How Harutyun Pezchyan Advised the Ottoman Emperor to Address the Russians for Support

How Harutyun Pezchyan Advised the Ottoman EmperorHarutyun amira Pezchyan (Gazaz Artin) was a close friend and personal and financial adviser to the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II (1809-1839).

It is known that Pezchyan was engaged in silk trade, due to which he was nicknamed “Gazaz”. Thanks to the Tuzian family, Gazaz Artin gained access to the court of Sultan Mahmud II.

In the Armenian community, Gazaz Artin was known as a big benefactor. Thanks to him, numerous schools were founded, old churches were repaired, new ones were built, and new hospitals were opened.

It was Harutyun Pezchyan who founded the Surb Prkich Church (Holy Savior Church) in Constantinople. This church is still operational.

In 1831, the viceroy of Egypt Muhammad Ali rebelled against the Ottoman Empire. His son Ibrahim Pasha invaded Syria with a large army and then marched towards Asia Minor and Constantinople. The demoralized Ottoman army could not resist the enemy troops.

In a difficult position, Sultan Mahmud decided to resort to the help of Gazaz Artin. The latter offered to ask the Russians for support.

At this fateful stage for the Ottoman Empire when France and Great Britain were watching the agony of the “sick” Asian state from afar and when the fall of the capital of the Ottoman Empire seemed inevitable, a Russian squadron of 18 ships and 10,000 soldiers commanded by General Orlov entered the Bosphorus.

France and Great Britain, very concerned about the possible Russian intervention, sent their squadrons to the Turkish coast of the Mediterranean. By intervening in the conflict, they ensured that the Egyptians and Turks sat at the negotiating table. The idea of Gazaz Artin worked.

According to the agreement signed, Egypt left Syria and Palestine and withdrew its troops from Asia Minor. Thus, Egypt formally recognized the Ottoman state.

The empire of Mahmud II was saved.

Arshaluis Zurabyan

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