The New Student's Reference Work/Abdul-Hamid II

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Abdul-Hamid II (äb′dŏŏl-hä′mīd), Sultan of Turkey and tributary states, from 1876 to 1909, was the second son of Sultan Abdul-Medjid, of the House of Othman. He was born Sept. 22, 1842, and succeeded to the throne on the deposition of his elder brother, Murad V, on Aug. 31, 1876. He was a Turk and Mussulman of the old school and consequently showed little inclination towards reform within the Ottoman Empire, which was stipulated by the Treaty of Berlin, in 1878, following on the war with Russia of the previous year, which proved disastrous to the Porte. In later years he lived under the dread of assassination and showed distrust even of his own ministers. He looked askant at England’s operations in Egypt, and was believed to have secretly stimulated the rebellion of Arabi Pasha in 1882.

The same malign influence was also known to be at work in Armenia, where the Christian world was horrified at the atrocities committed there by the Turkish soldiery. Resistance to the outrage and rapine there has been greatly handicapped by jealousies among the European Powers.

In 1908, following a revolt led by the Young Turks’ party and involving the army, Abdul was forced to grant a Constitution, and an assembly, but in April 1909, a revolt against the new order was instigated by the Sultan. This was quickly put down. Abdul Hamid was dethroned and his brother Reshed Effendi was placed on the throne as Mehmed V. The change was attended with massacres at Adana and other places.