The Yekens

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 14th, 2014 in Egypt

Both Ahmad and Fathi Bey Yeken (Yakan, Yeghen) make fleeting appearances in Lady Anne’s Journals and Correspondence (where their name is sometimes mis-transcribed as Bekin) whether as visitors of the Sheykh Obeyd Stud or occasional buyers of surplus stock. Either Ahmed or Fathi Bey is mentioned as the buyer of the colt of Fasiha (Ibn Sherara x Bint Fereyha) by Antar (Aziz x Sobha) in 1908, and Fathi Bey was the buyer f the colt of Ghazieh (Ibn Nura x Bint Horra) by Feysul in 1907.

The genealogical tree of the royal family of Egypt mentions the Yeken as an allied family descending from a certain Mustafa Bey, who married Zubayda Khanum, sister of Mohammed Ali the Great, founder of the Egyptian royal family. Mustafa Bey’s sister, Amina Khanum, was also Muhammad Ali’s principal wife. So the sister of the first married the second, and the sister of the second married the first. Both Mohammed Ali and his brother-in-law Mustafa Bey were born in Kavala (in today’s Macedonia, then under the Ottoman Empire, like Egypt). Most of the senior military commanders around Mohammed Ali the Great were from Kavala, including Mohammed Sherif Pasha, the father of Ali Pasha Sherif.

One of Mustafa Bey’s sons (and hence Mohammed Ali’s nephew from both sides), Ahmed Shukri Yeken Pasha (b. Kavala, 1799 – d. 1856) was commander in chief of the Egyptian forces in the Hijaz from 1820 to 1829, and then from 1833 to 1841, and Minister of War in between (1829-33), and was a Vizir in Istanbul some time after that (query, had he defected?). He had a son, Khalil Yeken Bey, who in turn had two sons Ahmed Shukri Yeken Bey and Mohammed Fathi Yeken Bey  (b. 1868).

These are our two fellows, cousins of Egypt’s royals and members of the first circle of Egypt’s aristocracy. Their uncle, Daud Fathy Yeghen Pasha. (b. 1837 – d. 1917) married Princess Tawhida (b. at Istanbul, 1860; d. at Cairo, 1882), youngest daughter of Prince Ibrahim Ilhami Pasha, the son of Abbas Pasha. Years after Lady Anne’s death, Fathi’s son, Faik Yeken Bey (b. 1901) went on to become the Court Chamberlain and Master of Ceremonies to King Faruk.


4 Responses to “The Yekens”

  1. Not to be confused by Ahmed Fethi, owner of Ibn Johara, and his son Mehmet Fethi who married my great grandmother Nefisa, herself the granddaughter of Ali Pacha Cherif.

    The Fethis were originally from KaraHisar in Turkey.. Their forebear Mustafa Fethi was the defterdar of Aleppo and came to Egypt with Ibrahim Pacha where he was his Katimsir (private secretary)

  2. Mehmet Cherif Pacha, my fourth great grandfather, was the son of Osman Aga and Miriyem Hanimefendi, herself the sister of Emine Hanimefendi and Mustafa Bey mentioned above as the forebear of the Yeghens.

  3. Does this mean there are two Yeken families close to the House of Mohamed Ali?

  4. No just one Yeghen family, its forebear being Mustafa Pacha, the brother of both Emine and Miriyem hanimefendis

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>