February 11, 2019
Sultan Abdulhamid II had been the 34th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Sultan Abdulhamid had been the 113th caliphate of Islam. During the 33 years of his rule (1876-1909), Abdulhamid had faced serious internal and external challenges. Sultan Abdulhamid had lost his throne after the March Incident in 1909 ( A palace coup). During his reign, reforms in the field of education and trasportation had been reached to an important degree. Railways had been built in many corners of the Empire.
According to some historians, Sultan Abdulhamid had ruled the empire in a dictatorial way, however his efforts in modernizing education system does not say so . During his reign, panislamism had been adopted as state policy. As said earlier, during his reign, a considerable amount of success had been realized in terms of education, here are some of them:
- The Faculty of Law had been opened.
- The Faculty of Trade had been opened.
- The Faculty of Fine Arts had been opened.
- Faculty of Medicine had been opened.
On the other hand, the modernization of infrastructure had increased the prestige of Muslims at that time. Abdulhamid had defended Islamic unification against controversial ideologies to empower social and political cohesion of the time-being. Abdulhamid’s centralization of power had sometimes been evalauted as steps directed by his advisors but he refuses this in his memoirs. As said above, during his reign many important transportation networks had been constructed. The Hijaz Railway in his own words had been “his dream”
Finally it can be said that, coming to power at a time when Ottoman territorial integrity was being challenged by Russia, Britain, Austria-Hungary and France, Abdulhamid managed to stabilize the frontiers of the Ottoman Empire and this success must not be underestimated at all. Yesterday had been the 101st death anniversary of Sultan Abdulhamid. May his soul rest in peace.Author : Begum Burak