SULTAN I. ABDÜLHAMİD HAN
Father : Sultan Ahmed III
Mother : Rabiâ Sultan
Date of Birth : March 20, 1725
Accession to the Throne : January 21, 1774
Death : April 6/7, 1789
Abdülhamid was accessed to the Ottoman throne as the twentyseventh Sovereign. He
got his early education within the palace walls. Books for him, were a bridge to
the past. He loved to read history books. When the duty was assigned, he wanted
to sustain the state which was strengthened by his ancestors. He highly
intelligent. He could not observe what was beyond the palace walls, but he
created his own interpretations through the lessons he learned from events
experienced in the past.
When he took over the state administration at the age of 49, the Ottoman
–Russian war was still continuing. Armies of both sides werehaving bettles at
Kozluca of the Varna area and the Ottoman army was routed because Czarina
Catherina II had terminated the army’s communication with the headquarters. The
Grand Vizier tried thee channel of diplomacy in order to cease the war with a
peace treaty; and the war was ended by the signing of the Küçük Kaynarca Treaty
on July 21, 1774. Crimea, which was a major strategic area was given to Russia
under this Treaty. The Sovereign was very much worried about the situation.
Moreover, Küçük Kaynarca Treaty raised a significant, new problem. The Treaty
provided for the protection of minority rights, Christianity and churches by the
Ottoman Government. Russian merchant vessels would be able to pass through the
Straits freely, without the need for receiving a permit. Sultan Abdülhamid, who
had prepared himself for the fortification of the state, was, during the first
months of his empowerment, forced to sign a Treaty which changed the state’s
fate and brought greater troubles.
The battle won against Austria in the 1787 Russian war had brought the title
of “Gazi” (Veteran of War) to the Sovereign, but the loss of Özi Fortress to
Russia worried him so much that he was paralysed.
Sultan Abdülhamid was of medium height, of light complexion with a dense,
black beard. He had a Ing nose and slightly slanting eyes. He was a very good
willed and humanitarian person. He liked to be earnest in state affairs,
followed up all implementations until results were obtained and warned the
concerned about same. He investigated the candidates to be appointed as state
officials and tried to select capable people. He liked to walk around the city
in disguise and listen to the problems of tradesmen and the public in genereal.