1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Abd-ul-Aziz

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ABD-UL-AZIZ (1830-1876), sultan of Turkey, son of Sultan Mahmud II., was born on the 9th of February 1830, and succeeded his brother Abd-ul-Mejid in 1861. His personal interference in government affairs was not very marked, and extended to little more than taking astute advantage of the constant issue of State loans during his reign to acquire wealth, which was squandered in building useless palaces and in other futile ways: he is even said to have profited, by means of "bear" sales, from the default on the Turkish debt in 1875 and the consequent fall in prices. Another source of revenue was afforded by Ismail Pasha, the khedive of Egypt, who paid heavily in bakshish for the firman of 1866, by which the succession to the khedivate was made hereditary from father to son in direct line and in order of primogeniture, as well as for the subsequent firmans of 1867, 1869 and 1872 extending the khedive's prerogatives. It is, however, only fair to add that the sultan was doubtless influenced by the desire to bring about a similar change in the succession to the Ottoman throne and to ensure the succession after him of his eldest son, Yussuf Izz-ed-din. Abd-ul-Aziz visited Europe in 1867, being the first Ottoman sultan to do so, and was made a Knight of the Garter by Queen Victoria. In 1869 he received the visits of the emperor of Austria, the Empress Eugenie and other foreign princes, on their way to the opening of the Suez Canal, and King Edward VII., while prince of Wales, twice visited Constantinople during his reign. The mis-government and financial straits of the country brought on the outbreak of Mussulman discontent and fanaticism which eventually culminated in the murder of two consuls at Salonica and in the "Bulgarian atrocities," and cost Abd-ul-Aziz his throne. His deposition on the 30th of May 1876 was hailed with joy throughout Turkey; a fortnight later he was found dead in the palace where he was confined, and trustworthy medical evidence attributed his death to suicide. Seven children survived him: Prince Yussuf Izz-ed-din, born 1857; Princess Saliha, wife of Kurd Ismail Pasha; Princess Nazimé, wife of Khalid Pasha; Prince Abd-ul-Mejid, born 1869; Prince Seif-ed-din, born 1876; Princess Emine, wife of Mahommed Bey; Prince Shefket, born 1872, died 1899.