The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Uneasy lies the head

Kemal Dervis, the new mega-minister of the Turkish economy and former World Bank vice-president, talks about the Turkish economy and the growing sense of imminent change in his country.

Kemal Dervis

Kemal Dervis, the new mega-minister of the Turkish economy, has an ancestor whose body is buried on an Aegean island, and whose head rests in the famous Ottoman-period graveyard at Karacaahmet in Istanbul. He was, historian Murat Bardakci tells us, Halil Hamid Pasa (1736-58) who was brought in as sadrazam (chief minister) by the sultan to tackle difficult economic and international problems.

Hamid took radical steps, earning a reputation as a reformer. But he stepped on many toes, including, it seems, those of the sultan himself.

After three years he was fired and sent as governor to Mecca, the Ottoman equivalent of Siberia. He never got there. When his ship reached the island of Bozcaada, in the north Aegean, he was taken off board, strangled and beheaded. His body was buried on the island.

His head was put into a goatskin filled with honey, one of the most antiseptic of nature's products, and sent to Istanbul for the sultan's inspection.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree