Lala Mustafa Pasha

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Kara Mustafa
Lala Mustafa Paşa.jpg
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
In office
28 April 1580 – 7 August 1580
Monarch Murat III
Preceded by Şemsi Pasha
Succeeded by Koca Sinan Pasha
Personal details
Born c. 1500
Sokolovići, Sanjak of Bosnia, Ottoman Empire
Died 7 August 1580
Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
Nationality Ottoman
Relations Sokollu Mehmed Pasha (relative)
Religion Islam

Lala Kara Mustafa Pasha (Lala Mustafa Pasha) (c. 1500 – 7 August 1580) was an Ottoman general and Grand Vizier from the Sanjak of Bosnia.


He was born around 1500, apparently near the Glasinac Plateau in Bosnia, the younger brother of Deli Husrev Pasha, who apparently helped him rise through the system's ranks more quickly.

Mustafa Pasha briefly served as kaymakam (acting governor) of Egypt Eyalet in 1549.[1] He had risen to the position of Beylerbeyi of Damascus and then to that of Fifth Vizier.

The honorific "Lala" means "tutor to the Sultan"; he was tutor to Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent's sons, including Şehzade Bayezid. Apparently, he was in agreement with Bayezid's decision to rebel against his father, although he did not openly support him in a financial or military way. He also had a long-standing feud with his cousin, Sokollu Mehmed Pasha. [2]

He commanded the Ottoman land forces during the conquest of previously Venetian Cyprus in 1570/71, and in the campaign against Georgia and Persia in 1578. During the campaign on Cyprus, Lala Mustafa Pasha, who was known for his cruelty towards vanquished opponents, ordered the Venetian commander of Famagusta Marco Antonio Bragadin and other Venetian military officers flayed alive, even though he had promised safe passage upon surrendering the city to the Turkish army. This was a response to Bragadin's murder of a convoy of Muslim pilgrims whose safety he had promised. It also meant that Mustafa had indicated his aggressive intentions to the Sultanate. (reference The Great Sea, David Abulafia)


In the final three months of his life, he was Grand Vizier from 28 April 1580 until his death. He is buried in the courtyard of the Eyüp Sultan Mosque in Istanbul. His tomb was designed by Ottoman architect Sinan.


He has a street named after him in cities including Larnaca,[4] Cyprus. His invasion and brutal treatment of the Venetian leaders in Cyprus led to Pope Pius V promoting a Roman Catholic coalition against the Ottomans which turned into the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.[5]

See also


  1. Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen Gibb; Johannes Hendrik Kramers; Bernard Lewis; Charles Pellat; Joseph Schacht (1992). The Encyclopaedia of Islam. Brill. p. 721.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Kinross, Lord (2002). Ottoman Centuries. Harper Perennial. ISBN 978-0-688-08093-8.
  4. Road & Tourist Map of Larnaka. SELAS LTD. ISBN 978-9963-566-92-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Setton, Kenneth Meyer (1984). The Papacy and the Levant, 1204-1571, Volume 161. Philadelphia.


  • Bradford, Ernle (1999) [1961, published by Hodder & Stoughton]. The Great Siege: Malta 1565. Wordsworth. ISBN 1840222069.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Bicheno, Hugh. Crescent and Cross: the Battle of Lepanto 1571. Phoenix, London, 2003. ISBN 1-84212-753-5.
  • Currey, E. Hamilton, Sea-Wolves of the Mediterranean,, London, 1910
  • Foglietta, U. The sieges of Nicosia and Famagusta. London: Waterlow, 1903.
  • Pickles, Tim. Malta 1565, Last Battle of the Crusades; Osprey Campaign Series #50, Osprey Publishing, 1998. ISBN 1-85532-603-5.
  • Spiteri, Stephen C.. The Great Siege: Knights vs. Turks, 1565. Malta, 2005.
Political offices
Preceded by
Davud Pasha
as Governor
Ottoman Governor of Egypt (acting)
Succeeded by
Semiz Ali Pasha
as Governor
Preceded by
Şemsi Pasha
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
28 April 1580 – 7 August 1580
Succeeded by
Koca Sinan Pasha