Sultan Abdul Hamid Khan the 34th Ottoman  Sultan

Sultan Abdul Hamid II was the 34th sultan of the Ottoman Empire, ruling from 1876 to 1909. He was the last Ottoman sultan to have absolute power, and his reign is known for its authoritarianism and political repression. He came to power after a period of political turmoil and instability, and his first years in office were marked by an effort to restore order and stability to the empire.


Abdul Hamid II was born in 1842 in Istanbul, the third son of Sultan Abdulmejid I. He received a traditional Ottoman education and was trained in military and administrative affairs. He was appointed as the governor of the province of Anatolia in 1864 and later served as the governor of the province of Baghdad. He was also appointed as the commander of the Ottoman army in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878.

Sultan Abdul Hamid

Succession to the throne

In 1876, Abdul Hamid II's brother Murad V was deposed by a group of powerful court officials, and Abdul Hamid II was chosen as the new sultan. He came to power at a time when the Ottoman Empire was facing a number of internal and external challenges. The empire was in decline and facing territorial losses, economic decline, and political turmoil. The empire's subjects were also becoming increasingly restless and dissatisfied with the Ottoman government.

During his reign, Abdul Hamid II sought to modernize the empire and strengthen its central government. He implemented a series of economic, administrative, and military reforms, including the establishment of a modern postal system, a telegraph network, and a railway system. He also reformed the empire's legal and administrative system and established a new system of taxation. However, these efforts were often undermined by the opposition from powerful interest groups and the resistance of the empire's subjects.

Abdul Hamid II also sought to expand the empire's territory, but his efforts were largely unsuccessful. He launched a number of military campaigns to recapture the territories that had been lost to European powers, but these campaigns were costly and unsuccessful. The empire's territories continued to shrink under pressure from European powers.

Abdul Hamid II is also known for his political repression, censorship, and secret police. He suspended the Ottoman constitution and parliament and established a personal dictatorship, using the secret police to suppress opposition and dissent. He also introduced strict censorship laws, which were used to suppress freedom of speech and the press. He also banned political parties and organizations that opposed his rule.



In 1908, the Young Turks, a group of liberal reformers, staged a revolution and forced Abdul Hamid II to restore the Ottoman constitution and parliament. He was dethroned in 1909 and was succeeded by Mehmed V. After his deposition, he was kept under house arrest at the Yıldız Palace in Istanbul until his death in 1918.

Abdul Hamid II's reign is a controversial period in Ottoman history, with some historians praising his modernization efforts, and others criticizing his authoritarianism and political repression. His legacy is still debated by scholars, and his time in power is seen as a turning point in the empire's history, marking the end of the Ottoman's traditional system of government and the beginning of the decline of the empire.

After being deposed in 1909, Abdul Hamid was exiled to Thessaloniki, Greece, where he lived under house arrest for several years. In 1912, he was moved to a villa in Istanbul, where he spent the remainder of his life. During his exile, he continued to correspond with his loyal followers and continued to be revered by some Ottoman Turks.


He died on February 10, 1918, in Istanbul, Turkey, at the age of 76. Abdul Hamid II died of natural causes at his villa in Istanbul. His death was widely mourned by his supporters, who regarded him as a defender of the Ottoman Empire and Islam. Despite his controversial legacy, Abdul Hamid remains a significant figure in Ottoman history, particularly for his role in modernizing the empire and his efforts to resist Western imperialism.