Abd al-Hamid II
Abd al-Hamid II,1842–1918, Ottoman sultan (1876–1909). His uncle, Abd al-AzizAbd al-Aziz
, 1830–76, Ottoman sultan (1861–76), brother and successor of Abd al-Majid. The economic and political reforms enacted under his rule could not outpace the decline of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey).
..... Click the link for more information. , was deposed from the throne of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) in 1876 by the Young Turks, a liberal reformist group. Abd al-Hamid's brother, Murad VMurad V,
1840–1904, Ottoman sultan (1876), son of Abd al-Majid. He came to the throne of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) when his uncle, Abd al-Aziz, was deposed, but he was soon declared insane and was succeeded by his brother, Abd al-Hamid II.
..... Click the link for more information. , succeeded as sultan, but was shortly declared insane, and Abd al-Hamid ascended the throne. He at first accepted (1876) the constitution promulgated by Midhat PashaMidhat Pasha
, 1822–83, Turkish politician. As governor of Bulgaria he succeeded within the few years of his tenure (1864–69) in raising the country from misery to relative prosperity. Schools, roads, and granaries were built from funds obtained by local taxation.
..... Click the link for more information. but soon suspended it, dismissed Midhat, and eventually had him strangled. The war with Russia (see Russo-Turkish WarsRusso-Turkish Wars.
The great eastward expansion of Russia in the 16th and 17th cent., during the decline of the Ottoman Empire, nevertheless left the shores of the Black Sea in the hands of the Ottoman sultans and their vassals, the khans of Crimea.
..... Click the link for more information. ) led to the Treaty of San StefanoSan Stefano, Treaty of
, 1878, peace treaty between Russia and the Ottoman Empire, at the conclusion of the last of the Russo-Turkish Wars; it was signed at San Stefano (now Yeşilköy), a village W of İstanbul, Turkey.
..... Click the link for more information. , subsequently modified by the Congress of Berlin (see Berlin, Congress ofBerlin, Congress of,
1878, called by the signers of the Treaty of Paris of 1856 (see Paris, Congress of) to reconsider the terms of the Treaty of San Stefano, which Russia had forced on the Ottoman Empire earlier in 1878.
..... Click the link for more information. ). To save what remained of his empire, the sultan then pursued a policy of friendship with Germany. German officers reorganized the Turkish army, and German business interests obtained concessions, most notably for the construction of the Baghdad RailwayBaghdad Railway,
railroad of international importance linking Europe with Asia Minor and the Middle East. The line runs from İstanbul, Turkey, to Basra, Iraq; it connected what were distant regions of the Ottoman Empire.
..... Click the link for more information. . For his part in the Armenian massacres of 1894–96, he was called the Great Assassin and the Red Sultan. Ruling as absolute monarch, Abd al-Hamid lived in virtual seclusion. In 1908 the Young Turks, who had penetrated the armed services, revolted and forced the sultan to adhere to the constitution of 1876. He was deposed (1909) when he tried to plot a counterrevolution and was succeeded by his brother, Muhammad VMuhammad V
or Mehmet V,
1844–1918, Ottoman sultan (1909–18). He succeeded to the throne of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) when the liberal Young Turk revolution of 1909 deposed his brother, Abd al-Hamid II.
..... Click the link for more information. .
See study by J. Haslip (new ed. 1973).