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Sultan Abdul Hamid II

Sultan Abdul Hamid II is considered one of the most important and famous sultans of the Ottoman Empire, as he took over the rule of the state during a difficult period and faced many crises during his era.

Sultan Abdul Hamid II ruled the Ottoman Empire for nearly 33 years, and he achieved many achievements during his time, the most famous of which was the Hejaz Railway, in addition to strengthening the defenses of the Çanakkale area, spreading education, opening schools and establishing factories.

Sultan Abdul Hamid II (1)

The lineage and family of Sultan Abdul Hamid II

Sultan Abdul Hamid II belongs to the Ottoman family, as his full name until Ertugrul Gazi is:

Sultan Abdul Hamid II son of Sultan Abdul Majid I son of Mahmoud II son of Abd al-Hamid I son of Ahmed III son of Muhammad IV son of Ibrahim I son of Ahmed I son of Muhammad III son of Murad III son of Salim II son of Suleiman the Magnificent son of Selim I bin Bayazid II son of Muhammad Al-Fatih son of Murad II son of Muhammad I son of Bayazid I son of Murad I son of Orhan Gazi son of Osman son of Erturgul Gazi

Sultan Abdul Hamid II married:

  • Nazikeda Kadın
  • Bedrifelek Kadın
  • Nurefsun Kadın
  • Bidar Kadın
  • Dilpesend Kadın
  • Mezide Mestan Kadın
  • Emsalinur Kadın
  • Müşfika Kadın
  • Sazkar Hanım
  • Peyveste Hanım
  • Fatima Basind.
  • Pesend Hanım
  • Behice Hanım
  • Saliha Naciye Hanım

The life of Sultan Abdul Hamid II before the sultanate

The mother of Sultan Abdul Hamid died at the age of ten, so he was raised by Presto Hanim.

The Sultan learned Arabic, Farsi, and French languages, in addition to the Ottoman language at a young age, and he completed the study of Sahih al-Bukhari in the science of hadith.

The Sultan also learned politics and economics by the Minister of Education, as well as literature, Islamic sciences, poetry, mysticism, calligraphy and music.

The prince Abdul Hamid traveled to Egypt and Europe with his uncle, Sultan Abdul Aziz, over a period of about a month and a half.

The Sultan worked in the trade profession, in the days of his father, Sultan Abdul Majid I, and he was passionate about it, as he loved equestrian and sports.

The Sultan was known for his love for religion, as his daughter Aisha said of him:

My father used to perform the five daily prayers on time, recite the Holy Qur’an, and in his youth he walked the Shadhiliyya path, and he used to frequent mosques, especially in the month of Ramadan

Sultan Abdul Hamid II in his youth

The era of Sultan Abdul Hamid II

Taking power

The reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid began on the eleventh of Shaban 1293 AH corresponding to August 31, 1876, succeeding his brother Sultan Murad the Fifth.

The Sultan took power after his brother, Murad V, suffered a mental breakdown, following the coup against his uncle, Sultan Abdul aziz, who died.

The Sultan went to the tomb of the prophet Mohamed companion Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, and took the Sultani Sword there, according to a tradition inherited since the conquest of Constantinople.

The Sultan then visited the tomb of his father, Sultan Abdul Majid I, then the tomb of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, and then to the tomn of his grandfather Mahmoud II and his uncle Abdulaziz I.

Sultan Abdul Hamid

The Sultan took power during a difficult period, as the Ottoman Empire was facing major financial problems, and bloody revolutions in the Balkans sparked by nationalist elements.

Since the first day of his reign, the Sultan faced difficult situations, the most important of which was the spread of separatist ideas and financial crises.

Sultan Abdul Hamid II did not possess real powers in the first two years of his reign, as Midhat Pasha, known for his pro-Western affiliation, had the final say in all important matters after announcing the first meşrutiyet.

The Ottoman Empire declared bankruptcy only a year before the Sultan took power.

Unrest and revolutions in the empire erupted in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia.

