Abdul Hamid II

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Abdul Hamid II
عبد الحميد الثانی
Caliph of Islam
Amir al-Mu'minin
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Kayser-i Rûm
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
Portrait of Abdul Hamid II of the Ottoman Empire.jpg
Abdul Hamid II as a Şehzade (Prince) in Balmoral Castle, Scotland, 1867
26th Caliph of the Ottoman Caliphate
34th Ottoman Sultan (Emperor)
Reign 31 August 1876 – 27 April 1909
Sword girding 7 September 1876
Predecessor Murad V
Successor Mehmed V
Grand Viziers
Born (1842-09-21)21 September 1842[1][2]
Topkapı Palace, Istanbul
Died 10 February 1918(1918-02-10) (aged 75)
Beylerbeyi Palace, Istanbul
Burial Tomb of Sultan Mahmud II, Çemberlitaş, Fatih
Consorts Nazikeda Kadın
Nurefzun Kadın
Bedrifelek Kadın
Bidar Kadın
Dilpesend Kadın
Mezide Mestan Kadın
Emsalinur Kadın
Müşfika Kadın
Sazkar Hanım
Peyveste Hanım
Pesend Hanım
Behice Hanım
Naciye Hanım
Issue see below
Full name
Abdul Hamid bin Abdul Mecid
Era name and dates
Decline and modernization of the Ottoman Empire: 1828–1908
Dynasty Ottoman
Father Abdülmecid I
Mother Biological mother:
Tirimüjgan Kadın
Adoptive mother:
Perestu Kadın
Religion Sufi Islam
Shadhili Sufi oder
Tughra Abdul Hamid IIعبد الحميد الثانی's signature

Abdul Hamid II (Ottoman Turkish: عبد الحميد ثانی‎, `Abdü’l-Ḥamīd-i sânî; Turkish: İkinci Abdülhamit; 21 September 1842 – 10 February 1918) was the 34th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and the last Sultan to exert effective control over the fracturing state.[3] He oversaw a period of decline, with rebellions, particularly in the Balkans, and an unsuccessful war with the Russian Empire. He ruled from 31 August 1876 until he was deposed shortly after the 1908 Young Turk Revolution, on 27 April 1909; in accordance with an agreement made with the republican Young Ottomans, he promulgated the first Ottoman constitution of 1876 on 23 December 1876,[4] which was a sign of progressive thinking that marked his early rule. Later, however, he noticed Western influence on Ottoman affairs and citing disagreements with the Parliament,[4] suspended both the short-lived constitution and Parliament in 1878 and accomplished highly effective power and control.

Modernization of the Ottoman Empire occurred during his reign, including reform of the bureaucracy, the extension of the Rumelia Railway and Anatolia Railway and the construction of the Baghdad Railway and Hejaz Railway. In addition, a system for population registration and control over the press was established along with the first local modern law school in 1898, the most far-reaching of these reforms were in education: many professional schools were established, including Law School, School of Arts, School of Trades, Civil Engineering School, The Veterinarian School, The Customs School, The Farming School, The Linguistic School, and more. The University of Istanbul, although shut down by Abdul Hamid in 1881, was reopened in 1900, and a network of secondary, primary, and military schools was extended throughout the empire. Railway and telegraph systems were developed by primarily German firms.[4] Between 1871 and 1908, the Sublime Porte thus "reached a new degree of organizational elaboration and articulation."[5][6],

Moreover, Abdul Hamid was first nicknamed the Red Sultan by Western journalists because of the massacres committed against Armenians during his rule and claiming the use of secret police to silence dissent and republicanism.[7][8] These initiatives led to a failed assassination attempt in 1905.[9]

As a result of the worsening state of the Ottoman Empire after the deposition of Abdul Hamid, Rıza Tevfik Bölükbaşı, who was a member of the Committee of Union and Progress, which dethroned Abdul Hamid II, wrote a poem called "İstimdad" which shows the Turk's regret concerning Abdul Hamid's deposition.[10]

Early life[edit]

Şehzade (Prince) Abdul Hamid in 1868.

Abdul Hamid II was born at the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul (Constantinople), the capital of the Ottoman Empire, on 21 September 1842. He was the son of Sultan Abdülmecid[1] and Tirimüjgan Kadınefendi (Circassia, 16 August 1819 – Beylerbeyi Palace, 2 November 1853), originally named Virjin.[11] After the death of his mother, he later became the adoptive son of his father's wife, Valide Sultan Rahime Perestu, he was a skilled carpenter and personally crafted some high quality furniture, which can be seen today at the Yıldız Palace, Sale Kosku and Beylerbeyi Palace in Istanbul. Abdul Hamid II was also interested in opera and personally wrote the first-ever Turkish translations of many opera classics, he also composed several opera pieces for the Mızıka-yı Hümâyun (Ottoman Imperial Band/Orchestra, which was established by his grandfather Mahmud II who had appointed Donizetti Pasha as its Instructor General in 1828), and hosted the famous performers of Europe at the Opera House of Yıldız Palace, which was restored in the 1990s and featured in the film Harem Suare (1999) of the Turkish-Italian director Ferzan Özpetek (the film begins with the scene of Abdul Hamid II watching a performance.) Unlike many other Ottoman sultans, Abdul Hamid II traveled to distant countries. Nine years before he took the throne, he accompanied his uncle Sultan Abdülaziz on his visit to Paris (30 June – 10 July 1867), London (12–23 July 1867), Vienna (28–30 July 1867) and the capitals or cities of a number of other European countries in the summer of 1867 (they departed from Istanbul on 21 June 1867 and returned on 7 August 1867).[12]

Accession to throne[edit]

Abdul Hamid ascended to the throne following the deposition of his brother Murad on 31 August 1876,[1][13] at his accession, some commentators were impressed by the fact that he rode practically unattended to the Eyüp Sultan Mosque where he was given the Sword of Osman. Most people expected Abdul Hamid II to support liberal movements, however, he acceded the throne in 1876 in a very difficult and critical period for the Empire. Economic and political turmoil, local wars in the Balkans, in addition, the Russian-Ottoman war of 1877-78 threatened the existence of the Ottoman Empire. This led to Abdul Hamid taking strict decisions like dissolving the parliament and concentrating all political power in his own hands.

First Constitutional Era, 1876–1878[edit]

Seal of Sultan Abdul Hamid II

Abdul Hamid worked with the Young Ottomans to realize some form of constitutional arrangements[14] This new form in its theoretical space could help to realize a liberal transition with Islamic arguments, the political structure of Western norms did not work with the Ottoman political culture, even if the pressure from the Western world was enormous to adapt western ways of a political decision. This was since they were contradictory with various Muslim beliefs and ideas.

On 23 December 1876, due to the 1875 insurrection in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the war with Serbia and Montenegro and the feeling aroused throughout Europe by the cruelty used in stamping out the Bulgarian rebellion, he promulgated the constitution and its parliament.[1]

The international Constantinople Conference[15][16] towards the end of 1876 was surprised by the promulgation of a constitution, but European powers at the conference rejected the constitution as a significant change; they preferred the 1856 constitution, the Hatt-ı Hümayun and 1839 Hatt-ı Şerif of Gülhane, but questioned whether there was need for a parliament to act as an official voice of the people.

In any event, like many other would-be reforms of the Ottoman Empire change, it proved to be nearly impossible. Russia continued to mobilize for war. However, everything changed when the British fleet approached the capital from the Sea of Marmara. Early in 1877 the Ottoman Empire went to war with the Russian Empire.

