Abdul Hamid II

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Abdul Hamid II
السلطان عبد الحميد الثاني
Ottoman Caliph
Amir al-Mu'minin
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Kayser-i Rûm
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
Abdul Hamid II in Balmoral Castle in 1867-colored.jpg
Şehzade (Prince) Abdul Hamid in 1867.
26th Ottoman Caliph
34th Ottoman Sultan (Emperor)
Reign31 August 1876 – 27 April 1909
Sword girding7 September 1876
PredecessorMurad V
SuccessorMehmed V
Grand Viziers
Born(1842-09-21)21 September 1842[1][2]
Topkapı Palace, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Died10 February 1918(1918-02-10) (aged 75)
Beylerbeyi Palace, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Burial
Tomb of Sultan Mahmud II, Fatih, Istanbul
ConsortsNazikeda Kadın
Bedrifelek Kadın
Nurefsun Kadın
Bidar Kadın
Dilpesend Kadın
Mezidimestan Kadın
Emsalinur Kadın
Müşfika Kadın
Sazkar Hanım
Peyveste Hanım
Pesend Hanım
Behice Hanım
Naciye Hanım
Issuesee below
Full name
Abdul Hamid bin Abdul Mecid
Era name and dates
Decline and modernization of the Ottoman Empire: 1828–1908
DynastyOttoman
FatherAbdulmejid I
MotherBiological mother:
Tirimüjgan Kadın
Adoptive mother:
Perestu Kadın
ReligionSunni Islam
TughraAbdul Hamid II السلطان عبد الحميد الثاني's signature

Abdul Hamid II (Ottoman Turkish: عبد الحميد ثانی‎, `Abdü’l-Ḥamīd-i sânî; Turkish: İkinci Abdülhamit; September 21, 1842 – February 10, 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 he had an unsuccessful war with the Russian Empire followed by a successful war against the Kingdom of Greece in 1897. Hamid II ruled from August 31, 1876 until he was deposed shortly after the 1908 Young Turk Revolution, on April 27, 1909. In accordance with an agreement made with the Republican Young Ottomans, he promulgated the first Ottoman Constitution of 1876 on December 23, 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, this modernization includes the reform of the bureaucracy, the extension of the Rumelia Railway and Anatolia Railway, the construction of the Baghdad Railway, and the Hejaz Railway. In addition to this modernization, 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 Hamid II 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] During his reign, the Ottoman Empire became bankrupt leading to the establishment of Ottoman Public Debt Administration in 1881.

Abroad, Sultan Abdul Hamid II was nicknamed the Red Sultan or Abdul the Great due to the massacres of Armenians and Assyrians during his rule and use of the secret police to silence dissent and republicanism.[5][6] These initiatives led to an assassination attempt in 1905 by Armenian revolutionaries.[7]

Early life[edit]

Abdul Hamid II was born at the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul (Constantinople), the capital of the Ottoman Empire, on September 21, 1842. He was the son of Sultan Abdulmejid[1] and Tirimüjgan Kadınefendi (Circassia, August 16, 1819 – Beylerbeyi Palace, November 2, 1853), originally named Virjinia.[8] 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 visited 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 (July 12–23, 1867), Vienna (July 28–30, 1867) and the capitals or cities of a number of other European countries in the summer of 1867 (they departed from Istanbul on June 21, 1867 and returned on August 7, 1867).[9]

Accession to throne[edit]

Abdul Hamid ascended to the throne following the deposition of his brother Murad on 31 August 1876.[1][10] At his accession, some commentators were impressed 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, and the Russian-Ottoman war of 1877–78 threatened the existence of the Ottoman Empire. Abdul Hamid used these difficult war-filled times to recreate the absolutist regime and to dissolve the parliament, usurping all political power until his overthrow.

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 arrangement.[11] This new form in its theoretical space could help to realize a liberal transition with Islamic arguments. The Young Ottomans believed that the modern parliamentary system was a restatement of the practice of consultation, or shura, which had existed in early Islam.[12]

