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Sultan Abdelhamid (II) was born in Istanbul on September 21, 1842. He held the position of Sultan and Caliph of the Ottoman Empire from 1876 to 1909. He was named in history as the last influential and authoritative caliph of the Ottoman Empire. Known for his vision, foreign policy and ideology. Sultan Abdul Hamid wrote in his personal memoirs that “it is not correct to say that I am against any change coming from the West.
However, I am not in favor of haste because it is from the devil. Let us accept the necessary changes with natural speed with gentleness and moderation and let us not overlook the things in which Allah Almighty has given us superiority. Islam is not against progress but for this, it is necessary that Internal needs should be the basis of development and the aims and objectives of external forces should not be taken into account.
Sultan Abdul Hamid faced threats from two sides. One was the interest of European countries in the affairs of the Ottoman Caliphate and, the external conspiracies against it. while the other was the internal front of the Turkish Youth Association, which had ousted two caliphs before him and, their activities around Sultan Abdul Hamid. There was a siege. The author writes that two incidents made Sultan Abdul Hamid even more alert. After understanding that Sultan Abdul Hameed will not come to their senses, another attempt was made to make Sultan Murad, the caliph, which failed. Another incident was that, an attempt was made to assassinate Sultan Abdul Hameed, while he was going out for Friday prayer in the Jamia Masjid, in which he survived.
He strengthened relations with Germany during his tenure. The Hijaz Railway project was his biggest project. Thus began the work of laying the railway line from Damascus to Medina. This track passed through the deserts of Syria, Palestine, Arabia and reached Medina. After the resignation of Sultan Abdul Hamid, it could not be extended to Makkah. The Sultan explicitly refused to give the territory of Palestine to the extremists, and at the same time, in view of the danger that the Jews would begin to set foot there, banned the purchase of extremist land in Palestine. The sultan was offered a large sum of money from Herzal, but the sultan refused the money, despite his financial difficulties, saying, ” We have got it from our own blood and we have irrigated it with our own blood. Before we let it go with our own hands, we will cover it with our own blood again. ”
But in spite of all this, the basic structure of the Ottoman Caliphate changed during the reign of Sultan Abdul Hameed and “Diwan-e-Maliki” was replaced by “Bab-e-Aali”. Because they were unwilling to fully embrace Western culture and were hindered by many of the intentions and intentions of European governments, they had to be removed from the path despite these changes.
A civil war broke out in Istanbul on May 6, in which many people were killed. Sultan Abdul Hameed was held responsible and charged with conspiracy to commit genocide and burning copies of the Holy Quran. At the same time, it was decided to dethrone Sultan Abdul Hamid and he was locked up in a palace. He was died in 1918.