Disintegration[edit]

Ottoman troops under Romanian attack at the Siege of Plevna (1877) in the Russo-Turkish War (1877–78)
Circassian Muslim refugees uprooted from their homelands due to the Russian invasion of the Caucasus

Abdul Hamid's biggest fear, near dissolution, was realised with the Russian declaration of war on 24 April 1877; in that conflict, the Ottoman Empire fought without help from European allies. Russian chancellor Prince Gorchakov had effectively purchased Austrian neutrality with the Reichstadt Agreement, the British Empire, though still fearing the Russian threat to British dominance in Southern Asia, did not involve itself in the conflict because of public opinion against the Ottomans, following reports of Ottoman brutality in putting down the Bulgarian uprising. The Russian victory was quickly realised, the conflict ended in February 1878. The Treaty of San Stefano, signed at the end of the war, imposed harsh terms: the Ottoman Empire gave independence to Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro; it granted autonomy to Bulgaria; instituted reforms in Bosnia and Herzegovina; and ceded parts of Dobrudzha to Romania and parts of Armenia to Russia, which was also paid an enormous indemnity. After the war with Russia, Abdulhamid suspended the constitution in February 1878, and he also dismissed the parliament after its solitary meeting in March 1877, for the next three decades, the Ottoman Empire was ruled by Abdulhamid from Yıldız Palace.[1]

As Russia could dominate the newly independent states, her influence in South-eastern Europe was greatly increased by the Treaty of San Stefano. Due to the insistence of the Great Powers (especially the United Kingdom), the treaty was later revised at the Congress of Berlin so as to reduce the great advantages acquired by Russia; in exchange of these favours, Cyprus was "rented" to Britain in 1878. There were troubles in Egypt, where a discredited khedive had to be deposed. Abdul Hamid mishandled relations with Urabi Pasha, and as a result Great Britain gained virtual control over Egypt and Sudan by sending its troops in 1882 with the pretext of "bringing order" to those provinces. Cyprus, Egypt and Sudan remained as Ottoman provinces "on paper" until 1914, when Britain officially annexed those territories in response to the Ottoman participation in World War I on the side of the Central Powers.

There were key problems regarding the Albanian question resulting from the Albanian League of Prizren and with the Greek and Montenegrin frontiers where the European powers were determined that the decisions of the Berlin Congress should be carried into effect.

The union in 1885 of Bulgaria with Eastern Rumelia was another blow. The creation of an independent and powerful Bulgaria was viewed as a serious threat to the Ottoman Empire, for many years Abdul Hamid had to deal with Bulgaria in a way that did not antagonize either Russian or German wishes.

Crete was granted extended privileges, but these did not satisfy the population, which sought unification with Greece. In early 1897 a Greek expedition sailed to Crete to overthrow Ottoman rule on the island, this act was followed by war, in which the Ottoman Empire defeated Greece (see the Greco-Turkish War (1897)); however as a result of the Treaty of Constantinople, Crete was taken over en depot by the United Kingdom, France, and Russia. Prince George of Greece was appointed as ruler and Crete was effectively lost to the Ottoman Empire.[1] The ʿAmmiyya, a revolt in 1889–90 among Druze and other Syrians against excesses of the local sheikhs, similarly led to capitulation to the rebels' demands, as well as concessions to Belgian and French companies to provide the area with rail service.

Armenian Question[edit]

Starting around 1890, Armenians began demanding the implementation of the reforms which were promised to them at the Berlin conference,[17] they were supplied with weapons from England and Russia and formed armed groups which heartlessly attacked Kurdish villages. The Turks considered the Armenian threats highly dangerous, for the Armenian groups demanded Eastern Anatolia, the homeland and origin of the Ottoman Turks. [18] To prevent such measures, in 1890-91, Sultan Abdul Hamid gave semi-official status to the Kurdish bandits in the provinces. Made up of Kurds (as well as other ethnic groups such as Turcomans and Arabs), and armed by sources relating to England, they came to be called the Hamidiye Alaylari ("Hamidian Regiments"),[19] the Hamidiye and Kurdish brigands attacked the Armenians. [20] The Armenians established revolutionary organizations, namely the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party (Hunchak; founded in Switzerland in 1887) and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (the ARF or Dashnaktsutiun, founded in 1890 in Tiflis).[21] Clashes ensued and unrest occurred in 1892 at Merzifon and in 1893 at Tokat. [22] The Armenians continued performing harsh and terrorizing actions, one famous action being the Sason massacre committed against the Kurds in 1894. Local Muslims (mainly kurds) did not hesitate to respond to such attacks. [23] [24] As a result of all the preceding events, an estimate of 80,000 to 300,000 Armenians were killed. News of the Armenians were widely reported in the West (Europe and the United States) and drew strong responses from foreign governments and humanitarian organizations alike.[25] Abdul Hamid II was called the "Bloody Sultan" or "Red Sultan" in the West, on 21 July 1905, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation attempted to assassinate him with a car bombing during a public appearance, but the Sultan was delayed for a minute by Shaykh al-Islām and the bomb went off too early, killing 26, wounding 58 (of which four died at hospital) and destroying 17 cars. The Western European Powers took advantage of the Armenian desire for reforms and took a more hands-on approach with the Turks.[1]

America and the Philippines[edit]

Sultan Abdul Hamid II, after being approached by American minister to Turkey, Oscar Straus, sent a letter to the Moros of the Sulu Sultanate telling them not to resist American takeover and cooperate with the Americans at the start of the Moro Rebellion. The Sulu Moros complied with the order.

John Hay, the American Secretary of State, asked the Jewish American ambassador to Ottoman Turkey, Oscar Straus in 1889 to approach Sultan Abdul Hamid II to request that the Sultan write a letter to the Moro Sulu Muslims of the Sulu Sultanate in the Philippines telling them to submit to American suzerainty and American military rule, the Sultan obliged them and wrote the letter which was sent to Sulu via Mecca where 2 Sulu chiefs brought it home to Sulu and it was successful, since the Sulu Mohammedans ... refused to join the insurrectionists and had placed themselves under the control of our army, thereby recognizing American sovereignty.[26] The Ottoman Sultan used his position as caliph to order the Sulu Sultan not to resist and not fight the Americans when they came subjected to American control.[27] President McKinley did not mention Turkey's role in the pacification of the Sulu Moros in his address to the first session of the Fifty-sixth Congress in December 1899 since the agreement with the Sultan of Sulu was not submitted to the Senate until December 18,[28] despite Sultan Abdulhamid's "pan-Islamic" ideology, he readily acceded to Oscar S. Straus' request for help in telling the Sulu Muslims to not resist America since he felt no need to cause hostilities between the West and Muslims.[29] Collaboration between the American military and Sulu sultanate was due to the Sulu Sultan being persuaded by the Ottoman Sultan.[30] John P. Finley wrote that: After due consideration of these facts, the Sultan, as Caliph caused a message to be sent to the Mohammedans of the Philippine Islands forbidding them to enter into any hostilities against the Americans, inasmuch as no interference with their religion would be allowed under American rule. As the Moros have never asked more than that, it is not surprising, that they refused all overtures made, by Aguinaldo's agents, at the time of the Filipino insurrection. President McKinley sent a personal letter of thanks to Mr. Straus for the excellent work he had done, and said, its accomplishment had saved the United States at least twenty thousand troops in the field. If the reader will pause to consider what this means in men and also the millions in money, he will appreciate this wonderful piece of diplomacy, in averting a holy war.[31][32] Abdulhamid in his position as Caliph was approached by the Americans to help them deal with Muslims during their war in the Philippines[33] and the Muslim people of the area obeyed the order to help the Americans which was sent by Abdulhamid.[34][35][36]

The Bates Treaty the Americans had sign with the Moro Sulu Sultanate which guaranteed the Sultanate's autonomy in its internal affairs and governance was then violated by the Americans who then invaded Moroland,[37] causing the Moro Rebellion to break out in 1904 with war raging between the Americans and Moro Muslims and atrocities committed against Moro Muslim women and children such as the Moro Crater Massacre.

