Naji Shawkat

Naji Shawkat
8th Prime Minister of Iraq
In office
3 November 1932  20 March 1933
Monarch Faisal I
Preceded by Nuri as-Said
Succeeded by Rashid Ali al-Gaylani
Personal details
Born 1893 (1893)
Died 1980 (1981)

Muhammad Naji Shawkat Bey (Arabic: ناجي شوكت) (1893 – May 11, 1980) was an Iraqi politician who served as Prime Minister of Iraq under King Faisal I.

Early life

Muhammad Naji Shawkat was born to an Arabized family of Georgian[1] origins in the Iraqi town of al-Kut where his father was stationed as provincial governor. He had three brothers: Saaib, Sami and Rifat and a sister. Concurrent with Naji's conclusion of his school education in Baghdad, his father was elected to the Ottoman parliament of 1909, thereby providing him with the opportunity to join the Ottoman Law School in Istanbul.

Military Service

Naji Shawkat was the assistant general prosecutor in the Iraqi city of al-Hila when World War I broke out, upon which he interrupted his legal career and joined the Ottoman army as a reserve officer. After two years of involvement in the Ottoman military defense of Iraq, Shawkat was captured by the advancing British troops in March 1917. He was subsequently taken to a British Indian prison camp where he, like many other detained Arab officers, was offered the choice of joining the Arab Revolt, an offer he promptly accepted.

Prime Minister of Iraq

In 1932, Shawkat was called on by Faisal to head a non-partisan government that was intended to clear the political congestion which accompanied the signing of the Anglo-Iraqi treaty. Faced with strong opposition from within the Iraqi political establishment and the anti-treaty campaign, Shawkat's government lasted only five months. Thereafter, he was appointed as representative of Iraq in Ankara where he cultivated strong relations with the Turkish ruling circles and developed a sense of admiration for modern Turkey.


  1. Ghareeb, Edmund A. (2004), Historical Dictionary of Iraq, p. 220. Scarecrow Press, ISBN 0-8108-4330-7.
Political offices
Preceded by
Nuri as-Said
Prime Minister of Iraq
November 3, 1932 March 20, 1933
Succeeded by
Rashid Ali al-Kaylani
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