Abdul-Medjid II

Abdul-Medjid II

The last caliph of the Ottoman dynasty/
Date of Birth: 29.05.1868
Country: Turkey

  1. Biography of Abdul-Mejid II
  2. Early Life and Education
  3. Caliphate and Exile
  4. Artistic Pursuits
  5. Exile and Legacy
  6. Family and Children

Biography of Abdul-Mejid II

Abdul-Mejid II, the last caliph of the Ottoman dynasty, was born on May 29, 1868, in the Dolmabahce Palace in Constantinople. He was born to Sultan Abdul-Aziz and his wife, Hayranidil Kadyn-effendi. Abdul-Mejid II had a younger sister named Nazime-sultan.

Early Life and Education

Abdul-Mejid II received his education privately within the palace. According to Ottoman tradition, he was confined within the palace walls. On July 4, 1918, his cousin Mehmed VI became the Sultan, and the 40-year-old Abdul-Mejid was declared the Shahzade, the heir to the throne.

Caliphate and Exile

After the abolition of the Sultanate on November 1, 1922, the last Sultan Mehmed VI left Turkey and was deposed as the caliph. On November 19, 1922, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara elected Abdul-Mejid as the caliph. However, his role was purely ceremonial, and he did not interfere in politics.

On March 3, 1924, six months after the establishment of the Turkish Republic, the caliphate was abolished, and the Ottoman dynasty was overthrown, with its members being exiled from the country. As a result, Abdul-Mejid was forced to leave Turkey. Until his death, he served as the head of the Imperial House of the Ottoman dynasty.

Artistic Pursuits

As the caliph, Abdul-Mejid was bestowed the rank of a general in the Ottoman army, but he had no inclination towards military affairs. Instead, he was a great lover of art. He served as the chairman of the Society of Ottoman Artists and is considered one of the most significant artists of the late Ottoman period. His painting, "Harem," was exhibited at the Ottoman Art Exhibition in Vienna in 1918, and his self-portrait is preserved in the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art. Abdul-Mejid was also a passionate collector of butterflies and pursued this hobby during the last 20 years of his life.

Exile and Legacy

Abdul-Mejid resided in France during his exile and passed away on August 23, 1944, in his home on Boulevard Suchet in Paris. His death coincided with the liberation of Paris from German occupation. Upon the order of King Saud of Saudi Arabia, Abdul-Mejid was buried in Medina.

Family and Children

Abdul-Mejid had four wives: Shehsuvar Kadyn-effendi, Hayrunnisa Khanum-effendi, Atie Mehisti Kadyn-effendi, and Bihruz Khanum-effendi. He had several children, including Shehzade Omer Faruk, who was married to his cousin Rukiye Sabiha Hatun and Mihriban Mihrişe Hatun. His daughter, Hatidje Hayriye Aisha Durrüşehvar-sultan, was the wife of the Nizam of Hyderabad, Azam Bahadur.