Germany's support[edit]

Abdul Hamid II attempted to correspond with the Chinese Muslim troops in service of the Qing imperial army serving under General Dong Fuxiang; they were also known as the Kansu Braves

The Triple Entente – that is, the United Kingdom, France and Russia – maintained strained relations with the Ottoman Empire. Abdul Hamid and his close advisors believed the empire should be treated as an equal player by these great powers; in the Sultan's view, the Ottoman Empire was a European empire, distinct for having more Muslims than Christians.

Over time their perceived aggression by France (the occupation of Tunisia in 1881) and Great Britain (the 1882 power grab in Egypt) caused Abdul Hamid to gravitate towards Germany.[1] Kaiser Wilhelm II was twice hosted by Abdul Hamid in Constantinople; first on 21 October 1889, and nine years later, on 5 October 1898. (Wilhelm II later visited Constantinople for a third time, on 15 October 1917, as a guest of Mehmed V). German officers (like Baron von der Goltz and Bodo-Borries von Ditfurth) were employed to oversee the organisation of the Ottoman army.

German government officials were brought in to reorganise the Ottoman government's finances. Germany's friendship was not altruistic; it had to be fostered with railway and loan concessions. In 1899, a significant German desire, the construction of a Berlin-Baghdad railway, was granted.[1]

Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany also requested the Sultan's help when having trouble with Chinese Muslim troops, during the Boxer Rebellion, the Chinese Muslim Kansu Braves fought against the German Army, routing them, along with the other Eight Nation Alliance forces. The Muslim Kansu Braves and Boxers defeated the Alliance forces led by the German Captain von Usedom at the Battle of Langfang in the Seymour Expedition in 1900 and besieged the trapped Alliance forces during the Siege of the International Legations. It was only on the second attempt in the Gasalee Expedition, that the Alliance forces managed to get through to battle the Chinese Muslim troops at the Battle of Peking. Kaiser Wilhelm was so alarmed by the Chinese Muslim troops that he requested that Abdul Hamid find a way to stop the Muslim troops from fighting. Abdul Hamid agreed to the Kaiser's demands and sent Enver Pasha to China in 1901, but the rebellion was over by that time,[38] because the Ottomans did not want conflict against the European nations and because Germany was being brown nosed for assistance by the Ottoman Empire, an order imploring Chinese Muslims to avoid assisting the Boxers was issued by the Ottoman Khalifa and reprinted in Egyptian and Indian Muslim newspapers in spite of the fact that the predicament the British found themselves in the Boxer Rebellion was gratifying to Indian Muslims and Egyptians.[39]

Second Constitutional Era, 1908[edit]

Opening of the first Ottoman Parliament (Meclis-i Umumî), 1877.
Ottoman postcard celebrating the Young Turk Revolution in 1908 and the restoration of the 1876 constitution in the Ottoman Empire

The national humiliation of the situation in Macedonia, together with the resentment in the army against the palace spies and informers, at last brought matters to a crisis.[40]

In the summer of 1908, the Young Turk Revolution broke out and Abdul Hamid, upon learning that the troops in Salonica were marching on Constantinople (23 July), at once capitulated, on 24 July an irade announced the restoration of the suspended constitution of 1876; the next day, further irades abolished espionage and censorship, and ordered the release of political prisoners.[40]

On 17 December, Abdul Hamid opened the Ottoman parliament with a speech from the throne in which he said that the first parliament had been "temporarily dissolved until the education of the people had been brought to a sufficiently high level by the extension of instruction throughout the empire."[40]

Countercoup, 1909[edit]

The new attitude of the sultan did not save him from the suspicion of intriguing with the powerful reactionary elements in the state, a suspicion confirmed by his attitude towards the counter-revolution of 13 April 1909 known as the 31 March Incident, when an insurrection of the soldiers backed by a conservative upheaval in some parts of the military in the capital overthrew the new Young Turks' cabinet, the government, restored by soldiers from Salonica, decided on Abdul Hamid's deposition, and on 27 April his brother Reshad Efendi was proclaimed as Sultan Mehmed V.[41]

The Sultan's countercoup, which had appealed to conservative Islamists against the Young Turks' liberal reforms, resulted in the massacre of tens of thousands of Christian Armenians in the Adana province.[42]

Deposition and aftermath[edit]

The mausoleum (türbe) of Sultans Mahmud II, Abdulaziz, and Abdul Hamid II, located at Divanyolu street, Istanbul

The ex-sultan was conveyed into dignified captivity at Salonica;[40] in 1912, when Salonica fell to Greece, he was returned to captivity in Constantinople. He spent his last days studying, carpentering and writing his memoirs in custody at Beylerbeyi Palace in the Bosphorus, where he died on 10 February 1918, just a few months before his brother, the Sultan. He was buried in Constantinople. Abdul Hamid was the last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire to hold absolute power, he presided over 33 years of decline. The Ottoman Empire had long been acknowledged as the "sick man of Europe" by other European countries.

Ideology[edit]

Pan-Islamism[edit]

Abdul Hamid believed that the ideas of Tanzimat could not bring the disparate peoples of the empire to a common identity, such as Ottomanism, he adopted a new ideological principle, Pan-Islamism; since Ottoman sultans beginning with 1517 were also nominally Caliphs, he wanted to promote that fact and emphasized the Ottoman Caliphate. He saw the huge diversity of ethnicities in the Ottoman Empire and knew that Islam was the only way to unite his Muslim people.

He encouraged Pan-Islamism, meaning that Muslims shall unite and aid each other against the European colonization, this threatened European countries, namely Austria through Albanian Muslims, and Russia through Tatars and Kurds, and France through Moroccan Muslims, and Britain through Indian Muslims. [43] The privileges of foreigners in the Ottoman Empire, which were an obstacle to an effective government, were curtailed, he also built the strategically important Constantinople-Baghdad Railway, the Constantinople-Medina Railway, making the trip to Mecca for Hajj more efficient. Missionaries were sent to distant countries preaching Islam and the Caliph's supremacy,[40] during his rule, Abdul Hamid refused Theodor Herzl's offers to pay down a substantial portion of the Ottoman debt (150 million pounds sterling in gold) in exchange for a charter allowing the Zionists to settle in Palestine. He is famously quoted as telling Herzl's Emissary "as long as I am alive, I will not have our body divided, only our corpse they can divide."[44]

Pan-Islamism was a considerable success, after the Greco-Ottoman war, many Muslims celebrated the victory and saw the Ottoman victory as Muslims' victory. Uprisings, lockouts, and objections against European colonization in newspapers were reported in Muslim regions after the war.[45][46] However, Abdul Hamid's appeals to Muslim sentiment were not always very effective due to widespread disaffection within the Empire; in Mesopotamia and Yemen disturbance was endemic; nearer home, a semblance of loyalty was maintained in the army and among the Muslim population only by a system of deflation and espionage.

Political decisions and reforms[edit]

Abdul Hamid II greeting people

Most people expected Abdul Hamid II to have liberal ideas, and some conservatives were inclined to regard him with suspicion as a dangerous reformer.[41] However, despite working with the reformist Young Ottomans while still a crown prince and appearing as a liberal leader, he became increasingly conservative immediately after taking the throne as a reaction to several failed assassination attempts. Default in the public funds, an empty treasury, the 1875 insurrection in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the war with Serbia and Montenegro, and the feeling aroused throughout Europe by the Abdul Hamid government's cruelty in stamping out the Bulgarian rebellion all contributed to his apprehension for enacting significant changes.[41]

There were many further setbacks. Financial embarrassments forced him to consent to foreign control over the Ottoman national debt; in a decree issued in December 1881, a large portion of the empire's revenues were handed over to the Public Debt Administration for the benefit of (mostly foreign) bondholders.

