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My Favourite Planet > English > Europe > Greece > Macedonia > Kavala > gallery
Kavala, Greece Kavala gallery 21 of 29
Statue of Egyptian Pasha Mehmet Ali in Kavala, Macedonia, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Kavala's Panagia district. Statue of Mehmet Ali (1769-1849), native of Kavala, Pasha of Egypt.
The bronze equestrian statue of Mehmet Ali on the square named after him was made in Paris by Konstantinos Dimitriadis (Κωνσταντίνος Δημητριάδης, 1881-1943), a sculptor and academic who had also been a champion in the Olympic Games. It was commissioned by the Greeks of Egypt as a gift to the city of Kavala, and unveiled by Prince Amr Ibrahim of Egypt on 6 December 1949.

Kavalans are proud to claim Mehmet Ali (also known as Mohammed Ali, 1769-1849) Pasha of Egypt as a native son. This may come as a surprise to those who know of his ruthless political career, especially his role in attempting to crush Greece's struggle for independence from Turkey.

Mehmet Ali was the son of an Albanian farmer and lived in Kavala for many years. He was accepted by Kavalans as one of theirs, and is still hailed as a great benefactor of the city.

(Some sources state that he born in Cavajo in Albania, which is the cause of some confusion, probably itself caused by confusion of place-names and Mehmet Ali's ethnicity.)

He joined the Turkish army and was ambitious, scheming and ruthless in his swift rise to the top. After leading an Albanian contingent sent by the Turkish sultan to help drive Napoleon's armies out of Egypt, he manoeuvred himself into the postition of Pasha (viceroy) of Egypt in 1805. He waged bloody military campaigns in the Middle East, North Africa and Greece, ostensibly to put down the enemies of the sultan, but he steadily increased his own political power and influence. In 1831 he threatened the Turkish Empire itself by seizing Syria. It took the combined powers of Britain, Russia, Austria and Prussia to dislodge his forces.

He was eventually not only forgiven by the sultanate but his pashalic was made hereditary. Thus began the final Egyptian dynasty which ended with the last reigning monarch King Farouk (1920-65), who abdicated in 1952 after a military coup.
Mehmet Ali, Pasha of Egypt at My Favourite Planet

Mehmet Ali
photos and articles:
© David John
Detail of the statue of Mehmet Ali at My Favourite Planet

Mehmet Ali sheaths his sword.
The statue of Mehmet Ali on Mehmet Ali Square, Kavala at My Favourite Planet

The statue of Mehmet Ali on Mehmet Ali Square.
Photos, maps and articles: © David John

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< Introduction to Kavala  
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