‘Abd al-Hamid II, Ottoman Sultan AH 1293-1327/AD 1876-1909
KM 730, PCGS MS-64
Qustantiniyah (Constantinople) mint (7.24gm). Tughra and regnal year, stars above, wreath below composed of olive branches and quivers with arrows; Reverse, ‘aaza nasruhu, mint and accession date, all within olive wreath.
Abd al-Hamid II (1876-1909) was the 34th Ottoman Sultan. He has been called the “Bloody Sultan” or the “Damned” due to his massacre of minorities, especially the genocide of Armenians, and his use of secret police to silence dissent. He was paranoid about the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the role that Christians were playing in the dissolution of his empire. His actions led to a coup staged by the young officers of the Turkish Army forcing him to declare a reformation of Ottoman constitution. He was forced to initiate reforms across his empire in education and transportation. ‘Abd al-Hamid’s paranoia and fear of republicanism among the educated classes paralyzed the state. The sultan was eventually forced to abdicate.