Over the years, Abdul Hamid succeeded in reducing his ministers to the position of secretaries, and he concentrated much of the Empire's administration into his own hands at Yıldız Palace. However, internal dissension was not reduced. Crete was constantly in turmoil. The Greeks living within the Ottoman Empire's borders were dissatisfied, along with the Armenians.[41]

Abdul Hamid's distrust for the reformist admirals of the Ottoman Navy (whom he suspected of plotting against him and trying to bring back the 1876 constitution) and his subsequent decision to lock the Ottoman fleet (which ranked as the 3rd largest fleet in the world during the reign of his predecessor Abdülaziz) inside the Golden Horn caused the loss of Ottoman overseas territories and islands in North Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Aegean Sea during and after his reign.[47]

His push for education resulted in the establishment of 18 professional schools, and in 1900, Darulfunun, aka the University of Istanbul, was established,[1] he also created a large system of secondary, primary, and military schools throughout the empire.[1] 51 secondary schools were constructed in a 12-year period (1882–1894). As the goal of the educational reforms in the Hamidian era were to counter foreign influence, these secondary schools utilized European teaching techniques, yet instilled within students a strong sense of Ottoman identity, Islamic morality.[48]

Abdul Hamid also reorganized the Ministry of Justice and developed rail and telegraph systems,[1] the telegraph system expanded to incorporate the furthest parts of Empire. Railways connected Istanbul and Vienna by 1883, and shortly afterwards the Orient Express connected Paris to Istanbul, during his rule, railways within the Ottoman Empire expanded to connect Ottoman-controlled Europe and Anatolia with Istanbul as well. The increased ability to travel and communicate within the Ottoman Empire served to strengthen Istanbul's influence over the rest of the Empire.[48]

Paranoia[edit]

Abdul Hamid was paranoid about his security, the memory of the deposition of Abdul Aziz I was on his mind and convinced him that a constitutional government was not a good idea. Because of this, information was tightly controlled and the press was tightly censored, the curriculum of schools was subject to close inspection to prevent dissidence. Ironically, the schools that Abdul Hamid tried to control became "breeding grounds of discontent" as students and teachers alike chafed at the clumsy restrictions of the censors.[49]

Abdul Hamid’s reign also had a fully functioning state spy system, these spies greatly impeded the operation of the state administration as officials were constantly concerned that a false report would be filed against them. In Spies, Scandals and Sultans, by Ibrahim Al-Muwaylihi, it is recounted how spies were operating all across Constantinople and that even the Shaykh al-Islam was paralyzed with fear of these spies. Additionally, al-Muwaylihi described how many spies followed the carriage of the Crown Prince. Overall, these spies hampered the functioning of the state and potential reform ideas as people were afraid of being reported.

Photographs of the Ottoman Empire[edit]

Threatened by several assassination attempts, Abdul Hamid II did not travel often (though still more than many previous rulers). Photographs provided visual evidence of what was taking place in his realm, he commissioned thousands of photographs of his empire including from the Constantinople studio of Jean Pascal Sébah. The Sultan presented large gift albums of photographs to various governments and heads of state, including the United States[50] and Great Britain,[51] the American collection is housed in the Library of Congress and has been digitized.[52]

Personal life[edit]

Here is a sample of his handwritten poetry in Persian language and scripts, which was taken from the book "My Father Abdul Hameed," written by his daughter Ayşe Sultan

Abdul Hamid II was born at Çırağan Palace, Ortaköy, or at Topkapı Palace, both in Istanbul, the son of Sultan Abdülmecid I and one of his many wives, Tîr-î-Müjgan Sultan, (Circassia, 16 August 1819 – Constantinople, Feriye Palace, 2 November 1853).[53][54] He later also became the adoptive son of another of his father's wives, Valide Sultan Rahime Perestu, he was a skilled carpenter and personally crafted most of his own furniture, which can be seen today at the Yıldız Palace and Beylerbeyi Palace in Constantinople. Abdul Hamid II was also interested in opera and personally wrote the first-ever Turkish translations of many opera classics, he also composed several opera pieces for the Mızıka-ı Hümayun which he established, and hosted the famous performers of Europe at the Opera House of Yıldız Palace which was recently restored and featured in the film Harem Suare (1999) of the Turkish-Italian director Ferzan Özpetek, which begins with the scene of Abdul Hamid II watching a performance. He was also a fan of the actress Sarah Bernhardt, and he brought her to his private theatre on numerous occasions.[55]

In the opinion of F. A. K. Yasamee:[56]

He was a striking amalgam of determination and timidity, of insight and fantasy, held together by immense practical caution and an instinct for the fundamentals of power, he was frequently underestimated. Judged on his record, he was a formidable domestic politician and an effective diplomat[57]

He was also a good wrestler of Yağlı güreş and a 'patron saint' of the wrestlers, he organised wrestling tournaments in the empire and selected wrestlers were invited to the palace. Abdul Hamid personally tried the sportsmen and good ones remained in the palace.

Religion[edit]

The tomb of the Libyan Sufi Sheikh Muhammad Zafir al-Madani in Istanbul who initiated the Sultan into the Shadhili Sufi Tariqa

Sultan Abdul Hamid II was a practitioner of traditional Islamic spirituality, he was influenced by Libyan Shadhili Madani sheikh, Muhammad Zafir al-Madani whose lessons he would attend in disguise in Unkapani before he became Sultan. Abdul Hamid II asked Sheikh al-Madani to return to Istanbul after he ascended the throne, the sheikh initiated Shadhili gatherings of remembrance (dhikr) in the newly commissioned Yıldız Hamidiye Mosque; on Thursday evenings he would accompany Sufi masters in reciting dhikr.[55] He also became a close religious and political confidant of the Sultan; in 1879 the Sultan excused the taxes of all of the Caliphate's Madani Sufi lodges (also known as zawiyas and tekkes). In 1888, he even established a Sufi lodge for the Madani order of Shadhili Sufism in Istanbul, which he commissioned as part of the Ertuğrul Tekke mosque, the relationship of the Sultan and the sheikh lasted for thirty years until the latter's death in 1903.[58]

Poetry[edit]

The Tughra (signature) of AbdulHamid II – on right "el Ghazi" (the veteran of war)[59]

Abdul Hamid wrote poetry, following on the footsteps of many other Ottoman sultans. One of his poems translates thus:

My Lord I know you are the Dear One (Al-Aziz)

... And no one but you are the Dear One
You are the One, and nothing else
My God take my hand in these hard times
My God be my helper in this critical hour

He was extremely fond of Sherlock Holmes novels.[60]

Marriages and issue[edit]

Abdul Hamid II had thirteen wives[61] and seventeen children.

