Ali Pasha, Lion of Ioannina by Eugenia Russell & Eugenia Russell

Ali Pasha, Lion of Ioannina by Eugenia Russell & Eugenia Russell

Author:Eugenia Russell & Eugenia Russell
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: HISTORY / Middle East / Turkey & Ottoman Empire
ISBN: 9781473873681
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Published: 2017-09-30T04:00:00+00:00

Fig. 36: The town and harbour of Vathi, Ithaka from The Ionian Islands: twelve plates London, 1821 by Joseph Cartwright.

With any attempts to prise Parga from the British falling on the deaf ears of General Sir James Campbell, who was not to be taken in by any false claims, Ali turned to the Sultan. He accused Parga of being a nest of malefactors and along with the Suliotes, a danger to the Porte. When Campbell was replaced by Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Maitland as the governor of the Ionian Islands, the British Ambassador in Constantinople had been persuaded that a Turkish commissioner should be sent to Ioannina to treat with the various parties. Ali sent a deputy to Corfu on 16 March 1817 to inform Maitland that the Ottoman commissioner had arrived in Ioannina. Maitland was wary enough to have reinforced the thirty-man garrison at Parga tenfold while talks were under way lest Ali tried any pre-emptive moves. He was also aware that the Pargians would not take too kindly to any news that they might be ceded to Ali, so the garrison under Lieutenant Colonel Charles Philippe de Bosset was not there only to guard against any tricks by Ali but any violent reaction on the part of the inhabitants. While negotiations continued Ali set about undermining the population. The inhabitants were forced to repair the walls and prepare for attack in response to his feints and manoeuvres and he cut off supplies from his territories and grain from Cephalonia and Zante to create shortages. Finally on 17 May 1817 at loannina, the British, represented by John Cartwright, the British Consul in the Morea, and the Turks, represented by the Vizier Hamit Bey, signed a treaty ceding Parga to the Ottomans in return for Turkey resting its claims to the Ionian Islands. According to the treaty, it was left in the hands of Ali Pasha to guarantee the life, the security and the property of the citizens of Parga. Maitland promised any citizen who preferred to leave rather than remain under Ottoman rule would receive compensation for their losses. The Turkish government were unwilling to pay, but offered Parga to Ali if he were willing to pay. The first estimate by the Pargians was £500,000, the British and Turkish commissioners made separate assessments; the British, £276,075, the Turkish, £56,756. Nearly everyone in Parga chose to emigrate to Corfu, a humiliation for Ali and a burden to Maitland. The negotiations dragged on. In May, Maitland resolved the issue directly with Ali, an agreement was signed stipulating the terms including the compensation. The sum of £150,000 had to be paid by Ali before Parga was handed over.

On the Orthodox Good Friday, 1 April 1819, between 3,000 to 4,000 Pargians began their evacuation, carrying with them the disinterred bones or ashes of their ancestors, the images of their saints, flags and handfuls of soil as a reminder of their homeland; they took to the sea in boats provided by the islanders (the



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