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Abdülaziz of the Ottoman Empire

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Abdülaziz of the Ottoman Empire

Abdülaziz of the Ottoman Empire
Caliph of Islam
Amir al-Mu'minin
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
Sultan Abdülaziz during his visit to the United Kingdom in 1867
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Reign 2 June 1861 – 30 May 1876
Predecessor Abdülmecid I
Successor Murad V
Born 9 or 18 February 1830[1]
Died 4 June 1876(1876-06-04) (aged 46)[1]
Çırağan Palace
Consorts Dürrinev Kadınefendi
Edadil Kadınefendi
Gevheri Kadınefendi
Hayranidil Kadınefendi
Neşerek Kadınefendi
Royal house House of Osman
Father Mahmud II
Mother Pertevniyal Sultan
Religion Sunni Islam

Abdülaziz of the Ottoman Empire or Abdülaziz I (Ottoman Turkish: عبد العزيز / `Abdü’l-`Azīz, Turkish: I. Abdülaziz; 9/18 February 1830 – 4 June 1876) was the 32nd Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and reigned between 25 June 1861 and 30 May 1876.[1] He was the son of Sultan Mahmud II and succeeded his brother Abdülmecid I in 1861.[2]

Born at the Eyüp Palace, Constantinople (present-day Istanbul),[3][4] on 9/18 February 1830, Abdülaziz received an Ottoman education but was nevertheless an ardent admirer of the material progress that was made in the West. He was the first Ottoman Sultan who travelled to Western Europe, visiting a number of important European capitals including Paris, London and Vienna in the summer of 1867. The Sultan took an interest in documenting the Sultanate. He was also interested in literature and was also a classical music composer. Some of his compositions have been collected in the album "European Music at the Ottoman Court" by the London Academy of Ottoman Court Music.


  • Family 1
  • Reign 2
  • Achievements 3
  • Family life 4
    • First marriage and issue 4.1
    • Second marriage and issue 4.2
    • Third marriage and issue 4.3
    • Fourth marriage and issue 4.4
    • Fifth marriage and issue 4.5
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Abdülaziz of the Ottoman Empire.

His parents were Mahmud II and Valide Sultan Pertevniyal ("Partav-Nihal").[5] (1812–1883), originally named Bezime, a Vlach.[6] He was a quarter French. In 1868 Pertevniyal was living in the Dolmabahçe Palace. That year Abdülaziz led the visiting Eugénie de Montijo, Empress of France, to see his mother. Pertevniyal perceived the presence of a foreign woman within her quarters of the seraglio as an insult. She reportedly slapped Eugénie across the face, almost resulting in an international incident.[7] According to another account, Pertevniyal became outraged by the forwardness of Eugénie taking the arm of one of her sons while he gave a tour of the palace garden, and she gave the Empress a slap on the stomach as a possibly more subtly intended than often represented reminder that they were not in France.[8] The Pertevniyal Valide Sultan Mosque was built under the patronage of his mother. The construction work began in November 1869 and the mosque was finished in 1871.[9]

His paternal grandparents were Sultan Abdul Hamid I and Sultana Naksh-i-Dil Haseki. Several accounts identify his paternal grandmother with Aimée du Buc de Rivéry, a cousin of Joséphine de Beauharnais.[10] Pertevniyal was a sister of Hoshiar (Khushiyar), third wife of Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt. Hoshiar and Ibrahim were the parents of Isma'il Pasha.[11][12][13][14][15]


The Ottoman Empire in 1862

Between 1861 and 1871, the

Abdülaziz of the Ottoman Empire
Born: 9 February 1830 Died: 4 June 1876
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Abdülmecid I
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
25 Jun 1861 – 30 May 1876
Succeeded by
Murad V
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Abdülmecid I
Caliph of Islam
25 Jun 1861 – 30 May 1876
Succeeded by
Murad V

Wikisource logo Works written by or about Abd-ul-Aziz at Wikisource

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

External links

  • Finkel, Caroline, Osman's Dream, (Basic Books, 2005), 57; "Istanbul was only adopted as the city's official name in 1930..".