First marriage and issue[edit]

He married first at Istanbul, Dolmabahçe Palace in 1863 to Abkhazian Nazikeda Kadın (c. 1850 – Yıldız Palace, Constantinople, 11 April 1895), daughter of Prince Arzakan Bey Tsanba by his wife Princess Esma Klıç,[61] and had:

  • Ulviye Sultan (1868 – 5 October 1875)

Second marriage and issue[edit]

He married second at Istanbul, Dolmabahçe Palace in October 1868 and divorced on 26 July 1879 to Circassian Nurefsun Kadın (c. 1851 – 1915), alias Safunaz, née Ayşe Şermat, daughter of Selim Bey Şermat by his wife Princess Rebiye Hanım.[61]

Third marriage and issue[edit]

He married third at Istanbul on 15 November 1868 to Natukhai Bedrifelek Kadın (Poti, 4 January 1851 – Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, 6 February 1930), née Hatice Karzeg, daughter of Prince Mehmed Bey Karzeg by his wife Princess Faruhan Hanım İnal-lpa,[61] and had:

  • Şehzade Mehmed Selim Osmanoğlu (Constantinople, Beşiktaş, Beşiktaş Palace, 11 January 1870 – Beirut, 4 May 1937 and buried in Damascus), married at Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, on 4 June 1886 to Abkhazian Eryale Hanım (Sukhumi, Abkhazia, 10 February 1870 – Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, 27 December 1904), daughter Prince Ali Hasan Bey Marshania by his wife Princess Fatma Horecan Aredba, and had a son and a daughter, married secondly at Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, Eflakyar Hanım, (Batumi, Georgia, ? – Beirut, 1930), daughter of Gazi Muhammed Bey, without issue, married thirdly Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, on 30 June 1905 to Nilüfer Hanım (Artvin, 1 May 1887 – 23 August 1943) married fourthly at Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, on 29 March 1910 to Pervin Dürrüyekta Hanım (Adapazarı, 6 June 1894 – Lebanon, 1969 and buried there), daughter of Prince Zekeriya Bey Karzeg by his wife Şadiye Hanım, married fifthly at Constantinople, Yıldız Palace to Gülnaz Hanım (? – ?), without issue, married sixthly at Sivas on 16 September 1918 to Dilistan Leman Hanım (? – Beirut, Lebanon, 1 February 1951 and buried there), daughter of Osman Bey, an Abkhazian, by his wife Mevlüde Hanım, without issue:
    • Şehzade Mehmed (26 April 1887 – 1890)
    • Emine Nemika Esin Sultan (Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, 26 April 1887 – Istanbul, 6 September 1969), married and have issue
    • Şehzade Abdülkerim (Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, 26 June 1906 – New York City, 3 August 1935), married at Aleppo on 24 February 1930 and divorced in 1931 Nimet Hanım (Damascus, 25 December 1911 – Damascus, 4 August 1981), and had two sons:
      • Dündar Ali Osman Osmanoğlu (born Damascus, 30 December 1930), married to Yüsra Hanım (born 1927), without issue
      • Şehzade Harun Osmanoğlu (born Damascus, 10 February 1932), married to Farizet Darvich Hanım (born 1947), and had:
        • Şehzade Orhan Osmanoğlu (born Damascus, 25 August 1963), married on 22 December 1985 to Nuran Yıldız Hanım (born 1967), and had one son and four daughters:
          • Nilhan Osmanoğlu Sultan (born Istanbul, 25 April 1987), married in Istanbul on 22 September 2012 Damat Mehmet Behlül Vatansever and got issue:
            • Hanzade Vatanserver Hanımsultan (born 2013)
            • Sultanzade Vahdettin Vatanserver (born 2014)
          • Şehzade Yavuz Selim Osmanoğlu (born Istanbul, 22 February 1989)
          • Nilüfer Osmanoğlu Sultan (born Istanbul, 5 May 1995)
          • Berna Osmanoğlu Sultan (born Istanbul, 1 October 1998)
          • Asyahan Osmanoğlu Sultan (born Istanbul, ... ... 2004)
        • Nurhan Osmanoğlu Sultan (born Damascus, 20 November 1973), married firstly in Istanbul on 15 April 1994 and later divorced Damat Samir Hashem Bey (born 24 January 1959), without issue, and married secondly to Damat Muhammed Ammar Sagherji Bey (born 1972), and had one son and one daughter:
          • Sultanzade Muhammed Halil Sagherji Bey (born 2002)
          • Sara Sagherji Hanımsultan (born 2004)
        • Şehzade Abdulhamid Kayıhan Osmanoğlu (born 4 August 1979)
          • Şehzade Muhammed Harun Osmanoğlu (born 2007)
          • Şehzade Abdülaziz Osmanoğlu (2016)
  • Zekiye Sultan (Dolmabahçe Palace, 21 January 1872 – Pau, 13 July 1950 and buried there), married at Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, on 20 April 1889 to Damat Ali Nureddin Pasha Bey (1867–1953), created Damat in 1889, and had issue:
    • Ulviye Shükriye Hanımsultan (1890 – 23 February 1893)
    • Fatima Aliye Hanımsultan (1891 – Constantinople, 14 April 1972), married in 1911 Mehmed Muhsin Yegen and got issue:
      • Osman Yegen (1913–1988) married Yvonne Rosenberg, without issue
      • Salih Yegen (1921–1994) married Ülkü Becan and got issue:
        • Fatma Yasemin Yegen (born 1973) married Hakan Baris
        • Muhsin Osman Yegen (born 1977)
  • Şehzade Ahmed Nuri (Istanbul, Yıldız Palace, 11 February 1878 – Nice, August 1944), married firstly at Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, in 1900 to Fahriye Hanım (Constantinople, 1883 – Nice, 1940 and buried in Damascus), daughter of a Circassian Bey, lieutenant colonel in the Imperial Ottoman Army, without issue, married secondly at Constantinople, Raşel Hanım, a Jewish lady from Istanbul, without issue.

Fourth marriage and issue[edit]

He married fourth at Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, on 2 September 1875 to Kabardian Bidar Kadın (Caucasus, 5 May 1858 – Erenköy, Asia Minor, 1 January 1918), daughter of Prince Ibrahim Bey Talustan by his wife Princess Şahika İffet Hanım Lortkipanidze,[61] and had:

