

Member of the Council of State

Serovpe Vichenyan

Ministry of Medical Education

M. Emin Bey

Former Chief Clerk of the Palace Registrar

Düzoğlu Mihran Bey

Member of the Council of State

Aristarki Logofet Bey

Member of the Council of State

Damat Mahmud İbrahim Pasha


Kostaki Musurus Pasha

Ambassador to Britain

A. Hilmi Efendi

President of the Department of Appeals

Kostaki Antopulos Pasha

The judge in the Court of Cassation

Abdülkerim Nadir Pasha


Mehmed Sadık Pasha


Ibrahim Edhem Pasha


Second Constitutional Era (1908–1920)

There were two living senators from the original 1877 Senate in this iteration, for a total of 32 constituting members. Although its charter required it to have one-third the number of members of the Chamber of Deputies, i.e. more than 90, it never did. In 1909, there were 44 members; in 1910, there were 48; in 1911, there were 58; and in 1914, there were 48 members.

  • Mehmed V (Monarch)
  • Ali Rıza Pasha (President)
  • Ömer Rüştü Pasha
  • Ahmet Tevfik Pasha
  • Hasan Fehmi Pasha
  • Mustafa Zihni Pasha
  • Mehmed Tevfik Pasha
  • Mısırlı Mehmed Ali Fazıl Paşa
  • Ohannes Pasha
  • General Arif Hikmet Pasha
  • Gabriel Noradunkyan
  • Ali Rıza Efendi
  • Saib Molla Bey (until 1910)
  • Ali Rıza Pasha (artilleryman) (Artillery, General)
  • General Muhiddin Pasha
  • General Süleyman Pasha
  • General Mehmed Pasha
  • Lieutenant general Şevket Pasha (until 1911)
  • Şerif Ali Haydar Bey
  • Recaizade Mahmud Ekrem
  • Abdurrahman Efendi
  • Ali Galib Bey
  • Nasuhi Bey
  • Faik Bey
  • Halim Bey
  • Dimitraki Mavrokordato
  • Aleksandros Mavroyeni (Former governor of Samos, diplomat)
  • Georgiadis Efendi
  • Mustafa Nuri Bey
  • Faruki Sami Pasha
  • Bohor Efendi
  • Azaryan Efendi
  • Mısırlı Halil Hamada Pasha
  • Ismail Hakkı Efendi
  • Metropolit Avxentios
  • Bessaraya Efendi
  • Seyyid Abdulkadir (Son of Sheikh Ubeydullah)
  • Ahmed Muhtar Pasha (Field Marshal)
  • Mehmed Said Pasha
  • Musa Kazım Efendi
  • Abdurrahman Şeref
  • Aristarki Logofet Bey
  • Fethi Franko Bey
  • Köse Mehmed Raif Pasha
  • Abraham Paşa
  • Aram Efendi
  • Mehmet Cemaleddin Efendi (Shaykh al-Islām)
  • Mehmed Ferid Pasha (Grand Vizier)
  • Damat Ferid Pasha
  • Hüseyin Hilmi Pasha (Grand Vizier)
  • Deli Fuad Pasha
  • Şerif Nasser Bey
  • Mehmet Şerif Çavdaroğlu
  • Reshid Akif Pasha
  • Salih Hulusi Pasha
  • Mehmed Rauf Pasha
  • Mahmud Esad Efendi
  • Davud Molko Efendi
  • Suleyman al-Boustani
  • Zareh Dilber Efendi
  • Ziyaeddin Efendi
  • Mustafa Nail Bey
  • Şerif Cafer Efendi (President of the Department of Appeals)
  • Aristides Pasha (Yorgancıoğlu)
  • Stefanidis Vasileios
  • Ahmet Rıza
  • Mizancı Murat
  • Nicolae Constantin Batzaria
  • Rıza Tevfik Bölükbaşı
  • Şükrü Pasha
  • Mahmud Shevket Pasha (General)

Last updated: 2021-October-27
Tags: Ottoman Empire
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