Mustapha Khaznadar

Mustapha Khaznadar (Ottoman Turkish: مصطفى خزندار ; born Georgios Kalkias Stravelakis 1817-1878), was Prime Minister of the Beylik of Tunis from 1837 to 1873.[1][2] He was one of the most influential people in modern Tunisian history.[3]

Mustapha Khaznadar
A portrait of Mustapha Khaznadar in 1846 by Charles-Philippe Larivière.
Grand Vizier of Tunisia
In office
1837  October 22, 1873
Preceded byRashid al-Shakir Sahib al-Taba'a
Succeeded byHayreddin Pasha
Personal details
Born(1817-08-03)August 3, 1817
Kardamyla, Sanjak of Sakız, Ottoman Empire (now Chios)
DiedJuly 26, 1878(1878-07-26) (aged 60)
Tunis, Beylik of Tunis, Ottoman Empire (now Tunisia)
Spouse(s)Princess Lalla Kalthoum


Early life

Mustapha Khaznadar was born of Greek ancestry[1][3][4][5][6] as Georgios Kalkias Stravelakis[4][7][8] on the island of Chios in 1817.[7][9][10] In January 1822, rebels from the neighboring islands of Samos arrived on Chios and declared their independence from the Ottoman Empire, the Ottoman sultan soon sent an army of about 40,000 to the island of Chios, where roughly 52,000 Greek inhabitants were massacred and tens of thousands of women and children were taken into slavery.[11][12] During the Chios massacre, Georgios's father, the sailor Stephanis Kalkias Stravelakis, was killed, while Georgios along with his brother Yannis were captured and sold into slavery by the Ottomans.[10] He was then taken to Smyrna and then Constantinople, where he was sold as a slave to an envoy of the Husainid Dynasty.

Religious conversion and political career

A painting of Mustapha Khaznadar and his son and a photograph of an elderly Mustapha Khaznadar during his career as Prime Minister of the Beylik of Tunis.

While a slave Stravelakis converted to Islam and was given the name Mustapha.[10] He was raised by the family of Mustapha Bey, then by his son Ahmad I Bey[5] while he was still crown prince. Initially, he worked as the prince's private treasurer before becoming Ahmad's state treasurer (khaznadar).[5] He managed to climb to the highest offices of the Tunisian state, married Princess Lalla Kalthoum in 1839 and was promoted to lieutenant-general of the army, made bey in 1840 and then president of the Grand Council from 1862 to 1878. In 1864, Mustapha Khaznadar, then Prime Minister, attempted to squeeze more taxes out of the Tunisian peasants; the countryside rebelled and rose in the Mejba Revolt, nearly overthrowing the regime. However the government was swift to act and ultimately suppressed the uprising through a combination of brutality and guile.[13] Mustafa Khaznadar retained memories of his Greek origin[14] and contact with his native Greece, even sending ten thousand riyals from the state treasury to pay for his two Greek nephews he was educating in Paris.[15] Khaznadar died in 1878 and is buried in the mausoleum of Tourbet el Bey, in the heart of the Medina of Tunis.

See also




  • Association of Muslim Social Scientists; International Institute of Islamic Thought (2008). The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences. 25. American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences. OCLC 60626498.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Binous, Jamila; Jabeur, Salah (2002). Houses of the Medina: Tunis. Dar Ashraf Editions. OCLC 224261384.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Bosworth, Clifford Edmund (1993). The Encyclopaedia of Islam. Brill. ISBN 90-04-09419-9.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Fage, John D. (1982). The Cambridge History of Africa: From the Earliest Times to c. 500 BC, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-22803-4.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Gallagher, Nancy Elizabeth (2002). Medicine and Power in Tunisia, 1780-1900. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-52939-5.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Morsy, Magali (1984). North Africa, 1800-1900: A Survey from the Nile Valley to the Atlantic. Longman. ISBN 0-582-78377-1.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Rosenblum, Robert; Janson, Horst Woldemar (1984). 19th Century Art. Abrams. ISBN 0-8109-1362-3.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Rowley, Harold Henry; Weis, Pinkas Rudolf (1986). Journal of Semitic Studies, Volumes 31-32. Manchester University Press. OCLC 1782837.
  • Shivji, Issa G. (1991). State and Constitutionalism: An African Debate on Democracy. SAPES Trust. ISBN 0-7974-0993-9.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Simon, Reeva S.; Mattar, Philip; Bulliet, Richard W. (1996). Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East, Volume 2. Macmillan Reference USA. ISBN 0-02-897062-4.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Singh, Nagendra Kr. (2000). International Encyclopaedia of Islamic Dynasties. Anmol Publications PVT. ISBN 81-261-0403-1.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Tūnisī, Khayr al-Dīn; Brown, Leon Carl (1967). The Surest Path: The Political Treatise of a Nineteenth-century Muslim Statesman. Harvard University Press. OCLC 683802.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Ziadeh, Nicola A. (1962). Origins of Nationalism in Tunisia. Librarie du Liban. OCLC 3062278.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
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