  • Fatma Naime Sultan (Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, 4 September 1875 – Tirana, 1945), married at Istanbul, Ortaköy, Ortaköy Palace, on 17 March 1898 and divorced in 1904 Damat Mehmed Kemaleddin Pasha Bey (1869–1920), created Damat in 1898, title removed on his divorce in 1904, married seconldy on 11 July 1907 Mahmud Celaleddin (1874–1944), and had:
    • Beyzade Mehmed Cahid Osman Bey (Constantinople, Ortaköy, Ortaköy Palace, January 1899 – Istanbul, 30 March 1977 and buried there), married firstly in January 1922 to his cousin Dürriye Sultan (Constantinople, Dolmabahçe Palace, 3 August 1905 – Halki, 15 July 1922), without issue, and married secondly to Levrens Hadjer Hussein Hanım, and had issue:
      • Bulent Osman Bey (born Nice, 2 May 1930), married at Libreville on 8 November 1962 to French Jeannine Crété, and had issue:
        • Rémy Gengiz Ossmann (born 1963), married on 16 November 19?? to Florence Weber, and had issue:
          • Sélim Ossmann (born 1993)
    • Adile Hanımsultan (Constantinople, Ortaköy, Ortaköy Palace, 12 November 1900 – February 1979), married at Üsküdar on 4 May 1922 and divorced in 1928 her cousin Şehzade Mahmud Sevket (Constantinople, Ortaköy, Ortaköy Palace, 20 July 1903 – 1 February 1973), excluded from the Imperial House in 1931
    • Emine Hanımsultan (Constantinople, Ortaköy, Ortaköy Palace, 1911 -2000, married and had issue
  • Şehzade Mehmed Abdülkadir (Constantinople, Beşiktaş, Dolmabahçe Palace, 16 January 1878 – Sofia, January or 16 March 1944 and buried there), Captain of the Ottoman Army, married firstly at Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, in 1898, to Mislimelek Hanım, née Pakize Marşania, daughter of Prince Abdülkadir Bey Maşan by his wife Princess Mevlüde Hanım İnalipa, married secondly at Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, and divorced, to Sühendan Hanım (Tokat, ? -  ?), married thirdly at Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, on 6 June 1907 to Mihriban Hanım (Constantinople, 18 May 1890 – Cairo, 1956) and had one son, married fourthly at Kızıltoprak, Asia Minor, on 1 June 1913 and divorced in 1934 to Hadice Macide Hanım (Adapazarı, 14 September 1899 – Vienna, 1934 and buried there), daughter of Mustafa Şerif Bey, Colonel in the Imperial Ottoman Army, and had one son, married fifthly at Kızıltoprak, Asia Minor, on 5 February 1916 to Meziyet Fatma Hanım (İzmit, 17 February 1902 – Istanbul, 13 November 1989), daughter of Mecid Bey, Colonel in the Imperial Ottoman Army, and had one son and two daughters, and married sixthly in Budapest on 4 July 1924 to Irene Mer Hanım, and had one son:
    • [Mehmed] Orhan II
    • Şehzade Ertuğrul Necib Ali (Kızıltoprak, Asia Minor, 15 March 1915 – Vienna, 7 February 1994), married in Vienna on 14 August 1946 to Austrian Gertrude Emilia Tengler Hanım (Vienna, born 25 May 1926), and had issue:
      • Margot Leyla Kadir Sultan (born Vienna, 17 June 1947), married to Austrian Damat Werner Schnelle Bey (born 1942), and had one daughter:
        • Katharina Alia Schnelle Hanımsultan (born 1980)
      • Şehzade Roland Selim Kadir (born Vienna, 5 May 1949), married in Salzburg in 1972 to Gerlinde ... Hanım (born 1946), and had issue:
        • Şehzade René Osman Abdul Kadir (born Salzburg, 23 August 1975)
        • Şehzade Daniel Adrian Hamid Kadir (born 20 September 1977)
    • Şehzade Alaeddin Kadir (Kızıltoprak, Asia Minor, 2 January 1917 – Sofia, 26 November 1999), Titular Crown Prince of Turkey from 1994 to 1999, married to Lydia Dimitrova Hanım, and had issue:
      • Iskra Sultan (born Sofia, 1949), married to Austrian Damat Joachim (Peter) Schlang Bey (born 1940), and had one daughter:
        • Princess Andrea Schlang Hanımsultan (born 1974), married to Austrian Thomas Schüttfort (born 1972), and had one son:
          • Niklas Peter Schüttfort (born 1999)
      • Şehzade Plamen (Sofia, 1960 – Sofia, 1995)
    • Biydâr Sultan (Kızıltoprak, Asia Minor, 3 January 1924 – Budapest, August 1924 and buried there)
    • Safvet Neslişah Sultan (born Budapest, 25 December 1925), married to Damat ... Reda Bey, and had two sons:
      • Sultanzade Salih Reda Bey (born 1955), unmarried and without issue
      • Sultanzade Ömer Reda Bey (born 1959), married to Ceylan Fethiye Palay (born 1971), and had two daughters:
        • Meziyet Dilara Reda Hanım (born 1998)
        • Neslişah Reda Hanım (born 2000)
    • Şehzade Osman (Budapest, 1925 – Budapest, 1934)

Fifth marriage and issue[edit]

He married fifth at Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, on 10 April 1883 to Georgian Dilpesend Kadın (Tbilisi, 16 January 1865 – Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, 5 October 1903), adoptive daughter of Tiryal Hanım wife of Sultan Mahmud II, had:

  • Naile Sultan (Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, 9 January 1884 – Erenköy, Asia Minor, 25 October 1957), married at the Kurucheshme Palace, 27 February 1905, to Damat Arif Hikmat Pasha Germiyanoglu (Prizrin, 16 December 1872 – Beirut, 23 April 1942), sometime Senator and Minister for Justice, third son of Haji Abdurrahman Nureddin Pasha, sometime Grand Vizier.

Sixth marriage and issue[edit]

He married sixth at Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, on 2 January 1885 to Abkhazian Mezide Mestan Kadın (Ganja, 3 March 1869 – Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, 21 January 1909), daughter of Kaymat Bey Mikanba by his wife Princess Feryal Hanım Marşania,[61] and had:

  • Şehzade Mehmed Burhaneddin (Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, 19 December 1885 – New York City, 15 June 1949 and buried in Damascus), Captain of the Ottoman Army, Titular King of Albania in 1914, married firstly in 1908 Hidayet Hanım, alias Nurbanu, née Emine Açba, daughter of Prince Mehmed Refik Bey Açba by his wife Princess Emine Mahşeref Hanım Emuhvari, and had a son, married secondly at Nişantaşı Palace, Pera (today Beyoğlu), on 7 June 1909 and divorced in 1919 Aliyemelek Nazlıyar Hanım (Adapazarı, 13 October 1892 – Ankara, 31 August 1976), daughter of Huseyin Bey, educated at Theresian Military Academy, Vienna, and École des Sciences Politiques, Paris, and had a son, married thirdly in Paris on 29 April 1925 and divorced in 1925 Dutch Georgina Leonora Barnard Mosselmans (Bergen op Zoom, 23 August 1900 – 1969), daughter of Richard Frederick Hendrik Mosselmans and wife (who married secondly on 1 March 1926 to Fernand Comte Bertier de Sauvigny and thirdly on 18 August 1933 to Lord Sholto George Douglas (7 June 1872 – 6 April 1942), former husband of Loretta Mooney and son of the 9th Marquess of Queensberry), and married fourthly in London, Middlesex, on 3 July 1933 to Elsie Deming Jackson (New York City, 6 September 1879 – New York City, 12 May 1952):
    • Şehzade Mehmed Fahreddin (Nişantaşı, Nişantaşı Palace, Pera (today Beyoğlu), 26 November 1911 – New York City, 13 July 1968), who married in Paris on 31 August 1933 Greek Catherine Papadopoulos Hanım (Paris, 20 May 1914 – Athens, 15 June 1945), marriage not recognized by the Imperial House, without issue
    • Ertuğrul Osman V

Seventh marriage and issue[edit]

He married seventh at Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, 20 November 1885 to Abkhazian Emsalinur Kadın (Tbilisi, 2 January 1866 – Nişantaşı, 1950, buried in Yahya Efendi Mosque), daughter of Ömer Bey Kaya by his wife Selime Hanım, and had:

  • Şadiye Sultan (Istanbul, Yıldız Palace, 30 November 1886 – 20 November 1977), married firstly at Istanbul, Nishantashi Palace on 3 December 1910, to Damat Fahir Bey (1882 – 27 September 1922, Istanbul, Nishantashi Palace), and had one daughter, married secondly in Paris, France on 28 October 1931 to Damat Reshad Halis (1885, Istanbul - died ?, November, 1944, Paris) without issue.
    • Samiye Hanımsultan Fahir (1918 in Istanbul, Nishantashi Palace – 20 Nov. 1992), married Larry D'arodaca, without issue

Eighth marriage and issue[edit]

He married eighth at Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, 12 January 1886 to Abkhazian at Constantinople Müşfika Kadın (Hopa, Caucasus, 10 December 1867 – Istanbul, 16 July 1961), daughter of Gazi Şehid Mahmud Bey Ağır by his wife Emine Hanım,[61] and had:

