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Abdulmecid I

Born: 1823 AD
Died: 1861 AD
Nationality: Turkmen
Categories: King

1823 – Born in the house of Mahmud II on April 23.

1839 – Succeeded his father Mahmud II on July 2. His reign was notable for the rise of nationalist movements within the empire’s territories. Abdulmecid I wanted to encourage Ottomanism among the secessionist subject nations and stop the rise of nationalist movements within the empire, but failed to succeed despite trying to integrate non-Muslims and non-Turks more thoroughly into the Ottoman society with new laws and reforms. He tried to forge alliances with the major powers of Western Europe, namely the United Kingdom and France, who fought alongside the Ottoman Empire at the Crimean War against Russia. Abdulmecid’s biggest achievement was the announcement and application of the Tanzimat (Reorganization) reforms which were prepared by his father Mahmud II and effectively started the modernization of Turkey.

1844 – He was an advocate of reforms like his father Mahmud II, and was lucky enough to have the support of progressionist viziers like Mustafa Reºit Pasha, Mehmet Emin Ali Pasha and Fuat Pasha. Throughout his reign he had to struggle against conservatives who opposed his reforms. Abdulmecid was also the first emperor to personally listen to the public’s complaints in special reception days, usually every Friday, without any middlemen. Abdulmecid toured the empire’s territories to see in first person how the Tanzimat reforms were being applied; travelling to Izmit, Mudanya, Bursa, Gallipoli, Çanakkale, Lemnos, Lesbos and Chios.

1849 – When Kossuth and others sought refuge in Turkey after the failure of the Hungarian rising in 1849, the sultan was called on by Austria and Russia to surrender them, but he refused. He also would not allow the conspirators against his own life to be put to death.

1856 – In the following Congress of Paris on March 30, the Ottoman Empire was officially included among the European family of nations.

1861 – Abdulmecid died of tuberculosis (like his father) at the age of 39 on June 25 and was succeeded by his brother, Abdülaziz, the oldest survivor of the family of Osman.