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Abd al-Hamid II

Born: 1842 AD
Died: 1918 AD
Nationality: Turkmen
Categories: Sultan

1842 – Born on the 21st of September was the 34th sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

1876 – Succeeded to the throne following the deposition of his brother Murad V on 31st of August.

1890 – Armenians began clamoring to obtain the reforms which were promised at Berlin.

1892-1893 – Unrest occurred in Merzifon and Tokat. Armenian groups staged protests and were met by violence. Abdülhamid, despite being the son of an Armenian mother, did not hesitate to put down these revolts with harsh methods and often used the local Muslims (in most cases the Kurds) against the Armenians.

1894-1897 – Massacres of the Armenian populace began, resulting in the deaths of between 100,000 and 300,000 Armenians including men, women and children.

        – Abdülhamid always resisted the pressure of the European powers to the last moment, in order to seem to yield only to overwhelming force, while posing as the champion of Islam against aggressive Christendom.

         – Panislamic propaganda was encouraged; the privileges of foreigners in the Ottoman Empire, which were often seen as an obstacle to government, were curtailed. A new railway to the holy city of Medina was completed -making the Hajj somewhat easier- though there was still a 160 mile camel ride to get to Mecca.

Refused Theodor Herzl’s offers to pay down a substantial portion of the Ottoman debt in exchange for a charter allowing the Zionists to colonize Palestine.

1908 – Young Turk revolution broke out and Abdülhamid, upon learning that the troops in Salonica were marching on Istanbul (July 23), at once capitulated.

        – On the 24th an irade announced the restoration of the suspended constitution of 1876; the next day, further irades abolished espionage and censorship, and ordered the release of political prisoners.

        – Abdülhamid opened the Turkish parliament with a speech from the throne in which he said that the first parliament had been "temporarily dissolved until the education of the people had been brought to a sufficiently high level by the extension of instruction throughout the empire."

1909 – Deposed on 27th of April his brother Reshad Efendi was proclaimed as Sultan Mehmed V.

1912 – Conveyed into dignified captivity at Salonica. Back again in Ýstanbul, he spent his last days studying, carpentering and writing his memoirs in custody at Beylerbeyi Palace.

1918 – He died on 10th of February at Beylerbeyi Palace.