Sultan Abdülaziz Han


Father : Sultan Mahmud II
Mother : Sultana Pertevniyal
Date of Birth : February 7/8, 1830
Accession to the Throne : June 25, 1861
Date of Dethronement : May 30,1876
Death : June 4, 1876

Sultan Abdülaziz was accessed to the Ottoman throne as the thirtysecond Sovereign. He received a good training under the supervision of his father and educated himself as well. He was in close contact with his brother Abdülmecid, observed the state’s structure and operdation closely and joined his travels. However; he preferred to own his cultural values and liked to listen to Turkish music instead of Western music and chose to watch Turkish the atrical shows instead of going to the opera or the theatre.

During the years of his enthronement, the state under the pressure of European states. Russia on the other hand, was implementing its policies for the achievement of its objectives by looking out for every opportunity. Greece, which had become an independent state at the beginning of the century, annexed Crete relying on its protector countries and succeeded in starting various uprisings. After the opening of the Suez Canal, Britain entered into efforts of conquering Egypt, a major point of its vital advantages in the Mediterranean. Sultan Aziz visited the Egypt. Sultan Aziz paid his second visit to Europe, stayed in mathe major capitols like Paris, London and Vienna and made several contacts.

The declaration of Reformations was also the starting point of Westernization and the period of closer relationships with Europe. Books were brought into the country from Europe for purposes of translation, teachers were sent abroad for training or tutors where invited especially for military training. Middle and high schools were opened with the purpose of extending education. Some legitimate or secret societies were being formed by people sharing common ideas with respect to bringing solutions to the country’s problems. Societes like the New Ottomans (Young Turks) attempted to write down their ideas in newspapers and periodicals published within and outside the country.

Sultan Abdülaziz was a heavily built, tall person with fair complexion, severe looking hazel eyes. He had a short, black beard. He liked to dress simply and did not like ostentation. He was well trained in music and played the “ney” (a sort of flute) well. He was a sensitive person, a poet and a composer. He visited Europe and observed European culture closely. He tried to develop education and increase the number of schools. The State Council was instituted during his reign and the right of property was granted to foreigners. He believed in the administration of the state under specific rules of law.