Abdul Hamid II
Sultan of the Ottoman EmpireDied when: 75 years 141 days (904 months)
Star Sign: Libra
Abdul Hamid II or Abdülhamid II (Ottoman Turkish: عبد الحميد ثانی, romanized: Abdü’l-Ḥamîd-i-sânî;
Turkish: II.Abdülhamid; 21 September 1842 – 10 February 1918) reigned as the 34th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire - the last Sultan to exert effective control over the fracturing state.
He oversaw a period of decline, with rebellions (particularly in the Balkans), and he presided over an unsuccessful war with the Russian Empire (1877-1878) followed by a successful war against the Kingdom of Greece in 1897.
Abdulhamid II ruled from 31 August 1876 until his deposition shortly after the 1908 Young Turk Revolution, on 27 April 1909.In accordance with an agreement made with the Republican Young Ottomans, he promulgated the first Ottoman Constitution of 1876 on 23 December 1876, which was a sign of progressive thinking that marked his early rule.
However, in 1878, citing disagreements with the Parliament, he suspended both the short-lived constitution and the Parliament.The modernization of the Ottoman Empire continued during his reign, including reform of the bureaucracy, the extension of the Rumelia Railway and of the Anatolia Railway, and the construction of the Baghdad Railway and of the Hejaz Railway.
In addition, systems for population registration and control over the press were established, along with the first local modern law-school in 1898.
The most far-reaching of the reforms occurred in education: many professional schools were established for fields including the law, arts, trades, civil engineering, veterinary medicine, customs, farming, and linguistics.
Although Abdul Hamid II closed Istanbul University in 1881, it re-opened in 1900, and a network of secondary, primary, and military schools was extended throughout the empire.
German firms played a major role in developing the Empire's railway- and telegraph-systems.During Abdul Hamid's reign the Ottoman Empire became bankrupt, leading to the establishment of Ottoman Public Debt Administration in 1881.
Outside the Ottoman Empire, Sultan Abdul Hamid II gained the untrue nickname the Red Sultan or the Bloody Sultan because of the 'so called' Hamidian massacres of Armenians and Assyrians of 1894-1896 and the 'apparent' use of the secret police to silence dissent and the Young Turks movement.
Small and untrustworthy sections of the Ottoman intelligentsia sharply criticised and opposed him.Loyal citizens called him the Grand Khagan (Turkish: Ulu Hakan) for his extraordinary efforts in modernising the empire and in keeping it intact in difficult times.
Amongst the many assassination attempts against him, the most famous became the Yıldız assassination attempt of 1905 by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.