Russo-Ottoman War

The European countries sent a list to the Ottoman Empire claiming the injustice of the Christians and demanding the improvement of their conditions while European ambassadors monitored the procedures followed, which was considered by the ottoman parliament as a blatant interference in the state’s sovereignty.

The parliament rejected the list, which is what Russia used as a pretext to declare war on the Ottoman Empire.

Sultan Abdul Hamid knew the inability of the state to enter a war, and therefore he tended to try to conclude peace with Russia, but Medhat Pasha declared war anyway without concern for the sultan’s desire.

The war was disastrous for the Ottoman Empire, as Russia occupied Romania, and Bulgaria, and reached Edirne.

Russian forces were only about a kilometer away from Istanbul, and Russia invaded Anatolia and surrounded the capital from all directions.

The Ottoman Empire, under the weight of defeat, was forced to conclude the Treaty of San Stefano with Russia, whose provisions were extremely unfair, as it was stated:

  • Independence of Montenegro, Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia.
  • Paying a fine to Russia in the amount of 250 million gold liras, and in the event of failure to pay the bankruptcy of the state, the land will be paid
  • The Bosporus and the Dardanelles straits opened for Russia, both times of peace and war.
  • A pledge to protect the Christians of Crete and the Armenians.
  • Granting Russia 6 Ottoman warships.

Sultan Abdul Hamid exercised many pressures to try to prevent these provisions, but he succeeded in preventing the last clause only, so that the state would keep its warships.

Russo-Ottoman War

Dissolving the parliament and assuming power

After the crushing defeat suffered by the state, the Sultan decided to dissolve the parliament, suspend the constitution and assume power completely.

The Greco-Ottoman War

A war broke out between the Ottoman Empire and the Greek Kingdom in 1897, as Greece sought to gain control of the Ottoman island of Crete.

Greece occupied the island, and the Ottoman Empire declared war on it

The war witnessed a crushing Ottoman military victory, as the Ottomans made a peace with Greece according to the following conditions:

  • Inclusion of border regions from Thessaly to the Ottoman Empire
  • Paying 4 million Ottoman liras in war compensation
  • Preserving the island of Crete and granting it self-rule under the authority of the Ottoman Empire
  • The survival of the Ottoman forces in the occupied territories of Greece until all of the previous conditions are implemented

The state of the Ottoman Empire under the rule of Sultan Abdul Hamid II

Economic situation

Sultan Abdul Hamid assumed the rule of the Ottoman Empire in extremely difficult circumstances, as the state’s debts had reached what amounted to 2 billion Ottoman liras.

Financial reforms

  • Reducing the debts of the Ottoman Empire to more than one-tenth from about 2 billion to 100 million Ottoman pounds
  • Reducing the salaries of princes and ministers.
  • Transfer oversight of the minors ’financial allocations to the Ministry of Finance instead of the private treasury.
  • Establishing banks
  • Relying on the gold and silver as a main currency.

Commercial reforms

  • Abolishing the foreign franchise system
  • Encouraging internal trade between states at the expense of imports from abroad
  • Increasing agricultural exports
  • Establishing necessary railways, roads and infrastructure

Agricultural reforms

  • Establishing an agricultural bank to provide the necessary financing to farmers
  • The establishment of the Hejaz Railway, which contributed greatly to the ease of movement of agricultural products
  • Activating the system of medium and small properties
  • Diversification the agricultural production of crops
  • Establishing a school of agriculture to teach the latest agricultural sciences
Agriculture Bank

Despite the decline of the Ottoman Empire dramatically in many areas, the era of Sultan Abdul Hamid is considered the peak of economic progress in the era of decline in general.

The Sultan faced many challenges, but he managed them with skill and wisdom, which led to an economic renaissance in all the lands of the empire.

Education

Education during the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid II witnessed a great renaissance, as the Sultan is one of the most prominent sultans who developed education.

The Sultan led the largest campaign for education in Ottoman history, opening schools and universities, and updating educational curricula.

The Sultan established middle and higher schools and technical institutes, and he modernized curricula and scientific plans.

