Sultan Abdülmecid Han


Father : Sultan Mahmud II
Mother : Bezmialem Sultan
Date of Birth : April 25, 1823
Accession to the Throne : July 1, 1839
Death : June 25, 1861

Sultan Abdülmecid was accessed to the Ottoman throne as the thirtyfirst Sovereign. He also got his initial education at the palace. His father, made special efforts for his education. Abdülmecid was raised up as a modern Western prince. He was learned in French. He was closely interested in Western music and played Western musical works on the piano.

The state was passing through a critical stage when Sultan Abdülmecid was enthroned. There was unease and battles on almost all the boundaries. The “Reformation” (Tanzimat) which is named as the first Westernization movement in our history, was declared. “The Straits Issue” came up as a new problem for the state for the first time in 1833. Europe described the Ottoman State as the “Sick Man” during this period. Russia on the other hand, started to implement a new strategy based on the claim, “The Sick Man of the Bosphorous should be cleared out and scattered and his major territory (the Straits) should be mine”.

Western States on the other hand, recognized for the first time in 1850 s. the expansionist policy of Russia and took sides with the Ottoman State in the 1853 Crimean War against Russia. In 1856, they convened the Paris Congress which was the first major international congress, and included in the Treaty, the provision stating: “The Ottoman State is a European State and its territorial integrity is under our control”. The Ottoman State entered the war by loaning from Western States due to insufficient finances Moreover the “Reformation Ferman” providing for the protection of minority groups and Christian subjects was annexed to the Paris Treaty as an Addendum.

Sultan Abdülmecid was rather tall and slender with a fair complexion, black hair and a short beard. He had deep looking dark brown eyes. He was a well educated person having a close interest in music and created good works of calligraphy.

The first high schools were opened during this period. The Kuleli (Tower) Barracks (Kuleli Military High School) was constructed and the first Turkish museum was instituted. Encümen-i Dâniş (Council of Knowledge) which is known as the first Scientific Academy in our history convened in 1851. The first telegraph lines between Edirne-Varna-Crimea were installed. The first railway between İzmir-Turgutlu became operational. Repair of the Dolmabahçe Palace, Ortaköy Mecidiye Mosque and the Prophet’s Tomb At Medina and the construction of the Karaköy Bridge were among the major reconstruction activities of the period. The first Municipal organization was established during the period. “The Literature of Reformation” of the period included the first novel and short story.