19th century sources

website of Jelle Verheij, historian



          June 6th, 1845


          I have the honour to report to

Your Excellency that Surri Pasha of Van,

who was confirmed by Sami Pacha, was not

allowed to enter the city by the inhabitants,

who rose in open rebelliod; and he returned

here a few days ago. The Pacha has despatched

a Colonnel and his Meuheurdar to learn the

cause of the revolt they were admitted to a

conference with the heads of the rebels, and

were told that the people would not accept

the Tanzimat-Hairieh, nor would they receive

Surri Pacha as their Governor. They insisted

on a man of the Country being named, and

they pointed out Mustafa Bey. The Colonel

Revolt in Van and unrest in other parts of Erzurum province, report by British Consul James Brant in Erzurum, June 6, 1845

In this report Consul Brant decribes the situation in Van and several other parts of Erzurum province. The inhabitants of Van have declare themselves against the Tanzimat. Newly appointed Governor Sırrı Paşa is not accepted and is obliged to return to Erzurum. From later reports of Brant it can be understood that the unrest in Van continued well into 1846.

An interesting detail is Brant's remark regarding the ineffectiveness of locally recruited troops. According to him the British Embassy had pointed out the disadvantages of this system many times, but the Porte refused to change it. In time the non-employment of local troops would become a rigid rule in Turkey.

original text and transscription

Original summary of the report

and Defterdar returned with a deputation

who stated the views of the people to the

Pasha. The troops have halted at Toprak Kaleh,

a message having been sent from Van to the

Commander Izzet Pasha, to say that the

inhabitants were all armed; and prepared

to resist to the last extremity.

     Bahri Pasha, the Commander of

the troops left suddenly for Kars about then

days ago with a few attendants; the object

of his visit was not known, but it was believed

that great discontent prevailed in regard

to the Tanzimat, and that the troops were

united with the people. Bahri Pasha returned

three days ago; nothing however had since


     At Moosh, great discontent

prevails; and in Terdjan and Erzinghian, they

are reported to be in a state of great excitement.

Koords are committing depredations close

to the Town, and the Pasha appears to be quite

at a loss what course to pursue.

The troops have not been paid for seven

months, and are not in a good humour; they

are all natives, and would not, I fear, be much

relied on in case they were called upon yo act

against their fellow-citizens. The inconvenience

of troops being natives of the districts they

are stationed in, has been often pointed out

to the Porte, but it still persist in following

so impolitic a system.

     From the short period the new

Pasha has been here, it were perhaps unfair

to pronounce a decided opinion on his

character; but no act of his inspired confidence,

he shows a disposition to amass money by

any means, is indolent and inexpert in regard

to matters of business, wanting in judgment

and firmness in difficulties; and he appears

totally incapable of governing this Pashalik,

a difficult post at any time, on account of

the uncivilised and fierce character of the

population, but more particularly at this

present moment. - During all the last

night the town was patrolled by the whole

garrison, and this circumstance, the precise cause

of which is unknown, has tended rather to spread

than allay alarm.