  • Hamide Ayşe Sultan (Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, 31 October 1887 – 11 August 1960), married at Nişantaşı, Nişantaşı Palace, Pera (today Beyoğlu), on 3 April 1921 to Damat Mushir Mehmed Ali Rauf Nami Pashazade Bey (Istanbul, 1877 – Viroflay, Yvelines, 21 September 1937 and buried in Paris at Bobigny Cemetery (fr), and had issue:
    • Sultanzade Ömer Nami Osmanoğlu Bey (1911 – ?), unmarried and without issue
    • Sultanzade Osman Nami Osmanoğlu Bey (1918–2010), married firstly to Adile Tanyeri (?–1958), and had three daughter, and married secondly to German Müşfika Rothraud Granzow (born 1934), and had two daughters:
      • Mediha Şükriye Nami Hanım (born 1947), unmarried and without issue
      • Fethiye Nimet Nami Bey (born 1953), unmarried and without issue
      • Ayşe Adile Nami Hanım (born 1958), married and had issue
      • Gül Nur Dorothee Nami Hanım (born 1960),married and without issue
      • Sofia Ayten Nami Hanım (born 1961), married Erman Kunter and had issue
        • Roksan Kunter (born 1985)
    • Beyzade Sultanzade Abdülhamid Rauf Osmanoğlu Bey (October 1921/1922 – 11 March 1981), unmarried and without issue

Ninth marriage and issue[edit]

He married ninth at Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, 31 August 1890 to Abkhazian Sazkar Hanım (İstinye, Istanbul, 8 May 1873 – Beirut, 1945), née Zekiye Maan, daughter of Bata Recep Abdullah Bey Maan by his wife Rukiye Havva Hanım Mikanba,[61] and had:

  • Refia Sultan (Istanbul, Yıldız Palace, 15 June 1891 – Beirut, 1938; Beirut, Lebanon, buried in Damascus [Sultan Selim Mosque], Syria), married 3 Sept. 1910 in Kiziltoprak Sarayi to Ali Fuad Bey, son of Ahmet Eyüb Pasha.
    • Rebia Hanımsultan Eyüb (13 July 1911 in Kiziltoprak Sarayi – 19 June 1988, buried in Mahmud II Mausoleum)
    • Ayşe Hamide Hanımsultan Eyüb (1918 in Kiziltoprak Sarayi – 1934 in Nice, France, buried in Damascus, Sultan Selim Mosque, Syria)

Tenth marriage and issue[edit]

He married tenth at Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, on 24 January 1893 to Abkhazian Peyveste Hanım (Caucasus, 10 May 1873 – Paris, 1944 and buried there at Bobigny Cemetery (fr)), née Rabia Emuhvari, daughter of Prince Osman Bey Emuhvari by his wife Princess Hesna Hanım Çaabalurhva,[61] and had:

  • Şehzade Abdurrahim Hayri (Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, 14 August 1894 – Paris, 1 June 1952), married firstly at Nişantaşı Palace, Pera (today Beyoğlu), on 4 June 1919 and divorced in 1923 Nabila Emine Halim Hanım (Constantinople, 1 June 1899 – Istanbul, 6 December 1979), daughter of Prince Mehmed Abbas Halim Pasha, by his wife Princess Fahrünnisa Hatice Hanım, second daughter of Mehmed Tewfik Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, and had one daughter, married secondly at Constantinople to Misalruh Hanım (? – c. 1955, Nice, France, buried in Muslim Bobigny cemetery), alias Mihrişah, née Feride, daughter of Mehmed Bey by his wife Emine Hanım, without issue.
    • Mihrishah Selcuk Sultan (Istanbul, 14 April 1920 – Monte Carlo, Monaco, 11 May 1980 and buried in Cairo), married firstly on 7 October 1940 to Damat Ahmed el-Djezuly Ratib Bey (Alexandria – 1972), and had issue, and married secondly in Cairo on 7 April 1966 to Ismail Assem, without issue:
      • Hatice Türkân Ratib Hanımsultan (born Cairo, 1941), married to Hüseyin Fehmi (1941–2000), and had two daughters:
        • Melek Fehmi (born 1966), 3 sons, Ahmed Ragab (born 1987), Abdelrahman Ragab (born 1991), Aly Ragab (born 1996).
        • Nesrin Fehmi (born 1968), married to Mohamed El Naggar (born 1963). 2 sons, Amr El Naggar (born 1989), Sherif El Naggar (born 1992).
      • Mihrimah Ratib Hanımsultan (Cairo, 1943 – Cairo, 1946 and buried there)
      • Sultanzade Beyzade Touran Ibrahim Ratib Bey (born Giza, 3 May 1950), married in Bogotá on 27 July 1974 to French Noblewoman Anne de Montozon de Leguilhac (born Toulouse, 13 January 1947), and had issue:
        • Fatıma Nimet Selçuk Mahiveş Ratib Hanım (born Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, 11 July 1976)
        • Karim El-Djezouly Ratib Bey (born Bogotá, 13 December 1978)

Twelfth marriage and issue[edit]

He married twelfth at Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, on 10 May 1900 to Abkhazian Behice Hanım (Batumi, Georgia, 10 October 1882 – 22 October 1969), née Behiye Maan, daughter of Albus Bey Maan an Abkhazian leader by his wife Nazli Hanım Kucba,[61] and had:

  • Şehzade Ahmed Nureddin (Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, 12 June 1900 – 2 June 1945, buried at the Islamic cemetery of Bobigny near Paris), married at Maslak, Bosphorus, on 5 May 1919 to Ayşe Andelib Hanım (Adapazarı, 8 August 1902 – ?), daughter of Hüsnü Paşa, Aide-de-camp to Sultan Abdul Hamid II, by his wife Kudsiye Hanım, without issue.
  • Şehzade Mehmed Badreddin (Istanbul, Yıldız Palace, 22 June 1901 – 13 October 1903)

Thirteenth marriage and issue[edit]

He married thirteenth at Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, on 4 November 1904 to Abkhazian Naciye Hanım (Batumi, Georgia, 1887 – Erenköy, Asia Minor, 4 December 1923), alias Saliha, née Zeliha Ankuap, daughter of Arslan Bey Ankuap by his wife Canhız Hanım,[61] and had:

Eulogy[edit]

A translation of Rıza Tevfik Bölükbaşı's poem called "İstimdad" on Sultan Abdul Hamid II. Rıza Tevfik was a member of the Committee of Union and Progress, which dethroned Abdul Hamid II. He is one of many who regretted Abdul Hamid's deposition.[62]

The Tribute :

Where are you my glorious Sultan Hamid Han?
Does my lamentation reach your presence?
Stand up from the sleep of death for a moment
Look at the sin of this ungrateful nation
When history will remember your name
It will confess you being right, oh great Sultan
We were those who shamelessly slandered
The most sage ruler of its time
We said our Sultan was cruel and crazy
We said he has to succumb to the revolution
We said what satan told us to say
We gave birth to chaos
Not you, we were insane
We have threaded a rotten yarn with reveries
Not only Insane, but we were also ill-mannered
We have spit onto the honour of our ancestors
Then, a degenerated and ill-behaved
Herd has sprout up and entered the arena
From where have all these traitors come?
Shame on all of them!
They have cut people into pieces
They have perpetrated slaughters
Those who did not honour the Sultan
Prostrated themselves before
The dirty hat of a rebellious officer
There is no limit for those who suffer from famine
For those who have sacrificed their heads
Cursed should be this tyrant
But still he is remembered with mercy
Now the nation has turned into a cemetery
Everyone has his share of the cursing
Only few people have found peace
In the morning of the devastated cities
The nations interest is covered by sins
The religion is trampled under feet
The soul of the Turk was forced to rebel
Against his Prophet and his Lord
But you, my Prophet are a great intercessor
Even from paradise you may send your support
This nation has suffered, may it be rescued
Forgive us, oh my Padishah

Rıza Tevfik Bölükbaşı - "İstimdad"

Awards and honors[edit]