The most important schools in the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid II are:

  • Royal School of Financial Affairs
  • Law School
  • School of Fine Arts
  • Trade School
  • School of Civil Engineering
  • Damascus Medical College
  • School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Police school
  • Customs School
  • School of Medicine
  • School of Agriculture
  • Maritime Trade School
  • Disabled school
  • Language School
  • School of Minerals
  • House parameters
  • Arts House
  • Women’s Art School

While there were only 200 modern primary schools in Istanbul in 1877, the number of elementary schools increased to 9,000 in 1905.

Education during the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid

In addition to schools, the reign of the Sultan witnessed the opening of museums and libraries, the most important of which are the Museum of Antiquities and the Military Museum, in addition to the Yildiz and Bayezid libraries.

During the reign of the Sultan, he generally established 18 vocational schools, and hundreds of elementary, secondary and military schools.

During the reign of the Sultan, the Ottoman schools used European teaching and teaching techniques, but were interested in implanting Islamic morals in addition to the Ottoman identity in the hearts of students.

Judicial reforms

The era of Sultan Abdul Hamid II witnessed major judicial reforms, starting with the opening of the Law School where school graduates were appointed to the courts.

The Ministry of Justice, which now oversees the civil and criminal judiciary, was reorganized, while the Sharia courts remained subordinate to the authority of Sheikh al-Islam.

The jurisdiction of civil courts was defined, judicial regulations were prepared, in addition to the appointment of inspectors for each state, and public prosecutors in courts of appeal.

It established the Court of Cassation, and the regular and commercial courts, especially in the states with heavy commercial activity, and issued executive laws related to the judiciary.

Political status

The political situation witnessed severe turmoil, as the country was ravaged by revolutions, insurrections and the desire for independence.

Sultan Abdul Hamid inherited a severe political strike, which the Sultan tried to contain by introducing many reforms and improving the economic and human rights situation for minorities, but the accumulations of previous eras contributed to the state’s loss of many lands.

The total lands lost by the Ottoman Empire during the reign of the Sultan amounted to about one and a half million square kilometers.

The most important countries that separated from the Ottoman Empire during the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid were:

  • Egypt
  • Tunisia
  • Sudan
  • Romania
  • Cyprus
  • Serbia
  • Bulgaria
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • the black Mountain

Sultan Abdul Hamid was able to preserve Palestine as part of the Ottoman Empire, after requests from Herzl to grant him permission to establish Israel within the borders of the Ottoman Empire.

The politics of Islamic unity

Sultan Abdul Hamid II promoted the principle of Islamic unity, and he asked Muslims who live everywhere to unite in a single system.

Sultan Abdul Hamid communicated with the Muslims of India who were under the British occupation, and with the Muslims of Austria, the Albanians, the Muslims of Russia, the Tatars and the Kurds, and the Muslims OF France.

In addition to this, the Sultan established the Hejaz Railway and the Iraq Railway to link the Islamic world with each other and facilitate the Hajj journey, as the Muslims of the world contributed to financing the Hejaz line project.

Islamic unity achieved great success as Muslims celebrated the victory of the Ottoman Empire in the Greek War.

The attempt to assassinate the Sultan

The era of the Sultan witnessed attempts to assassinate him, the most prominent of which was the bomb incident, when some Armenian rebels put a bomb on the threshold of the mosque in which the Sultan used to pray Friday, and when the Sultan left, the Sheikh of Islam stopped him for several seconds to talk to him about various matters, so that the Sultan was late in leaving and the bomb exploded without the Sultan being hurt.

The perpetrators of the operation were arrested, and among them was a Belgian bomb-maker named Joris.

The Sultan did not punish Joris, instead he gave him a pension and recruited him as a spy for the Ottoman Empire and sent him to Europe.

The attempt to assassinate Sultan Abdul Hamid

Military situation

Sultan Abdul Hamid II realized the necessity of renewing the army’s weapons in the late nineteenth century, coinciding with the rapid development of the arms industry in Europe.