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l
  2. ^ Chambers Biographical Dictionary, ISBN 0-550-18022-2, page 2
  3. ^ The Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol.7, Edited by Hugh Chisholm, (1911), 3; İstanbul, the capital of the Turkish Empire...
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Daniel T. Rogers, "All my relatives: Valide Sultana Partav-Nihal"
  6. ^ His profile in the Ottoman Web Site
  7. ^ "Women in Power" 1840-1870, entry: "1861-76 Pertevniyal Valide Sultan of The Ottoman Empire"
  8. ^ Duff 1978, p. 191.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Christine Isom-Verhaaren, "Royal French Women in the Ottoman Sultans' Harem: The Political Uses of Fabricated Accounts from the Sixteenth to the Twenty-first Century"
  11. ^ Christopher Buyers, "The Muhammad 'Ali Dynasty Genealogy"
  12. ^ Non European Royalty Website, entry:"Egypt"
  13. ^ "Women in Power" 1840-1870, entry: "1863-79 Valida Pasha Khushiyar of Egypt"
  14. ^ Rulers from the House of Mohammed Aly
  15. ^ Genealogical entry: "Hoshiar Walda Pasha"
  16. ^ a b c d e Mevzuat Dergisi, Yıl: 9, Sayı: 100, Nisan 2006: "Osmanlı İmparatorluğu'nda ve Türkiye Cumhuriyeti'nde Borçlanma Politikaları ve Sonuçları"
  17. ^ a b c Article 18 of the Treaty of Lausanne (1923)
  18. ^ a b Articles 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21 of the Treaty of Lausanne (1923)
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ CFOA History - Trains and Railways of Turkey
  22. ^ a b c d Voyage of Sultan Abdülaziz to Europe (21 June 1867 – 7 August 1867)
  23. ^ i339.html


Georgian HH Neşerek Kadınefendi (Tbilisi, 1848 – 11 June 1876 - Ortaköy Palace, Constantinople) at the Dolmabahçe Palace, in 1868 and they had three children.[23]

Fifth marriage and issue

Georgian HH Hayranidil Kadınefendi (Kars, 2 November 1846 – Ortaköy Palace, Constantinople, 26 November 1898) at the Dolmabahçe Palace, Constantinople, on 21 September 1866 and they had two children.

Fourth marriage and issue

Circassian HH Gevheri Kadınefendi (Caucasus, 8 July 1856 – Ortaköy Palace, Ortaköy, Constantinople, 20 September 1894) in 1872 to and they had two children.

Third marriage and issue

HH Edadil Kadınefendi (1845 – Dolmabahçe Palace, 12 December 1875) at the Dolmabahçe Palace in 1861 and they had one child.

Second marriage and issue

He married firstly at Dürrinev Kadınefendi (Batumi, 15 March 1835 – Constantinople, Üsküdar, Çamlıca Palace, 3 December 1892), and they had three children, including Yusuf Izzettin Efendi. His non-spear great-grandson through him is the current crown prince of Kuwait.

First marriage and issue

Sarcophagus of Sultan Abdülaziz in the mausoleum of his father, Sultan Mahmud II. Some of the Sultans' descendants are also buried nearby.
Bedroom of Sultan Abdülaziz at the Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul.

Family life

  • Impressed by the museums in Paris (30 June – 10 July 1867),[22] London (12 July – 23 July 1867)[22] and Vienna (28 July – 30 July 1867)[22] which he visited in the summer of 1867, he ordered the establishment of an Imperial Museum in Istanbul: the Istanbul Archaeology Museum.
  • He also was responsible for the first civil code for the Ottoman Empire.[1]
  • Abdülaziz gave special emphasis on modernizing the Ottoman Navy. In 1875, the Ottoman Navy had 21 battleships and 173 warships of other types, ranking as the third largest navy in the world after the British and French navies. His passion for the Navy, ships and sea can be observed in the wall paintings and pictures of the Beylerbeyi Palace on the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul, which was constructed during his reign. However, the large budget for modernizing and expanding the Navy (combined with a severe drought in 1873 and incidents of flooding in 1874 which damaged Ottoman agriculture and reduced the government's tax revenues) contributed to the financial difficulties which caused the Porte to declare a sovereign default with the "Ramazan Kanunnamesi" on 30 October 1875. The subsequent decision to increase agricultural taxes for paying the Ottoman public debt to foreign creditors (mainly British and French banks) triggered the Great Eastern Crisis (1875–78) in the empire's Balkan provinces, which culminated in the Russo-Turkish War (1877–78) that devastated the already struggling Ottoman economy, and the establishment of the Ottoman Public Debt Administration in 1881, during the early years of Sultan Abdülhamid II's reign.
Admission ticket to Lord Mayor Thomas Gabriel's reception of H.I.M. The Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz Khan at The Guildhall on 18 July 1867, issued to The Chairman of the P. & O. Steam Navigation Company.
Queen Victoria and Abdülaziz on the HMY Victoria and Albert during the Sultan's official visit to United Kingdom