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, Abdul Hamid promulgated the constitution and its parliament.[1] The international Constantinople Conference[13][14] 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 realized 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 by that time. 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 realized; 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, Abdul Hamid suspended the constitution in February 1878 and 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, the country's 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 favors, 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 the 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.[15] To prevent such measures, in 1890–91, Sultan Abdul Hamid gave semi-official status to the Kurdish bandits who were already actively mistreating the Armenians in the provinces. Made up of Kurds (as well as other ethnic groups such as Turcomans), and armed by the state, they came to be called the Hamidiye Alaylari ("Hamidian Regiments").[16] The Hamidiye and Kurdish brigands were given free rein to attack Armenians, confiscating stores of grain, foodstuffs, and driving off livestock, and confident of escaping punishment as they were subject only to court-martial.[17] In the face of such violence, 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).[18] Clashes ensued and unrest occurred in 1892 at Merzifon and in 1893 at Tokat. Abdul Hamid II did not hesitate to put down these revolts with harsh methods while using the local Muslims (in most cases Kurds) against the Armenians.[19] As a result of such violence, 300,000 Armenians were killed in what became known as the Hamidian massacres. News of the Armenian massacres was widely reported in Europe and the United States and drew strong responses from foreign governments and humanitarian organizations alike.[20] Hence, Abdul Hamid II was referred to as 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 and the bomb went off too early, killing 26, wounding 58 (of which four died at hospital) and destroying 17 cars. This continued aggression, along with the handling of the Armenian desire for reforms, led to the western European powers taking 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 to 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 Straus in 1898 to approach Sultan Abdul Hamid II to request that the Sultan (who was also Caliph) 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 two 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."[21] The Ottoman Sultan used his position as caliph to order the Sulu Sultan not to resist and not fight the Americans when they became subject to American control.[22] 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.[23] Despite Sultan Abdul Hamid's "pan-Islamic" ideology, he readily acceded to a request by Straus for help in telling the Sulu Muslims to not resist America since he felt no need to cause hostilities between the West and Muslims.[24] Collaboration between the American military and Sulu sultanate was due to the Sulu Sultan being persuaded by the Ottoman Sultan.[25] 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.[26][27]

Abdulh Hamid in his position as Caliph was approached by the Americans to help them deal with Muslims during their war in the Philippines,[28] and the Muslim people of the area obeyed the order sent by Abdul Hamid to help the Americans.[29][30][31]

The Bates Treaty the Americans had signed 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,[32] 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 – 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 organization of the Ottoman army.

German government officials were brought in to reorganize 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.[33] Because the Ottomans did not want conflict against the European nations and because the Ottoman Empire was ingratiating itself to gain German assistance, 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.[34]

Second Constitutional Era, 1908[edit]

Opening of the first Ottoman Parliament (Meclis-i Umumî), 1877.
Greek lithograph 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.[35]

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.[35]

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."[35]

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.[36]

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.[37]

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 captivity at Salonica.[35] 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, in the company of his wives and children, where he died on 10 February 1918, just a few months before his brother, Mehmed V, the Sultan. He was buried in Constantinople.

In 1930, his nine widows and thirteen children were granted $50 million from his estate, following a lawsuit that lasted five years. His estate was worth $1.5 billion.[38]

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 believed that Islam was the only way to unite his Muslim people.

He encouraged Pan-Islamism, telling Muslim to unite against European colonization. This threatened several European countries, namely Austria through Albanian Muslims, Russia through Tatars and Kurds, France through Moroccan Muslims, and Britain through Indian Muslims.[39] 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.[35] 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."[40]

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.[39][41] 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[citation needed].

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.[36] 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.[36]

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.[36]

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.[42]

His push for education resulted in the establishment of 18 professional schools, and in 1900, Darulfunun, or Istanbul University, 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.[43]

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 the Empire. Railways connected Istanbul and Vienna by 1883, and shortly afterward 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.[43]

Paranoia[edit]

Abdul Hamid was paranoid about his security. The memory of the deposition of Abdülaziz 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.[44] He would often dream of what had happened to his beloved uncle. He had secret telegraph lines and essentially "spies" of his own that would execute his orders without question.[citation needed]

Abdul Hamid's reign also had a fully functioning state spy system. He established the Umur-u Hafiye, a predecessor to modern Turkish intelligence organizations. 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[45] and Great Britain.[46] The American collection is housed in the Library of Congress and has been digitized.[47]

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 Abdulmejid I and one of his many wives, Tîr-î-Müjgan Sultan, (Circassia, 16 August 1819 – Constantinople, Feriye Palace, 2 November 1853).[48][49] 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.[50]

In the opinion of F. A. K. Yasamee:[51]

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.[52]

He was also a good wrestler of Yağlı güreş and a 'patron saint' of the wrestlers. He organized 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]

This is an example of what once hung on the Door of Repentance of the Ka'ba in 1897 until 1898. It was made in Egypt under Abdul Hamid II's ruling of the Ottoman Empire. His name is stitched into the fifth line following a verse from the Qur'an.[53]
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 sheik, 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 sheik initiated Shadhili gatherings of remembrance (dhikr) in the newly commissioned Yıldız Hamidiye Mosque; on Thursday evenings he would accompany Sufi masters in reciting dhikr.[50] 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 sheik lasted for thirty years until the latter's death in 1903.[54]

Poetry[edit]

The Tughra (signature) of Abdul Hamid II – on right "el Ghazi" (the veteran of war)[55]

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.[56]

Marriages and descendants[edit]

Abdul Hamid II had thirteen wives[57] and seventeen children. There are only extant descendants of six of his children from four of his wives, but only two of his sons from two of his wives have current issue in the line of succession.