The Ottoman army only had old, low-efficiency weapons, and the Sultan relied on Germany to modernize the army with weapons and expertise.

The era of Sultan Abdul Hamid witnessed the reform of military schools and defining the basic requirements for training young officers in addition to adopting the latest military technologies.

Artillery modernization

Sultan Abdul Hamid II renewed the Ottoman artillery with new equipment, he formed a strategic plan to defend the Dardanelles Strait by installing cannons and strengthening the defenses of the Strait of Çanakkale, which contributed to achieving the victory of the Battle of Çanakkale in World War I and deterring the Allied forces.

Hamidiyeh cavalry

Sultan Abd al-Hamid founded the Hamidiyeh cavalry Brigades, which were well armed, with most of them being Sunni Kurds.

The Hamidian cavalry guarded the southeastern provinces of the Ottoman Empire, to guard the Ottoman-Russian borders.

Hamidiye Cavalry (1)

Abdul Hamid submarine

Sultan Abdul Hamid agreed with factories in England to build a modern, massive submarine, which entered service in 1881.

Abdul Hamid’s submarine is the first submarine in the world to be able to launch a live torpedo underwater.

Abdul Hamid's submarine

Projects of Sultan Abdul Hamid II

Hejaz Railway

The Hejaz Railway is considered one of the most important projects that characterize the era of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, as it served as a giant economic, service and sole project.

The Hejaz Line project was the result of an entirely local initiative through funding, construction, design, and donations collected from the Islamic world.

The Hejaz Railway connected the parts of the Islamic world and shortened travel time to Makkah and Madinah from 50 days to 5 days only.

Construction of roads

The era of Sultan Abdul Hamid II witnessed a great expansion in road construction, the most important of which was the Samsun-Baghdad road, which reached 12,000 km in length.

Roads allowed cities to grow and develop greatly, as Samsun expanded after the road was built and experienced a great growth in population.

Several roads have been built that connect Bursa with the rest of the states as well.

Health and solidarity projects

The reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid witnessed the establishment of many health and solidarity projects, as many hospitals were established, the most important of which is Sisli Children’s Hospital.

Darülaceze is considered one of the most important solidarity projects that were established during the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid Ali, as it was on an area of ​​27,000 square meters.

Darülaceze which means “The house of incabable” was an integrated complex to house orphans, the elderly, the disabled, needing care, and children between the ages of 0 and 6 who were abandoned in the streets free of charge, and the fulfillment of all their needs without distinction between religion, sect, language, race, class and gender.

Hospice of Sultan Abdul Hamid

Extending telegraph and telephone lines

The telegraph lines were extended during the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid, and the Post and Telegraph Authority was established ( Turkish Post today).

The telephone entered Istanbul only 5 years after it began to be used in Europe, where the Sultan ordered the extension of telephone lines to communicate throughout the empire.

Several weather stations have been established to be used to inform the weather forecast center.

Other projects

The era of Sultan Abdul Hamid II witnessed many industrial and service projects, the most important of which are:

  1. Operation of the electric tram in Damascus.
  2. Archeology Museum opens.
  3. The Faculty of Law is inaugurated.
  4. The establishment of the Audit Bureau (the Audit Bureau).
  5. The Faculty of Fine Arts was opened.
  6. The Faculty of Commerce was inaugurated.
  7. The opening of the College of Engineering.
  8. Terkos water has been running.
  9. ipikhan in Bursa.
  10. The Bursa Railway has been put into service
  11. Operation of the Jerusalem Railway.
  12. Operation of the Ankara Railway.
  13. Establishment of Al-Hamidiyah Paper Factory.
  14. Establishment of Kadikoy Ghazan.
  15. Building a port and berth in Beirut.
  16. The Ottoman Insurance Company was established
  17. Kadikoy water installation.
  18. The Thessaloniki Railway is operational.
  19. Damascus Railway operation.
  20. Operation of the Eskisehir-Kutahya Railway.
  21. Galata Pier is built.
  22. Beirut Railway began operating.
  23. Candles factory established.
  24. Operation of the Afyon-Konya Railway.
  25. Building a port and a dock in Chios.
  26. The Demirkapi Canal was opened in the Danube River.
  27. The Damascus-Aleppo railway began operating.
  28. Establishment of the Hejaz Telegraph line.
  29. Hama Railway operation.
  30. The Basra-India telegraph line connected Beyoglu.
  31. The port and pier were built in Thessaloniki.
  32. Haydarpaşa Port and Wharf were built.
  33. The opening of a mining college.
  34. The Faculty of Medicine was opened in Damascus.
  35. Haydarpaşa Military Medical College was inaugurated.
  36. Establishment of the Telegraph line, Tripoli-Benghazi.
  37. The railway has started operation in Konya Erglici.
  38. Establishment of Radio Tripoli.
  39. Radio stations were established throughout the country.
  40. Establishing the Medina Telegraph line.