While no one event led to his being deposed, the crop failure of 1873 and his lavish expenditures on the Ottoman Navy and on new palaces which he had built, along with mounting public debt, helped to create an atmosphere conducive to his being overthrown. Abdülaziz was deposed by his ministers on 30 May 1876;[1] his death at Feriye Palace in Constantinople a few days later was documented as a suicide at the time,[1][19] although in Sultan Abdulhamid II's recently surfaced memoirs, the event is described as an assassination by the order of Hüseyin Avni Pasha and Midhat Pasha. When Sultan Murad V began to show signs of paranoia, madness and continuous fainting and vomiting even on the day of his coronation and threw himself into a pool yelling at his guards to protect his life, they were afraid the public would become outraged and revolt to bring the former Sultan back. Within a few days, on 4 June 1876, they arranged for Sultan Abdülaziz to kill himself with scissors, cutting his two wrists at the same time.[20] It was unclear how the Sultan got hold of scissors in his tower prison cell and how he managed to cut two wrists at once, since no autopsy was allowed afterwards. The event was recorded as suicide officially and he was buried in Constantinople.

By 1871 both Mehmed Fuad Pasha and Mehmed Emin Âli Pasha were dead.[1] The Second French Empire, his Western European model, had been defeated in the Franco-Prussian War by the North German Confederation under the leadership of the Kingdom of Prussia. Abdülaziz turned to the Russian Empire for friendship, as unrest in the Balkan provinces continued. In 1875, the Herzegovinian rebellion was the beginning of further unrest in the Balkan provinces. In 1876, the April Uprising saw insurrection spreading among the Bulgarians. Ill feeling mounted against Russia for its encouragement of the rebellions.[1]

The türbe (mausoleum) of Sultan Mahmud II (his father) on Divan Yolu street, where Abdülaziz is also buried.

In 1869, Abdülaziz received visits from Eugénie de Montijo, Empress consort of Napoleon III of France and other foreign monarchs on their way to the opening of the Suez Canal. The Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII, twice visited Constantinople.

Also in 1867, Abdülaziz became the first Ottoman Sultan to formally recognize the title of Khedive (Viceroy) to be used by the Vali (Governor) of the Ottoman Eyalet of Egypt and Sudan (1517–1867), which thus became the autonomous Ottoman Khedivate of Egypt and Sudan (1867–1914). Muhammad Ali Pasha and his descendants had been the governors (Vali) of Ottoman Egypt and Sudan since 1805, but were willing to use the higher title of Khedive, which was unrecognized by the Ottoman government until 1867. In return, the first Khedive, Ismail Pasha, had agreed a year earlier (in 1866) to increase the annual tax revenues which Egypt and Sudan would provide for the Ottoman treasury.[16] Between 1854 and 1894,[16][17] the revenues from Egypt and Sudan were often declared as a surety by the Ottoman government for borrowing loans from British and French banks.[16][17] After the Ottoman government declared a sovereign default on its foreign debt repayments on 30 October 1875,[16] which triggered the Great Eastern Crisis (1875–78) in the empire's Balkan provinces that led to the devastating Russo-Turkish War (1877–78) and the establishment of the Ottoman Public Debt Administration in 1881,[16] the importance for Britain of the sureties regarding the Ottoman revenues from Egypt and Sudan increased.[17] Combined with the much more important Suez Canal which was opened in 1869, these sureties were influential in the British government's decision to occupy Egypt and Sudan in 1882, with the pretext of helping the Ottoman-Egyptian government to put down the Urabi Revolt (1879–1882). Egypt and Sudan (together with Cyprus) nominally remained Ottoman territories until 5 November 1914,[18] when the British Empire declared war against the Ottoman Empire during World War I.[18]

Abdülaziz cultivated good relations with the Second French Empire and the British Empire. In 1867 he was the first Ottoman sultan to visit Western Europe;[1] his trip included a visit to the United Kingdom, where he was made a Knight of the Garter by Queen Victoria and shown a Royal Navy Fleet Review with Ismail Pasha. He travelled by a private rail car, which today can be found in the Rahmi M. Koç Museum in Istanbul. His fellow Knights of the Garter created in 1867 were Charles Gordon-Lennox, 6th Duke of Richmond, Charles Manners, 6th Duke of Rutland, Henry Somerset, 8th Duke of Beaufort, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn (a son of Queen Victoria), Franz Joseph I of Austria and Alexander II of Russia.

Culverin with the arms of Philippe Villiers de L'Isle-Adam, Siege of Rhodes (1522). Caliber: 140mm, length: 339cm, weight: 2533kg, ammunition: 10kg iron ball. Remitted by Abdülaziz to Napoleon III in 1862.

[1] He was also integral in establishing the first Ottoman civil code.[1]

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