Ottoman orders
Foreign orders and decorations

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Hoiberg, Dale H., ed. (2010). "Abdulhamid II". Encyclopedia Britannica. I: A-ak Bayes (15th ed.). Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica Inc. p. 22. ISBN 978-1-59339-837-8. 
  2. ^ Some sources state that his birth date was on 22 September.
  3. ^ Overy, Richard pp. 252, 253 (2010)
  4. ^ a b c "Abdulhamid II | biography - Ottoman sultan". Retrieved 2015-09-29. 
  5. ^ Carter Vaughn Vaughn Findley, 'Bureaucratic Reform in the Ottoman Empire: The Sublime Porte, 1789-1922,' Chapter, 6, 'Restoring political balance: the first constitutional period and return to sultanic dominance.'
  6. ^ "Abdul Hamid II Collection -About this Collection- Prints & Photographs Online Catalog (Library of Congress)". www.loc.gov. Retrieved 2015-09-30. 
  7. ^ "Sultan beaten, capital falls, 6,000 are slain". The New York Times. 25 April 1909. 
  8. ^ Vahan Hamamdjian (2004). Vahan's Triumph: Autobiography of an Adolescent Survivor of the Armenian Genocide. iUniverse. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-595-29381-0. 
  9. ^ Razmik Panossian (13 August 2013). The Armenians: From Kings and Priests to Merchants and Commissars. Columbia University Press. p. 165. ISBN 978-0-231-13926-7. 
  10. ^ Effendi, Ayberk (2011). Lions of the golden apple. Germany: Haqqbutler. pp. 167–170. 
  11. ^ Freely, John – Inside the Seraglio, published 1999, Chapter 15: On the Shores of the Bosphorus
  12. ^ "Sultan Abdülaziz - Avrupa Seyahati". blog.milliyet.com.tr. 
  13. ^ Chambers Biographical Dictionary, ISBN 0-550-18022-2, p. 3
  14. ^ Roderique H. Davison, Reform in the Ottoman Empire (Princeton, 1963)
  15. ^ The Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol.7, Edited by Hugh Chisholm, (1911), 3; Constantinople, the capital of the Turkish Empire
  16. ^ Britannica, Istanbul:When the Republic of Turkey was founded in 1923, the capital was moved to Ankara, and Constantinople was officially renamed Istanbul in 1930.
  17. ^ "Curios Information about Armenia". Armenica.org. 
  18. ^ Takkush, Mohammed Suhail , "The Ottoman's History" pp.457, 458
  19. ^ Klein, Janet (2011). The Margins of Empire: Kurdish Militias in the Ottoman Tribal Zone. Stanford: Stanford University Press, pp. 21-34.
  20. ^ McDowall, David (2004). A Modern History of the Kurds, 3rd rev. and updated ed. London: I.B. Tauris, pp. 60-62.
  21. ^ Nalbandian, Louise (1963). The Armenian Revolutionary Movement: The Development of Armenian Political Parties through the Nineteenth Century. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  22. ^ "Constitutional Rights Foundation". Cfr-usa.org. Archived from the original on 9 October 2006. 
  23. ^ Kamel, Mustafa, "History of the Armenians" p.329
  24. ^ Takkush, Mohammed Suhail , "The Ottoman's History" p. 460
  25. ^ Rodogno, Davide. Against Massacre: Humanitarian Interventions in the Ottoman Empire, 1815-1914. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012, pp. 185-211; Gary J. Bass, Freedom's Battle: The Origins of Humanitarian Intervention. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2008; Balakian, The Burning Tigris
  26. ^ Kemal H. Karpat (2001). The Politicization of Islam: Reconstructing Identity, State, Faith, and Community in the Late Ottoman State. Oxford University Press. pp. 235–. ISBN 978-0-19-513618-0. 
  27. ^ Moshe Yegar (1 January 2002). Between Integration and Secession: The Muslim Communities of the Southern Philippines, Southern Thailand, and Western Burma/Myanmar. Lexington Books. pp. 397–. ISBN 978-0-7391-0356-2. 
  28. ^ Political Science Quarterly. Academy of Political Science. 1904. pp. 22–. 
  29. ^ Mustafa Akyol (18 July 2011). Islam without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty. W. W. Norton. pp. 159–. ISBN 978-0-393-07086-6. 
  30. ^ J. Robert Moskin (19 November 2013). American Statecraft: The Story of the U.S. Foreign Service. St. Martin's Press. pp. 204–. ISBN 978-1-250-03745-9. 
  31. ^ George Hubbard Blakeslee; Granville Stanley Hall; Harry Elmer Barnes (1915). The Journal of International Relations. Clark University. pp. 358–. 
  32. ^ The Journal of Race Development. Clark University. 1915. pp. 358–. 
  33. ^ Idris Bal (2004). Turkish Foreign Policy in Post Cold War Era. Universal-Publishers. pp. 405–. ISBN 978-1-58112-423-1. 
  34. ^ Idris Bal (2004). Turkish Foreign Policy in Post Cold War Era. Universal-Publishers. pp. 406–. ISBN 978-1-58112-423-1. 
  35. ^ Akyol, Mustafa (2006-12-26). "Mustafa Akyol: Remembering Abdul Hamid II, a pro-American caliph". Weekly Standard. History News Network. 
  36. ^ ERASMUS (Jul 26, 2016). "Why European Islam's current problems might reflect a 100-year-old mistake". The Economist. 
  37. ^ Kho, Madge. "The Bates Treaty". Philippine Update. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  38. ^ Kemal H. Karpat (2001). The politicisation of Islam: reconstructing identity, state, faith, and community in the late Ottoman state. Oxford University Press US. p. 237. ISBN 0195136187. Retrieved 28 June 2010. The Spectator, Volume 87. F.C. Westley. 1902. p. 243. Retrieved 1 April 2013. Harris, Lillian Craig (1993). China Considers the Middle East (illustrated ed.). I. B. Tauris. p. 56. ISBN 1850435987. Retrieved 1 April 2013. "The official Russian announcement that.." The Straits Times. 10 July 1901. p. 2. Retrieved 1 April 2013. The Moslem World, Volumes 1-3. Contributor Hartford Seminary Foundation. Hartford Seminary Foundation. 1966. p. 190. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  39. ^ Robert A. Bickers (2007). The Boxers, China, and the World. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 150–. ISBN 978-0-7425-5395-8. 
  40. ^ a b c d e  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Abd-ul-Hamid II". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 36. 
  41. ^ a b c d Chisholm 1911.
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Bibliography[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Akarli, Engin D. (2001). "The Tangled Ends of an Empire and Its Sultan". In Leila Tarazi Fawaz; C. A. Bayly. Modernity and Culture: From the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean. New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 261–284. ISBN 978-0-231-11426-4. 
  • Georgeon, François (2003). Abdülhamid II. Le sultan calife. Paris: Fayard. 
  • Shaw, Stanford J.; Shaw, Ezel K. (1977). History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey. Vol. 2: Reform, Revolution, and Republic: The Rise of Modern Turkey, 1808–1975. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-29166-8. 
  • Yasamee, F. A. K. (1996). Ottoman Diplomacy: Abdülhamid II and the Great Powers, 1878–1888. Istanbul: ISIS. ISBN 978-975-428-088-3. 
  • Pears, Sir E. (1917). Life of Abdul-Hamid. University of California. 
  • Haslip, Joan (1973). The Sultan: The life of Abdul Hamid (2 ed.). ISBN 978-0297765196. 

External links[edit]

Abdul Hamid II
Born: 21 September 1842 Died: 10 February 1918
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Murad V
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
31 August 1876 – 27 April 1909
Succeeded by
Mehmed V
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Murad V
Caliph of Islam
31 August 1876 – 27 April 1909
Succeeded by
Mehmed V