Projects that have been planned

The era of Sultan Abdul Hamid witnessed the planning of a number of various projects that were not implemented due to some technical difficulties and because of the Sultan’s dismissal, the most important of which are:

  • Construction of the Golden Horn Bridge
  • Construction of the Yemen Railway (construction stopped due to Italy’s bombing of the port of Shibana)
  • Building a train line connecting Asia and Europe ( currently the Marmaray metro line )
  • Galata Bridge Project
  • Galata Sulaymaniyah Suspension Bridge Project
  • The Great Ottoman Garden Project 
  • A railway project to transport ships
  • Yildiz Park and Railway Project
  • A project connecting the Gulf of Aqaba, the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea
  • Menderes River conquered
  • Berlin Hospital Project
  • Project to convert sea water into drinkable water
Sultan Abdul Hamid Projects 1

Sultan Abdul Hamid II and Palestine

During the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, Jews around the world demanded to immigrate to Palestine, where the first attempts began in 1876 AD, “the year in which the Sultan took power.” Haim Kudela offered to buy large swaths of Palestinian lands to house the Jews, but the Sultan refused.

After that, the Jews sought help from the American ambassador to Istanbul, who failed in attempts to persuade the Sultan as well.

The Jews were subjected to many massacres in Russia after accusing them of involvement in the assassination of the Russian Tsar Alexander II, and accordingly the Jews began to search for places of refuge, Sultan Abdul Hamid confirmed his welcome of the persecuted Jews in all the lands of the Ottoman Empire except Palestine.

Sultan Abdul Hamid stressed that the Ottoman State welcomes the persecuted from everywhere, but it never welcomes the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine.

The Ottoman Empire completely banned the entry of Jews to Palestine, but after many pressures from the European state, the Sultan allowed Jews to live in Jerusalem for a maximum period of 3 months.

The Sultan issued a decisive decree prohibiting the sale of any land in Palestine, including government lands, to any Jewish person, even if he was an Ottoman citizen.

Sultan Abdul Hamid and Theodor Herzl

The leader of the Zionist movement, Theodor Herzl, visited Sultan Abdul Hamid and tried to persuade the Sultan to grant him a national home for the Jews in Palestine with self-rule, as he offered him the following in return:

  • Efforts were made to solve the Armenian problem
  • paying 15 million pounds sterling “about 150 thousand kilograms of gold”
  • Improving the image of the Ottoman Empire in the world press

Sultan Abdul Hamid II rejected Herzl’s offer to travel Jews to Palestine to grant them autonomy and the establishment of a state within the Ottoman Empire.

Sultan Abdul Hamid agreed to allow the immigration of Jews to Asia Minor and Iraq in exchange for payment of all the debts of the Ottoman Empire

Theodore Herzl rejected Sultan Abdul Hamid’s offer and tried to bribe him by offering an amount of one million pounds (about a thousand kilograms of gold) to the Sultan, so that the Sultan would reply, saying to the Grand Vizier:

Advise Dr. Herzl not to take serious steps in this matter, for I cannot give up an inch of the land, for it is not a right-wing property, but rather the property of the Islamic nation that has strived for it and spilled it with its blood, so let the Jews keep their millions, and if the Khilafah state is torn apart, they can then They take Palestine without a price, but while I am alive, the work of the scalpel on my body is easier for me than seeing Palestine amputated from the Islamic state, and this is not something that is possible. I cannot consent to our autopsy while we are still alive.

