Abdul Hamid II

ahamidAbdulhamid II, His Imperial Majesty, The Sultan Abdülhamid II, Emperor of the Ottomans, Caliph of the Faithful, Abd Al-Hamid II Khan Ghazi, The Great Hakan, (by his opponents) The Crimson Sultan (Ottoman Turkish: عبد الحميد ثانی `Abdü’l-Ḥamīd-isânîTurkishİkinci Abdülhamit) The Sultan Abdul Hamid II Was born on 22 September 1842 Constantinople, Turkey. He was the 99th caliph of Islam and the 34th sultan of the Ottoman Empire. He was the last Sultan to exert effective control over the Ottoman Empire.

He oversaw a period of decline in the power and extent of the Empire, ruling from 31 August 1876 until he was deposed on 27 April 1909. He was succeeded by Mehmed V. His deposition following the Young Turk Revolution was hailed by most Ottoman citizens, who welcomed the return to constitutional rule.

During his tenure, he was responsible for both modernisation of the Ottoman Empire, as well as exerting maximum control over its affairs. Changes included: rationalisation of the bureaucracy; the ambitious Hijaz Railway project; the creation of a modern system of personnel records (1896); establishment of an elaborate system for population registration and control over the press; systematization of officials salaries (1880); first modern law school (1898). Between the period 1871-1908, the Sublime Porte thus reached a new degree of organizational elaboration and articulation.


Abdülhamid II was the last of the Ottoman sultans who had any real power. He was overthrown in 1909 by a group known as the Young Turks. They were Western-educated liberal secularists who vehemently disagreed with the Islamic direction that Abdülhamid took the empire in from 1876 to 1909. After his overthrow, his brother Mehmed Reshad was chosen as sultan by the Young Turks, but he effectively had no power, and the empire was run by an oligarchy of three ministers in the Young Turk government.

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