First marriage and descendant[edit]

He was first married to Abkhazian Nazikeda Kadın (c. 1850 – Yıldız Palace, Constantinople, 11 April 1895) at the Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul in 1863. Abkhazian Nazikeda Kadin was the daughter of Prince Arzakan Bey Tsanba and his wife Princess Esma Klıç.[57] Together, they had one daughter:

  • Ulviye Sultan (1868 – 5 October 1875)

Second marriage and descendants[edit]

Following his first marriage, he married his relative Natukhai Bedrifelek Kadın (4 January 1851 – 6 February 1930) in Istanbul on 15 November 1868. She was the daughter of Prince Kerzedzh Mehmed Bey and his wife Princess İnal-lpa Faruhan Hanım.[57] Abdul Hamid II's descendants with Natukhai Bedrifelek Kadin by their three children include:

  • Şehzade Mehmed Selim (11 January 1870 – 4 May 1937), married at Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, on 4 June 1886 to Abkhazian Eryale Hanım (10 February 1870 – 27 December 1904), daughter of Prince Ali Hasan Bey Marshania and 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 his relative Pervin Dürrüyekta Hanım (Adapazarı, 6 June 1894 – Lebanon, 1969 and buried there), daughter of Prince Kerzedzh Zekeriya Bey 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 Vatansever Hanımsultan (born 2013)
            • Sultanzade Vahdettin Vatansever Bey (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 with 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 first 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 second at Constantinople, Raşel Hanım, a Jewish woman from Istanbul, without issue

Third marriage[edit]

His third marriage to Circassian Nurefsun Kadın (c. 1851 – 1915) began at the Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul in 1868 and ended in divorce in 1878, without issue. Circassian Nurefsun Kadin was a lady formerly in the household of Khedive Isma'il Pasha and Sultan Abdülaziz.

Fourth marriage and descendants[edit]

His fourth marriage was 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, at Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, on 2 September 1875. Together, they had two children:

  • 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 descendant[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, and had one daughter:

  • 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, without issue

Sixth marriage and descendants[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,[57] and had one son:

  • 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 II Osman V

Seventh marriage and descendants[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 one daughter:

  • 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 descendants[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,[57] and had one daughter:

  • 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), 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 descendants[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,[57] and had one daughter:

  • Refia Sultan (Istanbul, Yıldız Palace, 15 June 1891 – Beirut, 1938; Beirut, Lebanon, buried in Damascus [Sultan Selim Mosque], Syria), married 3 September 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), unmarried and without issue
    • Ayşe Hamide Hanımsultan Eyüb (1918 in Kiziltoprak Sarayi – 1934 in Nice, France, buried in Damascus, Sultan Selim Mosque, Syria)

Tenth marriage and descendants[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,[57] and had one son:

  • 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), three 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 Marguerite Marie 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)

Eleventh marriage and descendants[edit]

He married eleventh at Constantinople, Yıldız Palace on 20 July 1886 to Abkhazian Pesend Hanım (Constantinople, Ottoman Empire, 13 February 1876 — 5 November 1924), née Fatma Kadriye Achba, daughter of Prince Ahmed Sami Achba, member of an Abkhazian princely family by his wife, Fatıma Hanım Mamleeva, and had one daughter:

Twelfth marriage and descendants[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,[57] and had two sons:

Thirteenth marriage and descendants[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,[57] and had two children:

Awards and honors[edit]

Ottoman orders
Foreign orders and decorations

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Some sources state that his birth date was on 22 September.
  3. ^ Overy, Richard pp. 252, 253 (2010)
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  5. ^ "Sultan beaten, capital falls, 6,000 are slain". The New York Times. 25 April 1909.
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  53. ^ "Sitara, Interior Door Curtain of the Ka'ba, Sultan Abdülhamid II (r. 1876–1909)". www.metmuseum.org.
  54. ^ "Sheikh Mohammed Zafir". Madani86.blogspot.com.
  55. ^ Minkus New World-Wide Stamp Catalog (1974–75 ed.), Turkey, note preceding no. 144.
  56. ^ Turner, Barry. Suez.1956 p.32–33
  57. ^ a b c d e f g h i Harun Açba (2007). Kadın efendiler: 1839–1924. Profil. ISBN 978-9-759-96109-1.
  58. ^ The Royal Tourist—Kalakaua's Letters Home from Tokio to London. Editor: Richard A. Greer. Date: 10 March 1881

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 (eds.). 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, Edwin Sir (1917). The Life of Abdul Hamid (1 ed.). London: Constable and Company Ltd. Retrieved 17 March 2019 – via Internet Archive.
  • 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 the Ottoman Caliphate
31 August 1876 – 27 April 1909
Succeeded by
Mehmed V