Despite the rejection of the categorical Sultan, Herzl’s attempts did not stop, as the Zionist movement continued to establish devices to try to control the lands of Palestine and organize the settlement process.

In 1902, Herzl asked Sultan Abd al-Hamid permission to establish a Hebrew university in Jerusalem, but the Sultan categorically refused and prohibited the establishment of the university.

In 1903, the Zionist movement tried to hold its first conference in Palestine, and the Sultan decided their political activity completely.

Sultan Abdul Hamid II was one of the staunch defenders of Palestine, and he tried intelligently to prevent the Zionist movement from controlling Palestine, and he succeeded in his endeavor until his removal from power and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the occupation of Palestine after that.

Sultan Abdul Hamid II 2

The end of the rule of Sultan Abdul Hamid

In the summer of 1908, riots broke out led by the Young Turks Association, with the assembly demanding the restoration of the constitution suspended since 1876 and the reopening of the parliament.

The parliament closed and suspended the constitution at the beginning of the rule of Sultan Abdul Hamid after the Ottoman Empire entered into a disastrous war with Russia, which the Sultan opposed and caused a crushing defeat for the state at that time.

The Sultan reopened Parliament and confirmed in a speech that Parliament had been closed until everyone re-education and education so that the people could elect their representatives.

Incident of March 31

Many members of the army opposed restoring the constitution and opening the parliament, and two fronts were formed as some members of the army tried to carry out a revolution to abolish the constitution and parliament.

There were two factions in the army, one group called the Constitutional Army, demanding the preservation of the constitution, and another group opposing that.

The army demanding the constitution advanced from the Balkans and besieged Istanbul, and then stormed the capital under the command of Ali Pasha Colonia.

Sultan Abdul Hamid II deposed

After the Thessaloniki army moved and entered Istanbul, the Union and Progress Association charged Sultan Abdul Hamid with 4 charges:

  • March 31 accident measure
  • The burning of the Qur’ans
  • Extravagance
  • Injustice and bloodshed

The Sultan affirmed that he was not connected to the March 31 incident, and with regard to the Qur’ans, the religious Sultan emphasized the impossibility of burning the Qur’ans.

Sultan Abdul Hamid ordered during his reign that it was not permissible to acquire copies of the Qur’an, and he made the printing of Qur’ans a matter for the state, and the Qur’ans were distributed free of charge to whoever wanted them.

There were some merchants who continued to print the Qur’ans without supervision and scrutiny of the Qur’an, in addition to selling them in contravention of the state’s decisions to free the Qur’ans.

These Qur’ans were collected, burned, and their ashes were buried, due to doubts about their authenticity, in addition to preventing their trafficking.

The parliament met and approved the charges against the sultan and ordered his dismissal and the inauguration of his brother Mehmed V rule.

A committee made up of the Jew Emmanuel Qrasso, Aram the Arminian, a member of the Parliament, Asaad Topani and Arif Hikmat, went to inform the Sultan of his removal from office and from the caliphate

The Sultan says in his diary, commenting on these events:

What saddens me is not the removal from power, but the disrespectful treatment that I faced after these words of Asaad Pasha, which went beyond all the limits, where I said to them: I bend to legitimacy and the decision of the Parliament, except that I confirm that it was not I have the slightest relationship, neither from afar, nor close to the events that exploded on March 31, for the responsibility that you have borne is very heavy

The Sultan continued, surprisingly, about the presence of the Jew Emmanuel Qrasso to inform him of his dismissal:

What is the work of this Jew in the place of the caliphate? And with what intention did you bring this man in front of me?

After his dismissal, the Sultan revealed in a letter to Sheikh Mahmoud Abi al-Shamat, his sheikh in the Shadhili order, about the reason behind his dismissal.

