History - OnThisDay - April 23rd. 1823 - Abdulmejid I, 31st. Sultan of the Ottoman Empire

On April 23rd. 1823 a royal birth took place in the Sahil Palace in Besiktas or at the
Topkapi Palace, both in Constantinople. (Now located in Istanbul, Turkey.)

The new born boy received the name: Abdul Mecid bin Mahmud also known as:
Abdülmecid or Abdulmejid.


His parents were sultan Mahmud II and his first wife Bezmiâlem Sultan.


Abdulmejid received a European education and he spoke fluent French.
He was interested in literature and classical music.

He traveled to Izmit, Mudanya, Bursa, Gallipoli, Canakkale, Lemnos, Lesbos
and Chios and in 1846 he toured in the Balkan provinces of the Ottoman Empire.

Love & Marriage

Abdulmejid married nineteen times and he had forty-three children.


On July 2nd. 1839, Abdulmejid became the 31st. Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

Like his father Abdulmejid I, he was an advocate of reforms and he was lucky
enough to have the support of the progressive viziers. The conservatives
opposed his reforms.

He also was the first sultan to listen to the public's complaints on special
reception days, which were usually held every Friday.

When Abdulmejid succeeded the throne, the affairs of the Ottoman Empire
were in a critical state. The Empire's army had been defeated at Nizip, by
the army of the rebel Egyptian viceroy, Muhammad Ali.

Therefore the Convention of London was signed in 1840. This was a treaty
between the Great Powers: United Kingdom, Austria, Prussia, Russia on
one hand and the Ottoman Empire on the other. This convention lent support
to the Ottoman Empire in its struggles with his Egyptian possessions.

In 1844, he created the Ottoman lira and in 1852, he instituted the Order of
the Medjidie.

Between 1847 and 1849 Abdulmejid restored the Hagia Sophia and he was
responsible for the Dolmabahçe Palace. This palace was the first European-
styled palace in Istanbul. The world's largest Bohemian Chrystal chandelier,
was a present from Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.

He also founded the first French Theater in Istanbul.

In October 1853, the Crimean War started. The Ottoman Empire fought
together with the French Empire, British Empire and Sardinia against

Abdulmejid I, Queen Victoria, Napoleon III of France

In 1856, he was made 717th. Knight of the Order of the Garter and
the 52nd. Grand Cross of the Order of the Tower and Sword.

His attempts at strengthening his base in the Balkans failed in
Bosnia and Montenegro. In 1861 he was forced to give up Lebanon.

The 1911 Encyclopedia said about sultan Abdulmejid I:
He bore the character of being a kind and honorable man,
if somewhat weak and easily led. Against this, however, must be set down
his excessive extravagance especially towards the ends of his life.


Abdulmejid died of tuberculosis at the age of 38 on 25 June 1861.
He was buried in the Yavus Selim Mosque. He was succeeded by his
younger half brother, Sultan Abdulaziz.


In 2008 the novel The Bellini Card by Jason Goodwin, portrayed
a character based on Abdulmejid I.

Source pictures: Wikipedia

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