Dramali was born ca. 1780 in Drama, eastern Macedonia. He was raised in Constantinople, in the palace of Sultan Selim III, taking part in many military expeditions of the Ottoman army. His military abilities earned him the title of pasha of Drama. In 1820, Sultan Mahmud II placed him in charge of Larisa.
When Albanian Ali Pasha rebelled against the Sultan, Dramali served under Hursid Pasha in the war against Ali. In 1821, the Greek War of Independence broke out and Dramali was sent south to end it. Dramali, with an army of 24,000 infantrymen and 6,000 cavalry managed to march all the way to Corinth meeting very little resistance while ravaging the countryside. He then proceeded to Argos where he met unexpectedly fierce resistance from Dimitrios Ypsilantis. In the mean time, Gen. Theodoros Kolokotronis recruited - often with threats - a large Greek army and harassed Dramali's supply lines while enforcing a scorched earth policy. Dramali was forced to retreat.
On July 26, 1822, his main army passed through Dervenakia and were ambushed by Kolokotronis. In the ensuing Battle of Dervenakia, the Turkish army was routed with nearly 5,000 casualties. Two days later, Dramali attempted to retreat with the remainder of his army through a different pass (Agionori). However, another Greek force under Nikitaras was waiting for him, defeating him yet again.