The Sultan affirmed that the Zionist movement, in cooperation with the Union and Progress, was the reason behind his dismissal, for his refusal to allow a national home for the Jews in Palestine.

And the Sultan’s message came as follows:

In the name of God the most Merciful ,

Praise be to God, Lord of the worlds, and the best of prayers and peace be upon our master Muhammad, the prophet of the Lord of the Worlds, and upon his family, companions and followers until the Day of Judgment.

I raise my petition to the Sheikh of the Shadhiliyya order, to the wellspring of soul and life, to the sheikh of the people of his time, Sheikh Mahmoud Effendi Abi al-Shamat, and accept his blessed hands hoping for his righteous prayers.

sir

With the grace of God Almighty, I constantly recite the Shadhili Awrads day and night. And I offer that I still need your heartfelt invitations permanently.

After this introduction, I present to your guidance and to your likeminded people of tolerance and sound minds the following important issue as a trust in history:

I did not abandon the Islamic caliphate for any reason, except that – due to harassment and threats from the heads of the Union Society known as (John Turk) – I was forced to leave the caliphate.

These Unionists have insisted that I endorse the establishment of a national home for the Jews in the Holy Land (Palestine), and despite their insistence, I did not accept this, and finally they promised to provide (150) one hundred and fifty million English pounds in gold, I refused as well and i said to them :

“If you pay the fullness of this world in gold – in addition to (150) one hundred and fifty English pounds in gold, I will not accept this in a definitive way. I have served the Muslim community and the Ummet for more than thirty years, I will not insult the reputation of the Muslims, my fathers and grandfathers from the Ottoman sultans and caliphs. This is why I will not accept your offer. ”

After my definitive answer, they agreed to take me down, and told me that they would deport me to Thessaloniki, so I accepted this last assignment.

I praised Allah and I thank him that I did not accept that the Ottoman state and the Islamic world were tainted with this eternal shame arising from their mandate to establish a Jewish state in the Holy Land: Palestine. I think that what I have presented is sufficient on this important topic, and I will conclude this letter with it.

My esteemed teacher, I greeted you very much, but for this prolongation I was prompted to make your eminence a note, and your group also takes a note of that, and may the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you.

Muslim servant

Abdul Hamid Abdul Majeed

Sultan Abdul Hamid II was the last effective ruler of the Ottoman Empire, and the Sultan Mehmed V and Mehmed VI had no effective authority after him.

Sultan Abdul Hamid II deposed
From left to right: Aref Hekmat, Emmanuel Qrasso, Asaad Totani, Aram, Ghalib Pasha (he later assumed the position of Sharif of Mecca).

The death of Sultan Abdul Hamid II

Sultan Abdul Hamid II was exiled to the city of Thessaloniki, which contains one of the largest minorities of Jews in the Ottoman Empire.

The Sultan gave up his money inside and outside the country and lived in Thessaloniki until the outbreak of the First Balkan War.

The Sultan spent most of his time after his isolation in worship, reading and carpentry, which he greatly liked, in addition to writing his memoirs.

Because the city of Thessaloniki was in danger, the Sultan was transported by a German steamer to Istanbul, and settled in the Beylerbeyi Palace in 1912.

The Sultan complained of pain in his digestive system as his health deteriorated.

On February 9, 1918 AD, Sultan Abdul Hamid II felt pain in his body after he got up from the dining table to be examined by the doctor and confirmed that he had signs of tuberculosis.

On the morning of the second day, the Sultan insisted on washing and bathing, contrary to the doctor’s orders, and upon the departure of Sultan Abdul Hamid, he began to sweat, so that his brother, Sultan Rashad, sends doctors to try to treat him.

The Sultan died on February 10, 1918, and was buried in Istanbul next to his grandfather, Sultan Mahmud II.

The funeral of Sultan Abdul Hamid II was attended by great crowds, and the general public grieved him greatly, as the Ottoman Empire disintegrated after him and ended completely after the First World War.