August 3, 2020

To Remember with Respect and Understand Sultan Abdulhamid Han

For many years we have looked at our own history through the window of others. For example, during the Sarıkamıs operation, ninety thousand soldiers froze to death without firing a single gun, we said.
However, this figure was the propaganda discourse of the Russians. So it was a lie. Even the number of our soldiers who participated in the operation was not that much. If our soldier didn’t fire a gun in Sarıkamıs, how could the loss of the Russians be thirty-two thousand?
This was also the case of Sultan Abdulhamid Khan. For many years he was looked at from the eyes of his enemies and the west. This is unfortunately made as an official discourse.
Now the seal is in the hands of those who call Sultan Abdülhamid Han as “Great Khan” We have the proverb. This is: Truth surely wins. Lie cannot be long-lived.
Sultan Abdulhamid Khan’s life is really touching. His priority was to ensure the unity and solidarity of the nation as the Sultan and of the ummah as the Caliph.
It was to try to prevent the colonialists from conquering Islamic countries. It was to prevent British, French and Russian expansionism. For thirty-three years he struggled for this. (Inspired by Assoc. Prof. İbrahim Kalın’s book, Öteki ve Ötesi.)
Act of Allah. Abdulhamid desperately had to watch the loss of Rumelia during the Balkan War; the fall of our big cities such as Baghdad and Jerusalem during the Jihan War. Perhaps it can be a consolation: On February 10, 1918, he deliberately rested because of knowing that Mosul, Damascus and Aleppo. If we think about that Sultan Reşad passed away in the same year (3 July), we can understand his deep sorrow in the face of the losses. The state was dismembered, the nation fell apart, and the ummah was in captivity of the imperialists.


Sultan Abdulhamid Khan ruled our country for thirty-three years under harsh conditions and between tough enemies. Along with him, the ‘Great Sultan’ era ended.
Despite all the black propaganda, his effect and memory have lived up to the present day. It is true that a great deal of effort has been made to erase him from national memory.
Even the settlements having the name of Hamidiye got their share of this anger. Hamidiye was changed as Mesudiye.
I am a person who likes to visit the homeland rather than going outside. The Ottoman Empire invested heavily in European lands. We know that even Bolu, right next to Istanbul, was considered a place of exile. This is why great works in many towns of Anatolia belongs to Seljuk and the Principality period. Sultan Abdulhamid Khan saw the future and attempted to revive the territory of Anatolia. He almost formed the defense line. Yes, foresight. I’ve seen traces of this effort everywhere I go. From Kastamonu to Sivas and Söğüt.
Today, many buildings used as school, governor, museum, hospitals is his works. He did all this despite the heavy debt burden. Only this service of him is enough to remember him with respect.
Abdulhamid came to the throne during the apocalypse years. Those who understood and opposed the security policy he followed as restrictions and pressures on freedoms soon experienced what the real captivity itself was, and they repented. The life of our national poet is evident as a painful document.
We can easily say that Sultan Abdulhamid’s contribution to our country is much more than that of many prime ministers and presidents. Comparison cannot be made.


February 10 is the centenary anniversary of Sultan Abdulhamid Khan. An important event was held at the Yıldız Palace with the participation of our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: Understanding Sultan Abdulhamid.
Carefully prepared speeches, albums and exhibition. The art director of the event was Harun Tan. First we visited the exhibition. There were Abdulhamid`s the special items such as his seal, amber rosary, wallet, teacup, walking stick, box, carpenter tools, writing set, envelope opener.
Some of the edicts drew our attention. Here is one of them: “In the examination it was understood that Lady Ayse who worked for two years in Thessaloniki as a soldier with the name of Aydınlı Köse Mehmed was a girl. She was brought to Istanbul. It was decided to pay her 300 liras per month by state treasury and 2000 liras as Padishah’s gift. ”
What impressed me the most was the maps of Palestine and Jerusalem and Kubbetü’s Sahara model, which were among the special belongings of Sultan Abdulhamid. As I remembered that he died two months after Jerusalem’s fell, I felt sad.
We know the Sultan’s high interest in books and photographs. His passion for learning and the importance given to education as a result. The exhibition successfully reflected this characteristic of Abdulhamid.
Our nation cannot do without flags. I was excited to see the flags of Ertuğrul Süvari Regiment and the 53rd Hamidiye Regiment. Sultan Abdulhamid’s great interest in these regiments is obvious.
In his speech, Mr. Erdoğan said “Although the form of governance has changed, the essence and spirit of our nation has remained the same ” We are understanding this truth day by day.
There are people who want to start our country’s history from 1923. My grandfather was born in 1910. Only this small example shows that this is not possible.

One thought on “To Remember with Respect and Understand Sultan Abdulhamid Han

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