Archive Selections
The glory and decline of
Abraham Pasha


The contract between Abraham Pasha and the Imperial Ottoman Bank
A letter dated 28 October, 1897, from Bank's lawyer on the subject himself
The insurance policy on Abraham Pasha's properties
A 1905 Goad's insurance map showing the location of his properties
(DHG-PEGA) from related documents

A diplomat and government official of Armenian descent, Abraham Pasha's real name was Abraham Eramyan. He was born in Istanbul in 1833 to a family of money changers and died in the same city in 1918.

He was the official representative of the Khedive of Egypt and a personal friend of Sultan Abdulaziz. Abraham Pasha spoke Turkish, Arabic and French. He grew rich quickly and became a well-known figure in the social life of Beyoglu.

Famous passionate devotion to gambling, he speculated on the Bourse, and hunting. He rapidly lost his entire fortune due to his gambling.

Abraham Pasha had a number of properties in Istanbul, including some which were quite well-known : his mansion called "Cercle d'Orient" after it became the premises of the Club of this name- was located on the Grande Rue de Pera. He also had a yali (Kocatas yalisi), or summer home, at Buyukdere on the Bosphorus. These two building are still standing.

On 13 October, 1891, Abraham Pasha was in difficult financial circumstances. He obtained a loan from the Imperial Ottoman Bank of 58,000 Turkish liras at an interest rate of 8%, to be repaid on 10 October, 1892. The "Cercle d'Orient", its shops and surrounding lands on the Rue Yechil were the collateral for this loan.
Two years later, he was still in debt and a second loan of 30,000 Turkish liras was granted on 13 April, 1893.

Financially ruined and unable to repay his debts, Abraham Pasha was forced to surrender his investments on the Bourse and all his properties to the Ottoman Bank in 1898. His personal properties were sold by the bank in 1919 to a stockbroker named Manouk Manoukian.

See also in the archives:

CD-PV 007 (Minutes of the Direction Committee, 1898)
RC 001/1345 (Debt file of Abraham Pasha)
IMM-003 (Bank's properties)
CD-CPCA 16 (Copies of letters sent to the Paris Committee)